Civil Unrest Returns to Europe*
At least 300 protesters clashed with riot police in an anti-austerity march in Milan, Italy, outside La Scala which opened its glamorous opera season. Activists threw Molotov cocktails and flares, leaving two officers injured.
The demonstrators were protesting against the austerity policies of Italian PM Matteo Renzi. They demanded rights for social housing after authorities launched a series of squatter evictions.
Among the protesters there were public workers and students who voiced their criticism against Italy’s labor reforms.
About 1,000 officers attempted to hold back the protesters, who were carrying banners reading “fight the power”, “we resist!” and “Jobs Act = Bad Jobs.” Some of the banners were slightly more radical, with expressions like “F**k austerity.”
At least two police officers and four protesters were injured in the clashes, reported Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“Masters and rulers will be at La Scala to celebrate the riches accumulated at our expense over a year: a display of limousines, Rolexes and fur coats,” says one of the flyers distributed in the city ahead of the event.
La Scala’s opening night saw the cream of society, including IMF Chief Christine Lagarde and fashion designer Giorgio Armani, who arrived to see ‘Fidelio’ by Beethoven. Tickets for glamorous performance cost up to €2,000 (US$2,457).
Milan’s prefect, Francesco Paolo Tronca, who was among the guests at the performance, criticized the rally. He told AFP it was “unacceptable” to conduct “violent protests against police” and perpetrate the “hijacking of cultural events which serve to give strength and value to our city.”
However, former Minister of Economic Development Corrado Passera, who also attended the prestigious Opera House, was more sympathetic to the rioters.
There is “such a level of need among some parts of the population that it is wrong to get angry with those who protest,” he said.
The opera’s British director Deborah Warner agrees that culture and politics are intertwined, saying ‘Fidelio’ has parallels with the crisis events in Ukraine and in the Middle East.
“It’s political because it shows that one person can make a big difference,” she said “And it’s a woman, not a man, fighting her way to justice and truth, which is exciting.”
Demonstrations outside La Scala’s opening night have become a tradition. They happen every year and usually end in clashes between protesters and police.
Thousands in Protest against Hollande
Upwards of 5,000 people converged on the streets of Paris Saturday to protest French President Francois Hollande’s austerity measures.
The protesters held banners and signs that read “Austerity kills” and “They betrayed Jean Jaures (the French socialist leader from the early 1900s).”
“These austerity policies consist of massive cuts in social spending and huge tax breaks for big corporations. That’s precisely what Hollande promised not to do,” a protester told RT.
While Hollande does not utter the word “austerity” – a word that has become taboo in France – protesters condemned the Socialist Party president for bowing under pressure from European financial interests like Germany, and view his economic package as a betrayal.
This demonstration represents a consolidated effort by leftist forces in France to steer the anti-austerity movement in an effective direction.
In January, after Hollande first unveiled his proposed social cutbacks, thousands descended upon the French capital to stage a “Day of Anger” against Hollande’s austerity measures, but some reports suggest the protests had strong nationalist overtones. A Jewish students union reported to AFP having sighted “anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi salutes” by some protesters.
“This ‘Day of Anger’ has turned into a day of hate,” the group’s president Sacha Reingewirtz was quoted by the news agency.
By April, the movement grew and shifted left, with the French Communist Party estimating a turnout of about 100,000 at the demonstration on the Place de la Republique on its Twitter account.
This was the first large-scale protest French leftist organizations had coordinated since the new Prime Minister Manuel Valls launched a complementary plan of tax cuts to Hollande’s austerity package.
During Hollande’s presidency, France was buckling under a tax burden that had risen by US$50.9 billion (40 billion euros), struggling to come out from under crippling unemployment of about 3.3 million residents.
Hollande’s economic program includes cutting spending by a total of US$62.6 billion (50 billion euros) by 2017, as well as a package of tax exemptions for employers to encourage them to “create jobs.”
When some of his advisors balked, Hollande reshuffled his cabinet. In August, he replaced fellow Socialist Party member Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who had been critical of the Germany-led austerity measures, with Emmanuel Macron, 36, a former investment banker at Rothschild.
“We have to give priority to getting out of the (economic) crisis and relegate to second place the dogmatic reduction of deficits, which is driving us to austerity and a continued rise in unemployment,” said Montebourg in an interview with Le Monde just before his ouster.
Montebourg also warned that France should not let itself be “pushed around” by European powerhouse Germany.
Anti-immigration protests in Rome
Demonstrators gathered in Rome on Saturday morning to protest against Mayor Ignazio Marino.
