Protests sweep across Europe

Associated Press
Police officers try to push protesters back onto the pavement after they blocked traffic on Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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With rampant unemployment spreading misery in southern Europe and companies shutting factories across the continent, workers around the European Union sought to unite in a string of strikes and demonstrations.

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