Truck drivers in Jordan were on strike during most of December, as soaring fuel prices have left them unable to work. Other Jordanians, especially youth, who are fed up with energy prices and high unemployment, held protests which blocked two highways.
The International Monetary Fund, which is supposed to lend money to struggling nations in time of need, ends up just like any private capital money-grubbing bank: charging extra fees for the “privilege” of getting a large loan.
The two opponents facing off in Greece for five years have been the Greek masses vs. the European rulers and their institutions. The No vote manifested the revolt against austerity. We explore the meaning of these events.
The rulers’ economic squeeze on Greece is intended to be an ideological prison for the working masses of Europe. Left tendencies aim to use the state to save capitalism or move toward socialism—rather than releasing self-activity of masses in motion as the prime mover of social transformation.
The electoral victory of Greece’s Syriza party was an important first step in resisting austerity imposed on the Greek and European working classes as capitalism’s response to its own intractable crisis. Nothing could be in greater contradiction to the movement that lifted Syriza to prominence than the parliamentary alliance with the racist, theocratic Independent Greeks party.
The U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….
by Franklin Dmitryev
When the bailout of banks in Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy, was announced on June 9, the immediate reactions revealed the two worlds that exist in every country. The Spanish masses intensified their protests, marching directly on both banks and government, while Greek and Spanish workers exchanged messages of solidarity against the [=>]
From the new March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters:
‘We are all Greeks’
On Feb. 12, open rebellion broke out in Athens. “Layoffs! Layoffs…You will save Greece without the Greeks!” protesters proclaimed against the Greek parliament’s approval of a new round of austerity measures, dictated as conditions for a new 130 billion euro loan [=>]
From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Greeks fight austerity
by Gerry Emmett
As Greek lawmakers passed a new austerity package on Oct. 19, rage boiled over in cities and towns throughout the country. A two-day general strike saw hundreds of thousands demonstrating against measures demanded by the European Union and [=>]
Since May 25, a people’s assembly has been in session in Greece’s Syntagma Square outside of parliament. Through an open mike, tens of thousands from all walks of life have been coming to express their total indignation with Europe’s politics of austerity. The people’s assembly of self-described “angry ones” is a new dimension to the [=>]
by Ron Kelch
In one of the biggest demonstrations in Ireland since its revolutionary birth in 1916, 100,000 marched in Dublin on Nov. 27 against the terms of an 85 billion euro loan package put together by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The marchers were outraged over the Irish government agreeing [=>]
The world food crisis, which was hot in 2008 and then subsided temporarily, is getting worse again. It was one of the factors in Tunisia’s revolution, along with recent revolts in Algeria. The piece below, published in the June-July 2008 issue of News & Letters, is still quite germane.
World food crisis stirs revolt
by Franklin Dmitryev