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Greece: Immigrant stabbed to death in Athens

On Sunday morning, at 04.30 am, approximately, an Iraqi immigrant was stabbed to death on Anaxagora Street (Athens) by a group of far right thugs. According to eye-witnesses, the perpetrators of the attack were five motorcyclists who, a few hours earlier, in the same area, attempted to attack another two migrants but, successfully, managed to escape.

Later on, a young male called Andreas Asimakopoulos, in his Facebook account, declared that he participated in this murderous attack, while throwing death threats against a political opponent. More specifically he writes «come meet me and I will take care of your little body, as we did yesterday with the Iraqi immigrant, and then you will make up your mind» (free translation).

It is estimated, that this is nothing more but a revenge attack, as about a week ago, a young girl had been beaten up by a Pakistani immigrant in Paros island. The 15 years old girl has been hospitalised and is still in critical condition.

In the past few days, the Greek police have been conducting a large anti-immigrant operation in the centre of Athens. According to the released information, 1,500 people were detained between 2-3 of August and another 4,900 in the 4th day of the same month (6,400 in total).

This mass persecution has been taking place in Athens and in Evros (an area very close to the borders with Turkey). At least 1,630 foreigners have been arrested and are facing deportation.


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Rubber bullets shot at protesters in Skouries, Greece

Since mid-June 2012 the Canadian Eldorado Gold, along with AKTOR of Bobolas and the blessings of the State are cutting of the primeval forest of Skouries to make it a huge surface mine. The pharaonic «investment» will dry up Chalkidiki and will drain every drop of water.

Clashes occurred in Skouries, Chalkidiki between local residents and police during a demonstration against the establishment of gold mines by Canadian Eldorado Gold. The police forces made extensive use of chemicals, and plastic bullets. Note that logging has started for the creation of the mines by Eldorado Gold and AKTOR.

The march started from Ierrisos with the protesters shouting slogans such as «they talk about profits and losses, we are talking about human lives.»

Call of Ierissos committees of struggle against gold mines

Call to defend the forest of Skouries, address to the people the committees of struggle of Ierissos against the gold mines. The committees, in their great popular assembly on Thursday, decided to act on Sunday August 5, to defend the public wealth from the catastrophic interests of the Canadian gold diggers, and of the local elites.

“We will defend the forest, water and our lives, as defined by the Greek Constitution in Article 24 § 1:

The protection of the natural and cultural environment constitutes a duty of the State. The State is bound to adopt special preventive or repressive measures for the preservation of the environment. Matters pertaining to the protection of forests and forest expanses in general shall be regulated by law.

Alteration of the use of state forests and state forest expanses is prohibited, except where agricultural development or other uses imposed for the public interest prevail for the benefit of the national economy.

The interests of the Canadian gold diggers, and of the local elites do not represent the public interest; neither is the selling off of our land a simple change of use. It is a disaster,» states the resolution of the residents.


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From a Syrian anarchist

Via: Anarchist Federation (London Group)

Some details have been redacted for the safety of the comrade

I am Mazen ******, a Syrian anarchist. I want to inform you about the difficult humanitarian situation in my country, Syria; due to the brutal oppression of the regime against the revolting masses.

A group of young Syrian anarchists and anti–authoritarians from Aleppo – Syria, contacted me asking for urgent help. Their community is in urgent need for everything: medical drugs, tents, children milk, etc; almost everything. We hope that you can help them to alleviate the sufferings of Syrians in these difficult days. About the actual situation in Syria, it is deteriorating rapidly.

After the killing of the some high rank generals of the regime (defense minister and his deputy, which is at the same time the brother – in – law of the president himself ) by unknown force, even that the Syrian free army claimed responsibility for the attack ; the armed opposition groups attacked the two main cities, which were reluctant to join the revolution before: Damascus and Aleppo. A fierce battle started, after some early gains of the opposition forces, the Assad army gathered its remaining forces and started a counter attack using his available conventional forces including jet fighters, beside canons and tanks that he was using since months ago.

