London : Amid the inflation, recession, strikes and failing health care, people find there's an alternative to suffering.

Britain is languishing and the signs are everywhere. Inflation is in double digits, and the recession - the worst of all Group of 7 countries - is expected to last deep into 2024. 

The National Health Service is on life support, public transport is sputtering, and post-Brexit worker shortages are widespread. Homeowners face soaring mortgage rates, renters are subject to no-fault evictions, and millions can't afford to heat their homes.

Food banks, which barely existed a decade ago, are at breaking point, and 14.5 million people are in poverty. Winter is here, and it's bleak.

But Britons are fighting back. Months after what was called a hot strike summer, in which almost 200,000 workers staged walkouts, Britain is witnessing industrial action on a scale not seen in decades - and in all sorts of unlikely places.

University staff members recently staged their biggest walkout, for example, and the Royal College of Nursing, which represents N.H.S. nurses, will soon take strike action for the first time in its 106-year history. The breath of disputes is striking. 

Among those picketing or about to strike are postal workers, civil servants, charity workers, bus drivers, firefighters and factory workers.

Against those who insist that there is no alternative but to suffer, ordinary Britons are saying that, actually, there is - and it's called solidarity.

The World Students Society thanks author Rachel Shabi for his opinion.


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