Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/246/24841
LAST WEEKEND over 500,000 marched through the streets of Barcelona against the European heads of states' meeting in that city. This was the biggest anti-capitalist demonstration yet.
The demonstrators were trade unionists and young people, there to protest at the continuing proposals for privatisation and cuts in services coming from the European governments.
Blair went to this meeting, along with right-wing government ministers from Spain and Italy, to push the heads of state into carrying out more privatisation and more attacks on working-class people. In a meeting of capitalist, right wing governments Blair stood alongside Berlusconi, on the far-right!
But the huge demonstration on Barcelona's streets should act as a warning to Blair - he and his cronies in Europe are going to face massive opposition to their policies.
Here in Britain the NUT (the teachers' union) in London took strike action over the right to a wage that you can survive on in London, one of the most expensive cities on the planet. Ten thousand angry teachers, mainly young, marched through the streets of the capital.
The postal workers' union demonstrated on 16 March against the sell-off of postal services. At the postal workers' rally it was when speakers from the platform attacked the government and threatened to stop funding New Labour that they received the biggest cheers.
In the months following the 11 September attack on the World Trade Center and the brutal war in Afghanistan, Blair and Co. could, to some extent, get away with implementing unpopular domestic policies because working-class people's attention was on the world arena.
That's no longer the case and more and more workers, especially in the public sector, are moving into action.
The capitalist press also speculated gleefully that 11 September could lead to the demise of the anti-capitalist movement. Instead opposition to the war in Afghanistan and the threats against Iraq are feeding into the anti-capitalist movement - which is growing in strength and is starting to become a movement not only of young people, but also of the working class.
All of these struggles are laying the basis for a growth of socialist ideas. Join the Socialist Party and fight for a better future.
In The Socialist 22 March 2002: