A record 6 million people -- or 27.2 percent of the population -- are unemployed in Spain, the highest level for the country since it began keeping records in 1976. Luckily, there is a silver lining: authorities say the rate of the increase has at least slowed since the recession first began. Spain’s economy -- the fourth largest in Europe -- has relied heavily on the major central banks, but the country has been left in recession by deep spending cuts. “These figures are worse than expected,” said Jose Luis Martinez, a strategist at Citi in Madrid. Spanish President Mariano Rajoy is expected to unveil a new reform plan Friday, but thousands of protesters still converged in Madrid on Thursday.
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- 15M Movement
- 99 Pickets
- Aaron Swartz
- Black History Month
- Boston Marathon
- Coal Mines
- Day of Action
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
- Financial Times
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- Immigrant Worker Justice
- Islamic extremists
- Malcolm X
- Marcha Negra
- Occupy Data Hackathon
- Occupy Sandy
- Occupy Wall Street
- Open Thread
- People's Party
- Political corruption
- Prime Minister Rajoy
- Rubber Bullets
- Socialist Worker's Party
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev
- The Beatles
- Tidal 4
- Time Magazine
- US citizens
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
- austerity, economic crisis,
- black march
- counterterror officials
- domestic violence
- fee hikes
- labor unions
- occupy madrid
- record high
- social services
- spending cuts
- unemployment office
by Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica, April 19, 2013
As an eighth-grader in a Cambridge public school, suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was quiet, friendly, spoke good English and seemed at home in his adopted country.
While hundreds of police officers pursued the 19-year-old during a nationally-televised rampage across Boston Friday, a former classmate recounted memories of the refugee who, according to counterterror officials, became a U.S. citizen on an ironic date: Sept. 11, 2012.
The story of the Boston bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, is still unfolding at high speed. Many aspects of the case, including the brothers' motivations, are not yet clear.
But a portrait began to emerge Friday based on ProPublica interviews with counterterror officials, the public statements of relatives and associates, and reports in the media.
Counterterror officials believe the brothers were Islamic extremists. And the information available so far suggests that they appeared to integrate well into U.S. society, yet slid into a spiral of Islamic radicalization with bloody results. The profile has similarities to the home-grown terrorists behind attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, according to counterterror officials.
"He was always a nice kid," said Cam Blauchner, who attended middle school with Dzhokhar, in a telephone interview with ProPublica. "He was shy, but not in a creepy way. He was a sweet guy. We played soccer together. I knew he was from Chechnya, but he never talked about it. He never mentioned his religious affiliation. I didn't know he was Muslim."
At some point, however, Dzhokhar and his brother plunged into a subculture that is grimly familiar to counterterror agencies in Europe and, to a lesser but worrisome extent, the United States, officials said.
There are signs that the brothers showed interest in the conflict in Syria, which has drawn al Qaida fighters and other militants from across the Muslim world and Europe, according to a U.S. counterterror official. Like others interviewed for this story, the official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case.
The brothers had viewed videos about the plight of Syrian Muslims, the official said. Syria is the latest hotspot on the world map of jihad. Holy warriors a decade ago were inspired by videos about brutal combat between jihadis and Russian troops in the brothers' family homeland: the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, a breeding ground for al Qaida fighters in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Since their first issue in December 2011, Tidal has made it their practice to give name to our struggle, wrestling with the big ideas that propel us into the streets, with what we should do when we get there, and with where there in fact is.
This Friday, the folks at Occupy Theory will release their fourth issue of the magazine, featuring original pieces by organizers of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Sandy, Strike Debt and Free University. Join them that night for conversation as we move together towards the empowerment that greater clarity and the free exchange of ideas can bring.
-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
Occupy in the News
Jenna Pope documented last Sunday’s Forward on Climate Rally. Beautiful sights--the vistas of activists in D.C. to make their voices heard about climate change--beautifully captured.
Kevin Gosztola writes at FireDogLake’s The Dissenter blog about the recent history of climate change actions and points out just how high the stakes are. Our only hope to defeat the monstrosity of the Keystone XL Pipeline is continued, passionate action, that is to say, “...if everyone demonstrating channeled the spirit of the Occupy movement...”
Les Leopold of the Huffington Post explains why “the raison d’etre for Occupy Wall Street is proving correct. Much of high finance is based on a ‘corrupt business plan.’” Proof of Wall Street’s corruption continues to mount, with ratings agencies on the take, money laundered for drug cartels, and rampant insider trading, among many other ethical and moral malignancies.
On occupywallstreet.net Heather Marsh argues for a society with no financial system at all, a currency-free system in which the endless cycle of excessive consumption and meaningless busywork is ended. The proof that this could work already exists. “With no financial incentives,” Marsh says, “the internet has managed to create collaborative efforts which have pushed the potential of society far beyond what could have been possible before the internet.”
On the OWS Direct Action Blog, Mark Adams gives us the push we need to meet, to talk, to plan for spring.
Revisit Liberty Plaza in full swing in Why We Occupy, an open-source book of interviews gathered in the park in 2011. See the park grow and change in real-time through the heartfelt words of the participants.
Spain is suffering an unprecedented economic crisis with about 800,000 jobs lost in 2012, more than half of under-25-year-olds are unemployed, total unemployment at 26% and expected to grow. As you can imagine, the unemployment offices there are rather dismal, with the staff feeling helpless and the unemployed waiting in the lines feeling hopeless.
Carne Curda 2.0, a program on Spanish radio, wanted to do something to help, even if just temporarily. They organized a small flashmob to perform and sing The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" for one of the unemployment offices in Madrid. As you can see in the video above, the result was truly touching.
Open Thread below...
This short film chronicles the events of September 25 to 29 in Madrid, Spain, where tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the government and an end to police brutality. Many of the protests ended in clashes with the police. Since the stand off began, the images of police brutality have travelled the world over, shocking and inspiring people across Europe and leading to an international day of action on September 29. This film tells the story of why so many people took to the streets and follows these events as they unfolded.
This short film chronicles the events of the past week in Spain, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets against austerity, to demand the resignation of the government, and an end to police brutality. Since the stand-off began on September 25th , the images of police brutality have travelled the world over, shocking and inspiring people across Europe, and leading to an international day of action on September 29th.
This film tells the story of why so many people took to the streets, and follows these events as they unfolded.
Dissatisfied with the country’s worsening economic troubles and displeased with proposed austerity measures, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in Madrid Tuesday. The protesters formed a human chain around the parliament building while police fired bullets at and beat the most violent in the crowd with truncheons. At least 22 people were arrested while 32 were injured, including four policeman. The protest was timed to the new 2013 budget, which will be announced by the government Thursday and includes cuts in inflation-linked pensions, taxes on stock transactions, the implantation of green taxes, and the elimination of several tax breaks. The region of Catalonia, which is responsible for 20 percent of the national output, called for an early election on Nov. 25 that could lead to a referendum on secession.
Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest adds this:
The job of bankers is to assess risk. They are supposed to look at all the factors, and price a loan accordingly. If you have a credit card with very high risk, you might pay in the 20% range! This way the banks can lend out the money, and even if a large percentage of the borrowers default, they still do OK. They are expecting a certain default rate, they price accordingly, they do OK on the loan portfolio.
Same for when they lend to countries. They price loans according to the default risk, and over the lifetime of the loans they are supposed to get their money back plus some return, even with the expected defaults. If the banks screwed up and didn't price their loans correctly, this doesn't make the people of Greece lazy, etc. it makes the bankers incompetent.
OR the bankers did price correctly, and over the lifetimes of all of their loans they are getting their money back and a return, AND they are also taking advantage of the situation to get more, make a killing, force privatization, force wages down, get rid of that pesky democracy that has been in the way, etc.
So here we are again, with the elites in the position of being either stupid (incompetent) or evil. And with the people in misery as a result, while the elites do just fine for themselves. With the added bonus for the elites that the experiment of wresting control from the elites and to the people -- democracy -- ending.
Blood flows down the face of an injured protester who was injured during clashes between supporters of Spanish coal miners and riot police as they ended a "Marcha Negra" (Black March) near the Industry Ministry in Madrid July 11, 2012 (Reuters/Paul Hanna)
At least 76 people have been injured in Madrid as clashes flared up between protesters and police, the latter using rubber bullets. Thousands of Spaniards turned out against new cuts introduced by the government.
Those injured include 33 police officers and 43 protesters – miners and their supporters.
Minor arrests have been made so far, with eight people being detained. Three of those arrested reportedly threw bricks at police, local El Pais newspaper reported. The police have confirmed that there were no miners among the arrested.
Witnesses and demonstrators claim that police started the attack without any warning.
Protesters disagree with a 63 per cent cut in subsidies to coal mining companies, major contributors to the Spanish energy market. Unions say the plan threatens 30,000 jobs and could destroy their livelihoods.
Miners, who were hiking from the north of the country for the past two weeks, have been joined by tens of thousands of Spaniards also protesting against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s tax hike.
The prime minister announced his decision to raise VAT by 3 per cent as part of the plan to trim the public budget by 65 billion euro over the next two-and-a-half years. Rajoy also declared a 3.5-billion-euro cut to local government spending.
Many protesters marched more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) from mines in northern Spain.
As protesters call for more demonstrations to make their voices heard journalist and writer Miguel-Anxo Murado told RT that the government seems to underestimate the protests.
Much more at RT.com
One year after the Madrid anti-capitalism riots of June 15, 28, and 29th, 2011...
The series of protests demands a radical change in Spanish politics, as protesters do not consider themselves to be represented by any traditional party nor favored by the measures approved by politicians.
Even though protesters form a heterogeneous and ambiguous group, they share a strong rejection of unemployment, welfare cuts, Spanish politicians, the current two-party system in Spain between the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and the People's Party, as well as the current political system, capitalism, banks and bankers, political corruption and firmly support what they call basic rights: home, work, culture, health and education.
According to statistics published by RTVE, the Spanish public broadcasting company, between 6.5 and 8 million Spaniards have participated in these protests.
“This spontaneous and popular movement is not swayed by any political organization, but is propelled by and is a response to the national and collective urge from our hearts. We can produce democratic, fair laws to end extreme poverty…”
These sentiments can be heard at any given Occupy rally, but they were spoken in Spain. They could have also come from Greece, or Ireland, or Italy, or any of the European countries where social services and fair wages have been strangled by extreme austerity measures. The renaissance of activism that’s swept this country was sparked far from our shores.
Before Occupy Wall Street began last September, Tunisia and Egypt revolted, the Middle East and North Africa had its Arab Spring and parts of Europe had been in tumult for years. Occupy Wall Street marks the end in a long line of revolution, at a time when humanity seems to have reached a critical mass of discontent. Last year Time Magazine declared The Protestor “Person of the Year.” Financial Times called 2011 “The Year of Global Indignation.” Perhaps 2012 will be the Year of the Occupier.