Ari Berman, The Nation Magazine, joins Thom Hartmann. Massive labor strikes rocked the U.K. today – as public workers took to the streets to protest ongoing austerity measures. Last year – the Conservative government passed a slew of austerity measures – laying off public workers – cutting back on pensions – and ending social welfare programs – claiming it was what needed to happen to get the British economy back on track. A year later – the British economy still hasn’t grown – and now the government is calling for more austerity.
In response – over two million civil servants are protesting. Schools, hospitals, airports, courts, and government buildings are all being affected by the strike – which is the largest in over a generation in the U.K. since the “Winter of Discontent.”
According to the Guardian – 19,000 out of 21,700 schools in England and Wales are closed or partially closed – and roughly 6,000 non-urgent operations have been cancelled. The Occupy London movement made their voice heard today too – storming the offices of mining company Xstrata – and targeting the higest paid CEO in the U.K. They made it all the way to the road of the buiolding and hung a banner that read “All power to the 99 percent” before police regained control. So where did the British government go wrong – and where is this sort of social unrest that we’re seeing spring up all around the world taking us?