Following the lead of the anarcho-syndicalist unions, the CNT, the CGT and the SO, Spain’s two largest but state-funded labour groups, the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and General Workers’ Union (UGT) announced they too would meet the call of other European labor organizations for coordinated action by declaring plans for a national strike on November 14th. But the CNT, CGT and SO are now going one step further and urging everyone at the culmination of the strike, on November 18th, to mobilise for all-out social revolution in the workplaces and the communities.
“We call on all trade unions, social movements, popular neighborhood and village assemblies, the 15-M working groups and all workers in general to participate and come together and endorse a week of protest against the Social Pact and for the General Strike, to be held between the 14th and 18th November and culminating in the call for decentralized mobilizations on 18th November… It will only be possible to reverse the current measures of the political class in favour of the banking system and large employers and work instead for the benefit of the working classes by developing a strong process of struggle on the streets and in the workplaces. That’s what 18N will be all about… The struggle is on the streets! Towards the General Strike!” Joint statement by Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Confederación Sindical Solidaridad Obrera (SO).
Elsewhere in Europe, Portugal’s largest union, the CGTP, has already announced plans to hold a national strike action on the same day; similarly, the trade unions in Greece, France and Italy will be striking, too.
The strikes have the potential to spread further across Europe as a whole – indeed, the European Trade Union Confederation has passed a declaration for all-out general strike for all its member countries. We shall see…
Lead-up actions to general strike:
November 7: 100,000 people surround Greek Parliament after two days of coordinated strikes across Greece.
November 1: Rioting and demos in Barcelona.
October 28: More mass demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona against austerity measures; also in Rome.
October 27: One million protest in Spain and surround Congress in Madrid again.
October 21: 100,000 march in London to protest government “cuts.” It’s important to note, though, that the British government isn’t cutting spending; it’s slowing the rate at which spending increases.
October 20: Tens of thousands protest austerity measures in Rome.
October 18: 70,000 march in Athens to protest wage and pension cuts. A small group attack police with stones and petrol bombs. A general strike shuts down public services, schools, hospital and shops and disrupts flights and public transportation.
October 15: Two thousand demonstrators protest and start a fire outside Portugal’s parliament building, the evening after the government announces its 2013 draft budget.
October 13: Thousands protest cuts to cultural projects in Lisbon. Thousands of trade unionists also march to Parliament to protest austerity measures. Two thousand march in Madrid to protest austerity measures.
October 9: Tens of thousands take part in the first nationwide protests since Franςois Hollande became French president. Police disperse protests with tear gas as they try to break into a Peugeot Citroen plant. In Athens, tens of thousands protest as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits. Some dress up as Nazis and others throw stones at the police.
October 7: Tens of thousands protest spending cuts in 56 Spanish cities. Madrid is the focal point, with 20,000 protestors.
October 4: Transportation strikes in Portugal stop trains, underground rail and buses after the government announces tax increases. Shipyard workers in Greece, who are behind on pay, break into the Ministry of Defense grounds. Hundreds of farmers try to drive their tractors onto Crete’s airport.
October 3: Dozens of Greek parents hand their children to tax officials to protest the ending of tax relief measures for large families. (They did take their children home with them after the protest.)
September 30: Tens of thousands protest the European fiscal pact in Paris.
September 29: Tens of thousands protest in Spain and Portugal.
September 28: Up to 30,000 march in Rome to protest cuts. Health workers, trash men, professors and public employees, including staff at the Coliseum, go on strike.
September 26: Over 50,000 go on strike and protest in Athens. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “hundreds of hooded youths” attacked the police with petrol bombs. Spain’s protests continue.
September 25: Thousands of protestors surround the Spanish parliament building. It takes 1,400 police officers to fight them off.
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