Many civilians had to flee in very harsh conditions, hundreds massacred. In fact, the Syrian revolution is caught now in an open armed fighting. The peaceful demonstrations lost their significance now, and almost nobody bother to mention them or think they can have real impact on the outcome of the struggle. What started as a spontaneous mass revolution has become an armed struggle between the regime army and its armed opponents. This happened mainly due to the brutal oppression of the regime, using its army, its tanks and guns against civilian neighborhoods, but also because of the intervention of tyrannies like Saudi and Qatari monarchies. Due to the strategic position of Syria, the revolution was caught in Iran – Saudi rivalry for regional domination, and even between Russia and US , each supporting one part, but only for the sake of their own interests: we can’t believe that the Saudi monarchy bother about the freedom of the Syrian people, they just want to weaken their opponent: The Iranian Islamist oppressive regime. Saudi Arabia and Qatar did all they can to divert the Syrian revolution into sectarian struggle between Sunni and Shiaa sects of Islam, cynically, the Syrian regime did the same.Just recently an influential Saudi journalist described the Arab spring ( this term is used to describe the sequence of Arab revolutions) as a Sunni spring that threatened shiia Iran. The other competing camp of oppressed regimes are using sectarianism for their sake also. The Syrian regime is trying to do the same by promoting himself as the «protector of religious minorities» in Syria .We saw it very differently, we saw it as it happened and as it started, a spontaneous mass revolution against dictatorships and their neo–liberal policies and «reforms», and in this difficult moment for the masses; we count on the masses, on the oppressed, from every religion, sect, or ethnicity to unite against their oppressors, whatever their religion.

We count on organizations like our comrades from Aleppo and other initiatives done by young students and some workers. It is a difficult struggle that could descend into sectarian civil war, and there is no guarantee but the masses’ determination (and ours) to continue the struggle for real freedom and justice, for free self – organization of the oppressed.

In fact, there is very big divisions now in the Arab and Syrian left: the Stalinists stood beside the regime as an «anti–imperialist» regime; as usual, they can neglect its oppressive nature. It is so natural for them! There are three Syrian «communist» parties, supporting the regime fully very shamelessly. Other prominent Stalinist parties in Arab countries support the regime also. On the other side Trotskyites stood against such regimes but they see Islamists as a possible «allies» is such struggles, denying the reactionary, authoritarian and capitalist, even the neo–liberal, nature of the Islamists’ project. This is so true for Egypt where Trotskyites had strong organization: Revolutionary socialists.Another thing, brothers, I am going back to Syria this august in order to join the struggle of our comrades and masses. Some Syrian activists organized a campaign named.

WE ARE COMING BACK.

We will enter Syria in August from *****. It is expected that the regime will arrest us, and they could torture some of us, or even kill some. I might need your solidarity that time. Some comrades might update you about such developments when it happen. If you can arrange any support for our comrades inside Syria you can contact me here till that time, and before leaving to Syria; I can give you contact details of our comrades inside Syria or some Egyptian comrades here to send your contributions to. Thanks a lot for your solidarity.

For revolution, and freedom!
For Anarchism!!!

Millions take to the streets as Spain unites against austerity

by Santiago Carrion via Roarmag

Struggles converge as miners, firefighters, judges, public employees, the unemployed and even the army step up their resistance against EU-enforced cuts.

On Thursday, millions of Spaniards took to the streets in over 80 cities around the country in the largest protest since the past 15th of October, just hours after the Rajoy government ratified the largest budget cuts in the history of Spanish democracy. Once again, in times of crisis, the system shows it true face: as Congress and the streets around it were barricaded by militarized police forces, the ruling party (PP) enforced its absolute majority by carrying out the vote alone, while other parties left Parliament in protest.

Government Ratifies Austerity to Backdrop of Political Turmoil

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrived five hours after the debate had begun, just in time for the crucial vote. He has yet to appear in Congress to explain the actions his Government is carrying out, which include, apart from the mentioned austerity measures, an inexplicable deluge of lies and deliberate misinformation: as Spaniards learnt this week through the international media, their sovereignty (that is, the amount and conditions of a full bailout of the financial sector) is being debated not in Spain itself — but in Germany, Holland and Finland.

