Occupy Wall Street Joins Fight for Migrant Workers Rights

[The ongoing financial crisis continues to fuel xenophobic campaigns and political / economic repression against targeted migrant communities.  Some, including some voices in this video, make their appeals to Obama and the political system.  Yet the need has never been greater for politically-independent organizing of working class solidarity with migrant workers against the oppressive capitalist economic and political system. — Frontlines ed.]

OWS Joins Fight for Migrant Workers Rights

TheRealNews on Dec 21, 2011

OWS connects struggle for rights of migrant workers with struggle of the 99%

Festive Roman crowds cheer end of Berlusconi era

[In the midst of the worst economic crisis since World War 2, the arrogance of power is shaken as, in many countries, oligarchs and dictators and billionaires are forced to exit the centers of power in growing disgrace.  Today, the people poured into the streets in Italy today to celebrate the departure of the hated Berlusconi.  We will see what struggles the people will be able to bring against the chokehold of capitalism in the months ahead… — Frontlines ed.]

By Cristiano Corvino and Gabriele Pileri, Reuters

ROME (Reuters) – Thousands gathered in Rome to celebrate the political demise of Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday, whistling and shouting insults as the 75-year-old media magnate drove to hand in his resignation as prime minister.

In an atmosphere reminiscent of a football World Cup victory celebration, squares outside government buildings were packed with cheering crowds, singing and chanting as the curtain came down on Berlusconi’s scandal-hit government.

Police held back the crowds behind barriers outside Berlusconi’s private residence in central Rome and in front of the Quirinale Palace, the residence of the head of state, President Giorgio Napolitano.

A small orchestra played the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah as the crowd waited for Berlusconi to appear and hand in his resignation. Continue reading

Greek protesters call president “traitor”, halt parade

Protesters pull police barricades during a protest against austerity policies in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece October 28, 2011. REUTERS/Grigoris Siamidis

[In the midst of ever-growing crisis, national celebrations are widely seen as bourgeois extravagances undeserving of popular support. — Frontlines ed.]

By George Georgiopoulos and Daniel Flynn, Reuters

ATHENS | Fri Oct 28, 2011

(Reuters) – Greeks protesting at austerity measures demanded by foreign lenders blocked a major national parade on Friday to commemorate Greek resistance in World War Two, shouting “traitors” at President Karolos Papoulias and other officials.

The protest in Thessaloniki was echoed at smaller parades across Greece, including in Athens where marchers held black ribbons. It showed the extent of anger at the higher taxes and wage cuts sought by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for funds to avert a debt default.

The annual military parade in the northern city is one of the most symbolic events in Greece’s political calendar and commemorates the rejection of Italy’s ultimatum to surrender in 1940. It was the first time it had been cancelled. Continue reading

Egyptians say “We won’t pay! We won’t be crushed to pay the tyrant’s debts!”

[In a message that will resonate as battle cry throughout the world, Egyptians are moving beyond appeals for “debt relief” or “debt adjustments” or “refinancing” to declare “debt renunciation–we will not pay.”  In many countries around the world, the majority of the wealth created goes toward paying the debts made by oppressive regimes in corrupt deals with imperialist banks, while the people’s suffering grows.  “Debt renunciation” — now! — Frontlines ed.]

We Will Not Pay the Debts of Tyranny

Oct 28 2011

“In the transition from an oligarchy or a tyranny to a democracy…persons refuse to fulfill their contracts or any other obligations, on the ground that the tyrant, and not the state, contracted them”—Aristotle.

Egypt owes about thirty-five billion USD (or 210 billion EGP) in foreign debts, which impose on us an annual burden of about eighteen billion EGP. These debts were accumulated under the previous regime in accordance with its political and economic priorities. We are paying off these debts from our own pockets instead of spending on healthcare, education or social services. A number of activists and civil society organizations inside and outside of Egypt have, therefore, designated 31 October the global day for Egyptian debt cancellation. This is a prelude to a popular campaign that aims to remove this burden off the shoulders of the Egyptian people, who were neither responsible in any way for the decision to take on these debts, nor were they ever consulted in how these funds were spent. Continue reading

Beware ‘social justice’ promises by international bankers

by Patrick Bond

2011-10-13, Issue 552, Pambazuka


‘In these days of dire economic and environmental crisis, with political elites under attack from Athens to Washington, the establishment is desperate for legitimacy. Even International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff now publicly endorse ‘social justice’ at the same time they tighten austerity screws,’ writes Patrick Bond. Someone needs to hold them to account.

