Last Tuesday the 24th of May the Belgian workers movement (the "socialist" ABVV/FGTB, the christian ACV and the liberal ACLVB) organized a national manifestation in Brussels. Around 60.000 people gathered to protest against the austerity policy and reforms of the Michel-government. Special target of the manifestation was the Minister of Work, Kris Peeters, who wants to flexibilise the 38-hour working week (the so-called 'Loi Peeters', borrowed from the French 'Loi Travail/El-Khomri' and the very militant resistance against it).
A delegation of the ACN/AKN traveled to Brussels to join in on this protest. Not to join the usual circus of the union-bureaucracy, but to support the independent struggle of the workers. Although the whole demonstration was mostly orchestrated by the system-unions, the massive presence of disgruntled workers and activists proved the Belgium workers movement is alive and still has the potential to become a revolutionary force of interest. As long as they liberate themselves from the yoke of the reformist union- and party bosses!
Thousands protestors fill the streets of Antwerp
The demonstration started with the usual walk through the city center towards the South station. Fireworks were, as is the tradition, ignited and along the way the RVA (employment service) and PS ("socialist" party) offices were besmirched with paint bombs. Notable was the absence of the dockers of Antwerp during this protest. Did they deliberately avoid this manifestation, because the unions helped to abolish the law Major? A combatant and excited atmosphere prevailed among the many protesters. The unions themselves had employed over a thousand security people to keep the manifestation under control.
KVA Office hit by paintbombs and smeared with graffiti
Cops try to drive back protestors under the threat of bats and watercanons
Preparations for first charge
'Hero of the day' - Chief of Police goes K.O.
Watercanons force back militants
Stand off with the cops
Militants set up barricades
STOP THE AUSTERITY-POLITICS!
AWAY WITH THE BOURGEOIS MICHEL-GOVERNMENT!
BRING 'FRANCE' TO THE REST OF EUROPE!