British police say they have arrested 75 protesters in nation-wide demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures.
More than two million workers from public and private sectors have walked off their jobs across Britain. Unions say it is the biggest mass strike in the UK in decades.
Rodney Shakespear, a political analyst from London, further expounded on the issue in an interview with Press TV. The following is a rush transcription of the interview:
Press TV: First of all, looking at the protests that have been happening in London, it is one of biggest protests by unions that we have seen in decades. Now the stance that has been adopted by the government and authorities in the UK has been; they have been saying that it is really sad to see this walk-off but they cannot do anything about it. They have already given the unions and the workers — the public sector — all that they could have given, so they cannot do anything about it. What do you think about the stance that the government has taken?
Shakespeare: There are just now a few signs that underneath the government is beginning to panic. They are bravely saying, ‘Oh, yes, these strikes amount to nothing’. … the reality is of increased stress and increased anger and if you set what is happening in the UK in the wider picture, you will realize that the government right the way across are starting to panic and when they panic, they use unnecessary force.
In the USA, two nights ago, they were actually firing on the protesters. They were using plastic bullets; plastic bullets, if they hit you say in the head, will kill you just as much as an ordinary bullet will. At the same time in America, they are proposing them to arrest any American without giving any reason and incarcerate them without anybody else knowing and they are also proposing to cut off the Internet.
So when you look at what is happening, the panic is starting to settle in, the plastic bullets are being used, you are seeing fascist thuggery all over the place and the UK is in the early stages of this but they do not seem to understand that we have an economic collapse and that it is getting worse and all the figures of unemployment are falsified and a situation is coming into being in which we can expect the next stage of the global downturn into a very severe decade or longer recession and they have no way of solving it and not prepared to nationalize the UK bank and make it serve the purposes of the people rather — as at the moment — serving the purposes of an elite group of bankster occupiers.
Press TV: This is the view that the protesters have been shouting about over the past days, not just in Britain, as you say, but also in the United States. Now in Britain, we are seeing these protest movements getting bigger and bigger; we saw one of the biggest yesterday. So do you think the UK government is starting to panic about how it should deal with the protests? It is going on with its own economic policies, but do you think that there is a kind of maybe an awakening protest movement among a public that the government would not be able to control?
Shakespeare: The government is sneering at the protesters but at the same time, they are aware that what they are proposing cannot work. All they are proposing is in fact making the situation worse by increasing the debt and increasing the austerity, which makes the ability to repay the debt become impossible. The government can say what they like publicly but behind the scenes they are intellectually bankrupt and in regard to policy, they are completely bankrupt
Unfortunately, the interests of the banksters and of the elite groups are such that they still will go along with the belief that they know what they are doing but they do not know what they are doing. They are making it worse and unfortunately, this is going to lead to a more official recession and more violence. We must take on the banksters and that means taking on the banking system and it means demanding the use of interest-free repayable loans in the first place for public capital projects. The money must go out into the mass of the population instead of going into the pockets of the banksters.