The preparation of the strike has been kept secret so far, although Brussels based interns and trainee organisations have been working on the action for months. Many regular, though confidential, meetings have taken place to prepare this vast operation. The movement even has a name : ‘Occupy PLux’.
Interns share their experiences
Julia, 26 : “Every day I have to do the same photocopies again and again, just because the layout is not ‘perfect’. I sometimes spend over 4 hours of my day on it, it’s insane!”. Denis, 22: “Coffee is always an issue: either it’s too hot or too cold. I have to prepare it 3 times to get it right”. Sylvain, 29: “I have been an intern in the same company for the last 4 years. They promised me a permanent contract after 6 months, but it is since postponed at every review, supposedly because my tie is badly done”.
These poignant testimonies are only the tip of the iceberg : many hopes are invested in tomorrow’s protest and some interns event admit that “more radical measures will be taken” if nothing changes.
Belgian police on the look-out
Although protests and demonstrations are the daily routine of the European Quarter, the Brussels police force is concerned about potential excesses. “According to our estimates, if only half of Brussels’ interns participate in the protest, there would be over 7.500 young people around Place du Luxembourg,” says a source close to the security forces. “Between ourselves, many of those youngsters have nothing to lose: famers’ protests are peanuts compared to what they could do,” confides a European Commission civil servant.