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People vs. corporate rule: Some personal notes from my participation in Thessaloniki’s great #vote4water referendum

More than 1500 volunteers set up ballot boxes outside the 192 electoral centres of the 11 municipalities of Thessaloniki’s metropolitan area, at the same time as the municipal elections taking place inside. Numerous groups and citizens’ initiatives worked side by side to carry out the plebiscite, with the infrastructural and moral support of the 11 municipal councils…

218,000 citizens of Thessaloniki, or how we experienced the referendum

The undeniable success of the referendum on the privatization of EYATh (Corporation of public waters of Thessaloniki) is not only its result. It is certainly of paramount importance that 98% of those who voted said no to the privatization of water, but more important are the new elements for our understanding of political action and mostly the unprecedented situations we experienced last Sunday. The participation in the referendum of those who came to vote for municipal and regional elections reached, based on our estimates (the number of votes cast in the referendum) at rates close to or above 60 % . But the message was mainly qualitative . Most people voted with a smile, tenacity and conviction.

18 May, Thessaloniki’s water referendum: One no, many yeses

As economic governance gets more and more removed from the interests of the population that it claims to represent, the task now lies with the citizens to claim their basic rights, reinvent democracy and protect the common goods through popular initiatives. Greece, global capitalism’s latest experiment in accumulation by dispossession, foreshadows the bleak future that the corporate elites have in store for Europe’s population.

Greece: At least 22 migrants died after boats capsized

Another tragic incident of death occurred in Aegean Sea, when migrants attempted to cross the waters from neighbouring Turkey aiming to arrive to the Greek island of Samos. The two boats carrying refugees capsized in the early hours of Monday morning off the coast of the island were identified by a Finnish patrol boat that operates with the Frontex border guard forces. But when two coast-guard vessels as well as air-force and navy helicopters dispatched 22 people have already lost their lives, among them 4 children and twelve women (one of them was one pregnant).

Ukraine: 36 trade unionists killed in deadly conflict

Large scale clashes took place yesterday in Odessa, leading to a major fire at the House of Trade Unions where some pro-Russia supporters sought refuge after being attacked by right-wing militants and government supporters in their encampment. The thugs threw petrol bombs against the building, resulting in the death 36 people from suffocation whilst others jumped from the windows to save themselves. Those who escaped from the flames were later on beaten to death once they fell in the hands of the mob.

Campaign to defend the “Autonomous Center” in Wuppertal, Germany

One of the buildings which will have to be demolished for this project is the building where the autonomous center has been located for more than 14 years now. The autonomous center is a self-organised free space where many cultural and political events are organised by various groups.

Briefings from Greece: 26/3 – 11/4

March 26

Athens: Riot police attacked the cleaners of the Ministry of economics who tried to enter the premises in an attempt to meet with minister Stournaras. The cleaners are on ongoing protests due to their suspension and dismissal as part of the government’s cuts. Four protesters were injured and taken to hospital. Athens: Hadim Husein, father of Sehzad Luqman (the 27-year-old from Pakistan…

Greece: Breaking the protest-ban

Crowds defied the police ban of gatherings in Athens city centre yesterday in view of Eurogroup meeting and took to the streets, participating in the planned demonstrations against the austerity policies implemented by the government and the troika. Tension prevailed when a block of protesters, mainly members of the left-wing ANTARSYA, attempted to break the police cordon in Kolokotronis Square.

Spain: journalists attacked by the police during large demonstration

Thousands took to the streets last Sunday in Madrid as part of a nationwide “March of Dignity”. At the end of the protests, clashes between demonstrators and police squads took place, according to the Spanish media. The authorities confirmed 24 arrests. In the videos above and below we see seven journalists being assaulted, beaten and injured by riot police forces for trying to cover a violent arrest.”

The erosive effect of the dress code

Humans are renowned for spending their time being preoccupied with trivialities, meaningless or harmful activities or making life difficult for each other by choosing to behave in ways which they regard as utterly important but which are ultimately idiotic and destructive. One of these useless quirks of people is the enforcement of dress code at workplaces. For the purposes of this text let’s accept that some work still needs to be done, and that the abolition of work – as Bob Black appealingly writes…