Around 1,000 took to the streets to protest against his policies, saying he has abandoned the suburbs, allowing immigration without adequate facilities and leaving the area in ruin.
It comes after days of unrest targeting immigrants in Tor Sapienza on the outskirts of the Italian capital.
Residents of the neighbourhood chanted ‘clown’ at Marino when he went to visit following violent clashes between residents and refugees earlier in the week.
A writer who teaches Italian to foreigners in the suburbs believes, “it is a war between poor people,” he added that, “It is not right that the institutions intervene in the suburbs only in emergency situations.”
Rome city officials began transferring refugees from a migrant reception centre on Thursday after repeated attacks by residents.
Italian commentators believe some of the perpetrators to be members of far-right groups, citing chants of ‘Il Duce’, refering to Italy’s former fascist leader Mussolini.
The working class neighbourhood of Tor Sapienza has become the frontline in a battle between residents and migrants. Of the area’s 16,000 residents, less than half are Italian citizens.
The country has seen a large number of asylum seekers landing on their shores fleeing conflicts in Africa and Syria. It’s coastal search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, has rescued more than 150,000 people since November 2013 before it ended operations last month.
It comes after a week of protests against unemployment, the economic crisis and labour reforms.
Hungary protesters call on tax chief to step down
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Hungarian capital Budapest to show their anger at the government’s alleged corruption.
According to organizers, some 10,000 demonstrators participated in the Sunday rally, demanding the resignation of Ildikó Vida, the head of Hungary’s tax collection agency, and some of her colleagues who have been accused of corruption.
The demonstration came after Washington banned six unidentified Hungarian officials in October from entering the United States for “either engaging in or benefiting from corruption.”
Vida, who is the first of the six officials to go public, has denied the accusations and refused to step down.
Gábor Vágó, a former Hungarian lawmaker from the Politics Can Be Different party, called on Vida and her colleagues to resign and urged the European Union to investigate the tax agency.
“If they don’t resign by the 17th (of November), we will have to consider the best methods of civil disobedience to force the government to back down,” Vágó said.
Hungarian government has repeatedly said it does not know the names of the banned officials, calling on Washington to provide “credible information” about the alleged corruption.
The bans have negatively affected Washington-Budapest relations, which have deteriorated since Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán came to power in 2010.
Orbán said last week that the US was wrong to consider Hungary’s support for the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project and Russia’s expansion of Budapest’s only nuclear power plant as a “rapprochement to Russia.”
Sunday’s protest rally came after a similar demonstration in October against a proposed Internet tax which forced the government to backtrack on the idea.
Clashes erupt in Berlin amid fall of the Wall
Clashes and arrests marred the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as several hundred left-wing activists met far-rights in the city center. The latter were rallying in commemoration of the 1938 Kristallnacht Nazi attacks against Jews.
On Sunday, left-wing activists held a non-sanctioned demonstration near the capital’s Alexanderplatz train station against the fall of the Berlin Wall, while most Berliners were commemorating the 25th anniversary of the event.
Meanwhile, nationalist activists gathered for a demonstration to commemorate the attacks of the Kristallnacht – or the “Night of Broken Glass” – when in 1938 the Nazi authorities launched a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria.
The participants of the two demonstrations clashed as both sides reportedly threw incendiary devices and bottles at each other.
Police made several arrests in attempts to disperse the crowd. Following the clashes police switched to riot gear.
Meanwhile, at the main Wall anniversary speech on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also noted the significance of this day for the country due to the Kristallnacht attacks.
“That was the opening note for the murder of millions,” said Merkel, adding that on this day each year “I feel not just joy, but the responsibility that German history burdens us with.”
Sporadic clashes also occurred during a small pro-Novorossiya demonstration in Berlin on Sunday, as a counter-protester grabbed the microphone of the one of the Members of Staatenlos group onstage. Police also clashed with demonstrators at the rally.
French Farmers Spray Government Buildings With Feces to Protest Regulation & Taxes
Having promised that he would not run again if unemployment rates remain high, French President Francois Hollande faces not just record low approval ratings but feces-flinging-farmers. In a show of protest against expressing their anger at collapsing prices (due in part to sanctions against Russia), increased environmental regulations, cheap imports, and high costs, thousands took to the streets, dumping pumpkins, potatoes, and carrots, burning cars, flinging apples, and spraying shit all over a government building in Toulouse. The French are not amused…
Spraying faeces in Toulouse.,..
