Thousands across Europe resist austerity attacks

November 7, 2010

John Edmundson The Spark November 2010

Europe has seen a massive upsurge in worker resistance to planned implementation of continent-wide austerity measures. The size and militancy of the demonstrations and strikes should serve as an inspiration to workers in this part of the world, where class consciousness is at an all time low and union leadership has been sorely lacking and misdirected. In New Zealand, the CTU’s national day of action against the proposed extension to the 90 Day Act and other attacks on workers’ rights was morphed into a Labour Party election rally and Christchurch, where job losses due to earthquake related business closures, and earthquake recovery projects will mean workers there will be more exposed than most to the provisions of the 90 Day Act, the CTU decided in its wisdom that “for obvious reasons,” there would not even be a rally.

Compare this with the situation developing across Europe and the contrast could hardly be starker. The Spark has already given some coverage to the massive demonstrations that struck Greece, but huge worker rallies have taken place across many European cities and industrial action has hit several countries, most notable Spain and France. While it would be wrong to read too much into the potential of these actions, they do represent a significant positive development given the relative quiescence of the working class movement. Read the rest of this entry »


India behind the Games

November 7, 2010

Philip Ferguson The Spark November 2010

In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games the media was full of criticisms of India.  All these, however, revolved around whether the Games’ facilities would be finished and good enough, what the quality of the athletes’ village was and whether athletes would be safe from the supposed dangers represented by Islamic fundamentalists.

What was never touched upon in any serious way was the position of the mass of Indians themselves.  Indeed, the media continues to promote the number one global myth about India: that it’s the world’s biggest democracy.  In point of fact, India is a country marked by lack of democracy, by vicious state repression and huge inequalities of wealth and power. Read the rest of this entry »


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