MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti), Nastassia Astrasheuskaya – European Days of Action, a continent-wide movement protesting against austerity and nationalism, could spread to unite the working class in other countries, including Russia and Ukraine, said Andreas Fey of Denmark's Socialist Youth Front.
"We work to unite the working class not just in Europe but all over the world. We believe in a society where the economy is under democratic control and the only way we will ever reach such a society is if we struggle together in solidarity against capitalism and do not let the capitalist split us along social, national or gender lines," Fey told RIA Novosti on Thursday, the beginning of the 10-day campaign.
Asked whether the movement for solidarity and democracy could spread east, to Russia or Ukraine, which is preparing for early presidential elections on May 25 and where a political crisis has led to violence, deaths, power change and territorial disputes, Fey said, he hoped so.
“We hope to unite as many people, independent of nationality, race and gender as possible,” he said.
The May of Solidarity started on the fourth anniversary of the Spanish 15M movement, a series of nationwide political protests against unemployment, welfare cuts, corruption and the local political system that saw up to 8 million supporters, according to the RTVE broadcaster.
Much of the first day’s action is taking place in Brussels, which is hosting the European Business Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. The rest will circle around the campaigns for May 22-25 European Parliament elections, where voters will elect 751 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to serve five-year terms.
"We see how the EU's programs of austerity and privatization are designed to suppress and exploit people all over Europe, lower their wages and their working and life conditions in order to help the big companies secure even more profit. Furthermore this austerity fosters nationalism and suspicion between workers of different nationalities," Fey said.
"Hopefully people will notice our presence on the streets and join us in political discussions and hopefully we can convince people that there is another way for Europe than austerity and nationalism," he added.
At least 16 European left or radical left movements, organizations, groups and parties in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Denmark and Greece plan to take to the streets in the coming days to fight for "the right of all humans to a decent life, a life, where you're guaranteed a job with a salary you can actually live on, where your voice is heard, both in the home, the working place and society at large," according to SUF.
The May activities will not stop after the elections. They serve as a precursor to larger protests this fall, when the EU will be electing the next president of the European Commission to succeed José Manuel Barroso.