Brian Becker, National coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, analyzes the mass demonstrations and strikes in France targeting new austerity measures.
The US government spends $1 billion every two days to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. It spends nearly $1 trillion each year for weapons and war. War is very profitable for the corporations and the bankers that dominate all parts of the economy. Meanwhile, working families are seeing their wages cut, pensions eliminated, jobs disappearing while being lectured by the same elites about the need to tighten our belt in the new “age of austerity”.
Working people and students around the globe are facing the same problem.
Right now, millions of public and private sector workers, students and others are taking to the streets in cities across France. They are taking aim at the French government's pledge to raise the retirement age for workers and other so-called austerity measures.
The heroic demonstrations and strikes, including the blockade of fuel terminals, has virtually shut down the country. Transportation services, businesses, media outlets and banks have been crippled by militant mass protests.
The struggles facing workers in the United States are the same as those in Europe and around the world. The bankers and politicians want to make us pay for an economic crisis caused by the bankers and corporate elites. They want us to send our young people to fight in endless wars for Empire.
Over 30 million people in the United States are unemployed or underemployed. The wages of part-time workers have been slashed in the last year.
While the banks and corporations are making record profits, the poverty rate has reached a new high point. Young people are being forced out of college because of tuition increases.
From Greece to France, workers and students are fighting back. We can too.