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Greek Revolution Rolls On With Popular Support
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Fintan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Greek Revolution Rolls On With Popular Support Reply with quote

Quote:
Massive Riots Cripple Greece's Cities




Athens rocked by new protests as shot schoolboy buried

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Mourners are clashing with riot police outside an
Athens cemetery during the funeral of a teenager whose shooting by
officers set off three days of rioting across Greece.


No injuries have been reported as officers use tear gas to dispel small
groups of stone-throwing youths who attacked TV crews, police and shops
round the cemetery.

Some 6,000 people attended the funeral Tuesday, applauding as the 15-
year-old's body was carried out of the church in a flower-covered white
coffin.

The ceremony itself was peaceful, despite chants of "Cops! Pigs!
Murderers!" from the mostly teenage crowd.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.
AP's earlier story is below.


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Hundreds of teenagers fought police in front of
Parliament Tuesday as mourners gathered to pay respects to a 15-year-
old boy whose shooting by officers set off three days of rioting across
Greece.


Socialist leader George Papandreou called for early elections, saying the
conservative government could no longer defend the public from rioters.
The government has a single-seat majority in the 300-member Parliament
and opposition parties blame hands-off policing for encouraging the worst
rioting the country has seen in decades.

"The government cannot handle this crisis and has lost the trust of the
Greek people," Papandreou said. "The best thing it can do is resign and let
the people find a solution ... we will protect the public."

The funeral of Alexandros Grigoropoulos was being held in a seaside
suburb of Athens, far from the demonstrations. More than 3,000
mourners, many of them teenagers, gathered to pay their last respects
and lay wreaths.

The circumstances surrounding Grigoropoulos' shooting are unclear, but
the two officers involved have been arrested; one has been charged with
murder and the other as an accomplice. A coroner's report shows the boy
was shot in the chest.

Schools and universities across Greece were closed and hundreds of
teachers, university lecturers and students rallied in central Athens.


Teenagers pelted police with rocks and scuffled with officers in front of
parliament. In the western part of the city, officials said groups of high-
school students attacked four police stations but riot police did not respond
and no injuries were reported.

Commentators say the growing hostility by young Greeks toward authority
is fed by public discontent over low wages, frequent public corruption
scandals and a strong historic distrust of government rooted in past
political upheavals.

"It's very simple — we want the government to fall. This boy's death was
the last straw for us," Petros Constantinou, an organizer with the Socialist
Workers Party, said as he left a protest in central Athens. "This
government wants the poor to pay for all the country's problems — never
the rich — and they keep those who protest in line with police oppression."

Saturday's fatal shooting drove angry students to join with violent
anarchist groups who have a long-standing animosity with police.

The worst violence occurred late Monday when gangs of masked and
hooded youths screaming "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" set up burning
barricades across Athens streets and fought pitched street battles with riot
police firing volleys of tear gas.


Police said rioters damaged or destroyed 200 stores and 50 banks in
Athens, while 20 buildings were damaged by fires, including downtown
hotels that were temporarily evacuated late Monday.

A further 100 stores were damaged in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
There was more rioting across Greece, from cities in Crete and the
holiday island of Corfu, to Thessaloniki, where fresh violence broke out
Tuesday leaving two protesters with light injuries.


There was more rioting across Greece, from Thessaloniki in the north to
cities in Crete and the holiday island of Corfu. By early Tuesday, hundreds
of stores, cars, banks and buildings in about a dozen cities had been
torched, smashed or looted.

"Everyone has let our children down ... Every day I see that students are
becoming more hostile toward us and figures of authority," said Christos
Kittas, who resigned as the dean of Athens University after the rioting
spread to campuses.

Riot police used tear gas and clashed with rioters but stood back as youths
smashed windows and torched stores along Athens' main commercial
streets. Athens police announced 89 arrests late Monday, while more than
100 other people were detained for questioning. Twelve police officers
were injured.

Greece's interior minister insisted police had successfully protected human
life, and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said there would be no leniency
for the rioters.

"No one has the right to use this tragic incident as an alibi for actions of
raw violence, for actions against innocent people, their property and
society as a whole, and against democracy," he said after an emergency
meeting with the country's president, Karolos Papoulias.

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis angrily criticized "worthless rioters" who
set the city's Christmas tree alight late Monday.

"These people respect nothing, look what they have destroyed,"
Kaklamanis said. "These people cannot be considered Greeks."

He said Christmas celebrations would take place as planned.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Greece announced a 12-month delay on interest
payments for loans by shopkeepers affected by the rioting. But the Athens
Traders Association encouraged its members to sue the government,
saying police had failed to protect them.

Associated Press writers Elena Becatoros and Menelaos Hadjicostis contributed to this report.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hBFlGGEp5P_Xn83Bw3PLwJ020A-QD94V8DNG0

Greek Youths Riot After Police Shoot Teen

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Last edited by Fintan on Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:14 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Robert



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the end perhaps they'll be just one thread.
Greek riots in an EU economic perspective

Quote:
Greek fighting: the eurozone's weakest link starts to crack
Posted By: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at Dec 10, 2008 at 07:47:15 [General]

The last time I visited Greece, I was caught in the middle of a tear-gas charge by police in Thessaloniki - a remarkably unpleasant experience, if you have not tried it. My eyes were in screaming pain for an hour.

Protesters smashed up the shops on the main drag, broke the windows of my hotel, and torched a few cars.

So the latest four-day episode in Athens and other Greek cities comes as no great surprise. The Greeks are a feisty people. This is meant as a compliment - broadly speaking - just in case any Greek readers should take it the wrong way. Hitler was so impressed by Greek bravery that he accorded Greek soldiers full military honours, almost the sole example among captive nations in the East - or at least professed to do so at first.

That said, these riots are roughly what eurosceptics expected to see, at some point, at the periphery of the euro-zone as the slow-burn effects (excuse the pun) of Europe's monetary union begin to corrode the democratic legitimacy of governments.

Note two stories in Kathimerini (English Edition)

"Athens riots spin totally out of control"

And an editorial: "Greece has gone up in flames and the concept of democracy and law and order has been eliminated"

Without wanting to rehearse all the pros and cons of euro membership yet again, or debate whether EMU is a "optimal currency area", there is obviously a problem for countries like Greece that were let into EMU for political reasons before their economies had been reformed enough to cope with the rigours of euro life - over the long run.

In the case of Greece, of course, Athens was found guilty by Eurostat of committing "statistical achemy" to get into the system - ie, they lied about their deficits.

Be that as it may. Greece's euro membership has now led to a warped economy. The current account deficit is 15pc of GDP, the eurozone's highest by far. Indeed, the deficit ($53bn) is the sixth biggest in the world in absolute terms -- quite a feat for a country of 11m people.

Year after year of high inflation has eroded the competitive base of the economy. This is an insidious and slow effect, and very hard to reverse. Tourists are slipping away to Turkey, or Croatia. It will take a long time to lure them back.

The underlying rot was disguised by the global credit bubble, and by the Greek property boom. It is now being laid bare.

Greece has a public debt of 93 per cent of GDP, well above the Maastricht limit. This did not matter in 2007 when bond spreads over German Bunds were around 26 basis points, meaning that investors were willing to treat all eurozone debt as more or less equivalent.

It matters now. The credit default swaps on Greek sovereign debt were trading around 250 today (compared to 52 for Germany, 62 for the US, 120 for the UK, and 178 for Italy). It has moved into a class of its own.

This is potentially dangerous because Greece needs to tap the capital markets for 40bn euros next year to roll over debt and fund the budget deficit, as well as 15bn euros or so in bond issuance by banks under the state's new guarantee. This is a lot of money.

The Greek government will need budgetary discipline to convince markets that it has matters under control. But governments facing riots and imminent defenestration are not good bets for fiscal discipline. There is a general strike in any case on Thursday.

While the violence was triggered by the death of a 15-year old boy, the underlying motives of the protest obviously run deeper. The hard left can mobilize demos because the youth unemployment is endemic and because the goverment is being forced by economic constraints to adopt a hair-shirt policy at a very bad moment. At some stage a major political party - perhaps PASOK - will start to reflect whether it can carry out its spending and economic revival plans under the constraints of a chronically over-valued currency (for Greek needs). Then there will be a problem.

I am a little surpised that the riot phase of this long politico-economic drama known as EMU has kicked off so soon, and that it has done so first in Greece where the post-bubble hangover has barely begun.

The crisis is much further advanced in Spain, which is a year or two ahead of Greece in the crisis cycle.

My old job as Europe correspondent based in Brussels led me to spend a lot of time in cities that struck me as powder kegs - and indeed became powder kegs in the case of Rotterdam following the murder of Pim Fortyn, and Antwerp following the Muslim street riots (both of which I covered as a journalist). Lille, Strasbourg, Marseilles, Amsterdam, Brussels, all seemed inherently unstable, and I do not get the impression that the big cities of Spain and Italy are taking kindly to new immigrants.

The picture is going to get very ugly as Europe slides deeper into recession next year. The IMF expects Spain's unemployment to reach 15pc. Immigrants are already being paid to leave the country. There will be riots in Spain too (there have been street skirmishes in Barcelona).

