Nationwide strike and state repression in Britain

Written the day before the planned June 30th general strike, this article examines the rising repression against protests in the UK, the historical mindset that makes it possible, and how people are continuing to resist. British unions were predicting a walkout of as many as 750,000 public sector workers on 6/30 to protest budget cuts and drastic changes in the public pension system:

Will the Revolution Begin in London?
by Laurie Penny, in Adbusters


One year ago, the British left looked longingly across the channel to Europe, where ordinary people were actually putting up a fight. It seemed impossible that Britain, the briefcase-clutching auditor of supply-side economics, could ever hope to muster similar public dissent to the global austerity consensus our leaders helped broker. But now, we’ve already seen Metropolitan police on horseback charging thousands of rioting teenagers at the gates of Parliament. We’ve seen mass arrests for civil disobedience, hundreds of thousands on the streets in protest, and the birth of a smart, popular counterculture that seeks to contaminate the brand structure of casino capitalism. It began in November, when student protesters demonstrating against the privatization of higher education deviated from the march route and smashed up the headquarters of the party in government. It has now become a national movement, led by young people organizing nonhierarchically. It can happen anywhere if it can happen in Britain.

Photo and further updates c/o The Guardian. More updates at

2 Replies to “Nationwide strike and state repression in Britain”

  1. Very interesting except there wasn’t a general strike – just a one-day action by a small number of unions, mainly in teaching and the civil service. The number of members who voted the strike ballot beforehand averaged just over 33%. Several big unions did not participate. A small majority of the public favours curbs on such action So it is not quite a pre-revolutionary situation.

  2. The situations are being repeated throughout the capitalist west: how can governments cover their costs?
    The UK government has been busy pointing the finger at Greece for their irresponsibility, and at the same time refusing to acknowledge its own debts. The UK has a national debt of 2252 billion GBP. As with all modern governments, the UK has to borrow the money to pay for social services and for pensions. If the UK government wants to trim budgets so that social services can be paid for out of taxes then cuts are inevitable under free market capitalism. It is worth remembering that the USA has a national debt of $14.3 trillion. The government is already being threatened that any defaults will lead to the reduction in the credit rating of T-bills.The stories are the same in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and so on.
    Everybody has the right to protest…….but it is too late. The demands for new politics should have been made before the banks,Central Banks, hedge fund,mutual funds, investment funds were given permission to lend unregulated,without any collateral, and at the ratio of $1 to $33, and to print money.
    We can dream of having a prosperous retirement, but we must insist that it is funded by cash, not debt.
    Or we can step out and look after ourselves in community without hospitals, hostels, pensions.
    If we sit on our hands, governments will bankrupt themselves, and have to withdraw from all social provisions.
    If we sit on our hands,all resources will be exhausted and all industrial enterprises will cease.We will be free to live in our local agri-communities as we please.

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