For five days now, France has been in the grips of major national strikes and protests, and there’s no clear end in sight. The major issue here is pension reforms being passed by the government, but it mirrors a lot of other mass protests in the last few weeks, including serious rioting and general strikes in SPain, Greece, Belgium, Iceland and Ireland, among others, against neoliberal “austerity” reforms in general.

All of this points to a serious growing backlash against the financial system. Responding to the mortgage crisis, bailout, and all the cuts that have resulted. People are not willing to accept that gambling their futures away on security markets was their fault, or that they should pay for it, and this may well only be the beginning of the fallout for it. Europeans have always been quicker to protest than North Americans, especially the French, but with people like Harper at the helm, it can’t be all that long before it hits here, too.