101 injured, 29 arrested in Madrid as anti-austerity march turns violent

from RT

Protesters clashed with police in Madrid as thousands of people trekked across Spain to protest austerity which they claim is destroying their country. Under the banner “no more cuts!” the protesters called for an end to the government’s “empty promises.”

Police arrested at least 29 protesters following the clashes which took place after the march. According to emergency service, 101 people were injured – 67 of them police, El Mundo newspaper reports.

Protesters were seen throwing stones and firecrackers at police. According to witnesses, officers used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Clashes broke out during a final speech at the demonstration when protesters tried to break through a police barrier. Riot police took charge by beating protesters with batons, AP reported.

[read the rest, here]

Aaron Swartz Found Dead Same Day Verizon “copyright alert program” Leaked

by Scott Creighton

What is the lesson of Aaron Swartz?

While the MSM is busy telling all of you the reasons (fake note from 2007? That’s a reason?) they think Aaron Swartz hung himself this past Friday morning (none of them make sense) I’m going to make a connection few have yet made.

Aaron Swartz may or may not have been all he was cracked up to be. But he did play a part in stopping SOPA and PIPA and he warned us that though that battle had been won, the war was far from over.

He may never have known how right he was. The same day they found his body, Verizon’s “6 strikes plan” was leaked. Coincidence?

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The assault on US workers’ wages

by Tom Eley and Barry Grey, WSWS

An article published in Wednesday’s Financial Times under the headline “US Matches Indian Call Centre Costs” gives some indication of the impact on American workers of a coordinated and escalating wage-cutting drive by big business, backed by the Obama administration.

The article begins: “Call centre workers are becoming as cheap to hire in the US as they are in India, according to the head of the country’s largest business process outsourcing company. High unemployment levels have driven down wages for some low-skilled outsourcing services in some parts of the US, particularly among the Hispanic population.”

According to the article, a number of Indian outsourcing firms are shifting operations to the US to take advantage of low labor costs, a reversal from the 1990s when many call centers and software firms shuttered American operations to exploit educated but low-paid workers in India.

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Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

by Chris Hedges, TruthDig

A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is deeply depressing. The legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse. The simple truth, that single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans would dramatically reduce costs and save lives, that the for-profit health care system is the problem and must be destroyed, is censored out of the public debate by a media that relies on these corporations as major advertisers and sponsors, as well as a morally bankrupt Democratic Party that is as bought off by corporations as the Republicans.

The 2,000-page piece of legislation, according to figures compiled by Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP), will leave at least 23 million people without insurance, a figure that translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths a year among people who cannot afford care. It will permit prices to climb so that many of us will soon be paying close to 10 percent of our annual income to buy commercial health insurance, although this coverage will only pay for about 70 percent of our medical expenses. Those who become seriously ill, lose their incomes and cannot pay skyrocketing premiums will be denied coverage. And at least $447 billion in taxpayer subsidies will now be handed to insurance firms. We will be forced by law to buy their defective products. There is no check in the new legislation to halt rising health care costs. The elderly can be charged three times the rates provided to the young. Companies with predominantly female work forces can be charged higher gender-based rates. The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill—written in by armies of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists—means that these companies, which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their grim game of trading away human life for money.

“They named this legislation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and as the tradition of this nation goes, any words they put into the name of a piece of legislation means the opposite,” said single-payer activist Dr. Margaret Flowers when I heard her and Helen Redmond dissect the legislation in Chicago at the Socialism 2010 Conference last month. “It neither protects patients nor leads to affordable care.”

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Calling All Rebels

by Chris Hedges, Truthdig

There are no constraints left to halt America’s slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

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Making Amends: Why the Progressive Movement Needs to Reclaim its “Far Left Radicals”

by Scott Creighton

The Leftwing blogs (the few that remain) are all a dither over President Obama’s announced 3 year discretionary spending freeze and they are right to be upset.

But most of these sites were heavily pro-Obama in the run-up to the 2008 general election and for many months afterward as they continued to blindly support him in spite of his neoliberal leaning policy decisions. Some of the regular contributers and administrators of these sites went so far as to shout down or ban outright the “far left wing” dissenters who were warning them against the possiblity of what we are seeing right now; an Obama administration extension of the Bush regimes’ criminal activities under President Obama, the protection and even the hiring of former Bush officials who could and should be investigated for various crimes (including but not limited to; election fraud, making false statements to congress, false imprisonment, systematic torture, embezzlement, tax evasion, banking industry RICO Act violations, fabricating false evidence, crimes against humanity and war crimes), the continuation and even the expansion of illegal wars of aggression in service to the imperialist agenda of the military/banking/industrial complex,  and the dire consequences of putting more DLC type Clintonistas in charge of our already failing economy.

Being angry about President Obama’s Hooveresque announcement is all well and good, but the fact is, you’re still missing the point just like you did nearly two years ago when the “radical left” tried to warn you and you paid them back for their courage and their integrity by banning their IP addresses from your sites so as to silence progressive dissent prior to the election (Remember such classics as…”don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”? or “He’s just faking to the center-right in order to win the election” or my personal favorite  “He’s playing chess while you’re playing checkers”?  Remember those? Ring any bells? How’s that “he’s just faking center-right” theory working out for you these days? Does he look like he’s “faking” now or do his neoliberal structural reforms look deadly serious?).

In a follow-up article I am going to explain to you exactly why you are incorrect about your current assessment of Obama’s most recent and most painful neoliberal IMF structural adjustment policy. Why it is not, in fact, “stupid”. Why it is not, in fact, “just a rouse”. Why it is not, in fact, a “mistake”. Why he is, in fact, going to follow through with it because it is exactly what the neoliberal IMF/World Bank supporting Clintonistas have been planning and working towards since 1996.

But before I do I would just like to say that right now most of the “progressives” administrators who are currently beating their breasts and gnashing their teeth in the left-wing echo chambers they call “open forums” should probably take this opportunity to look back over the period leading up to the election in 2008 and unban many if not all of those “far left wing radicals” they dismissed so easily and insultingly back in the days of “HOPE for CHANGE”.

The truth is, those radicals were right and you were wrong and the progressive movement, which is absolutely littered with institutionalized partisan “yes men”, needs all the qualified help it can get these days.

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Haiti:We Would Rather Die Standing

This is the story of the Lavalas pro-democracy movement in Haiti from 2005. The UN Peacekeepers were sent in to prop up yet another American installed puppet regime, the hated interim government led by Prime Minister Gérard Latortue (brought back from the US) and President Boniface Alexandre .  In Nov. of 2004, a University of Miami Law School study concluded the following:

“U.S. officials blame the crisis on armed gangs in the poor neighborhoods, not the official abuses and atrocities, nor the unconstitutional ouster of the elected president. Their support for the interim government is not surprising, as top officials, including the Minister of Justice, worked for U.S. government projects that undermined their elected predecessors. Coupled with the U.S. government’s development assistance embargo from 2000–2004, the projects suggest a disturbing pattern.”  University of Miami Study

A reported was told by the UN Peacekeeper in charge, as the reporter refused to quit filming a demonstration in which the Haitian National Police sent in SWAT Teams wearing black masks, “Fcuk you fuck you fuck you. I am taking your picture and I am going to give it to the Haitian National Police and they are going to get you.”

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