Tens of thousands demonstrated against the rising cost of living, with many linking the crisis to the West’s Russia policies
An organized protest by trade unions, with 70,000 to 80.000 demonstrators, blocked the streets in Brussels Monday. It brought the city’s downtown to a complete halt. Many protestors expressed anger over the increasing cost of living in Belgium and condemned the US-led NATO alliance’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
According to Reuters, trade unions claimed that 80,000 protestors attended, but police reported that it was closer at 70,000. The protest resulted in a mass cancelation of Brussels Airport flights due to the massive crowding. Unions representing security personnel also went on strike. The capacity of public transit lines in the city was also drastically decreased.
Belgium’s inflation reached 9% during June. It was a new four-decade record. Protesters called for tax reductions and salary increases as the spending power was declining.
Brussels protested against the sanctions imposed by Biden on Russia. It is impossible to afford living at this high standard of living. pic.twitter.com/RJOreap3zt
— Protest News (@ProtestNews_EN) June 20, 2022
However, many linked their dire economic straits to the EU’s sanctions regime on Russia and with the NATO alliance’s rush to arm Ukraine.
Protestors demanded their leaders be fired “spend money on salaries, not on weapons,” And chanted “stop NATO.”
🇧🇪In protest, demonstrators marched #Brussels“To spend money on wages, not on arms,”Stop spending money on war and stop asking for “Stop”. #NATO!” — with such slogans, the participants of the action came out pic.twitter.com/1NbgIQjwIR
— K Boz (@KBoz3) June 20, 2022
While similar protests against rising costs have taken place across Europe as of late – thousands of trade unionists marched in London on Saturday – few have linked the soaring prices with the actions of NATO and its members.
A few months back, protestors in Brussels held Ukrainian flags. They demanded the EU seperate from them. “Putin’s Oil.”On the same day, demonstrations were held in front of European Parliament buildings for weeks. callingPlease see the following: “sanctions for Russia.”
Brussels houses both NATO and EU headquarters. It was also the city from where US President Joe Biden chose to announce a round of sanctions on Moscow in March, before immediately telling a reporter that “sanctions never deter” those targeted by them.
These measures were not predicted in April, but they did indeed happen. “wipe out the last 15 years of Russia’s economic gains,” Russia’s energy earnings have hit record levels since February, and the Russian ruble is currently at a seven-year high against the euro.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president has accused European nations of economic crimes “suicide” via sanctions, and predicted last week that the EU’s “direct losses”This policy of sanctions “could exceed $400 billion in a year.”