In Belgium, Dec. 23rd, strikes spread rapidly throughout the country, and there were numerous clashes as armed gendarmes tried to keep order.
LV police guard post office
SV police talk with strikers
LV postman on strike
GV crowd around post office
CU sign, post office
SV strikers towards in street
SV some postmen being escorted by police
BACK V strikers march in street
LV bus for distributing mail
SV strikers sitting in road
LV shops shut
LV marchers down street
BACK V ditto
BACK V ditto
LV railways yard entry
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Background: In Belgium, Dec. 23rd, strikes spread rapidly throughout the country, and there were numerous clashes as armed gendarmes tried to keep order.
The strike movement is a protest against new austerity measures aimed at Bridging the economic gap caused by the loss of the Congo.
Brussels was the scene of demonstrations by postmen. The post offices were heavily picketed, but there were scuffles with the police when the few non-strikers tried to carry on delivering the Christmas mail. In the Charleroi and Borinage areas, coal mines were closed down when mineworkers joined the strike.
Big reinforcements of police waited in the cities ready to deal with serious outbreaks of trouble, and the Army, Navy and Air Force were alerted. Leave for serviceman was cancelled. Strong guards were mounted at telephone exchanges, post offices, railway stations, bridges and ports, and at other strategic points.
There was violence also in Parliament, where fist fights broke out as the session ended in uproar. Reports said King Baudouin would not break his honeymoon in Spain to return to Belgium.