Get me my fainting couch!

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In Greece, austerity kindles deep discontent

By Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post

May 13

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde. Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

The rolling back of social safety nets in Europe began more than a year ago, as countries from Britain to France to Greece moved to cut social benefits and slash public payrolls, to address mounting public debt. At least in the short term, the cuts have held back economic growth and job creation, exacerbating the social pain.

In Britain, for instance, 10 activists formed the UK Uncut group in a North London pub late last year, spawning a national wave of civil disobedience against spending cuts, bankers’ bonuses and tax evasion by the rich. During a March protest, they used Twitter and text messages to organize a “flash mob” that saw hundreds occupy and vandalize London’s famous Fortnum & Mason’s food store. In recent months, other actions have forced at least 100 bank branches across Britain to temporarily close.

“There is a sense of general injustice, that the government bailed out capitalism and the citizens are footing the bill while the capitalist system is running like nothing ever happened,” said Bart Cammaerts, an expert in anarchist movements at the London School of Economics. “And yet, things have happened. There are more taxes, less services, and anger is emerging from that tension.”

“They are taking everything away from us,” Ganiaris said. “What will happen when I finish law school? Will I only find a job making copies in a shop? Will I then need to work until I’m 70 before I retire? Will I only get a few hundred euros as pension? What future have I got now?”

As in many countries in Europe, fascist and far-right parties are strengthening, engaging in an increasing number of attacks against immigrants.


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  2. is how the Oligarchs want to defuse the anger-and it’s worked so far — the Germans angry at the Greeks (because their second or third homes lost value I guess..LOL) , everyone is angry at their own immigrants, and so on.

    I Blame You, right?

    I think the failure here really is the failure of the labor unions/movements to become international–as they used to be, back when they were effective.  

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