Spraying faeces in Paris.,..
Thousands of Greek students, teachers and staff against educational reforms in Athens
Thousands of student protesters in Athens have tried to breach the barricades in front of the parliament building facing a large security presence from police, demonstrations once again engulfed the Greek capital.
Up to 4,000 students, university staff and teachers from a number of educational institutions including the University of Athens took to the streets in Athens on Thursday, to protest against cuts in the educational sector as well as increased anti-protest security measures across educational institutions.
Highschool students protest against gov’s changes in educational system #Athens #Greece pic.twitter.com/RoGDUpvVLm
– dromografos/Skar (@Skar_) November 6, 2014
The protesters reject the government plans in the “new school” bill, which wants to introduce changes to the exam system, merge schools, and cut the number of teachers. According to the Greek Reporter since Monday some 500 secondary schools across the country have been occupied by protest sit-ins.
Protesters were chanting slogans and carrying banners to send a clear message of defiance to the Education Minister Andreas Loverdos’ who recently announced stricter security measures against such sit-ins. On Tuesday, Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani asked for officials to act to ensure that public schools are not damaged during student occupations.
Έξω από τη βουλή τώρα #katalipseis pic.twitter.com/WxhSSnxFX4
– Sapienchia (@sapienchia) November 6, 2014
#Greece #6N High school & university students protest in #Athens against capitalist educational system and the >> pic.twitter.com/UWOojqrhbW
– th anonymous (@ori_no_co) November 6, 2014
As for university students, they stand in opposition to the government plans to grant custody of universities to private security companies as well as to an Education Ministry plan to expel students who have taken longer than 11 years to complete their degrees.
BRUSSELS, November 6.
Police in Brussels used batons, tear gas and water cannons against a group of participants of the trade union protest against austerity measures announced by the new government.
It was originally reported of four injured — two protesters and two policemen.
In the district of Brussels South Station, demonstrators pelted police with stones, overturned and burned cars. A group of young people occupied the building of the Belgian federation of industrial enterprises.
According to police estimates, the demonstration attracted a total of over 100,000 people.
The action is part of a general strike of public sector employees against austerity measures announced by the new government of Belgium. According to the organizers of the demonstration, the number of participants reaches 120-130 thousand.
The working people are not satisfied with the fact that purchasing capacity of the two thirds of country’s economically active population will decrease following the budget expenses cutting and fiscal policy shift.
Notably, National Railway Company of Belgium with its main share-holder being the State, introduced a one-day 50% discount on commuter trains going to Brussels. This step able to provoke even more massive protests in the capital displeased the center-right Cabinet.
Protests Spread in France
By Niall Bradley
French undercover cops single out a protester in Nantes on November 1st, then beat him
Protests continue to spread across France following the murder of 21-year-old environmental activist Remi Fraisse late last month. Despite the French government stating that concussion grenades would no longer be used against protesters, French security forces have continued firing them, along with large quantities of tear gas and rubber bullets.
Video evidence of agents provocateurs at several protests suggest the wave of mass demonstrations breaking out across Europe are being turned violent by state-sponsored groups like ‘Black Bloc’. Sott.net’s Joe Quinn spoke with PressTV to explain why the state likes its dissenters violent.
Germany hit by ‘longest ever rail-strike’
Platforms at Berlin’s Ostbahnhof station were empty ahead of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall
A four-day rail strike, billed as the longest in German history, has hit passenger trains and threatens to disrupt celebrations marking the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
The stoppage by the 20,000-member GDL union hit intercity and regional services alike on Thursday and is due to last until early on Monday.
Rail operator Deutsche Bahn is seeking an injunction to halt the strike.
The union rejected the company’s offer of arbitration late on Wednesday.
As commuters struggled to work, on the roads and on restricted rail services, there was widespread concern that the strike would hit up to two million people travelling to Berlin for the 25th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the wall.
Events are being held throughout the weekend, with concerts, a street festival at the Brandenburg Gate, and guests of honour such as former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
The weekend’s Bundesliga football matches are also likely to be hit by the 100-hour stoppage.
Deutsche Bahn, facing the longest strike in its 20-year history, complained of “massive disturbances” for travellers. The company’s request for an injunction will be heard by a court in Frankfurt later.
One traveller in Munich complained that he was unable to go to Frankfurt: “There are no hire cars left at the station and the buses are booked solid.” A bus booking website reported a five-fold rise in traffic on its site.
