Protests have been taking place across Europe against the economic crisis, inflation and the U.S./NATO war against Russia. Throughout Europe, the people reject the sharply escalating attacks on their security and standard of living and demand their rights and claims be protected.
In the UK, natural gas prices have risen nearly NINETY-SIX per cent in the past year, while electricity prices are up 54%. In France, electricity bills are up 40%. Bloomberg News reports that the wholesale price of electricity in Germany has gone up more than 500% during the year.
Under the banner “Enough is Enough!” many thousands of working people took to the streets in England, Scotland and Ireland demanding their rights, wages and working conditions, not be sacrificed through the cost-of-living crisis. Actions in around 50 towns and cities were recorded.
People set fire to their energy bills in several cities including London, in a protest against rising energy bills. “Don’t Pay UK”, a grassroots movement that is demanding a fair price for energy for everyone has launched a campaign that has received over 200,000 pledges from people who say they are prepared to stop paying their energy bills. The organisation has said that it will continue until the campaign reaches 1 million signatures.
In France, on October thirteenth, railway staff and civil servants represented by the Confédération Générale du Travail voted to join striking oil refinery staff, who have been on strike for weeks and recently faced the announcement that the government was invoking emergency powers to order them back to work or face fines or jail time.
The union that represents railway workers in France said, in addition to salary improvements, they are denouncing the government’s attack on the right to strike of oil refinery workers. Many other labour organizations in France have called for a national day of strike.
In the Czech Republic, mass demonstrations took place at the beginning and end of September with another demonstration planned for October twenty-eighth. Under the slogan “The Czech Republic First of All,” demonstrators carried signs denouncing the country’s membership in the European Union and in NATO. People demanded the country be militarily neutral, cease arms supplies to the Ukraine, and ensure that direct contracts are made with gas suppliers, including Russia, so that energy prices are brought down. Demonstrations also called for the resignation of the current government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala for not upholding the national interest. They denounced the economic crisis as being self-inflicted because of the government’s subservience to the United States/NATO and the worn-out forces of old Europe.
In Germany, people have been protesting the rising cost of living and denouncing the position of the German government that blames Russia for the energy crisis yet refuses to certify and launch the Nord Stream two, natural gas pipeline. They have also been protesting the government’s participation in the U.S.-led anti-Russia sanctions and the proxy war in Ukraine by sending weapons. In Kassel, the protests demanded a ban on weapons exports to Ukraine. At the beginning of September, mass actions blocked the entrances to the facilities of arms producer Rheinmetall and tank manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann that are profiting from the U.S./NATO war hysteria.
Reports suggest that many Germans are deeply concerned with the militarization of the economy and the government’s practice of openly handing over money to powerful companies including the privatized energy sector. Demands have appeared in demonstrations that Germany must take the lead to disband NATO and stop the aggressive war talk and threats against Russia and China.
In October, in Italy, at least two national demonstrations have already taken place: one on the third and the other on the twelfth with another demonstration planned for October twenty-sixth. People are refusing to pay their energy bills and are publicly burning them in the streets. They denounce the government’s promise of fifteen per cent aid in payments when in fact increases are running at 3-400 %.
Protests have also been taking place in Moldova, demanding the resignation of the country’s government and the president of Moldova for refusing to defend the people from the economic crisis. Energy prices in the country have jumped 5-fold in less than a year.