Hedge funds, bond vigilantes, and FX traders will be watching closely. In the end, a currency union is no stronger than the political will of the constituent states.

No doubt events will be ugly in Britain as well. My comments are not intended to suggest that British behaviour is better. Far from it. But I am certain that the British people still feel that the authorities who set economic policy are ultimately answerable to Parliament and to the democratic system.

Will the Greeks, the Spanish, the French feel that way about the European Central Bank and the Stability Pact when the chips are really down?


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ambrose_evans-pritchard/blog/2008/12/10/greek_fighting_the_eurozones_weakest_link_starts_to_crack

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Fintan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Protest Video



Finally, an admission by AP that the issue
of "Globalization" is a potent one in Europe
and underlies the Greek protests.


Quote:
Greek protesters clash with riot police in Athens

By ELENA BECATOROS and DEREK GATOPOULOS – 33 minutes ago

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek youths hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails
at riot police in Athens on Friday, who responded with stun grenades and
tear gas. Despite seven straight days of unrest, Greece's prime minister
rebuffed calls to resign and hold early elections.


Terrified workers in banks along Athens' central Syntagma Square
watched in fear as protesters shattered windows just replaced days ago
after being damaged in the worst riots Greece has experienced in
decades.

Protesters also smashed their way into the main branch of the National
Bank of Greece, sending employees fleeing in panic Friday. One protester
walked up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Parliament and
threw a black-and-red anarchist flag at it.....

Protesters, occupying high schools and universities, are demanding a
reversal of public spending cuts, the resignation of the country's Interior
Minister, and the release from custody of arrested riot suspects.

Authorities said protesters also briefly occupied a private Athens radio
station on Friday and read a statement on the air.


"What started as an outburst of rage over Alexandros' killing is now
becoming a more organized form of protest," said Petros Constantinou,
an organizer with the Socialist Workers Party.

The unrest has also spilled over into other European cities, raising
concerns the clashes could be a trigger for opponents of globalization,
disaffected youth and others outraged by the continent's economic turmoil
and soaring unemployment.


Despite the rioting, Justice Ministry officials said Friday the government
will proceed with plans to release some 5,000 inmates, or about 40
percent of Greece's prison population, starting this month. That move
follows a mass hunger strike staged by inmates last month to protest
overcrowding.

Link

The riots are turning into a general
mobilization of anti-government forces:


Quote:
GUARDIAN VIDEO
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2008/dec/10/athens-riots-wednesday

GREEK TV VIDEO:
http://www.tvxs.gr/v1141

Athens, Greece update
Insurrection is alive...


Athens Comrades | 11.12.2008 22:04

A description of the situation in Athens 5 days after the riots erupted

We are the image of the Future
(slogan in an Athens wall)

Update 11/12

Today 22 police stations attacked by students mainly all across Athens.
Big Demo in the center some Anarchists, mostly leftist and other people
from the city.


The city center does not really work. Most of the shops are burned or
destroyed. In riots also traffic lights were destroyed and that s to say
really great because it is your decision when you walk and when the cars
go...It is so beautiful to see the city center burned down...

In Patission street two universities still occupied. The polytechnic
university, a symbol of social fights in Greece, cannot be really controlled
by the people there. Highschool kids, or (even younger age 10 years old!)
come there to fight with police. Also many immigrants! Some junkies and
hooligans join also....It is fun because some really young kids age 9 -10
,come in the occupied universities and tell the people. “ Hey mister, please
teach us how to make a molotov-cocktail...”

Also there are hardcore riots with the police and in the gardens of the
university girls and boys kiss and pet each other...

The streets around are burned. Athens' silicon valley, Stournari street with
many shops with computers and electronic equipment is totally destroyed,
looted. Some computers were looted , most were burned and destroyed.
“Plaisio” a big computer store with three floors is burned completely.

Anarchists, autonomists mainly gather in the Athens university of
Economics, which is some blocks away...There is a place of conversations,
food (it's fun because when the food is over we go to the Supermarkets
near, loot , give some to the people who are in the street and the rest we
use in the university. There also exists a media center,( a blogspo is
created) a radio station is in progress, and a big room to print leaflets and
brochures.

The law school is also occupied by leftists, which become a bit more
radical (as radical as a leftist can become)...

Exarcheia, the district were the murder happened, is still barricated. There
is a big burned car in the middle of Mpenaki street in the entrance of the
district.

In the roads down from the occupations on the night some times it is
dangerous because nazis and policemen work together and try to prevent
immigrants from attacking and looting...

The next days would so how things will go.We expect occupations of
schools and universities. The workers are not on strike, syndicates and
the communist party sabotage us a lot...Damn, after so many years it is
still the same...And you know you have to sabotage production to destroy
capitalism...

Many people are arrested and the government wants to make use of the
anti-terror laws, like in France for the Tarnac 9. I think now everybody
can see for whom these laws are made for. The enemy within...

We can say that some parts of the center have a certain autonomy...and
for sure the police will not go in...

Comrades in all the world, if you want to express your solidarity, which we
need a lot keep on the fights in your countries and make them stronger.

They are really afraid for us, believe us you can not imagine, here now we
can see it clearly.

Resurrection, like we read in the books really exists, we can assure you ,
we live it... It is Beautiful!

In one night “reality”, “normality” died...
It will happen to your countries soon.
Make plans
Be ready

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/12/415119.html

And the implications for the EU are significant
as other Europeans watch the Greek example:


Quote:
Angry Young Greeks Give
Wake Up Call To Europe


by Daniel Flynn - Analysis Dec 12, 2008

The ferocity of rioting by frustrated young Greeks shocked many
across Europe but provides a warning to the continent's leaders
as they discuss ways to confront the global economic crisis.


Seven days of protests, which caused hundreds of millions of euros of
damage across 10 Greek cities, were triggered by the police shooting of a
teenager on December 6 but fed on resentment at high youth
unemployment, low salaries and inadequate welfare.

They have sparked sympathy protests from Moscow to Madrid, some
quickly organized over the Internet or by SMS message, as many young
people feel leaders are ignoring their frustrations.

"It's time they listened to the people. We're shouting 'look at the mess
we're in'" said teacher Stella Nicolakakos, 35.

Economists say EU leaders, putting the final touches to a 200 billion euro
stimulus plan in Brussels, should brace for more outcry as Europeans find
their jobs jeopardized after a decade of growth which created
expectations of prosperity.

"Most of Europe thought they'd be immune to the crisis and they've woken
up late to the fact that they're not," said Vanessa Rossi, economics
researcher at Chatham House in London. "The implications for several
countries are not good, both in terms of recession and social unrest."

In Spain, where the EU's highest unemployment rate is tipped to reach 20
percent as the crisis deepens, youths attacked a bank and a police station
in Madrid and Barcelona following protests over the Greek shooting. In
Rome and Copenhagen, leftist protestors pelted police and damaged
property, while in Moscow youths hurled firebombs at the Greek embassy.

In France, two cars were set alight in front of the Greek consulate in
Bordeaux on Thursday. "The Coming Insurrection" and "In support of the
Greek fires," said graffiti near the blaze.

"Look what is going on in Greece!" French President Nicolas Sarkozy told
members of his UMP party, rejecting budget proposals which would have
cushioned the wealthy from losses.

With memories fresh of weeks of suburban rioting in 2005, Sarkozy
expressed concern the anti-government backlash could spread to France:
"The French love it when I'm in a carriage with Carla, but at the same
time they've guillotined a king."


"OVERWORKED, UNDERPAID, DEBT-RIDDEN"

Many factors behind the Greek riots are unique, including the
subculture of anarchists thriving in districts like Athens' Exarchia, where
the trouble began. A history of violent policing also made Greek
authorities reluctant to risk a strong response.


But other aspects stem from economic problems facing the whole of the
27-nation bloc, causing concern among investors.

"What's happening in Greece, I fear will spread to the rest of Europe as
unemployment rises," said leading Portuguese businessman Joao Talone,
calling for softer economic policies.

Greece's headline unemployment rate -- which rose to 7.4 percent in
September -- is actually just below the euro zone average. The key
factor, however, is unemployment among youths.

Unemployment for 15-24 year olds in Greece is running at 22 percent,
according to the OECD: not far removed from Italy, France and Spain,
also countries with a history of mass protest.

"Young Greeks, even those up to the age of 35, make up a silent majority
of overworked, underpaid, debt-ridden and insecure citizens," said
Generation 700 Euros, a group defending the 56 percent of Greeks under
30 earning that amount a month.

Generation 700 has its equivalent in Spain's "mileuristas," Germany's
"Generation Praktikum" (Generation Intern) and France's "Generation
Precaire."

Young people, often forced into menial jobs despite university educations,
use Internet services like Twitter and SMS messaging to rapidly organize
demonstrations, says George Prevelakis, geo-politics professor at
Sorbonne University.

"Many of these kids in Athens, some of them just teenagers, were not
anarchists, they were just imitating what they saw on TV and the Internet.
This can happen anywhere," he said.

