Greek police use tear gas on anti-austerity march

Students carry a blood-stained Greek flag during a rally in Athens marking the anniversary of a 1973 students uprising against the dictatorship then ruling Greece November 17, 2011. REUTERS-Yiorgos Karahalis

Students carry a blood-stained Greek flag during a rally in Athens marking the anniversary of a 1973 students uprising against the dictatorship then ruling Greece November 17, 2011. REUTERS-Yiorgos Karahalis

by Renee Maltezou and Harry Papachristou

ATHENS | Thu Nov 17, 2011–Youths protesting against austerity on Thursday, one day after a national unity government took office charged with imposing painful tax rises and spending cuts to save Greece from bankruptcy.

More than 30,000 people marched past shuttered shops in central Athens beating drums, waving red flags and chanting “EU, IMF out!” in the first public test for technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and his quarrelsome, three-party coalition.

The annual November 17 march commemorates a bloody student uprising against Greece’s military junta in 1973 but often becomes a focal point for anti-government protesters. Continue reading

Egypt: The Workers, Middle Class, Military Junta, and the Permanent Revolution

Workers in Egypt (unknown archive)

Feb 12 2011 by Hossam El-Hamalawy

Since yesterday, and actually earlier, middle class activists have been urging Egyptians to suspend the protests and return to work, in the name of patriotism, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies about “let’s build new Egypt,” “Le’ts work harder than even before,” ect . . . In case you didn’t know, actually Egyptians are among the hardest working people around the globe already.

Those activists want us to trust Mubarak’s generals with the transition to democracy–the same junta that has provided the backbone of his dictatorship over the past 30 years. And while I believe the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, who receive $1.3 billion annually from the US, will eventually engineer the transition to a “civilian” government, I have no doubt it will be a government that will guarantee the continuation of a system that will never touch the army’s privileges, keep the armed forces as the institution that will have the final say in politics (like for example Turkey), guarantee Egypt will continue to follow the US foreign policy whether it’s the undesired peace with Apartheid State of Israel, safe passage for the US navy in the Suez Canal, the continuation of the Gaza siege and exports of natural gas to Israel at subsidized rates. The “civilian” government is not about cabinet members who do not wear military uniforms. A civilian government means a government that fully represents the Egyptian people’s demands and desires without any intervention from the brass. And I see this hard to be accomplished or allowed by the junta.

The military has been the ruling institution in this country since 1952. Its leaders are part of the establishment. And while the young officers and soldiers are our allies, we cannot for one second lend our trust and confidence to the generals. Moreover, those army leaders need to be investigated. I want to know more about their involvement in the business sector. Continue reading