Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press
Students demonstrated during march Wednesday in central London. About a third of local Government employees stayed off the job for the day.
London, Glasgow and other British cities aren't New York, L.A., Philadelphia et al and their occupy movements or Madison, Wisconsin last winter when public service workers demonstrated against Governor Walker and his attempt to end collective bargaining, but you'd never know it as hundreds of thousands of British public sector employees took to the streets protesting the extended austerity measures against them by the conservative led British government.
The reasons for the outpouring of so many were some 600,000 public service jobs in Britain are said to be on the chopping block along with decreased benefits (previously agreed to in union collective bargaining with the government), capping pay increases at 1% for 2 years after the end of the current pay freeze as well as requiring workers to work for more years and pay greater amounts toward their pensions. As one striker put it, "All we want to defend is what is our contractual right. The crisis was caused by bankers and the public services are an easy target. We're being made to pay for the mistakes of others."
And that's just it; the reverberations of the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008 in the U.S. coming on the heels of the sub prime mortgage bubble bursting, (this of course directly related to the banks bundling of suspect mortgages, packaging them into securities and then selling these "assets" knowing they were toxic to unsuspecting buyers like pension funds, state and local governments [and European governments as well] and then not holding the egregious big banks accountable for the subsequent economic crisis they perpetrated) has forced the austerity measures onto the backs of the people and particularly the public service unions in Britain, similar to what occurred in Wisconsin and Ohio.
It all becomes a matter of basic economic unfairness and injustice which the people of Britain, the Euro zone countries of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the people in the U.S. can readily identify with.
The huge financial institutions are all interconnected internationally and their respective governments have colluded with them by enacting deregulations, lax oversight and enforcement of the speculative activities these institutions engage in.
When the proverbial s___ hits the fan, creating the global economic crisis that exists today and these financial behemoths are bailed out and made whole again while the people are made to suffer, the only thing left is for the people to hit the streets in protest.
The shenanigans of the financial institutions and the economic crisis they caused together with their collusion with government to rig the process, has become all too blatant; whether it be in Britain, Greece or the U.S.
The 1% has overplayed their hand everywhere and the 99% are on to them. That's the basic meaning behind all the protests we're seeing worldwide.