Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taking it to the streets

I was watching BBC News last night and remembering when our media used to cover foreign events. Time was when massive demonstrations in Spain would have made the U.S. nightly news. The official count in Madrid was 100,000 protestors.

The organizers claimed that 800,000 people participated, and El Pais noted that the cuts program ‘ has unified a range of unions, organizations and social movements whose cooperation would have been unimaginable up to a week ago — six major labor unions working together for the first time is a telling sign.’

Indeed it is. And similar protests have been taking place all over Spain. Last Wednesday, thousands of demonstrators in Valencia, Alicante and Castellón took to the streets in a joint protest organized by Spain’s two major unions under the slogan ‘Quieren arruinar el país: hay que impedirlo’ -’ they want to ruin the country, we have to stop them.’

In Valencia demonstrators surrounded the office of the mayor chanting ‘¡corruptos!’ and ‘¡Hasta los huevos,estamos hasta los huevos!‘ – ‘Up to here, we’ve had it up to here!’ and ‘con este gobierno vamos de culo’ – ‘ with this government, we’re screwed.’ [...]

Others placards denounced the government’s austerity measures as ‘financial terrorism’, while demonstrators chanted ‘Rajoy, escucha, el pueblo esta en la lucha’ – ‘Listen Rajoy, the people are in struggle’ (it sounds better in Spanish) and ‘se va a acabar la paz social‘ – ‘the social peace is over.’
It reminds me of the now nearly ancient article in The Atlantic, The Quiet Coup: "But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and ... look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large."

What worries me is the riots keep growing larger but it doesn't seem to be slowing down the oligarchs at all. If anything they keep doubling down, madly extracting every penny possible from the world economies before the torches and pitchforks arrive at their gates. [More photos here]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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