US unions, activists show solidarity with British strike

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Some 100 union members and Occupy Wall Street activists protested Wednesday outside the British Embassy in Washington, in a show of solidarity with public sector employees on strike in Britain.

The demonstration was aimed at registering "strong protest against the British government's ongoing attacks on public sector workers in the UK," according to National Nurses United (NNU), a 170,000-member nurses union.

Up to two million workers in Britain went on strike Wednesday over changes to their pensions, after the government responded to slashed growth forecasts with fresh spending cuts. Unions described the walkout as the biggest in decades.

"We feel strongly about the problems over there," NNU co-president Karen Higgins told the demonstrators after filing a letter of protest to the embassy.

"We know we have the same problems," she said, citing the reduction of public services, a stubbornly high US unemployment rate and the alarming number of home foreclosures.

"This is unacceptable and we want it stopped," she said.

Similar protest events were held in other US cities, according to the NNU, which was supported by unions representing public sector workers, school teachers and truck drivers.

A dozen anti-capitalist activists in Washington aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement also joined the protest.

© 2011 AFP

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