Europe faces challenges to social values from immigration, the rise of
consumerism, secularism and youth independence.

"All of Europe is facing a crisis of social integration," said Dimitris Keridis,
politics professor at Macedonia University. "European society has been
rapidly fragmenting."

Greece's high budget deficit and debt have limited the government's
ability to soften the slowdown and spend its way out of recession. Other
European states, such as Italy where debt tops 100 percent of GDP, risk
falling into the same trap.

Even wealthier Greeks are feeling the pinch after years of living beyond
their means on credit, like consumers in Spain and Ireland. A housing
bubble has popped, causing resentment among many people as prices fall
and loans dry up.

What most infuriated Greeks was that the government seemed to be
making life harder just when they needed its help by toughening state
pension terms and raising taxes to plug its budget gap.

In Italy, which faces its worst downturn since World War II, unions called
a strike on Friday at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's handling of the
crisis.

Chatham House's Rossi said EU governments would face trouble unless
they convince voters they take their economic and social grievances
seriously, and introduce policies which address them.

"Greece was a case study of what not to do," Keridis said, criticizing the
government's hands-off response to the crisis.

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/breakingnews/article_212192670.shtml


Quote:
Italian union stages general strike over the economic crisis

ROME — Thousands of workers, students, pensioners and the
unemployed are marching through Italian cities today to protest the
government's handling of the economic crisis.


Heavy rain across the country hasn't stopped the demonstrations that
have been organized as part of a daylong general strike by Italy's largest
union.

The walkout reduced services at hospitals and schools and shut down
banks and post offices. The demonstrations disrupted traffic in Rome,
Milan and other cities.

Anger over Europe's economic woes has been bubbling over into protests
and unrest across the continent.

Greece is going through its seventh straight day of violence, which started
over the fatal police shooting of a teenager, but which has turned into a
wider protest against economic hardship.


Quote:
General strike brings Greece to a halt as riots rage on

Helena Smith in Athens - The Guardian, Thursday 11 December 2008

A general strike shut down schools, hospitals, flights and public services
across Greece yesterday, touching off more riots that left dozens injured
and the government severely shaken after five days of unprecedented
civil unrest.


Stone-throwing youths fought pitched battles with riot police outside the
Athens parliament as thousands of striking workers, in a separate
demonstration, chanted their way through the capital.

Amid screams of "let parliament burn", protesters hurled petrol bombs,
marble slabs and pieces of cement at police who responded by firing
rounds of teargas into the air.

The clashes, triggered by the police shooting of 15-year old Alexandros
Grigoropoulos, are the worst disturbances to hit Greece since the end of
military rule in 1974. Mobs have laid siege to cities nationwide plundering
public buildings, stores and cars before setting fire to them.

With the country shut down and Greece's links to the world cut as a result
of the strike, the conservative administration - already clinging onto power
by a single seat in the 300 member House - found itself facing a political
crisis.

Addressing the nation in a bid to contain the tensions, the prime minister,
Costas Karamanlis, yesterday pledged financial support for those who had
been materially affected and promised to protect individuals from further
violence.

But opposition over the free-market conservatives' fiscal policies and
plans to privatise hospitals and schools is unlikely to fade soon. Support
for the government, even from the most diehard conservatives, has
dropped, with 70% telling pollsters they have mishandled the crisis.
"These protests are our answer to a government that always closes the
doors in our face," said student Yiannis Yiapitsakis.

Symbolic of the fear and loathing gripping Greece is the makeshift shrine
erected on the spot in Athens where Grigoropoulos was shot dead.

In handwritten notes, cards, paintings and poems, Greeks of all ages not
only honoured the young "martyr" but gave testimony to a country that
appears to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. "You have paid for
what people like me who belong to the generation of 50-year-olds, know
to be true," wrote one father in a note placed on top of a pile of roses,
candles and plants. "That we are shaking with worry over the future of our
children."

Yesterday, according to a lawyer for the two police officers accused in the
fatal shooting, a ballistic examination revealed that the schoolboy had died
as a result of an accident after the bullet ricocheted.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/11/greece


Quote:


Nikos Lountos tells Democracy Now that the bullet which
killed the teen was a direct shot and not a ricochet.
Also updates on the situation.

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zak247



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 949

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s CAPATALISM that’s the devil
CAPATALISM Global or not, is the culprit!

READ MY LIPS
CAPATALISM IS THE Twisted Evil

All this Globalism rhetoric, NWO stuff, has a degree of merit, but only if we understand that the real culprit is naked capitalism

Believe me all the ills of “globalism” will be made much worse by what fuels it: Capitalism that requires slave laborers, and a permanent underclass, and a greedy overclass by its very nature.
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atm



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is instructive is that these clashes, protests and riots are not confined only to Greece alone; it is EU wide: Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, The Russian Federation, Denmark and The Netherlands.

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Fintan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Revolution
Retains Momentum:


Quote:
Athens hit by new protest rallies

Hundreds of people are staging fresh protest rallies in Athens, after
days of rioting sparked by the killing of a teenager by police in Greece
.

Sixty per cent of those questioned by Greece's Kathimerini newspaper
rejected the assertion that the disturbances have been merely a series of
co-ordinated attacks by a small hard core of anarchists.

Another poll, in the Ethnos newspaper, suggested that 83% of Greeks
were unhappy with the government's response to the violence.
Kathimerini put the disapproval rating at 68%.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7783375.stm


Quote:
VIDEO LATEST

Athens a War Zone as
Governement Loses Control


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZgTekSb-0I


'The Last Straw'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89bTXuJqML4

Opinion polls show this is
still a popular rebellion:


Quote:
Riots regarded as ‘social uprising’

Six in 10 see unrest as ‘mass phenomenon,’ poll
indicates, as politicians try to show responsibility

As an opinion poll yesterday showed that six out of 10 Greeks
believe the past week of violent riots were a "popular uprising"
and not the work of "minority activists," politicians from across
the spectrum expressed differing opinions about what action
should now be taken.


According to a survey carried out by polling firm Public Issue for
Kathimerini, 60 percent of Greeks believe last week's unrest, triggered
by the police killing of a teenager, had been «a mass phenomenon

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100002_15/12/2008_103031


And, as ATM noted, the are
implications across the EU:


Quote:
In Greece, Protests Echo European Students' Ire

By PHILIP PANGALOS and DAVID GAUTHIER-VILLARS - DECEMBER 11, 2008

Thousands of students were joined by striking workers in a fifth day
of protests in Greece, an uprising that mirrors growing discontent among
youths in many European countries over outdated education systems,
lack of jobs and a general apprehension about the future.


From Rome to Berlin to Madrid, young people graduate from university
much later than their peers in Northern Europe, the U.S. or U.K. When
they do, they struggle to find long-term jobs with social-security benefits.

In Germany, many young people -- including large numbers of university
graduates -- have struggled in recent years to find employment that pays
a full wage. Instead, they have found themselves working as interns for
no or low pay for long periods. German media have dubbed such
economically insecure young people "Generation Intern."

In Spain, a generation of young people is entering the workplace with few
benefits or protections, often moving between temporary contracts so
that employers can avoid the country's onerous employment laws. The
media have dubbed them "mileuristas" -- loosely, those who scrape by on
a thousand euros a month. In Greece, this same group has been dubbed
"Generation 600" -- referring to the country's national minimum wage of
€600 (about $776) a month.

French students are planning a nationwide protest against government
plans aimed at giving state universities more autonomy in managing their
budgets. Students fear this will create a two-tier system, with wealthy
campuses attracting private funds and poorer colleges languishing. Three
years ago, French students took to the streets to protest the "precarious"
nature of a new temporary job contract the government was trying to
introduce.

Last month, thousands of Italian students took to the streets to protest
the government's attempt to change laws governing the entire school
system, including cutting budgets for state universities.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122895550635596477.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


Quote:
The Revolution will not be........

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Fintan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHY THE REBELLION
AND WHY NOW.


Quote:
The Reasons


Quote:
Thoughts on the events that
are reshaping Greece today


Athens, 13-12-2008 - by IliasZ

It's been a week since Alexandros was murdered.

7 days, which i spent mostly at home, because of a bad case of flu.
Besides cursing my bad luck, i spent these days stuck in the internet and
the telephone, reading and watching what was happening and what was
being said, talking with friends that were on the streets. So, this is the
view of an observer and i hope that such a view is useful as well.

Starting from a strictly political perspective:

These days, the days of Alexandros, mark the fiercest social explosion
this country has experienced since 1990-91, when the great pupil-student
movement and the assassination of teacher Temponeras shook Greece.


It's a revolt of the youth, and especially the pupil youth, that right now is
writing its own history. Depending on how the situation evolves, a whole
generation has the possibility to emancipate itself, to define its own
starting point, to add another link to the historic chain: the 1-1-4
movement in the '60s, the Polytechnic uprising in 1973, the 1990-91
movement, the generation of Alexandros. Without underestimating the
other big youth events of the past (the student movements of the late
'70s, the recent movement against privatisation of university level
education, the pupil movement of '98, the exploding moments of the "wild
youth" like the '95 Polytechnic riots), it seems that this uprising has the
amplitude, the symbolisms and the intensity to constitute a real catalyst
for important social shifts. In a few words, it can change things.

