Wave of Action demonstrations got underway in continental Europe today. The intention is to register unhappiness with austerity and herald a return of the energies behind the Occupy movement. North American mainstream media seems intent on ignoring/under reporting the Wave of Action but that will likely change. Austerity has burdened Europe for some time now and the Wave of Action is just the next part in a much longer and deeper social tradition of serious public reaction to government policy than is found in North America.
Released just days ago is a major report from Catholic agency Caritas Europa describing the socio-economic difficulty faced by millions that has called forth austerity and a host of angry reactions to it. Devastating reading. A growing underclass of people in several countries in the EU are even having trouble keeping themselves fed. Photos of children picking food out of street garbage is not the preferred image associated with a continent known for its culture and beautiful public spaces.
Official notions of recovery are challenged in the report. It sets out the origins and scale of the problem and the deeply unjust nature of austerity in which those who did not create the crisis are asked to bear a punishing set of correctives dictated by those who did. This report describes the origins and key impacts of the crisis with a special emphasis on the hardest hit nations.
Wake up North America.