We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In Barcelona, Austerity With an Iron Fist

Click here to access article by Peter Gelderloos from Truthout. 

After having squeezed as much as they could out of Greek workers, the European One Percent is now putting the squeeze on Spanish workers. Their methods? The same ones they are using everywhere in the Empire: austerity (for the 99 Percent) and a growing police state. But, like the Greeks the Spanish people are also fighting back. The author reports on the latest details.
The repressive trends of the crisis are especially visible in Catalunya, where social movements have been most active in resisting or blocking austerity measures. Hospitals that planners intended to shut down have been occupied and kept in function. In response to fare hikes, neighbors and users have forcibly opened metro stations so everyone can ride for free. Students have seized their universities to protest measures of privatization, and ordinary people have harassed and chased away politicians when they tried to make a public showing. In the month of March, every single family in Barcelona threatened with eviction for not being able to pay their rent or mortgage that sought broader support in order to resist successfully postponed or blocked their eviction.