And then a more sentimental reading of the events: Theses days donated
generously to everyone, even to TV-viewers, unbelievable moments of
beauty. Sometimes "classic" beauty, like thousands of 16 year old boys
and girls in the streets, shouting, throwing stones, locking the cops in
their police stations and then offering them flowers, crying and laughing.
It opens your heart. Dwellers of cafes in Korai square, freeing "our
children" from the riot police, residents in Nea Smirni, and in many other
neighbourhoods and cities doing the same. There were also moments of
"surreal" beauty, with the huge Christmas tree burning in front of the
parliament being the most characteristic of those. And finally, so many
moments of "wild" beauty - even if lots of people cannot appreciate them
- hundreds of stones in the air, molotov cocktails lighting up the streets,
and yes - banks and corporate stores burning. It doesn't really matter
who started the fire, if people could do with their minds there would be no
bank standing in Greece right now. Such was the intensity of the
collective craving in the streets.

The media, greek as well as international, reflecting i think the general
feeling of "orderly" people worldwide, are under a state of shock.


Especially the greek media change their "line" daily, sometimes even
within a few minutes, trying to come up with a familiar, reassuring
discourse, that would provide a feeling of safety in the face of events that
they cannot understand and scare them to death. They try to fit what's
happening in schemes they know (or think they know) and feel that they
can control. But still, the "society of the orderly" was shocked last Monday
when they saw thousands of organized pupils attacking police stations all
over Greece. Where can one catalogue these images?

Comrade Halvatzis (an MP of the Greek Communist Party), last Thursday
in a Parliament Session, declared with absolute certainty: "Pupils do not
smash banks. Pupils, youth, students do not smash, do not destroy
things". So then who does? The middle-aged, the public servants or the
pensioners? See nothing, hear nothing, know nothing.

In the face of the unexpected, a part of society (at the top as well as at
its base) resorts to pure denial. They expel the cause of the events to the
realm of the supernatural, discovering again the mythical and exotic
creature of the "hoodbearer". They don't care why these people wear
hoods in the demonstrations (a wild guess: because they don't want to be
identified by the cameras and later receive a not so polite visit by the
police). It doesn't matter one bit who is under the hood, what's his or her
story.

Anyways, the hoodbearer (the source of evil) is not entitled to any social
or human attributes. Neither young, nor old. Neither a pupil, nor a
student, a worker or simply unemployed. It's neither a boy, nor a girl.
Hardly a person at all. It's simple the hoodbearer, who lives in another
planet (the planet of the Enemies of Democracy) far away from us, and
lands every now and then in the centre of Athens to destroy things. Or
else, total absurdity is sometimes preferable to the fear of the unknown.

Another part of the society, fortunately much larger, understands that the
events carry great importance, that they constitute an expression of
social feelings that have grown to explosive dimensions. They are trying
to locate the "why" of this uprising, to create linear relationships between
cause and effect, in an effort to give meaning to the unexpected. The
global media also fall in this category, attributing the uprising to the
economic crisis, the unemployment and the government scandals. This
logic is telling us that the youth are revolting because they fear that in the
future they won't be able to find work, they won't be able to support a
family, they won't be able to afford a house and a car. They rise up
because they feel that they are denied the chance to live like the
"grownups" live now. Which is to say: See everything, hear nothing and
explain the "other" with your own values.

But if you really want to understand what other people are telling you,
you just have to hear them. Clear your mind for a moment, open some
space for new thoughts. The youth is revolting because they want to live.
With every last one of the meanings of the word "life". They want to live
freely, they want space to create, to emancipate themselves, to play.


They don't want to spend their adolescence in 12 hour days of school and
extra courses, their first adult years in the pointless chase of a university
degree, the passport to a glorious 800 euro - 48 hours a week job in a
boring office. They don't want to be dependent on their families in order
to start a family of their own. And honestly, they don't even care about
starting a family. Bored of "having fun" in video games cafes, clubs,
stadiums, shopping malls and commercial concerts. They are not jealous
of "normality" and do no seek it. On the contrary, they see this "promise"
of normality getting even worse: the school even more exhausting, the
hideous job getting even more hideous, the university starting to
resemble the school. And marriage looking like a sentence to prison.

This is not a "no future" generation, it's simply a generation that does not
accept the present as its future
, that simply can't stand the idea that this
present will freeze and reproduce forever.


At 32, still "unsettled" in every sense of the word, this is how i feel part of
this youth. We do not share the cynicism, the dysthymia of a society that
keeps on repeating "what can you do, that's the way things will always
be". We crave to construct our own, autonomous future. And there are a
lot of things standing in our way. That's the point of unity between pupils,
students, young working /unemployed /precarious adults. When you
really want to live, a spark is enough to make you instinctively attack
anything that you think stands in your way. In these moments the youth
feels that police stations, riot police squads and banks are blocking their
way, so they're just trying to push them aside. If they won't budge, you
just have to burn them down (which of course doesn't work that way, but
that's the drive to do it). And in personal life, the obstacles are being
realized as your family, your bosses, your "responsibilities".

Still, the intensity of this particular uprising also comes from its own
starting point. When one feels that his or her life is in danger, even in the
strict biological sense, reacting is also a matter of pure survival.
Alexandros was just 16 years old, and if you hear what the pupils are
saying, it's clear that they have totally identified with him. No obstacle, no
fear can stand in the way of the instinct to survive. They can hit me,
arrest me, expel me from school, but if i don't do something i could be
next. The cop's bullet has awakened life's deepest reflexes in greek kids,
and now...good luck to the orderly trying to get them back to the herd.

These days life is getting its revenge, with all its force. Only the evolution
of events can tell us if this explosion of the desire to live will open
creative paths, smaller or larger, or if it will be contained. I fear only for
one outcome: that the dynamics of violence, which the mechanisms of
power know excellently how to use, will draw the limits of this uprising.
Anger and rage are initially propulsive feelings, but when they freeze they
usually lead to depression. Besides personal psychology, this seems to be
the case for social psychology as well. The best case scenario would be a
solid "victory" for this movement, like the resignation of the government
or at least of the whole police administration. The youth feels
emancipated right now, and it needs a symbolic affirmation. One should
not underestimate symbolism, it yields tremendous power. Alexandros
himself is the best proof for that...


http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/12/415341.html
http://indy.gr/analysis/the-revenge-of-life/@@view?set_language=en


Quote:
On Democracy Now. a Greek activist
explains political demands raised by
the demonstrations in Greece,
and he calls for support.




Quote:
Why The Riots in Greece

Monday, December 15 @ 10:19:26 EST
By: Anna Karpathakis, PhD

The street protests and riots were and are a complex phenomenon,
peopled by groups and individuals from all sectors of society. These were
riots. Greeks were rioting against the governments that ruled them over
the last two decades. Greeks were rioting against a corrupt police force
that was seen to lack respect for basic human rights and civil liberties.
Greeks were rioting against an economy which created more inequalities
and poverty than wealth and comfort as was promised.

Riots are the tools used by the powerless and indignant when other
modes/means of "representation" of their interests are cut off. What
is in the background of riots in general and more specifically in the
case of Greece?


First, we find a deteriorating quality of life in the private sphere of
consumer goods; in other words, consumers were finding it more difficult
to afford basic necessities. The rate of poverty in Greece in the most
recent Census stood at nearly 21%. It is important to note that the rates
of poverty in the rural areas did not exceed those of urban areas, where
poverty becomes especially problematic because of the lack of alternative
sources of food procurement.

Second, there has been deterioration in the quality of life in "public
spaces". There has been a disinvestment in public spaces urban residents
use. Athens, like other major cities, is filthier now than it was three or
four years ago.

Third, predatory lenders in Greece left Greeks in heavy debt, owing more
on predatory lending terms than the principal itself. This new
phenomenon of personal debt that befell a society unaccustomed to credit
markets was combined with scandals in the financial sector which emptied
the public coffers and enriched private sellers and investors along with
multi-nationals.

Fourth, the multi-nationals brought with them deteriorating working
conditions & wages. They created a growing gap between the high
salaried managers and the low paid workers, thereby reproducing the
polarization of income groups in other industrial societies. Greek owned
companies reproduced the wage structure of multinationals for their
unskilled and low-skilled workers. While workers’ purchasing power and
thereby quality of life declined, managers’ wealth increased at levels
before unseen in Greek society. Cultural expectations, the eyes that are
set upon such events are important. While the U.S. may be accustomed
to managers earning ten and twenty or a hundredfold of what workers
earn, this has not been the case in Greece. Also, culturally Greece is
different from the U.S. For Greeks, wealth is a social endeavor, a group
process and product and there is the expectation that it be dealt with as
such. Multi-nationals, arriving in Greece from capitalist cultures which
have well established patterns ensuring the safety of private property,
failed to see this dynamic. Greece has a populist political culture of the
left interspersed with elements of humanism and freedom that are simply
incomprehensible to multi-nationals opening shop in the country; as multi-
nationals made “a killing” in profits in Greece, Greek owned businesses of
course established their own administrations along similar lines. In short,
with the exception of the increasingly scarce jobs in the public sector,
private sector employment was eroding in conditions and wages relative
to the consumer price index.