This new agreement, which Mr. Rajoy has failed to even bring up, implies a loan of up to 100bn euros that will fatten up the public debt even further. The deal, which will lead to even harsher austerity measures in the coming months, was simply left out of the public debate until mainstream media caught onto a document made public by the Dutch government mentioning the agreement and its possible conditions. A full review of this and other documents, some of which were kept confidential, was made public and explained yesterday by El Pais — Spain’s largest newspaper — and led to widespread criticism from different segments of the Spanish population.

#19June: The Climax After a Week on the Streets

These events, cramped into a very tense week, have made the legitimacy of the Rajoy government hit its lowest level so far. In fact, the pressure on the establishment is becoming ever more evident as a wide range of the population is uniting to fight back. In Madrid, a spectacular and diverse protest of hundreds of thousands (200,000 to 800,000, according to some sources) marched under different banners, flags and slogans. The large central workers union’s — UGT and CCOO — were present, as well dozens of other professional organizations, representing firemen, nurses and doctors, public transport workers, teachers from every level of public education, miners, feminist and pro-gay collectives, forest guards, 15-M sympathizers and old and new political groups — each of them with their own demands but with one common goal: “a por ellos”. Furthermore, in a very interesting twist, hundreds of local and national policemen marched as well, as their union decided to protest against falling wages and bonuses. Massive protests also took place in Barcelona, Valencia, the Canary and Balearic Islands, Seville, Alicante as well as in another 80 cities and towns across the country.

The success of Thursday’s demonstration marks the culmination of a week of unrest, with spontaneous protests organized daily via the #alacalle hashtag on Twitter, usually in front of Congress. Police presence in the area was very heavy throughout the week, and for the first time the whole premises were shut off with metallic fences guarded by riot police armed with rubber ball shotguns. The official headquarters of both main parties (PP and PSOE) were also guarded by militarized police as protesters randomly congregated before the buildings. These marches, made up mostly of indignant social workers, walked around eluding police lines chanting, making noise and blocking main roads.

Future Turbulence, Towards a General Strike

There is no doubt that social tension is on the rise throughout Spain. The government will have a very hard time to legislate as even its traditional allies are turning their backs. In a very significant declaration last Tuesday, the  AUME (Unified Association of the Spanish Military) announced that it will support future popular protests, as a response to the reduction of  their retributions and rights. Secretary General Mariano Casado, told the Público newspaper that AUME “might even contemplate calling for specific protests” involving all of its current members if the Ministry of Defense does not step back. This would be the first time in Spanish history for the military to organize a demonstration against a Conservative  government led by the PP.

At  the same time, other powerful groups are also organizing and have already announced strikes. Judges, prosecutors and other civil servants have denounced the government in a press release for “trying to dismantle the judiciary power (the General Council of the Judiciary),” as well as “attacking the independence of judges and the impartiality of prosecutors.” The seven independent associations inside the the General Council of the Judiciary have agreed, for the first time in history, on creating a joint commission to coordinate and canalize all forms of retaliation which almost surely include future strikes.

In the following weeks the situation is bound to become critical. Sooner or later Mariano Rajoy must face the inevitable bailout, which has already been passed through the Bundestag. The reaction of the people can only be guessed. It is clear, however, that the situation has reached a turning point, as several different struggles are converging in pursuit of the same goal. The common enemy — the austerity dictatorship of the Conservative government, the neoliberal EU technocracy, and the powerful financial sector — is now very clear-cut.

On Saturday, the 15-M movement is organizing another series of marches that will be arriving in Madrid from around the country. This time the key actors are not the miners, but another key constituency that has been heavily hit by Spain’s social and economic crisis: the unemployed. As activists have emphatically repeated, “if we get every unemployed Spaniard on the streets we would be millions.” The first attempt starts this Saturday, #21J. A general strike is projected for the 25th of September.

With these different social struggles converging and popular resistance exploding into the streets and squares, Spain appears to be up for a wild ride in the weeks and months ahead.


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Fresh student protests in Chile

28-6-2012: More than 100.000 Chilean students and workers demonstrated in the capital Santiago, demanding free education for all. The protesters walked in front of the Presidential Palace, La Moneda, and the Ministry of Education.

The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) accused the police of suppressing the massive march with attacks and tear gas, despite the fact that they had committed themselves not to intervene.

The main motto of the Chilean students protest was: «For a country of equality we should all fight. Free public education to change society».