(wlcentral.org) Despite the obfuscation of information by major outlets in traditional media and Internet, the movement born in Europe on the past 15th of May is spreading all across the continent, each day with more intensity and popular support. The repercussions, both in economic and political scenario are still unknown, in the same way the effects of the Cablegate episode of November 2010 were difficult to apprehend in that date but step by step shows its importance to contemporary society. The revolution lead by the European youth holds all Western economical and political structures as its enemy and is the type of social movement that does not have its shelter- an essential characteristic of a revolution. Relevant information of the gatherings, protests and projects are provided uniquely by independent media, and in some occasions these are being boycotted. The website for the Real Democracy Now platform in Berlin claimed that they were attacked, and the independent media site,www.europeanrevolution.com was finally put offline illegally, after having been blocked via DNS in, at least, France and Belgium. Below is a recollection of information from past events in different countries.
The movement has grown the most in Greece, where people have held protests in front of the Parliament building, located in central Syntagma Square, for fourteen days. A camp has also been set up and hundreds of people are sleeping there. Patra, Thesaloniki and all other major cities also hold popular assemblies and protests in their main squares. Protests, that have been going on sporadically for about a year, increased after the announcement of harsh austerity measures added on to the second bailout conditions being debated by the UE and the IMF, along with the Greek Government. These include a law which will reduce the salary of people younger than 26 in 20%, allowing employers to pay less than 600 euros a month. At the same time however, the Greek government has continued to spend millions of euros on weapons. This has sparked a strong movement of outraged citizens, to the point where last Sunday, around 500-800 thousand people took the streets of Athens to demonstrate their dissatisfaction. According to Demotix.com, the movement was “the largest witnessed in decades, adding pressure to the prime minister to reject latest austerity package”. The All Workers Militant Front (PAME) occupied. the ministry of finance on Friday, making it impossible for people to access the building where the bailout negotiations are taking place. They also displayed a huge banner from the building calling for a general strike. “We have a sacred duty to our children and ourselves to cancel plans to turn workers into modern slaves,” PAME said in a statement, they also assured that “we must not allow our children to work for hunger wages. If we do not fight to overthrow these policies their working future will be hell.” Interesting photos of recent events in Greece can be found here and a video of the Syntagma Square demonstration on the 5th of June here . A good article on the complex greek crisis can be found here.
In Spain, the group of activists working under the name Democracia Real Ya, which started the movement of the 15th of May, is calling for a massive demonstration all across the country, in streets and squares, on the 19th of June. This protest will be coordinated with all the camps, most notably Barcelona and Madrid, and assemblies are deciding if they should all lift the camps at the same time, to coincide with the march. The way in which it will be carried out is also being debated. Another protest is planned for the 15th of October, and organizers are hoping to make it happen in all of Europe or worldwide. The movement is Spain is more mature and robust, always organized horizontally and increasingly decentralized and organized. The official media channel for the camp in Puerta del Sol claimed that around 28 thousand people participated in the smaller assemblies held in each neighborhood of the city. Facebook pages representing each group are posting information on decisions, committees and weekly meetings. In general, the repercussion of the police crackdown in Barcelona on the 22nd of May engaged more citizens to take action in the camp of Catalunya square. This also gave the camp exposure in the media around Europe. Campings are present in at least 30 cities in Spain, such as Valencia, Bilbao, Sevilla and Vigo.The. Tomalaplaza channel has updated and illustrative videos regarding the matter. The web 15MayRevolution.comprovides information in English about the movement in Spain.
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(eagainst.com) On May 1, 2011 in the city of Setubal in Portugal, for the second consecutive year, the anti-authoritarian and anti capitalist May Day protest took place. The event was organised by the anarchist collective, called Terra Libre. Approximately 200 people from various parts of Portugal joined the demonstration, together with some collectives and organizations such as the anarcho-syndicalist union of ΑΙΤ and the Antiwar Platform against NATO (PAGAN).
The march moved peacefully through the main streets of the city, with protesters shouting anti-state slogans (“the people united, do not need a party, ” self-organization”, ” organized people do not need the State”) and handing out leaflets. The response of the locals was positive.