Fifth, housing costs became comparable to those of major U.S. cities like
New York. Housing, which till a few years ago was affordable even in a
city like Athens, became artificially over-valued like in the U.S. Need we
say anything more about the 700euro a month wages to go towards 600
euro per month rents in the cities? Two bedroom apartments in Athens
are now very much like New York rental prices without the parallel
income values of workers.

Sixth, we have a clear case of the rich getting richer and amassing more
of the society’s wealth and income while the rest of the population was
and is experiencing a decrease in absolute purchase and consumer
power. Wealth amassed in such a way, i.e., wealth produced by the
majority of the society, as wealth is always produced this way, and
directed up and towards a few, is always enabled through laws and
policies and/or corruption. In the case of Greece, new laws governing
global financial relations in combination with corruption in government
and business, was more the norm than the exception. New Democracy
was voted in to solve and correct problems of corruption under PASOK,
but corruption became just as rampant with them.

Seventh, the euro brought with it a decrease in consumer purchasing
power. As Greece’s economy was being articulated and integrated with
that of Europe through the adoption of the Euro as the country’s currency,
the issues of which groups benefited and which did not, still remains to be
analyzed by economists. One thing is for sure: a bottle of water which
sold for 100 drachmas (33 Euro cents) was sold for 1 Euro (345
drachmas) the next day of the switch to the Euro. As the government
failed to regulate consumer pricing with the new currency, businesses of
course did what would be expected of them to do when not regulated:
they priced as they liked and consumers had little power to affect these
prices.

Eight, the privatization of public services lead to decreasing quality of the
services in the public sector, the two most important being health and
education. Health care, once an important component of the state’s
responsibility to its citizens, came under attack and is being increasingly
privatized. As private insurance companies proliferated, soon scandals
erupted about their not fulfilling what consumers thought were part of the
company’s responsibilities; i.e., Greeks were not accustomed to reading
the fine print in two hundred page documents which negated what was
written in bold letters in the first twenty pages of contracts they signed;
Greeks were not accustomed to the hand-shake and promissory word of
the salesmen who ended up working for multi-national insurance
companies; another case of money literally stolen legally and the
government did not protect its citizens. Public insurance agencies, I.K.A.,
O.G.A. were plagued with serious financial scandals and problems. In the
meantime, doctors in public institutions were receiving among the lowest
salaries of doctors in the E.U., their basic salaries (before over-time)
ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 Euros, while public investments in the
hospitals decreased. Stories of decreasing quality medical care in large
city hospitals abound among both Greeks and tourists. Health care, once
a guarantee of Greek citizens and visitors alike, now became a service
that had to be purchased at exorbitant prices—40Euros for a visit in a
doctor’s private office.

Ninth, corruption on all levels of government, from the most local to the
national levels, plagued the country and depleted the country of wealth
and resources. Government corruption, i.e., millions of euros earmarked
by the EU for fire fighting and forestry disappeared, leading to deaths in
the fires of the summer of 2007; the picture of the mother and four
children burned in last year’s fires, made the rounds of the world and
Greeks’ hearts. Because ultimately, one thing that none of the
governments have acknowledged till now is Greeks’ deep sense of justice
and respect for human life—it was and is incomprehensible to Greeks how
money overrides human life and social relations.

Tenth, we have an abusive police, harassing and disrespecting basic civil
and human rights of members of that society. Youtube abounds of
personal videos of police brutality of both citizens and immigrants.
Citizens walking along the streets of Athens would capture moments of
power abuse and record on their cell phones. Immigrants beaten when
being questioned. University and high school students beaten by police. In
other words, the police force which citizens would normally rely on to
protect them from the “bad guy” was the “bad guy” in many cases. The
police administration more often than not failed to sanction abuses by the
officers.

Lastly, is the issue of education in Greece. As educators in Greece point
out, a university degree these days guarantees that the graduate will be
begging to at least get a minimum wage job. The norm is now that
university graduates earn 600-750 Euros a month—doctors, the most
highly paid, begin their residency with just under 1,000 Euros a month. In
the meantime, the parents have invested thousand of euros in their
children’s private lessons, “frontistiria”, to improve their chances of
entering the university. Those high school and university students walking
the streets in protest were protesting precisely this, questioning the
government’s plans, responsibilities in the Greek economy and of course
educational institution.

These are just some of the background causes of riots in the 21st
century, all against the backdrop of globalization, i.e., multinationals
going in and imposing new working and wage structures and conditions,
policies of “liberalization”, i.e., privatization, corruption in government on
all levels, police brutality on a regular basis, and overall a quality of life in
Greece which forced Greeks to view each other in strictly economic
terms: capitalism, in other words, was brought to Greece under
corruption and greed.


http://www.greeknewsonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9572

_________________
Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.


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Robert



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is breathtaking.
Such an acceleration of intelligence.

Quote:
But if you really want to understand what other people are telling you,
you just have to hear them. Clear your mind for a moment, open some
space for new thoughts. The youth is revolting because they want to live.
With every last one of the meanings of the word "life". They want to live
freely, they want space to create, to emancipate themselves, to play.

They don't want to spend their adolescence in 12 hour days of school and
extra courses, their first adult years in the pointless chase of a university
degree, the passport to a glorious 800 euro - 48 hours a week job in a
boring office. They don't want to be dependent on their families in order
to start a family of their own. And honestly, they don't even care about
starting a family. Bored of "having fun" in video games cafes, clubs,
stadiums, shopping malls and commercial concerts. They are not jealous
of "normality" and do no seek it. On the contrary, they see this "promise"
of normality getting even worse: the school even more exhausting, the
hideous job getting even more hideous, the university starting to
resemble the school. And marriage looking like a sentence to prison.


This is parallel to an interesting essay by Chris Hedges discussing the breakdown by implosion of the unquestioned school to job to grave
route.

Quote:
The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff


By Chris Hedges

The multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead, through the filter of standardized tests, enrichment activities, advanced placement classes, high-priced tutors, swanky private schools and blind deference to all authority, on creating hordes of competent systems managers. The collapse of the country runs in a direct line from the manicured quadrangles and halls in places like Cambridge, Princeton and New Haven to the financial and political centers of power.

The nation’s elite universities disdain honest intellectual inquiry, which is by its nature distrustful of authority, fiercely independent and often subversive. They organize learning around minutely specialized disciplines, narrow answers and rigid structures that are designed to produce certain answers. The established corporate hierarchies these institutions service—economic, political and social—come with clear parameters, such as the primacy of an unfettered free market, and with a highly specialized vocabulary. This vocabulary, a sign of the “specialist” and of course the elitist, thwarts universal understanding. It keeps the uninitiated from asking unpleasant questions. It destroys the search for the common good. It dices disciplines, faculty, students and finally experts into tiny, specialized fragments. It allows students and faculty to retreat into these self-imposed fiefdoms and neglect the most pressing moral, political and cultural questions. Those who defy the system—people like Ralph Nader—are branded as irrational and irrelevant. These elite universities have banished self-criticism. They refuse to question a self-justifying system. Organization, technology, self-advancement and information systems are the only things that matter.

“Political silence, total silence,” said Chris Hebdon, a Berkeley undergraduate. He went on to describe how various student groups gather at Sproul Plaza, the center of student activity at the University of California, Berkeley. These groups set up tables to recruit and inform other students, a practice know as “tabling.”

“Students table for Darfur, no one tables for Iraq. Tables on Sproul Plaza are ethnically fragmented, explicitly pre-professional (The Asian American Pre-Law or Business or Pre-Medicine Association). Never have I seen a table on globalization or corporatization. Students are as distracted and specialized and atomized as most of their professors. It’s vertical integration gone cultural. And never, never is it cutting-edge. Berkeley loves the slogan ‘excellence through diversity,’ which is a farce of course if one checks our admissions stats (most years we have only one or two entering Native Americans), but few recognize multiculturalism’s silent partner—fragmentation into little markets. Our Sproul Plaza shows that so well—the same place Mario Savio once stood on top a police car is filled with tens of tables for the pre-corporate, the ethnic, the useless cynics, the recreational groups, etc.”

I sat a few months ago with a former classmate from Harvard Divinity School who is now a theology professor. When I asked her what she was teaching, she unleashed a torrent of obscure academic code words. I did not understand, even with three years of seminary, what she was talking about. You can see this absurd retreat into specialized, impenetrable verbal enclaves in every graduate department across the country. The more these universities churn out these stunted men and women, the more we are flooded with a peculiar breed of specialist. This specialist blindly services tiny parts of a corporate power structure he or she has never been taught to question and looks down on the rest of us with thinly veiled contempt.