In these days of dire economic and environmental crisis, with political elites under attack from Athens to Washington, the establishment is desperate for legitimacy. Even International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff now publicly endorse ‘social justice’ at the same time they tighten austerity screws. Continue reading

Financial insider spills the beans: “Dear Wall Street, this is why the people are angry”

By Josh Brown Marketplace Money, Friday, October 14, 2011

Josh Brown may be in the same group as the bankers and brokers that the Occupy movements are protesting against, but he’s just as angry as the protestors are at his own industry.

Tess Vigeland: Inequity is arguably the main rallying cry of the Occupy movement. And on that score, the primary bogeymen are the nation’s bankers, brokers and traders — the so-called “one-percenters” who control about a third of the country’s wealth.

Commentator Josh Brown is one of those one-percenters. He’s an investment adviser at Fusion Analytics in Manhattan. If you think you know what his take on all this is going to be, here’s his open letter to the banks that don’t seem to get why people are mad.


Josh Brown: In 2008, the American people were told that if they didn’t bail out the banks, there way of life would never be the same. In no uncertain terms, our leaders told us anything short of saving these insolvent banks would result in a depression to the American public. We had to do it!

At our darkest hour we gave these banks every single thing they asked for. We allowed investment banks to borrow money at zero percent interest rate, directly from the Fed. We gave them taxpayer cash right onto their balance sheets. We allowed them to suspend account rules and pretend that the toxic sludge they were carrying was worth 100 cents on the dollar. Anything to stave off insolvency. We left thousands of executives in place at these firms. Nobody went to jail, not a single perp walk. I can’t even think of a single example of someone being fired. People resigned with full benefits and pensions, as though it were a job well done.

The American taxpayer kicked in over a trillion dollars to help make all of this happen. But the banks didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. The banks didn’t seize this opportunity, this second chance to re-enter society as a constructive agent of commerce. Instead, they went back to business as usual. With $20 billion in bonuses paid during 2009. Another $20 billion in bonuses paid in 2010. And they did this with the profits they earned from zero percent interest rates that actually acted as a tax on the rest of the economy. Continue reading

General strike brings Greece to a standstill as public sector closes down

Protesters flood into streets of Athens

in Athens

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 October 2011

Greeks protesting in Athens over the austerity measures. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-Zuma/Rex Features

Greece edged deeper into chaos as workers brought the country to a standstill with a general strike.

The closure of the entire public sector – from schools to hospitals to government offices – left Athens airport looking like a ghost town and kept museums and archaeological sites shut.

Anger was evident on the faces of the protesters who flooded into the streets. “We have no work, we have no money,” they screamed, denouncing the EU and IMF which have propped up the near-bankrupt Greek economy with rescue funds. “Erase the debt! Let the rich pay. There will, there can, be no more sacrifices.”

Nearly two years after Europe‘s great debt crisis erupted beneath the Acropolis, the people on its frontline have clearly had enough. An austerity programme that has begun to resemble a bad dream of relentless wage cuts, tax increases, price rises and pension drops has crushed the middle class and sent poverty levels soaring.

Wednesday’s demonstrations, the biggest anti-austerity protest since June, were the “beginning of a battle” to eradicate further emergency belt-tightening measures announced last month.

“The government is behaving as if it has a pistol to its head,” said Stathis Anestis, a spokesman for the Confederation of Greek Unions. “It is not just that it is the poor who are forced to carry the burden of this barrage of measures,” he insisted, denouncing the terms of the €110bn (£95bn) bailout Greece received from the EU and IMF in May last year.

“It’s not just that all our hard-earned rights are being peeled away. It is that we wake up every day to another cut, another tax, another pay rise. No one can keep up!” Continue reading