Heavy police was absent during the protest but they appeared when the march reached its final destination, close to the historic neighborhood of Fonte Nova: Everything started when a protester was asked to provide some ID. Soon six other armed men appeared, assaulting the man who was participating in the protest by driving a car and playing music. The officers initially asked him to lower the volume. The atmosphere turned to be aggressive when some officers managed to isolate four protesters who had no IDs as well, and three others who tried to help them. The officers responded with physical violence and pepper spray attacks. They also threw rubber bullets against other demonstrators, and, as some claim, real fire in the air was heard.
The protesters regrouped and counter-attacked with stones, using umbrellas and tables from a nearby restaurant to defend themselves from shots, and finally achieved to temporarily repel the officers who later on re-organized again. The police chose not to approach the neighbourhood, perhaps fearing widespread conflict with other locals, as there were many who tried to defend themselves on the side of demonstrators. Instead, the officers were waiting around the corner for the time where the demonstrators would have to depart. As one protester said:
What we saw in Setúbal was an attempt to impose terrorism police in a demonstration of solidarity and full of vigorous revolt against an intolerable situation: the attack on capitalism and the interference of the IMF in Portugal.
The total number of those injured either by the use of batons or tear gas and rubber bullets (while there are reports in the Portuguese Indymedia that one person was hit by real bullets in both knees) is estimated to be around 30. Most were helped by residents of Setubal. In overall, at least 12 were arrested. All of them claim wild beatings during their transfer to police stations or inside the detention centres. Many people were hit in the neck and a lot of people were hit in the back and abdomen. It should be reported also that this event did not attract the interest of the mainstream media that were completely focused on the death of Osama Bin Laden…
(economicsnewspaper) Portugal increasingly close to bankruptcy
Less than 24 hours after the resignation of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, the sanction of the market and rating agencies fell, threatening the country with a break of short-term funding, felt, Friday, analysts said. Agencies Fitch and Standard and Poor’s (SP) have deteriorated on Thursday, two notches the debt rating Portuguese direct consequence of the rejection by parliament of the new austerity plan and the collapse of the minority Socialist government. “Fitch does not believe that Portugal can maintain market access at favorable this year,” the agency said in a statement, saying that the probability of external financial support “short term” had “greatly increased” .
The response to these decisions was immediate markets, where rates Portuguese decade reached Friday in meeting a new high since the country’s entry into the euro area (1999 ), at 7.79%, against just over 4% a year ago. “The market is already acting as the obligations Portuguese titles rotten, we must therefore expect further deterioration”, fell within the ING bank in a research note. “The spiral of negative information concerning Portugal continues with vigor,” summed up on Friday, Commerzbank.
The clock continues to run financial
Meeting in Brussels, EU leaders were willing to help “conditional” Portugal, unblocking, like Greece and Ireland, a relief fund whose amount was estimated at 75 billion euros the leader of the finance ministers of the eurozone, Jean-Claude Juncker. But the outgoing Socialist government has again ruled out this possibility, Jose Socrates reaffirmed on Friday that his country had “no need” for a bailout. However, pending the election of a new government at the earliest at the end of May, the financial clock keeps running. And fast. Portugal must repay 4.2 billion euros of debt on April 15 and another 4.9 billion on June 15.
According to economists, this country should have enough money to meet the April deadline, but be unable to fund repayments of June, without new borrowing. Also, “banks may find themselves short of cash well before the government, as was the case in Ireland,” said Daniel Gros of the Center for European Policy Studies. The closure of financial markets is already a reality for public transport companies which are on the brink of “financial breakdown” and threatened to no longer be able to pay salaries, said this week the daily Jornal de Negocios . Tullia Bucco for, an analyst at UniCredit, the solution may pass through the “bridge loans”. “These loans, in the form of direct investments in debt, would certainly help the country to find the funds it needed until June,” she said.
China, which, according to press reports, never denied, has already purchased more than one billion euros of debt Portuguese in January, said she was ready Thursday to “strengthen ties “with Portugal. Other countries, including former Portuguese colonies like Brazil and Timor-Leste, have also repeatedly expressed their “solidarity” with Lisbon, which is expected next week the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. Finally, facing the “peak refinancing” of 15 April, the European Central Bank could again redeem bonds Portuguese “before and after” that date in order to reduce the pressure of the market, said Gilles Moec, economist at Deutsche Bank . But, he cautions, “it will be an exceptional response, pending that Portugal is negotiating for and receiving international aid.”
Source: AFP, The Point – Economy