I was sent to boarding school on a scholarship at the age of 10. By the time I had finished eight years in New England prep schools and another eight at Colgate and Harvard, I had a pretty good understanding of the game. I have also taught at Columbia, New York University and Princeton. These institutions, no matter how mediocre you are, feed students with the comforting self-delusion that they are there because they are not only the best but they deserve the best. You can see this attitude on display in every word uttered by George W. Bush. Here is a man with severely limited intellectual capacity and no moral core. He, along with “Scooter” Libby, who attended my boarding school and went on to Yale, is an example of the legions of self-centered mediocrities churned out by places like Andover, Yale and Harvard. Bush was, like the rest of his caste, propelled forward by his money and his connections. That is the real purpose of these well-endowed schools—to perpetuate their own.

“There’s a certain kind of student at these schools who falls in love with the mystique and prestige of his own education,” said Elyse Graham, whom I taught at Princeton and who is now doing graduate work at Yale. “This is the guy who treats his time at Princeton as a scavenger hunt for Princetoniana and Princeton nostalgia: How many famous professors can I collect? And so on. And he comes away not only with all these props for his sense of being elect, but also with the smoothness that seems to indicate wide learning; college socializes you, so you learn to present even trite ideas well.”

These institutions cater to their students like high-end resorts. My prep school—remember this is a high school—recently built a $26-million gym. Not that it didn’t have a gym. It had a fine one with an Olympic pool. But it needed to upgrade its facilities to compete for the elite boys and girls being wooed by other schools. While public schools crumble, while public universities are slashed and degraded, while these elite institutions become unaffordable even for the middle class, the privileged retreat further into their opulent gated communities. Harvard lost $8 billion of its endowment over the past four months, which raises the question of how smart these people are, but it still has $30 billion. Schools like Yale, Stanford and Princeton are not far behind. Those on the inside are told they are there because they are better than others. Most believe it.

The people I loved most, my working-class family in Maine, did not go to college. They were plumbers, post office clerks and mill workers. Most of the men were military veterans. They lived frugal and hard lives. They were indulgent of my incessant book reading and incompetence with tools, even my distaste for deer hunting, and they were a steady reminder that just because I had been blessed with an opportunity that was denied to them, I was not better or more intelligent. If you are poor you have to work after high school or, in the case of my grandfather, before you are able to finish high school. College is not an option. No one takes care of you. You have to do that for yourself. This is the most important difference between them and the elites.

The elite schools, which trumpet their diversity, base this diversity on race and ethnicity, rarely on class. The admissions process, as well as the staggering tuition costs, precludes most of the poor and working class. When my son got his SAT scores back last year, we were surprised to find that his critical reading score was lower than his math score. He dislikes math. He is an avid and perceptive reader. And so we did what many educated, middle-class families do. We hired an expensive tutor from The Princeton Review who taught him the tricks and techniques of taking standardized tests. The tutor told him things like “stop thinking about whether the passage is true. You are wasting test time thinking about the ideas. Just spit back what they tell you.” His reading score went up 130 points. Was he smarter? Was he a better reader? Did he become more intelligent? Is reading and answering multiple-choice questions while someone holds a stopwatch over you even an effective measure of intelligence? What about those families that do not have a few thousand dollars to hire a tutor? What chance do they have?

These universities, because of their incessant reliance on standardized tests and the demand for perfect grades, fill their classrooms with large numbers of drones. I have taught gifted and engaged students who used these institutions to expand the life of the mind, who asked the big questions and who cherished what these schools had to offer. But they were always a marginalized and dispirited minority. The bulk of their classmates, most of whom headed off to Wall Street or corporate firms when they graduated, starting at $120,000 a year, did prodigious amounts of work and faithfully regurgitated information. They received perfect grades in both tedious, boring classes and stimulating ones, not that they could tell the difference. They may have known the plot and salient details of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” but they were unable to tell you why the story was important. Their professors, fearful of being branded political and not wanting to upset the legions of wealthy donors and administrative overlords who rule such institutions, did not draw the obvious parallels with Iraq and American empire. They did not use Conrad’s story, as it was meant to be used, to examine our own imperial darkness. And so, even in the anemic world of liberal arts, what is taught exists in a moral void.

“The existence of multiple forms of intelligence has become a commonplace, but however much elite universities like to sprinkle their incoming classes with a few actors or violinists, they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic,” William Deresiewicz, who taught English at Yale, wrote in “The American Scholar.” “While this is broadly true of all universities, elite schools, precisely because their students (and faculty, and administrators) possess this one form of intelligence to such a high degree, are more apt to ignore the value of others. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for one’s advantages. But social intelligence and emotional intelligence and creative ability, to name just three other forms, are not distributed preferentially among the educational elite.”

Intelligence is morally neutral. It is no more virtuous than athletic prowess. It can be used to further the rape of the working class by corporations and the mechanisms of repression and war, or it can be used to fight these forces. But if you determine worth by wealth, as these institutions invariably do, then fighting the system is inherently devalued. The unstated ethic of these elite institutions is to make as much money as you can to sustain the elitist system. College presidents are not voices for the common good and the protection of intellectual integrity, but obsequious fundraisers. They shower honorary degrees and trusteeships on hedge fund managers and Wall Street titans whose lives are usually examples of moral squalor and unchecked greed. The message to the students is clear. But grabbing what you can, as John Ruskin said, isn’t any less wicked when you grab it with the power of your brains than with the power of your fists.

Most of these students are afraid to take risks. They cower before authority. They have been taught from a young age by zealous parents, schools and institutional authorities what constitutes failure and success. They are socialized to obey. They obsess over grades and seek to please professors, even if what their professors teach is fatuous. The point is to get ahead. Challenging authority is not a career advancer. Freshmen arrive on elite campuses and begin to network their way into the elite eating clubs, test into the elite academic programs and lobby for elite summer internships. By the time they graduate they are superbly conditioned to work 10 or 12 hours a day electronically moving large sums of money around.

“The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name,” Deresiewicz wrote. “It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.”

“Only a small minority have seen their education as part of a larger intellectual journey, have approached the work of the mind with a pilgrim soul,” he went on. “These few have tended to feel like freaks, not least because they get so little support from the university itself. Places like Yale, as one of them put it to me, are not conducive to searchers. Places like Yale are simply not set up to help students ask the big questions. I don’t think there ever was a golden age of intellectualism in the American university, but in the 19th century students might at least have had a chance to hear such questions raised in chapel or in the literary societies and debating clubs that flourished on campus.”

Barack Obama is a product of this elitist system. So are his degree-laden Cabinet members. They come out of Harvard, Yale, Wellesley and Princeton. Their friends and classmates made huge fortunes on Wall Street and in powerful law firms. They go to the same class reunions. They belong to the same clubs. They speak the same easy language of privilege and comfort and entitlement. They are endowed with an unbridled self-confidence and blind belief in a decaying political and financial system that has nurtured and empowered them.

These elites, and the corporate system they serve, have ruined the country. These elite cannot solve our problems. They have been trained to find “solutions,” such as the trillion-dollar bailout of banks and financial firms, that sustain the system. They will feed the beast until it dies. Don’t expect them to save us. They don’t know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/20081208_hedges_best_brightest/

I'm impressed by the way life is just shredding up the mindset of the received authority.From the Greek parliament to the amazing claims of business that 2010 we'll recover;these folks have lost it.

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evelyn



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Popular uprising" or riots ...

Quote:
The youth is revolting because they want to live.
With every last one of the meanings of the word "life". They want to live
freely, they want space to create, to emancipate themselves, to play.


... freely, space, create, themselves, play ... feel-good terminology, abstract, each left to his/her own devices to define. Years ago I would have taken that to mean I should have the natural birthright to write poetry while lolling on a settee or walking along the beach - while someone paid for my upkeep and space and Flor de Cana rum libre - so I could further emancipate and create myself. Oh to be so young and dumb ... and revolting again ...

I've watched "uprisings" for the last 40 years, here and there, ending as quickly as they began. Other than the Civil Rights movement (which means I can pee in the same toilet as white folks) not much "freedom" has come from the efforts of the disenchanted uprisers.

But - the masses hear part of the rhetoric - the part about live free and play. And they have taken to that peterpanism wholeheartedly.

Quote:
The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name,” Deresiewicz wrote. “It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.”


The "true purpose of education" is feel-good b.s. and an abstract comment, as education itself means different things to different people. "Learning" begins at home but few want to admit that - b/c it's easier to expect the "system" to "make minds" for our children b/c parents are too busy emancipating themselves and playing - wouldn't want to be mentally burdened with more education or lusting for a lucrative job, or teaching the kids the difference between shit and shinola.

Amazing how some writers can come off so reasonable yet are totally screwing with heads. Behaving as if the "ruling class" has done all this to us and we innocent lambs only wanted to be free and play. Give the guys a bullhorn.

I've spent a lifetime trying to stay as far as possible from anything to do with "the system." Everything I needed to know I learned on my own, thanks to parental encouragement. Higher education did help some, showing how to organize and present what I already knew or would learn on my own.

The ruling class and the populist uprisers come and go - they have their pundits, their authors, their heroes, and all of them present their feel-good rhetoric as the solution, and like gang members they usually have a "color" for their bandana (orange, red, velvet revolutions etc.)