Traffic jams were reported on many key roads across Germany. A 30km (18-mile) jam on the A81 motorway between Heilbronn and Stuttgart in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg was described as the worst.
An estimated 30% of long distance trains were running on Thursday morning, while services were more variable on regional and suburban S-Bahn trains.
In some eastern areas, as few as 15% of trains were running, while the number was higher in southern states such as Bavaria.
In areas such as South Bavaria, regional services were barely affected because they are operated privately or by a subsidiary.
GDL is calling for a 5% pay rise and working week cut to 37 hours. But it has been widely criticised for rejecting mediation.
The head of the DBB civil service union, Klaus Dauderstaedt, said he would have recommended arbitration but the union’s head Claus Weselsky argued that Deutsche Bahn had failed to engage with the train drivers seriously.
The company has been hit by several rounds of industrial action since September. Last month, passengers faced a 50-hour strike.
The latest action began on Wednesday on goods trains and spread to passenger services at 02:00 (01:00 GMT) on Thursday.
A major sticking point in negotiations was the GDL union’s demand to negotiate on behalf of other train staff, including conductors and restaurant staff.
Germany’s government is expected to produce a draft law later this year aimed at stopping small numbers of employees paralysing large parts of the country’s infrastructure through strike action.
The woman who set herself on fire in outside the presidency building, Bulgaria caps the growing intolerable situation that many Europeans thought that they would never witness let alone experience.
By Tyler Durden
With French youth revolting, Spanish regions seeking secession, and GREXIT back on the cards, Europe’s social unrest concerns are starting to rise once again to troubling levels. However, it is in Europe’s poorest nation, Bulgaria that the message of dissatisfaction is loudest. As The BBC reports, a woman has set herself ablaze near the presidency building in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. There were six similar self-immolations in Bulgaria last year, amid anger over chronic poverty and alleged corruption.
When it comes to this, you know there is a problem. (Warning: Graphic)
It is not yet clear why the 38-year-old woman doused herself in a flammable liquid and torched herself.
She was engulfed in flames before bystanders managed to put out the blaze and load her into an ambulance.
There were six similar self-immolations in Bulgaria last year, amid anger over chronic poverty and alleged corruption.
Last month Bulgaria’s centre-right GERB party won a snap parliamentary election but failed to get an overall majority. The party led by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is trying to form a new ruling coalition with smaller parties.
Last year Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU, was rocked by weeks of protests over low living standards, a banking crisis and allegations of high-level government corruption.
Million Mask March descends on London
The Million Mask March will course through London on Wednesday November 5. The march, in which all demonstrators obscure their faces to protect their identity, is in protest against austerity, mass surveillance and attacks on human rights.
Organized by the global hacktivist group Anonymous, the London protest will march from Trafalgar Square and finish at the Houses of Parliament.
It is unknown how many demonstrators will join the march, as pleas from police for information have remained unanswered.
In 2013 the event gathered crowds of more than 2,500. The Facebook event suggests over 6,000 people may attend this year.
Speaking to RT, an Anonymous source said the Million Mask March, a tradition began in 2011, was originally called OpVendetta, and initially only gathered a crowd of 50.
Within a year, the following had grown to 2,000, and in 2013 the decision was made to rename the march the “Million Mask March,” the source said.
In 2013, there were over 400 Anonymous demonstrations worldwide, held to coincide with the annual British tradition of Bonfire Night of November 5, the date on which a group of dissident plotters tried to blow up parliament in 1605. Attendants often wear a Guy Fawkes mask, made famous by the 2005 film V for Vendetta, which has become the group’s trademark disguise.
The global protests took place last year in various world cities including Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Paris, Chicago and Sydney.
RT’s Anonymous source said: “It’s a night of grievance on a night that’s historically about parliament and how it’s not always working in the people’s interests.”
“We burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on a fire each year as a warning against standing against parliament so we just felt it would be symbolic,” they added.
In the lead up to the march, Anonymous sent a direct message to global bodies of power.
“To oppressive governments, we say this: we do not expect our campaign to be completed in a short time frame. However, you will not prevail against the angry masses of the body politic.”
The message further addresses the British government, saying they have “made an enemy of Anonymous,” and that they have “angered them considerably.”
This annual protest against austerity comes after a wave of protests and strikes swept through the UK during September and October.
On October 12, National Health Service (NHS) workers staged a strike over an ongoing pay dispute. The four hour strike marked the first time in history in which nurses have taken strike action.
