Spain: popular resistance delivers results

 by Esther Vivas

Esther VivasVictory against Madrid’s hospital privatisation – and other recent struggles in Spain – shows popular resistance delivers results.

Resisting is pointless”, we hear endlessly repeated. “So many years of protest but the crisis continues, why bother?” insist others, inoculating us with apathy and resignation. “Protests could lead to something that’s even worse”, whispers the machinery of fear. They want us submissive, heads bowed. Dreams of change are forbidden. However, history rebels, indomitable. And it shows us, despite the naysayers, that struggle is worth it. The victories against the privatisation of the Madrid’s public health system, of the Gamonal neighbourhood standing up to speculators and the corrupt, of the cleaners in their battle for jobs in the capital and the struggle against evictions and the banks, are good examples.

Bosnia anti-government protests spread

2014-02-08 bosnian-revolution 01What started as a demonstration by unpaid workers in the north has expanded to more cities and other issues

Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in cities across Bosnia on Friday, as demonstrations by unpaid workers in the northern city of Tuzla spread to other parts of the country and morphed into widespread discontent — in an election year — about unemployment and rampant corruption.

Miguel Romero (“Moro”): Revolutionary dignity

Tuesday 28 January 2014, by Manuel Garí

Miguel RomeroOn January 26 in Madrid, cancer finally conquered the tenacious resistance of Miguel Romero Baeza (born Melilla, 1945). A journalist and revolutionary militant, who experienced and fought the Franco dictatorship and the capitalist system with the same passion, intelligence and dignity which with he faced his disease. He never lost the capacity of indignation faced with injustice, he was always on the side of those at the bottom, was immune to accommodation and at all times maintained analytical lucidity and decisiveness in action. As happened with so many others and other revolutionaries, his was first sensitivity towards other people’s suffering, then an ethical option (“with the poor people of this earth I want to share my fate ") and later, only later, came tactics and strategy, party and program. He lived exactly as he thought. Neither a drop of ambition, nor an ounce of profit. Decently. Austerely. Incorruptible.

Miguel Romero 'Moro', la dignidad revolucionaria 

 MANUEL GARÍ, Miembro del consejo editorial de Viento Sur

Miguel Romero MoroEl cáncer pudo, finalmente, el 26 de enero en Madrid, con la tenaz resistencia de Miguel Romero Baeza (Melilla, 1945). Periodista y militante revolucionario, que vivió y combatió a la dictadura franquista y al sistema capitalista con la misma pasión, inteligencia y dignidad con la que enfrentó su enfermedad. Nunca perdió la capacidad de indignación frente a la injusticia, siempre se puso del lado de las gentes de abajo, fue inmune al acomodo, en todo momento mantuvo la lucidez analítica y la decisión en la acción. Lo suyo, como ocurrió con tantos otros y otras revolucionarios, primero fue una sensibilidad hacia el sufrimiento ajeno, luego una opción ética ("con los pobres de la Tierra quiero yo mi suerte echar") y más tarde, sólo más tarde, vinieron la táctica y la estrategia, el partido y el programa. Vivió exactamente como pensaba. Ni una gota de ambición, ni un gramo de lucro. Decentemente. Austeramente. Incorruptible.

Philippines debt must be cancelled to support typhoon recovery work

by Christian Aid

2013-12-10 01 Philippines debtThe enormous financial burden the Philippines labours under in servicing international debt while struggling to recover from Typhoon Haiyan and prepare for future emergencies must be lifted, said Christian Aid today.


L’Audit citoyen de la dette au Brésil (Auditoria Cidadã da Dívida) : une source d’inspiration

25 novembre par William Gaviria Ocampo

Esta dívida não é nossaMaría Lucia Fattorelli, coordinatrice nationale de l’organisation brésilienne Auditoria Cidadã da Dívida (Audit Citoyen de la dette), travaille depuis plusieurs années au côté d’une excellente équipe de femmes et d’hommes à la sensibilisation et à la conscientisation de la population brésilienne ainsi que des autorités administratives, judiciaires et des organismes de contrôle. Ils/elles sont parvenu-e-s à étendre leur rayon d’action à de nombreuses régions du pays, dans lesquelles des groupes d’audit citoyen avancent dans la recherche et l’analyse des budgets et des dettes de leur localité. L’organisation dispose maintenant à la fois d’un grand réseau national couvrant une ample zone géographique et d’un fort potentiel de participation citoyenne.

L’Empire Ottoman face à une « troïka » franco-anglo-allemande : retour sur une relation de dépendance par l’endettement

2013-10-20 00 artonAu XIXe siècle, alors même qu’était réaffirmé le principe de souveraineté des États hérité de la paix de Westphalie, se déployaient de puissants dispositifs de dépendance liés à la dette. Comme d’autres États et Empires de la « semi-périphérie » (Empire russe, Égypte, Chine), l’Empire ottoman se trouva progressivement engagé dans une intense relation de subordination envers les « grandes puissances » de l’époque, France, Angleterre, (Allemagne, de manière secondaire). C’est l’usage de l’endettement public externe qui lia l’Empire au « centre » ; d’abord financière, la subordination fut rapidement étendue aux champs administratif et diplomatique.

