Europe rises up: Day of anti-austerity rage grips the continent
November 14, 2012
Flights and trains were canceled across Europe on Wednesday as thousands of workers took to the streets to protest austerity measures aimed at reducing massive government deficits and boosting shaky economies.
“We all know that reforms, layoffs and cuts will continue but maybe we manage to get them cut (more slowly),” said Francisco Vallejo, 41, an administrative assistant in Madrid. “The only strike that is useless is the one we don’t follow.”
Unions had called for strikes across Europe to protest the trimming of government-funded salaries and pension benefits, which had risen dramatically over the years and led to significant debt problems in some countries.
The call to strike was heeded by many in Italy and Spain; but union workers in Britain, Germany and Denmark held rallies instead of walking off the job. Transport hubs were at standstill across southern Europe and in Brussels as airports and train stations shut down.
In Portugal, all trains and subways shut down and about 200 flights to and from the country were canceled. Hospitals operated on a skeleton staff while thousands of government workers including most in the justice system and trash collectors failed to go to work.
In Spain, some television channels went off the air and assembly lines at the big union-dominated factories shut down. Spanish unions claimed that 9 million Spaniards stayed at home, or 77% of the workforce.
Much of Spain’s school system was closed and more than half of its hospital employees went on strike.
In Barcelona, high-end stores such as Gucci and Chanel on the Paseo de Gracia closed for the day. In the neighborhoods, only a few bakeries and grocery shores dared to open, intermittently closing when they saw trouble.
In Greece, the strike shut down the subway system for part of the day. About 5,000 Greeks protested in Athens. Port workers blocked the entrance to the Ministry of Defense demanding back wages, they said.
In Italy, about 60,000 turned out in Rome. The president of Rome province, Nicola Zingaretti, condemned “groups of rioters” among peaceful protesters. Zingaretti said a climate of “aggressiveness and intolerance” risked sullying Rome’s image abroad following reports of protesters yelling anti-Semitic slogans outside a Rome synagogue.
The so-called austerity measures comprise spending cuts, tax hikes and changes to labor laws to allow businesses to better adjust to shaky economies. But several governments and many workers worry that the measures may worsen economies by driving down individual incomes.
The protests Wednesday brought out people who blame the economic system as a whole.
“They’ve only just started cuts but they are pretty draconian already,” said Andrew Burgin, European officer for the Coalition of Resistance in London, which organized a rally outside the European Commission offices there. “I think this is the beginning of a new movement. It will be a day remembers in history as the beginning of a pan-European movement, possibly an international movement, against capitalism.”
But European leaders, such as Angela Merkel of Germany, says the problem is the massive debts piled up by individual nations, many of which like Greece and Portugal spent beyond revenues on public projects, expanding welfare and government jobs, and generous public benefits.
Greece and Spain, which have been hit hardest by an economic slowdown and debt crisis that has swept up several nations across the continent, are experiencing unemployment rates of more than 25%. Both countries passed measures recently to change labor laws that protected employees from layoffs and that businesses say prevented them from hiring or innovating.
The austerity measures are supposed to improve the economy over time but in the short-term people in Greece and Spain especially are experiencing curtailment of government health care, reductions in their pensions and salaries and higher taxes.
What the hell!!
this makes me so angry ..
and the world wonders why people cant trust the police, why we cant trust our government, why we cant trust our leaders ..
THIS IS FUCKING WHY!!!
Spread this picture like fire in dry grass, make it viral.
The mainstream media censors everything of this nature, its up to us to get this out through simple sharing - making people aware of reality.
People need to see this.
Is this your sister ..?
Or maybe she is your daughter ..?
Do you know her at all ..?
Cause I’m sure she has been naughty.
And I’m quite sure she did something to upset the Greek police.
And quite certain she is being used as a human shield by the police to protect them against the stone throwing demonstrators.
If you know this woman, tell her she is going viral.
Tell her she has become a symbol.
Tell her that the world aint having this.
Tell her that the viral community has got her covered.
Tell her we love her.
Athens, Greece, November 7th 2012.
My Submission to I Am Bradley Manning ~
My name is Nina and I live in the southern parts of Norway.
I do believe. I believe in us, the humans. I believe that when cruel injustice is being witnessed, humans will rise and voice themselves. I believe that critical information should not be kept in secrecy, but be shared with the population so that we can make better choices. I believe we are living in an unsustainable system that eventually is destined to collapse. I believe in change without dark governmental secrets, warfare and industrial imperialisms. I believe in people like Bradly Manning. I believe people like him are able to make a difference. I believe that we are Bradly Manning.
“For it is not in success or failure that we are measured by, but our intentions. In the striving to make good, let us be judged.”
Go do your thing @;
Greek journalists go on strike, alleging state censorship
October 31, 2012
The embattled Greek government faces another strike – this time from journalists. Greek state television staff have begun work stoppages to protest what they say is increasing government censorship.
The country has been shaken by two separate scandals in quick succession, in which authorities were seen as being heavy-handed and using selective justice to punish political dissenters.
One concerns presenters Marilena Katsimi and Costas Arvanitis, who were suspended “indefinitely” from a popular current affairs morning show carried by national broadcaster ERT. The suspension came after they criticized right-wing interior minister, Nikos Dendias.
ERT workers staged a walkout during scheduled programming on Tuesday morning and said they will organize 24-hour rolling strikes until Katsimi and Arvanitis are reinstated.
Dendias was recently forced into an embarrassing turnaround over accusations of police torture of left-wing anti-fascist protesters, who were detained during a motorcade protest against racism a month ago. Several days later, a report, supplemented with photos, appeared in the UK’s Guardian newspaper claiming that the demonstrators were beaten, spat on and denied water while in custody.
The interior minister initially branded the accusations as false, and said the government should sue the newspaper for”defaming Greek democracy”. But later, a medical evaluation confirmed that the activists may in fact have been abused.
This became the subject of the following exchange on Katsimi and Arvantis’ show:
Mr. Arvanitis: Is Dendias going to resign now?
M. Katsimi: I do not think so.
Mr. Arvanitis: And now what? Will he say he is sorry?
M. Katsimi: I do not know …
Within an hour of the broadcast, Aimilios Liatsos, ERT’s head of news, demanded to see the transcript, and then replaced the presenters without even talking to them.
Liatsos released a statement saying Katsimi and Arvanitis “violated basic journalistic ethics” with “unacceptable insinuations” that “did not give the minister a chance to respond”.
Katsimi said that the explanation amounts to an attempt to muzzle free discussion of politics, and says amidst economic turmoil, the government is trying to bring the media to heel.
“We have been critical of ministers in the past from all parties, and there have been complaints to the management before but this is new,” she told the Guardian.
“Everywhere in media people are being fired, but at ERT they are hiring. The government want people who agree with their position and they want to hire their friends.”
Nikos Dendias has now told parliament that the complaints of activist detainees will be investigated.
The picture speaks for its self.