Daily Archives: 13/06/2011

( Last night (June 11th) the popular assembly of Syntagma square announced a call to blockade the Greek parliament ahead of the voting of the so-called Mid-term agreement between the Greek government and the troika (IMF/ECB/EU). The new agreement includes wild tax increases, the further slashing of wages and pensions and the lay-off of approximately more 100,000 civil servants in the next few years.

The call-out for the blockade below is one of the most important acts we have seen by the Syntagma assembly so far. June 15th is gearing up to become a historical day in Greece, a crucial chance to block off the charge-ahead of neoliberalism here.

Don’t be a spectator to this – translate and disseminate the text below; organise a gathering where you are, or come join us at Syntagma. This is the struggle for and of our lives.

24 hours in the streets!


June 15th, we encircle Parliament

Now that the government is trying to vote in the mid-term agreement, we encircle Parliament, we gather and we stay at Syntagma.

All together, we continue and strengthen the mobilisations that began on May 25th. Our first stop is the General Strike of June 15th. We won’t stop until they withdraw it.

We support by all means the General Strike and we demonstrate peacefully. On June 15th, we do not work  and we do not consume. We coordinate with all citizens who want to express their disagreement to the mid-term agreement, with the strikers and their unions, with the popular assemblies, with mobilisations and occupations across the country. We call artists to support the mobilisation, to take to the streets with us and to give it their own touch. We will have three big meeting points:

Everyone on Wednesday June 15th, at 7 am:

1. In front of Parliament

2. At the metro stop Euagelismos

3. At the Panathenaic Stadium (on Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue)

Until June 15th we will be going all over Athens to make sure that the call of the Popular Assembly of Syntagma is spread everywhere. We give a meeting of struggle for the day of the voting in of the Mid-term agreement.

Let’s make our own voice heard loudly:



Popular Assembly of Syntagma Square

June 11th, 2011


Greek original:

(Mutualist Blog) One of the fastest ways to get in trouble is to respond to authority with logic.

If you look at the people who are at the tops of hierarchical organizations, the part of their brains that logically evaluates the pronouncements of people in authority has been inactivated — or at least they’re able to pretend it has. They advanced to the top because they learned very early in their careers to evaluate all statements, not on the basis of their internal logic or whether they made sense, but rather on the basis of the authority of the source.

What does this mean in practice?

Let’s say your CEO says: “We intend to focus like a laser beam on quality and customer service. Get to work immediately changing our Mission, Vision, and Values Statements to reflect this priority. In the meantime, we’re going to downsize half the customer service staff and then give ourselves a huge multi-million dollar bonus for increasing productivity.”

Now, if someone you regarded as an equal made such a statement, your likely response would be: “That’s completely self-contradictory. It’s a pig-ass stupid idea. You must have been fucked in the head by a rhinoceros with three dicks.”

But if your CEO makes such a statement, and you want to get ahead, you say: “Right you are, C.J.! That’s an absolutely brilliant idea!”


() The Obama administration is funding so-called “shadow” internet and cell phone networks, which allow activists to operate independently of government controls.

The “shadow” networks are portable kits that fit in suitcases, which could maintain ad-hoc computer networks useful to activists in places where internet is either inaccessible or being monitored.

One team of technologists in Washington, DC, has received a government grant to build a portable network.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar had the opportunity to meet them. She reports from the US capital.

() In a new report issued on the World Day Against Child Labour, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) warns that a high number of children are still caught in hazardous work.

The report says that some 115 million children, more than half of the 215 million child labourers worldwide, do hazardous work.

The report also indicates that the largest proportion of children in hazardous work relative to the overall number of children in the region is in sub-Saharan Africa.

But the largest number of children in hazardous work is in Asia. In Pakistan for instance, despite the existence of child labour laws, the fate of children has not improved.

Read more:


“Our results show that political connections play an important role in a firm’s access to capital. The effects of political ties on federal capital investment are strongest for companies with weaker fundamentals, lower liquidity and poorer performance — which suggests that political ties shift capital allocation towards underperforming institutions.”

-Ran Duchin and Denis Sosyura, University of Michigan School of Business


File this one under “Duh!”

U.S. banks that spent more money on lobbying, were politically connected with the Fed, or had close ties with Pols, were more likely to get government bailout money.

That stunner is according to a new study released this week by two professors at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.

Profs Ran Duchin and Denis Sosyura paper also found that “TARP investment amounts” were positively correlated to banks’ political contributions and lobbying expenditures. Overall, the effect of political influence was strongest for the most poorly performing banks.

Here’s a Reuter’s excerpt:

“U.S. banks that spent more money on lobbying were more likely to get government bailout money, according to a study released on Monday.

Banks whose executives served on Federal Reserve boards were more likely to receive government bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the study from Ran Duchin and Denis Sosyura, professors at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Banks with headquarters in the district of a U.S. House of Representatives member who serves on a committee or subcommittee relating to TARP also received more funds.

Political influence was most helpful for poorly performing banks, the study found.

Banks with an executive who sat on the board of a Federal Reserve Bank were 31% more likely to get bailouts through TARP’s Capital Purchase Program, the study showed. Banks with ties to a finance committee member were 26% more likely to get capital purchase program funds.”

Is there anyone in this country that finds this data remotely surprising . . . ?