The Health of the Populations Battered by Austerity

  by Patrick Saurin

Why Austerity KillsReader’s notes: The Body Economic. Why Austerity Kills.
David Stuckler & Sanjay Basu
Allen Lane, 2013.

In a recently published book, The Body Economic. Why Austerity Kills, David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu present an enlightening panorama of the consequences for public health, of the austerity based policies applied to the economic crisis. Adapting work they have published in the specialised press they arrive at the conclusion, that austerity not only kills, but it aggravates the economic problems it is supposed to solve.

From serious research in referenced and incontestable sources, often coming from the very institutions or States whose actions they criticise, David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu build up a detailed and precise inventory of the major crises since the 30s: starting with the great depression in the US at that time; the crisis of masculine mortality in Russia after the fall of the communist regime, the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the liberalising of the economy; the Asian crisis in 1997, and finally the Worldwide recession that began in 2007, are the events these researchers have studied.

The great recession of these last years has given the authors the opportunity to study the policies applied by a certain number of States, particularly concerning their attitudes to the banks, who are largely responsible for the crisis, and the results obtained.

The Age of Austerity

by Isabel Ortiz , Matthew Cummins

A Review of Public Expenditures and Adjustment Measures in 181 Countries

2013-07-16 austerity aheadThis paper |1| examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 181 countries by comparing the four distinct periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (crisis phase I: fiscal expansion), 2010-12 (crisis phase II: onset of fiscal contraction) and 2013-15 (crisis phase III: intensification of fiscal contraction); reviews 314 IMF country reports in 174 countries to identify the main adjustment measures considered in high-income and developing countries; discusses the threats of austerity to development goals and social progress; and calls for urgent action by governments to adopt alternative and equitable policies for socio-economic recovery.

João Pedro Stédile of the MST: ’We are in the midst of an ideological battle’

1 July by Nilton Viana

João Pedro Stédile Interviewed by Brasil de Fato

Brazilian citiesBrasil de Fato — It is time for the government to ally itself with the people or pay the price in the future. This is one of the evaluations of João Pedro Stedile, national coordinator of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) on the recent mobilisations across the country.

According to Stédile, there is an urban crisis installed in Brazilian cities, provoked by the current stage of financial capitalism. “For people, large cities have becoming a living hell where they lose three or four hours a day in transit, which they could instead be using to spend with their family, studying or participating in cultural activities”, he says. For the MST leader, reducing public transport fare prices was of great interest to all the people and this was what the Free Fare Movement got right by calling for mobilisation on behalf of the interests of the people.


The Labour party has failed us. We need a new party of the left

Britain needs a party that rejects neoliberal policies and improves the lives of ordinary people. Help us create one

2013-05-15 01 ken-loachAusterity is wreaking economic catastrophe on Europe, most recently on the people of Cyprus, but George Osborne is still following the same disastrous policies. Last week's budget came as no surprise: Osborne announced yet more spending cuts and extended the public sector's pay rise cap, amounting to a real terms pay cut. He's digging us even further into an economic hole, as the Office for Budget Responsibility's revised output forecast shows – from a predicted 1.2% growth down to 0.6%. That sounds like further decline, not the promised growth, and ordinary people are paying the price. The virulence of the government's economic attacks knows no bounds: Atos, workfare, council tax, the bedroom tax – punitive policies against the most vulnerable in society.

2013-04-26 02 rio20-green-washing-capitalism

Austérité et destruction de la nature : l'exemple grec. Entretien avec Roxanne Mitralias

Roxanne Mitralias est militante à SYRIZA, au CADTM, ainsi qu'au Front de Gauche sur les questions agricoles et écologiques. Sociologue rurale et des sciences de formation, elle travaille aux côtés des mouvements paysans en France. Elle revient pour Contretemps sur la situation en Grèce et en particulier sur les effets destructeurs pour l'environnement des politiques d'austérité.

Contretemps : Quelle est la situation en Grèce aujourd’hui ?

