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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"Enough is Enough": Capitalist cost-of-living crisis prompts protests around the world

From the UK to Ireland, Tunisia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece, people are taking to the streets.

Protestors take to the streets against the cost-of-living crisis in Dublin, Ireland, September 24 -- Image via Twitter.

In an interesting anniversary on October 5, 1789, "thousands of women in Paris, angry over the high price and scarcity of bread, ransacked the city armoury for weapons and besieged the Palace of Versailles in a key turning point of the French revolution."

Over two centuries later another fall of discontent is happening around the world as the working class of many capitalist countries are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet due to inflation, rising interest rates and soaring utility bills.

Most recently hundreds of thousands of people marched across the United Kingdom under the slogan "Enough is Enough" to protest the cost-of-living crisis in demonstrations organized by trade unions and leftist groups.

In Belgium on September 30 "the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) launched weekly protests called ‘Fridays of Rage’ (Vendredis de la Colère) against the government’s failure to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis. Protests were held on Friday in the cities of Kortrijk and La Louvière with the call to bring down the prices of food, energy, and other essentials."

They are planning future demonstrations throughout October.

intensified its campaign demanding effective measures from the government to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis. On September 23, in the House of Representatives, socialist leader Lilian Marijnissen demanded that the government lower energy prices, increase minimum wages, and tax corporate profits. She said that the energy sector should be in public hands.
On September 17, SP had organized a massive demonstration in Hague under the banner: ‘Enough is enough! Lower the energy bill and grab the corporate profits.’ Due to widespread protests and public outrage, the Mark Rutte-led center-right government is considering a cap on energy prices. Meanwhile, major energy companies in the Netherlands have announced an increase in tariffs that will come into effect from October.
People across Europe have been reeling under an acute cost of living crisis marked by soaring inflation in food and fuel prices. Due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and sanctions imposed by the EU and the US on Russian gas exports to Europe, energy prices have skyrocketed in European countries. Profiteering by multinational energy producers and suppliers despite this crisis has worsened the situation, including in the Netherlands.

In Greece, the Communist Party (KKE) and unions have organized similar demonstrations such as in Thessaloniki on 10 September and 15 September in Athens.

The demonstrators demanded generous increases in wages and pensions, cheap electricity, fuel and food, abolition of taxes, price cuts and caps on basic consumer goods, and cancellation of debts.
Giannis Tasioulas, president of the Federation of Builders of Greece, called on all trade unions to organize a nationwide general strike. He said that “the nationwide general strike on 9 November is the response of the working class to the situation arising. Our response to the crumbs. The answer to all those who see the high and rising prices, our lives that they have brought to an impasse, as an imported problem.(...) The ‘wait-and-see’ approach and delusions that they will provide solutions to our problems are damaging. (...) Energy providers are getting rich on government subsidies, while every month the bill is getting more expensive for us. Wages remain stuck at 2007 levels”.
He concluded by making a call for a nationwide all-workers strike “to put forward our demands. We know the necessary solutions better than anyone else. We will not compromise, we are not fooled by those who supposedly offer solutions to our problems. We known them well. We know the results of their proposals. We know that our lives are constantly facing a dead-end. Hope lies in the struggle, in our strength. Only the people can save the people!”.

This is all happening as people can only be pushed so far. They will rise against the cruel and vicious attempts by the capitalist class and their puppet governments to try to salvage the sinking economy on the backs of workers and the people. With imperialist war raging in Ukraine, directly causing a global inflation and energy crisis and threatening to further escalate, people are taking to the streets to fight back and demand an end to a cost-of-living crisis driving tens-of-millions to the brink entirely due to the callous, hawkish and incompetent actions of their ruling elites.

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