Tag Archives | Austerity

The Global Austerity Resistance Continues

Picture: Ggia (CC)

Allison Kilkenny writes at the Nation:

Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Spain and Greece this week in response to ongoing budget cuts and high unemployment. In Spain, unemployment has passed the 5 million mark for the first time since records began—attracting widespread criticism over the conservative government’s austerity plans. Similarly, Greece, which has served as a laboratory for austerity enthusiasts, has suffered mass poverty, unemployment and suicide since severe budget cuts were implemented by the government.

“Poverty, unemployment, suicides. Enough is enough,” was the slogan chanted on Syntagma square by some 1,500 Greek demonstrators non-affiliated with political parties who were mobilized through social media. The demonstration ended when police shot tear gas at protesters—a police tactic also used during the anti-austerity demonstrations in Athens when the debt crisis began in late 2009.

Earlier this month, three people in central Greece killed themselves on the same day, and analysts said there is a correlation between the rising rates and three years of pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that have pushed many people into poverty.

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Portland Protesters Pepper Sprayed

Via Komo News: Protesters associated with Occupy Portland and a group calling itself Portland Action Lab were pepper sprayed by riot gear-clad police during a Saturday march. Apparently the police felt that large wooden shields carried by the protesters posed a threat. Take a look in the video below and see what you think:
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“Reverse Brain-Drain” Benefits Brazil as Europeans and Expats Alike Set Their Sights on South America

Picture: Klaus with K (CC)

As Europe continues to struggle with austerity, native Brazilians are returning to their homeland and bringing their European peers with them. Are we witnessing more signs of a shake-up in the global social order? Who is a “first world” country now?

Via the Christian Science Monitor:

Golden age migration is palpable, says Helion Póvoa Neto, a migration expert at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. “There is this sensation of Brazil as a new land of opportunity. There is something new happening.”

Today, Cariocas navigate subways and buses to a din of Greek- and Spanish-accented conversation; they plow into heaps of lunchtime beans and farofa in downtown Rio restaurants alongside Portuguese workers; and Rio hillside favelas (slums) are being gentrified by foreigners daunted by the pricier beachside enclaves.

Many foreign newcomers are just trying to get ahead in careers stalled at home. But their very presence is changing Brazil.

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Nobel Mass Murder Prize, NDAA Plaintiff Speaks Out, Europe Riots

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to the host of RT's Capital Account, Lauren Lyster, about the austerity protests in Greece, and across Europe; Plaintiff and activist against the NDAA's indefinite detention provision, Alexa O'brien, speaks out about her personal experience fighting the government against unlawful detention; BTS wraps up with a look at who Alfred Nobel was, and highlights a few of the most controversial Americans to have received the coveted Nobel Peace prize.
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The Euro And Austerity As A Powder Keg In Europe

Via Critical Legal Thinking, excerpts from a translated interview with Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza (the Coalition of the Radical Left), Greece’s new second largest political party:

I believe the European model has to be rebuilt from below. We can’t be sat­is­fied with what today is called Europe. The cur­rent crisis is not a European crisis but a global one. Europe today does not have the mech­an­isms to con­front it or con­trol the world­wide fin­an­cial attack against its peoples. Hence why Europe became a con­tin­ent where the attack of the global fin­an­cial sys­tem was fero­cious.

The [euro currency] has become a prison for the peoples of Europe, espe­cially the weak­est eco­nom­ies on the peri­phery going through the crisis. The con­tra­dic­tion is in the base on which the euro was built. The euro is a powder keg that is going to explode if we con­tinue in this dir­ec­tion.

Greece became an ultralib­eral exper­i­ment, a guinea pig.

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Greece’s Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn

Chrysi Avgi

Photo: Ggia (CC)

After austerity follows fascism. Neni Panourgia writes on Al Jazeera English:

By now, nearly everybody has been exposed to the phenomenon of Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi in Greek), the neo-Nazi organisation that received almost 7 per cent of the vote in the Greek elections of May 6.After the initial shock, the question “How is this possible?” was followed by the legitimate worry: “Are Greeks becoming fascists?” Some commentators on various blogs (many of them from northern and western Europe) even left messages urging the Greek electorate to feel shame, the deeper the better, for this unsightly and frightening development.

But let’s set a few things straight. First of all, Golden Dawn, despite its recent claims, is indeed a neo-Nazi party. Their ideology, which they describe on their website as “Popular and Social Nationalism”, gives their precise coordinates within Nazi ideology.

So do the origins of their party, which was founded by Nikolaos Michaloliakos in 1985 under a direct order from the imprisoned leader of the Greek junta, George Papadopoulos.

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Quebec Students Protest Against Austerity

QuebecKaren Seidman and Kevin Dougherty write on the Montreal Gazette:

Attempts to have any kind of normalcy on the campus of the Universite de Montreal in the wake of an ongoing student strike completely unravelled on Wednesday after the administration was forced to retreat on its efforts to provide classes in striking departments for students who don’t support the boycott.

Tensions were high not just at U de M, but on many Quebec campuses, where there were clashes as students resisted hardline tactics to try to force them back to class during the tenth week of their protest over tuition increases of $1,625 over five years.

Injunctions taken by university administrations backfired as students found increasingly violent and disruptive ways to ensure campus activities could not resume, such as broken windows, vandalized art work and fire alarms going off during exams at U de M.

And, as many different groups involved in the dispute called on each other to condemn the growing use of violence and vandalism, it became clear that efforts at mediation could provoke militancy…

Read More: Montreal Gazette

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Is Lloyd Blankfein An Accessory In the Death of Dimitris Christoulas?

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square

Relax, folks, nothing to see here.  After all, I’m sure that all that austerity-funded bond money is going towards a good cause—like gold-plating the vomitorium drains in Lloyd Blankfein’s villa on the Riviera, for instance. From the BBC’s Mark Lowen:

Protesters have clashed with riot police in the Greek capital, Athens, hours after a pensioner shot himself dead outside parliament.

The 77-year-old man killed himself in the city’s busy Syntagma Square on Wednesday morning.

Greek media reported he had left a suicide note accusing the government of cutting his pension to nothing. Flowers have been laid at the spot where he died and tributes have been paid online.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.”—Extract from reputed suicide letter

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the square outside parliament on Wednesday evening, the scene of many large protests in recent months.

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