Three days later, on October 15, the Public Commercial Services union (PCS) walked out over a 1 percent pay rise cap – a pay cut in real terms. Some 200,000 public sector workers walked out for 24 hours, causing nationwide disruption to job centers, museums and courts.
More recently, police are alleged to have employed excessive violence against Occupy Democracy protesters in Parliament Square, forcibly removing tarpaulins and belongings and making over 40 arrests.
The Metropolitan Police say they wish to engage with Anonymous so they can “work together to ensure they can protest safely.”
Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills said they are trying to contact Anonymous, but “no one has come forward.”
“We are keen to talk with them to ensure they are able to protest; it is important that they talk to us so that we can work together to achieve a safe and successful event.”
Guy Fawkes Night – 5th November
Police have been very coordinated in the U.K.
20:05: Reports of scuffles breaking out between police and #MillionMaskMarch protesters in London.
19:50: #MillionMaskMarch protesters heading towards Buckingham Palace.
18:10: Trafalgar Square in London fills up with activists, including some apparently defying the ban by police on Guy Fawkes masks:
17.35: Protests are beginning to gain momentum in a number of European cities, with several hundred reportedly gathered in Amsterdam.
17.25: Although it’s still only early afternoon in Washington, the crowd is already starting to get a bit rowdy. This Vine shows protestors ripping barricades away from police blocking access to Capitol Hill:
17.10: Looks like another arrest on steps to Capitol building:
16.45: The Washington march is in full flow, with protestors now walking down Pennsylvania Avenue towards Capitol Hill. A brief stand-off with police outside the FBI building – with chants of “you work for us” – passed without any serious incident.
16.30: Photos are now emerging from protests earlier today in Hong Kong. Anonymous hackers offered their support to Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors last month by leaking government data and shutting down government websites.
15:55: Protesters with masks, flags and banners are gathering outside the White House. They’re all chanting “we are the 99%”.
Outside of the White House
15:00: As protesters slowly gather at Trafalgar Square, signs put up by Anonymous members outline their ‘Rules of Engagement’. These include: “In the event of police action against protesters, turn around, be silent, pass it on. Give them no sign of aggression.”
14:25: There’s now a police presence at the Million Mask March in Amsterdam
14.10: Protestors gathering in Torino, Italy:
13.20: The Metropolitan Police has revealed that police in London will have the power to force anyone wearing a mask to take it off, imposing Section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 across Westminster between 5pm today and 2am tomorrow.
13.05: The Evening Standard has posted this picture from Parliament Square showing preparations for tonight’s march.
12.50pm: In the Phillipines, protestors are marching from the Sandiganbayan Building to the Batasang Pambansa:
10:40am: In a bid to keep the protest peaceful, the Metropolitan Police says it wishes to engage with Anonymous so they can “work together to ensure they can protest safely.”
Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills said the police force is trying to contact Anonymous, but “no one has come forward.”
Mills added: “We are keen to talk with them to ensure they are able to protest; it is important that they talk to us so that we can work together to achieve a safe and successful event.”
But this could well fall on deaf ears, as a notice on the Anonymous UK website states: “Collaborating with the police implicates and endangers anyone who does not know of, or agree with, the state sanctioned plans of the march.”
10:10am: In an interview with Russia Today, an Anonymous member said the Million Mask March is “a night of grievance on a night that’s historically about parliament and how it’s not always working in the people’s interests. We burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on a fire each year as a warning against standing against parliament so we just felt it would be symbolic.”
U.K. Breaking the Social Contract Set’s it Back to Post-WWII*
Dismantling Society: Becoming the Flesh-Eating System*
The Return of Feudalism
The Pathological State of Britain*
A U.K. Revolt against ‘exam factory’ Schooling*
Elite Powerbrokers Behind Sweeping Censorship in U.K.*
London: People Demanding Real Democracy*
For the People, to the Scots*
Ukraine and the NWO Crisis’s*
Galloping on the Poisoned Wind*
Germany: “Punishment Interest” Meaning We want your Money*
1.8mn Catalonians Rally for Independence from Spain*
Here it Comes – Internet Tax Beginning with Hungary*
CBS: Massive Censorship and Propaganda*
I.R.S. Stealing Citizen’s Hard-earned Money*
NWO: Common Purpose aka Agenda 21*
NWO Agenda: Did You Fall for the Biggest Climate Change March?*
Silent Protests Making the German Government Nervous*
Protesting has Gone Flamenco, in Spain at Least*
US Role in Egypt, Ukraine, and Now Hong Kong Mass Protests*