News ID: 113306
Publish Date : 12 March 2023 - 21:29

Thousands Protest in London; Czechs Hold Anti-War Demos

LONDON/PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of protesters marched through London to the British prime minister’s residence to support health care workers who have held a series of strikes over pay and conditions in the state-funded National Health Service.
Almost 40,000 junior doctors, who form the backbone of hospital care, are due to walk out across England for three days starting Monday.
NHS England said the doctors’ strike would be even more disruptive than recent walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff.
Thousands of NHS appointments and procedures will be canceled during the 72-hour strike.
A wave of strikes has disrupted Britons’ lives for months, as workers demand pay raises to keep pace with double-digit inflation. As well as health care workers, teachers, train drivers, airport baggage handlers, border staff, driving examiners, bus drivers and postal workers have all walked off their jobs to demand higher pay.
Unions say wages, especially in the public sector, have fallen in real terms over the past decade, and a cost-of-living crisis fueled by sharply rising food and energy prices has left many struggling to pay their bills.
Britain’s annual inflation rate was 10.1% in January, down from a November peak of 11.1% but still a 40-year high. The Conservative government argues that giving public sector staff pay increases of 10% or more would drive inflation even higher.
In the Czech Republic, thousands of people rallied against the government, protesting high inflation and demanding an end to the country’s military support for Ukraine.
A new political group, PRO, organized the rally at Prague’s Wenceslas Square as an anti-poverty event. As participants called on the coalition government to resign, party leader Jindrich Rajchl said they want “a government to care first of all about the interests of the Czech citizens.”
His group, whose name translates in English to Law, Respect,

 Expertise, blames the European Union for soaring energy prices. Inflation slightly dropped to 16.7% in Czechia in February from 17.5% a month earlier.
PRO also wants the Czech government to stop taking actions that are intended to reduce misinformation and fake news.
Ukraine was a key issue at Saturday’s demonstration, where the crowd called for a peaceful solution to the war. Some people had the letter “Z,” a symbol of the Russian military, on their bags. “Stop the war, stop NATO,” they chanted.
The Czech Republic has staunchly supported the government in Kyiv. The country has provided weapons for the Ukrainian military and taken in a half-million refugees.