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Fintan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 7681

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cute propaganda coup:

Quote:
Greek youths seize State TV studio,
interrupt PM's broadcast


By Nicholas Paphitis, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 16, 2008

ATHENS, Greece - Protesters forced their way into Greece's state
NET television news studio Tuesday and interrupted a news broadcast
featuring the prime minister so they could urge viewers to join mass
anti-government demonstrations.


For more than a minute, about 10 youths blocked a broadcast showing
a speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Instead, they displayed banners reading: "Stop watching, get out
onto the streets
," and "Free everyone who has been arrested."
No one was hurt, and no arrests were reported.

NET chairman Christos Panagopoulos claimed the protesters violently
forced their way into the studio. "This goes beyond any limit," he said.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/12/15/7757316-ap.html


But let's recall the history of Greek student protest
and it's role in toppling the mid-sixties Fascist Coup.


A coup, led by this guy:

Quote:
Georgios Papadopoulos was the head of the military coup d'état
that took place in Greece on April 21, 1967 and leader of the military
government that ruled the country from 1967 to 1974.......

He served at the KYP Intelligence Service from 1959 to 1964 as the
main contact between the KYP and the top CIA
operative in Greece,
John Fatseas, after receiving training from the CIA in 1953.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Papadopoulos#cite_note-RWF-2

So the CIA's man in Athens staged the Greek Generals Coup.

The heart of the current protests is the Athens Polytechnic, the same
university which overthrew the regime of the Greek Generals in 1974.


Quote:


The Athens Polytechnic Uprising

14-17 November, 1973

Two days before the election campaign was to begin,21 April 1967,
a group of colonels overthrew the government and established military
rule. The leader of the coup, Georgios Papadopoulos, had been on the
CIA payroll for the previous fifteen years.


The coup was immediatly followed by the traditional martial law,
censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling
some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally
traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from
a "communist takeover". Corrupting and subversive influences in Greek
life were to be removed. Among these were miniskirts, long hair, and
foreign newspapers, church attendance for the young would be
compulsory.

So brutal and so swift was the repression, that by September, Denmark,
Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands were before the European
Commission of Human Rights to accuse Greece of violating most of the
Commission's conventions. Before the year was over Amnesty
International had sent representatives to Greece to investigate the
situation. From this came a report which asserted that "Torture as a
deliberate practice is carried out by both Security Police and the Military
Police."


Photo: A tank in the streets of Athens on 17 November 1973.

And so for the next six years (1967-1974), martial law held sway in the
birthplace of democracy.Widespread censorship, routine use of torture,
brutal beatings and killings by the government became standard. Among
the offenses deemed worthy of torture was possession of leaflets critical
of the government. While being tortured, victims were taunted that they
were beyond all help, since the colonels were supported by the power of
the United States.

The uprising began on November 14 of 1973, escalated to nearly an open anti-junta revolt.



Picture of students demonstrating on 17 November 1973 in Athens
as it appeared in many Greek and International newspapers at the time.


On November 17 1973 Papadopoulos sent the army to crush the
demonstration. The demonstrations ended bloodily early in the morning of
November 17 with a tank crushing the gates of the Polytechnic University,
which resulted to the death of 24 students, among them a high-school
student Diomedes Komnenos.

A tank crashes campus gates laden with students.


http://n1k0s.multiply.com/journal/item/135/14-17_Nov_1973_-_The_Athens_Polytechnic_Uprising

The Polytechnic Uprising
http://circleof13.blogspot.com/2008/11/day-of-infamy-greece-commemorates-17.html


The events of 1974 are echoing again in the same university.
Today, the military and police are barred by law from entering
the campus. --as a result of special legislation in 1974.

Quote:
In Athens, the University of Anarchy

Early Saturday morning inside the gates of Athens Polytechnic University,
a dozen groggy young people in hooded sweatshirts slumped on folding
chairs around a smoky fire. Others trickled in, holding cups of coffee.
Small gypsy children scampered around with wheelbarrows, collecting
empty beer bottles. One lit a cigarette.

But the young people and their friends were not simply recovering
from a long night of drinking or studying. They were regrouping
for revolution....


READ ON:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/14/europe/journal.php

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atm



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 3865

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


Could Greece's Riots Spread to France?

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1866458,00.html

By Bruce Crumley / Paris Monday, Dec. 15, 2008

Even as Greece awakened Monday to relative calm following eight days of rioting by outraged youths, French officials were moving to placate protesting students amid rising fears that violence could break out across France.

Given the defiant nature of French student protests over the years — including weeks of violent demonstrations over a new youth labor contract in 2006 — concern is growing in France that the dismal economic outlook could push the current anti-reform protests into the kind of wild insurrection that has rocked Greece.

"What we saw in Greece is not beyond what could happen here in France," warned former Socialist prime minister Laurent Fabius last Friday of the increasingly raucous student protests that closed about 100 French high schools last week. "When you have the economic depression and social despair we're facing, all it takes is a spark."

Although incidents of vandalism and clashes with police by protesting students have been limited so far — including ugly scuffling after youths showing support for demonstrators in Greece broke out on the Champs Elysées Friday night — Interior Minister Michèl Alliot-Marie has said authorities are "following the movement with attention." Alliot-Marie noted "the climate is tense, (and) certain medium-sized cities have suffered damage" to structures during demonstrations.

On Monday, the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy attempted to cool temperatures by delaying the release of a hotly contested education reform plan just 24 hours before it was due. French Education Minister Xavier Darcos said he would negotiate the package "without taboos" with students, a striking reversal for a minister known for his intransigence.

Protestors vowed to carry on with nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday and Thursday. "We want reform to correct the problems in public education, but we won't accept this one in any form," warned student leader Alix Nicolet, who says students particularly hate Darcos' proposal to reorganize the final years of high school. They are also angry that cost-cutting this year eliminated 11,200 public education jobs and that another 13,500 may go in 2009. "How can the government claim it has no money to continue funding public education when it can come up with billions and billions to support banks and finance groups?"

The unrest in 2006 centered on a new youth labor contract that detractors claimed handed an unfair advantage to employers. The government ultimately capitulated on the scheme, one of more than two dozen such victories French students have claimed since 2000. But while the majority of those victories came after peaceful demonstrations, France has a history of protest turning violent—student and otherwise.

Some observers say the situation today is particularly volatile and unpredictable. "As in Greece and many European countries, the unions, opposition parties, and associations that usually take youth movements under their wing and organize protests in France are too weak and divided to play that role — meaning all the anger and resentment driving protests can surge out of control," warns French political analyst Dominique Reynié.

Reynié says there's another feature shared by virtually all European nations that also played a role in the Greek riots, and could inspire similar action elsewhere: The resentment of a relatively small generation being asked to finance the pensions of a huge wave of Baby-Boomers headed into retirement at the very time good jobs for well-educated young people are drying up. "This is a generation feeling it's being sacrificed for ones that came before it, and are looking at their economic and employment future with despair," Reynié says. "The situation is worse in southern Europe than northern Europe, but everywhere young people are looking around them and saying, 'This is a swindle'."

That feeling could spread. Unlike the 2005 nationwide riots in France's blighted suburban housing projects, which horrified the nation, protesting French students are typically supported by their elders, who see them as idealists fighting for a better life.

The specter of the current student movement turning violent in frustration — and being joined by other people frightened about their own future as recession closes in — is what Reynié and many other experts think was behind the government's decision to momentarily pull its education reform back.

"It is said that the Elysée is intensely observing the slightest sign of revolt," wrote Laurent Joffrin in Friday's edition of Libération — whose cover featured French students waving their fists in protest over the headline "After Greece: Can France Ignite?" "It's a wise precaution: divided, anguished, disillusioned, France has a Greek profile."


Quote:


Police find dynamite in Paris department store

guardian.co.uk
Tuesday 16 December 2008 12.14 GMT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/16/paris-explosives-department-store

Police in Paris today found five sticks of dynamite hidden in one of the city's best-known department stores, apparently planted there by a previously unknown group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan.


The Printemps-Haussmann à Paris store, in the ninth arrondissement, was evacuated this morning and part of the street sealed off following a warning that explosives had been planted in the building.

A police sniffer dog found five sticks of dynamite on the third floor of the men's section of the shop, the AFP news agency reported.

Later, the French interior ministry said the explosives had no detonators and were therefore not primed to explode.

"As far as we know, these were not explosives intended to detonate," the interior minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie said. "We are still pursuing our inquiries."

The store, which had been packed with Christmas shoppers, was cleared after AFP received a letter from a group calling itself the Afghan Revolutionary Front in this morning's post. The letter warned that several bombs had been left at the store.

The letter claimed one device had been timed to explode in a third floor toilet tomorrow, and that the explosives would go off "if you do not send someone to intervene" before then.

The group was demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan. "Send the message to your president that he must withdraw his troops from our country before the end of February 2009, or else we will take action in your capitalist department stores and this time without warning," the letter said.

AFP said it had received an anonymous phone call last Wednesday warning that a bomb had been left in an unspecified Printemps store. The chain's three Paris outlets were evacuated by police as a precaution.

