Since the beginning of this year Belgium has witnessed a wave of wildcat strikes reminiscent of the 1970s. The movement has spread spontaneously from one sector to another. Significantly it has rekindled class unity across the language divide at the same time as the bourgeois attempt to divide the working class along national lines.

The recent internal leadership elections in the Flemish Socialist Party revealed a very militant mood in the ranks of the party. The two left candidates Erik De Bruyn and Elke Heirman received an amazing 33.6% of the votes, preparing the ground for the re-emergence of s strong left wing in the party.

The Belgian Socialist Party has been dominated by a right-wing bureaucracy for some time now, but something has been brewing in the ranks lately. This has now suddenly erupted and come to the surface with the Antwerp branch nominating Erik De Bruyn, a known Marxist and promoter of the left of the Party, “SP.a Rood”. An apparently small incident has provoked an earthquake within the party.

HOV Belgium participated in organising a large meeting of some 350 people in solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution. With a packed agenda, important speakers from both Belgium and Venezuela spoke on the revolution and the need for solidarity. Meetings such as this show concretely that the ideas and the message of the Venezuelan revolution are spreading well beyond the borders of the Latin American country.

On October 28 another massive strike shook Belgium. This time all the unions were involved. In spite of all the attempts of the government and the bosses to sabotage it, the workers took part in large numbers and 100,000 marched through the streets of Brussels. Things are moving very fast now.

On Friday, October 7, there was a massive general strike in Belgium, the first for 12 years, called by Socialist ABVV-FGTB union. In spite of all attempts to make it fail, the workers came out in great numbers both in Flanders and Wallonia. Since then the pressure has built up. Strikes have broken in different parts of the country. The Christian union has now been forced to back the movement and a new general strike is being prepared for October 28. Class struggle is back on the agenda in Belgium, and with a bang.

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