Belgian police attack trade union demonstrators

This is a video about the European trade union Day of Action today.

From the BBC:

24 March 2011 Last updated at 11:58 GMT

Brussels protesters clash with police before EU summit

Police in the Belgian capital Brussels have used water cannon and tear gas on protesters hurling bottles and stones ahead of an EU summit.

What is the BBC’s source for blaming the trade unionists for the violence? The police? Police forces the world over have traditions of not always telling the truth about things like that; using police provocateurs; etc.

Scuffles began when a small group of protesters moved into the Rue de la Loi, a street close to the summit venue in the city’s European quarter.

The group reportedly grew in size as the confrontation increased.

Thousands of other demonstrators have been protesting peacefully in the city against EU austerity cuts.

Trade unions called on them to challenge moves to commit governments to a new “Euro Pact” that seeks to moderate wages in a bid to make Europe’s economy more competitive against global rivals.

The two-day summit of the EU’s 27 heads of state and government is due to start at 1600 GMT.

“The European Commission’s annual examination of growth as well as the competitiveness pact launched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will drag wages and social rights down to dangerous levels,” Belgium’s CES union said in a statement.

The CES (ETUC in English), is not a Belgian, but an European trade union federation.

Photos of the Brussels demonstration are here.

A report is here. Another one is here.

Brussels police used water cannon and pepper spray to keep tens of thousands of demonstrators angry over plans for tough economic measures away from the site of a European Union summit: here.

USA: Maine Governor Paul LePage extends war on workers to war on art about workers: here. And here.

Ashcroft Covered Up Breasts on Symbol of Justice at DOJ; Maine Governor Removes Labor Murals: here.

2 thoughts on “Belgian police attack trade union demonstrators


    The attack that is being waged on unions in Republican-controlled states across the nation is not just an economic war to lower the working person’s standard of living. As the Tea Party governor of Maine has shown, it is an assault on the basic dignity of labor itself.

    According to The Associated Press (via Maine Public Broadcasting), Gov. Paul LePage (R-Maine) considers artwork that pays homage to the integrity and struggles of the working person to be “inappropriate” in a state government building:

    LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor headquarters building in Augusta.

    In addition, the LePage administration is renaming several department conference rooms that carry the names of pro-labor icons such as Cesar Chavez.

    LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt says the mural and the conference room names are not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals and some business owners complained.

    Given that the mural in question was in the Maine executive branch office that represents the workers of the state, the action appears to symbolize more than a “pro-business” tilt: it’s an anti-labor attack of the pettiest sort.

    Throughout history, governments that have resorted to censorship and banned art based on political outlook have not fared well in the long term.

    The human spirit is too strong to endure such restrictions on a basic freedom.

    In this case, a mural that pays homage to the working class has a right to hang with dignity on the wall of the Maine Department of Labor.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  2. Pingback: Big workers’ demonstration in Hungary tomorrow | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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