Today's discovery at the 45,000 square metre shop on Boulevard Haussmann, one of the best-known shopping streets in the French capital, caused relatively little disruption.

The store was cleared without panic and had reopened by midday.

Staff described how, between 11.30am and 12pm, they were told to evacuate the building.

"I just left my vacuum cleaner and ran. I didn't have time to get my handbag or belongings, I was just thinking of survival," a cleaner working on the fifth floor said.

"I've never seen anything like it in over 20 years at the store. They didn't say what was going on. But the first thing you think of is a bomb. Of course you can't tell the customers that or people will panic."

A 19-year-old who gave her name as Noémie was working on a make-up counter on the ground floor.

"The store was packed. People on the ground floor filed out quickly and quietly. But it was when security had to set off the alarm to clear the second floor and above that shoppers got agitated," she said.

"When we heard the alarm, the stress kicked in and I started to feel scared. I know the security guards and they told me there were five bombs in there. You just try to keep calm."

The men's department, where the devices were found, is linked to the main store by a walkway and a small courtyard in which traders have Christmas stalls set up.

"Just after 11am, I saw a big van pull up and police and dogs get out," Lea Keuvedjian, who runs a shoe stall, said.

"We thought it was a joke initially, then we were told to evacuate and we left our stalls and ran."

Despite the confusion, Marie Mantoux, a Parisian midwife, waited at the front of the police cordon to be allowed into the store.

"I've got a Printemps advantage card so I don't want to go anywhere else," she said. "And you can't give in to feance hasn't done enough to help the civilians of Afghanistan. Maybe that's what this is about."

The discovery of the dynamite is, however, a major concern for the French security services.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is a strong supporter of western involvement in Afghanistan, and this year sent an extra 700 troops to the country, increasing the French contingent to 2,600.

Public support for French involvement dropped sharply in August when the country's forces lost 10 men in a Taliban ambush, described as the worst French military setback in 25 years.


Quote:


IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis


http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/16/imf-financial-crisis

The head of the International Monetary Fund urged governments to step up action to stem the global economic crisis or risk delaying a recovery and sparking violent unrest on the streets.

Using a speech last night in Madrid to issue his stark warning, Dominique Strauss-Kahn argued that government efforts to tackle the economic downturn so far have been uncertain and largely insufficient, which could lead to severe consequences. He singled out the eurozone nations as he attacked the inadequate global response.

His hard-hitting coments came as fears of a prolonged slumped intensified after China showed signs that its economy could be in more trouble than initially expected next year. Factory output in the rapidly growing economy registered the weakest growth in almost a decade last month.

The IMF's managing director said such news signalled that a world recovery may not take place until late next year or into 2010 unless swift action is taken.

"A lot remains to be done, and if this work is not done it will be difficult to avoid a long-lasting crisis that everyone wants to avoid," he said.

Governments in leading economies have been called upon by the IMF to commit a combined 2% of global GDP, equivalent to £1.075bn, to try combat the dangers of a global recession. But the IMF chief blamed governments, saying they were unwilling or unable to use more public funds to jump-start economic activity.

"If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries - including advanced economies," Strauss-Kahn said.

He added that violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.

Revealing his concerns of a deeper economic slowdown, he said that the IMF would probably cut world growth next year from its current forecast of 2.2%. He also predicted that China's once red-hot economy will rapidly run out of steam.

"We started with China at 11% growth ... China will probably grow at 5 or 6% [next year]," he said. "The possibility of a global recession is real. We realise something must be done."

Strauss-Kahn's comments were in sharp contrast to Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, who yesterday told European leaders they should stick to EU's controversial Stability and Growth Pact, which limits government borrowing and total debt. But Strauss-Kahn said that existing rules should be scrapped to allow governments to deliver essential economic stimulus packages.

"We are facing an unprecedented decline in output and we have evidence of substantial uncertainty limiting the effectiveness of some fiscal policy measures," he said, "What was decided by Brussels ... 1.5% of GDP in the form of stimulus, is a bit below what we need."

His views reflect the continued clashes between European governments on how they should react to the crisis.

Germany has been uncertain about injecting large amounts of public money into economies to encourage growth and resisted pressures to join in with a more coordinated EU effort.
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tellytell



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:48 pm    Post subject: REVOLTS, PROTESTS AND UNITY Reply with quote

evelyn wrote:
"Popular uprising" or riots ...

Quote:
The youth is revolting because they want to live.
With every last one of the meanings of the word "life". They want to live
freely, they want space to create, to emancipate themselves, to play.


... freely, space, create, themselves, play ... feel-good terminology, abstract, each left to his/her own devices to define. Years ago I would have taken that to mean I should have the natural birthright to write poetry while lolling on a settee or walking along the beach - while someone paid for my upkeep and space and Flor de Cana rum libre - so I could further emancipate and create myself. Oh to be so young and dumb ... and revolting again ...

I've watched "uprisings" for the last 40 years, here and there, ending as quickly as they began. Other than the Civil Rights movement (which means I can pee in the same toilet as white folks) not much "freedom" has come from the efforts of the disenchanted uprisers.

But - the masses hear part of the rhetoric - the part about live free and play. And they have taken to that peterpanism wholeheartedly.

Quote:
The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name,” Deresiewicz wrote. “It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.”


The "true purpose of education" is feel-good b.s. and an abstract comment, as education itself means different things to different people. "Learning" begins at home but few want to admit that - b/c it's easier to expect the "system" to "make minds" for our children b/c parents are too busy emancipating themselves and playing - wouldn't want to be mentally burdened with more education or lusting for a lucrative job, or teaching the kids the difference between shit and shinola.

Amazing how some writers can come off so reasonable yet are totally screwing with heads. Behaving as if the "ruling class" has done all this to us and we innocent lambs only wanted to be free and play. Give the guys a bullhorn.

I've spent a lifetime trying to stay as far as possible from anything to do with "the system." Everything I needed to know I learned on my own, thanks to parental encouragement. Higher education did help some, showing how to organize and present what I already knew or would learn on my own.

The ruling class and the populist uprisers come and go - they have their pundits, their authors, their heroes, and all of them present their feel-good rhetoric as the solution, and like gang members they usually have a "color" for their bandana (orange, red, velvet revolutions etc.)



I HAVE FOUND IT ODD HOW PEOPLE ARE SO QUICK TO LAUGH AT THOSE ALL IMPORTANT MOMENTS WHEN PEOPLE SPEAK UP AND GATHER...

I WAS IN SF,CA AT THE WHOLE FOODS GROCERY STORE AND A GIRL WITH DRED LOCKS GAVE ME THE GASS FACE WHEN I ASKED IF SHE WAS GOING TO ATTEND THE UPCOMING PROTEST. PEOPLE HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN CONDITIONED AWAY FROM THEIR UNITY AND THE JOY OF CONNECTION, BUT THEY HAVE BEEN CONDITIONED OUT OF THEIR SPIRITUALITY. THE LOSS OF THAT SPIRITUALITY MEANS THEY WILL HAVE NEGATIVE VIEWS ABOUT SUCH GATHERING.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH ACTS OF LOVE AND SELFLESSNESS THAN AT PROTESTS. ONCE SOMEONE GOT THEIR BIKE TIRE STUCK IN A TRAIN TRACK AND FELL, AND PEOPLE GATHER AROUND TO PROTECT THE PERSON FROM THE TRAIN.

OTHERS HAVE OVERCOME FEAR OF OTHERS AND JOINED IN MARCHES WITH SO CALLED STRANGERS. OTHERS HAVE GIVEN FOOD AND HUGS. ENDLESS FORMS OF BODHICITTA, ALL HAVING RESULTS OF THEIR OWN ON SPIRITUAL LEVELS. ALL IMPORTANT.

BUT SOMEONE THAT IS DEAD TO THE BODHICITTA INTENTION WOULD NEVEFR WANT TO GO TO A PROTEST. SOMEONE WHO WOULD ATTEND A PROTEST SIMPLY TO BE ALERT FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP OTHERS IS ONE WHO WOULD MAKE GOD HAPPY.

GOING TO PROTESTS IS GOING TO THE REAL CHURCH OF LOVE. ITS WHERE WE GET OUT INTO THE WORLD AND DANCE.

ITS THE ART OF MOVEMENT, THE JOY OF PEOPLE, THE LOVE FOR TRUTH.

ITS THE OPPORTUNITY WE CREATE FOR OURSELVES TO TRADE AND SHARE AND PRESENT ART.

THERE IS SO MUCH THAT GOES ON AT THESE THINGS, BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER...... ITS LIKE A BURNING MAN WITH A HIGHER PURPOSE, WITH LESS BEER AND MORE CONSCIOUS DETERMINED EFFORT.

PEOPLE SAY THE OVER ALL RESULT IS NO PROGRESS, NO CHANGE AND THAT IS JUST YOUR OWN NEGATIVE THINKING, YOUR OWN SELF GRASPING MIND, YOUR UNAWARE VIEW.

IN SPIRITUALITY WE SAY "PRACTICE"....

ITS ALL ABOUT PRACTICE.

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