Cela fait maintenant près de trois ans que la Grèce est devenue le laboratoire de politiques d’austérité d’une ampleur sans précédent au Nord. On y applique des recettes qu’on nommait « plans d’ajustements structurels » du temps du FMI et qu’on appelle, à l’heure de la Troïka, « plans de sauvetage ». Laboratoire aussi et surtout pour tester la population, évaluer jusqu’où il est possible d’aller sans que celle-ci ne se révolte. Malgré deux dizaines de grèves générales en trois ans et plus de cinq mille manifestations et grèves en 2012, des occupations et des mouvements de désobéissance civile d’ampleur, on peut dire aujourd’hui qu’il est possible d’aller très loin, au-delà de ce qu’il était permis d’imaginer. En termes de droits sociaux, la situation est relativement connue. En moyenne, un grec a perdu 40% de son salaire. Il doit en même temps faire face à l’augmentation du coût de la vie (liée à l’augmentation des taxes, mais aussi à la dépendance aux importations et à certains cartels – comme celui du lait, un des plus chers d’Europe) mais aussi à des impôts faramineux, qualifiés depuis trois ans d’« extraordinaires ».

The truth about extreme global inequality

  by Jason Hickel

HickelThe World Bank and the IMF have the power to impose economic policies on developing countries even when voters and elected politicians in those countries unanimously reject them [AFP]

The crisis of capital, the rise of the Occupy movement and the crash of Southern Europe have brought the problem of income inequality into mainstream consciousness in the West for the first time in many decades. Now everyone is talking about how the richest 1 percent have captured such a disproportionate share of wealth in their respective countries. This point came crashing home once again when an animated video, illustrating wealth disparities in the US, went viral last month. When an infographic catches the attention of tens of millions of internet users, you know it is hitting a nerve.

Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly – World Social Forum 2013 29 March 2013, Tunisia

  by Social Movements Assembly

2013-04-08 02 Tunis-wsf

As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization. We affirm that decolonization for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.

Du champ à l’assiette, en Grèce les initiatives se multiplient !

Par Roxanne Mitralias

2013-03-15 01 RoxanneSemences locales et biodiversité, agriculture biologique, permaculture et agroécologie, réseaux de producteurs-consommateurs, jardins urbains autogérés et cuisines collectives : les grecs s’approprient leur agriculture et leur alimentation !

2013-03-07 01 chavezSacando fuerzas del dolor, de este sentimiento triste de habernos quedado huérfanos como todo nuestro pueblo. Del pueblo que hoy en la calle acompaña, arropa, sigue cariñosamente al cuerpo de nuestro Comandante para homenajearlo como se merece.  Sacando fuerzas de ese dolor, queremos hablarle a ese pueblo, al de los Abriles y Febreros.

Queremos recordar junto al pueblo bolivariano civil y militar a nuestro Chávez.  El Chávez de la lucha por la independencia del imperio.  El Chávez de mandar obedeciendo al pueblo. El Chávez irreverente junto a un pueblo rebelde.  El crítico y autocrítico.  Al Chávez nuestro  capaz de hacer levantar vuelo al sueño de la unidad latinoamericana como tiene que ser, socialista.  El Chávez nuestro es el  del "Golpe de Timón".

2013-03-06 02 cadtm-ayala-nuestra-america 02Bogotá, Colombia, Marzo 5 de 2013


Desde la coordinación para América Latina y el Caribe del Comité para la Anulación de la Deuda del Tercer Mundo – Abya Yala Nuestra América “CADTM AYNA”, Organización social que lucha contra la deuda ilegítima que los países del norte han impuesto a los pueblos del sur, expresamos nuestro profundo dolor y pesar por el sensible fallecimiento del Comandante Presidente de la Hermana República Bolivariana de Venezuela HUGO RAFAEL CHAVEZ FRIAS. Lamentamos su muerte porque representa la pérdida de uno de los revolucionarios con mayor liderazgo en el proceso de emancipación de los pueblos.

Popular revolt  in Bulgaria

A document by the Bulgarian Left Party


2013-03-05 01 BulgariaThe antitrust protests in Bulgaria started on 5 February in Blagoevgrad and then throughout the country. The protests are against monopolies and the high energy bills for heating and electricity for the months of December 2012 and January 2013.


The protesters have the following demands:


• Energy Sector


1. Nationalization of the electricity companies in the country;


2. Elimination of all intermediaries and assumption of their functions by the National Electricity Company;

Press release

Comrade martyr CHOKRI BELAÏD assassinated

by Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie

2013-02-20 02 Choukri BelaïdTunis, 6 February 2013

Today Wednesday 6th February 2013, the criminal hand of treachery took the life of comrade Chokri Belaïd, general secretary of the ’United Democratic Patriotic Party’ and a major personality of the Popular Front. By this assassination he has been withdrawn from the social, democratic and national struggle at a moment when he is most needed. Alive, the comrade and martyr would never have abandoned.

Antinazisme et protection sociale

  par Pascal Franchet

2013-02-06 Franchet PascalLa juxtaposition des 2 termes peut sembler surprenante et pourtant, il y a bien un lien direct entre la lutte contre le nazisme et la défense de la protection sociale. En effet, la sécurité sociale n’est pas une question comptable ou technique mais est d’abord et avant tout une question politique de répartition des richesses aux conséquences sociales considérables.