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Occupy Gezi Catches Fire in Turkey

Occupy Gezi Catches Fire in Turkey
Tue, 6/4/2013 - by Carl Gibson

Capitalism is failing all over the world. A rich wealthy few are using their riches to corrupt governments and use their influence to redistribute wealth upward. As their greed-inspired plan succeeds, we people lose jobs, go hungry and watch basic public necessities be out to the budget knife while bailouts for big corporations and banks continue on schedule. People have realized these facts to be plain truth, and are speaking out en masse. Just in the last week, people in Turkey, Germany and Spain showed that the Occupy movement is stronger than ever and only picking up steam.

Turkey is currently in the midst of a revolution after police attacked nonviolent protesters speaking out against the destruction at Gezi Park to build a shopping mall. This would be equivalent to Michael Bloomberg bulldozing Central Park to build a new strip of stores. Understandably, people were upset and nonviolently demonstrated against the project,

But after a photo of an unarmed, docile female protester getting tear-gassed went viral online, protests against the Turkish government have swept across all of the country’s major cities. The Turkish government has responded by cutting 3G service to make online communication more difficult, and stopped surveillance camera footage to remove evidence of police brutality and violent state suppression of the protests. Amnesty International has outlined numerous recent abuses by Turkish police here. Not surprisingly, President Obama is silent in the midst of the violent silencing of Turks' free speech, because he's courting Prime Minister Ergodan's support as the U.S. military sets its sights on Syria.

Now, the Occupy Gezi movement is spreading content online using pictures and video of government suppression from their phones, their only real means of communication left. If Egypt is any indicator of what happens after a government shuts down the internet, then the Turkish regime will fall very soon.

Because Spain’s bank-owned government has spent the last few years raining austerity on its citizens, unemployment is now at 27%. Spanish firefighters even clashed with riot police during an anti-austerity demonstration days ago, where firefighters even started fires in coffins labeled “public services.” This photo shows Spanish firefighters holding a sign that translates to: “We protect people, not banks.” And even Spanish police have held their own marches protesting budget cuts that are killing their jobs. In late April, the group En Pie (on foot) announced a “siege on Congress” that brought thousands out to march on the capitol where police clashed with people protesting high unemployment as a result of drastic, senseless budget cuts.

In Germany, the group Blockupy is protesting the European Central Bank’s austerity policies. They just successfully blocked access to the entrance of the European Central Bank, refusing all bankers entry. As Eurozone unemployment hit a record high 12.2%, the Blockupy protesters are demonstrating at airports, blocking terminals and refusing to move until they’re arrested or the government reverses its cruel economic policies that coddle the rich and punish the poor.This isn’t just a European concept – the sequester here has led to crushing job losses so far, and the resulting unemployment will only continue to compound on itself until austerity is stopped dead in its tracks. The same multinational corporations and banks that own European governments also own ours, and their agents in Congress are doing their best to make us suffer through losses to our public services, rather than ask their campaign backers to share in the sacrifice. Their lobbyists in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also speak out in favor of job-killing public service cuts while depending on those same public services to defend them from protesters.

The claim that government debt causes slow economic growth has been the basis for slash-and-hack austerity policies from the USA to Germany and beyond. However, that claim has been thoroughly debunked since Thomas Herndon gave the paper that inspired the austerity movement it’s first peer review and found it to be riddled with errors. Andrajit Dube, a UMass economics professor, recently authored a study showing that, in fact, the opposite is true – slow growth, caused by austerity, is the reason for high government debt.

If governments simply revised their tax codes to shift the burden of paying for national infrastructure from the poor and struggling to the wealthy few who can afford it, debt would disappear. Instead, governments are captive to the banks and corporations, whose hired lobbyists have successfully set up the system to work in their favor at the expense of everyone else. While the people watch their public services get cut to pieces, corporations who are hitting record profits are consistently getting away with dodging their tax obligations. The two are interconnected. Austerity only exacerbates poverty and unemployment, worsening the economy for everyone except the banks.

Even though police everywhere successfully crushed the Occupy Movement’s physical presence by evicting us from our camps, our movement lives on, and is stronger than ever. People of all ideological boundaries recognize that our governments have become wholly-owned subsidiaries of the banking and corporate elite and do their bidding rather than listen to the people. The U.S. government and state legislatures across America should watch their backs if they continue to cruelly make the victims of the economy pay for the mistakes and disasters caused by corporate greed. This whole system is about to collapse, and people are pissed. By the end of 2013, revolution will be in full swing all around the world, including in the United States.

Let’s keep fighting the bad guys and raising hell. It’s working.

 

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