Belgian general strike of 1893
The Belgian general strike of 1893 was ordered (12 April) by the General Board of the Belgian Labour Party
Belgian Labour Party
The Belgian Labour Party, called Belgische Werkliedenpartij in Dutch and Parti Ouvrier Belge in French, was the first socialist party in Belgium, founded in 1885.-History:...

 after the Belgian Parliament rejected (11 April) the Law Proposal on universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...


This general strike did force a terrified bourgeoisie into concessions (according to Henri Pirenne
Henri Pirenne
Henri Pirenne was a Belgian historian. A medievalist of Walloon descent, he wrote a multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a national hero....

: the bourgeoisie in the Parliament). But following the same author the leaders of the Belgian Labour Party were also terrified in front of events which were no more under their control .

In the end, on 18 April, a toned down version of universal suffrage, which gave plural votes based on wealth, education and age (ensuring the bourgeoisie of a safe majority), was approved.

General strike diary according to Otago Witness

Otago Witness
Otago Witness
The Otago Witness was a prominent newspaper in the early years of the European settlement of New Zealand, produced in Dunedin, the provincial capital of Otago. Inaugurated in 1851, three years after the founding of the city, the Witness was originally a four-page fortnightly paper, becoming a...

 a weekly magazine of the Otago Region (New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

) the publisher was William Cutten
William Cutten
William Henry Cutten was a New Zealand politician. He served in the 1st New Zealand Parliament as representative for the Dunedin Country electorate 1853-1855, but resigned before the end of his term. He later served in the 6th Parliament as a representative for Taieri 1878-1879, also resigned. He...

, wrote a very right reportage of this short and violent general strike.

April 12

The trouble with the strikers at Borinage
The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut. The provincial capital Mons is located in the east of the Borinage. In French the inhabitants are called Borains...

 has led to the calling out of the civic

April 14

The strike ordered by the Belgian Labourg party
is of an extensive character, but it is not general. (...)

April 15

The general strike in Belgium is extending. (...) Much blood has been spilt,
and many persons seriously wounded.

Brussels, April 17

The Belgian strikers now number 50,000. Many have been killed in conflicts
with the police and military. (...) There is increased ferment throughout Belgium,
and desperate fighting has taken place at Mons and Antwerp. A number o the
Civic Guard were wounded, and several strikers killed and many wounded.

April 18

The strikers at Mons are maddened by the death of their comrades, and have sworn
to avenge them.

Violent conflicts have taken place between the civic guard and rioters in Mons. The troops charged
the mob, many of whom were wounded. The strikers retaliated with bricks, and
the guard then fired, killing five and wounded many more. A large number were
arrested, and the crowd then fled, taking the dead with them. (...)

The Belgian Government advocate manhood suffrage combined with plural voting.
If the proposal is rejected the King must intervene...

Henri Pirenne wrote nevertheless the strike quickly spread to the Walloon basins of Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

, Charleroi
Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. , the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of and had a total population of 522,522 as of 1 January 2008, ranking it as...

Centre (Wallonia)
The Centre is the name of an important basin of the Sillon industriel in Wallonia between Mons and Charleroi . Its most important town is La Louvière...

, Borinage
The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut. The provincial capital Mons is located in the east of the Borinage. In French the inhabitants are called Borains...

Verviers is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. The Verviers municipality includes the old communes of Ensival, Lambermont, Petit-Rechain, Stembert, and Heusy...

 and also in Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 and in Antwerp

The riots of Mons were also accurately described by the Otago Witness. We read almost the same version in a Walloon book There were finally seven strikers killed by the civic guard of Mons.

See also

General strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

Walloon jacquerie of 1886
Walloon Jacquerie of 1886
The Walloon jacquerie of 1886 was a working class jacquerie of a bloody spring as many Walloon scholars are calling it This violent upheaval of the Belgian, especially Walloon proletariat, caused a profound psychological shock in an atmosphere of fear of an inevitable and explosive social...

General strike against Leopold III of Belgium
General strike against Leopold III of Belgium
The Royal Question refers to the 1950 political conflict surrounding the question whether King Leopold III should return to Belgium after World War II. A referendum was organised, in which the majority voted in favour of his return...

1960-1961 Winter General Strike
1960-1961 Winter General Strike
1960–1961 Winter General Strike was the most important strike of the 20th century in Belgium and was called the Strike of the Century. Its triggering factor was Eyskens' government introducing a number of austerity policies under the general name Loi unique...

History of Wallonia
History of Wallonia
The history of Wallonia, from pre-historic times to the present day, is that of a territory which, since 1970, has approximately coincided with the territory of the Walloon Region, a federated component which includes the smaller German-speaking Community of Belgium . Wallonia is the name...

Renardism is a theory specific to the socialism based on the thought of André Renard, combining Syndicalism and Walloon militancy.In a speech on November 17, 1960 at Charleroi, in front of a large gathering of syndicalists, André Renard partly explained the tactical aspects of his theory as...

Jemappes is a Walloon town in south-western Belgium, province Hainaut. Since 1976, it is part of the city Mons...

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