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Thousands of protesters rallied into the night in the Croatian capital Zargreb calling on Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor to quit and hold fresh elections.

Croatia has been hit by several demonstrations in the last few days with many accusing the government of corruption and poor economic stewardship. Although nowhere near as bad as 2009, Croatia’s economy contracted nearly 1.5 percent last year.

(eagainst) While most of the right-wing media, especially the tabloid ones, are welcoming cuts and tough austerity plans, trying to convince us that “the austerity measures are necessary in order to save the economy” (but in fact, to save the banker’s wealth), thousands of students (3,000 according to police sources, and 10,000  according to the organisers) were marching in Madrid yesterday condemning unemployment, the lack of opportunities and privatisation. Under the slogan “no home, no pensions”, “enough is enough”, “we will not shut up” and “we are not profitable, we are indispensable,” the students marched through the capital of Spain showing their anger towards the labour reform, which increases job insecurity. They also expressed their disapproval towards the delay of retirement age and increase of university fees by 30%as the Students Union has reported.

“I am 29 years old and studied sociology, but I have to work in a lottery, Monday through Saturday for 750 euros a month,” said one attendant according to Kaosenlared. Carmen Dominguez, Professor of Optometry at the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) is one of the many educators who also supported this initiative. “The solution to the crisis does not pass through welfare cuts and that is what governments have to understand,” she said.

The march was running peacefully, until the police intervened, attacking some demonstrators. At least one boy was injured and another arrested, according to Efe. Read more…

In Croatia

Anti-government protests continue for more than a month in a dozen towns across the country. According to Socialist Project:

The largest have been in the capital, Zagreb, which have gathered more than 10,000 people at a time. When the regularity of protests – every second day at the beginning and now twice a week – and the fluctuation of participants are taken into account, it is possible to estimate the total number of protesters at more than 50,000 in Zagreb only. Polls show a 70 per cent support from the population for the protests and the calls for government resignation.

The protests are not organized by the political parties or unions, the latter already fully discredited by their politics of “social dialogue”; they are simply lead by all who participate. The decisions are made directly at the protests, and all attempts of various aspirants and wannabe politicians to take over the leadership or act as spokespersons have been instantly disqualified and discredited by prompt reactions of the majority of protesters. Protests are organized as a march across the city centre directed at seats of various fractions of the political and economic elites ruling the country – political parties, the ruling coalition as well as the opposition, private and public media, Croatian Central Bank (Hrvatska Narodna Banka), corporations, trade unions and state and public institutions.

Although the protests nominally aim to overthrow the current government, already shaken by a number of corruption scandals, including the arrest of the former prime minister, the route walked by the protesters, slogans they shout and the banners they carry point to a higher degree of political articulation than a whimsical involvement in the charade that elections have been: the peoples’ demands to participate directly in decision making and to democratize the economic sphere; opposition to privatization processes – those carried out as well as those announced; struggles to protect the public interest; the relentless discrediting of all political parties and the present party system as a model of governance; and opposition to Croatian accession to European Union.

 

Source: http://eagainst.com/articles/spain-croati/

(for-ua.org) Numerous demonstrations demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and her Government had on Saturday in several cities in Croatia, according to AFP, referring to the local media. Anti-Government continues in the country for about two weeks. On Friday night in the capital of Croatia Zagreb was the largest protest in recent times, attended by about 10 thousand people. Then, at least five demonstrators were taken into police custody. The largest protest was held on Saturday in the city of Varaždin in the North, where, according to organizers, the streets around 1.5 thousand. “We do not want State where workers do not receive salary, where they end up in the streets after 20 years of experience and where young people have no prospects,” said Denis Mladenovic, one of the organizers of the demonstration. Demonstrations were also held with anti-Government slogans in the port city of Zadar in the South, where several hundred people had gathered, and the cities of Slavonski Brod on the East and Virovitice to the Northeast, according to Newsru.com. It is expected that there will be new anti-Government protest in several cities throughout the country and on Sunday.

(libcom.org) A report on the Croatian anti-government demonstrations from an anarcho-syndicalist participant.

The masses have taken to the streets of Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Đakovo. As they marched through the streets of their cities, demanding change, they were joined by a large number of curious passers-by who were suddenly drawn to this spontaneous expression of discontent. The illusory “alternatives” of the official opposition provide little solace and now a wave of anger, action and revolt against social injustice, increasing unemployment and corruption, against the ruling class thieves, has swept the country.

The leading figures of the official opposition and people such as Dragutin Lesar (of the Croatian Labourists) and Ivan Pernar (the self-proclaimed leader of the protests) tell us that the solution lies in “more capitalism”. We resolutely say – No! Even if we were to agree with them politically, which we do not, does that mean that we agree with them when it comes to social economy? From the nineties onwards, we have been told many times that we are equal in the eyes of the law and that there is a bright future ahead, but we, those who own nothing but our ability to work, who suffer every day under the conditions forced upon us by capital, according to its own laws, we find it hard to believe such claims of equality. Now that calling for more capitalism has once again become no more than an insult to the disgruntled masses, more social justice is the only reasonable answer.

While they “heroically” proclaim themselves as our leaders, we say – No! The people cannot be represented, the masses cannot be lead by anyone but themselves and their autonomous organizations. One woman shouted at a protest in Rijeka: “You have to fight for your rights! You should organise meetings like this in your local communities, the system has to be destroyed from below!” And she was right. Only a truly libertarian spirit can end all the injustice that surrounds us. And thus we support, as we always have, and state as our own principles both in theory and action – solidarity and direct democracy, autonomous struggle and self-organisation. In these early days of March, principles so dear to any libertarian emerge slowly, but resolutely out of the frozen city concrete.

As the voices from “above” tell us that taking to the streets is not the answer, we say – No! The streets are one of the few remaining realms of freedom, a wide space that belongs to everyone, to the people who grew up playing on the very same pavement, to the people who studied, worked and loved in the same places where they gather to protest today – only here can truly new alternatives be formed. A protester in Zagreb was seen carrying a sign on which “We believe in a new dream” was written. We believe in a new dream, too. Join us!

New protest scheduled for 6 PM today – we’ll see you there!

by Kontrrazvedka on Mar 6 2011 17:09

Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists
Local Group Zagreb

Source: http://libcom.org/news/masses-have-taken-streets-06032011