Lately your intrepid correspondent has been amazed by the increasing number of local and national insurrections taking place across the planet. Yes, most of these uprisings are currently being kept down by repressive regimes using riot police and tear gas, but nonetheless, they continue to pop up on every continent from Indonesia to Montreal.
You’ll never really find out about any of this by listening to the US news media. They are mostly oblivious to what’s happening outside of our own national borders. As soon as you reach the border with Canada or Mexico, every other country just seems to drop off the map for them. Obsessed with Mitt Romney’s campaign for president, most of the US press is ignoring the historical changes taking place on the international scene.
Here is an abbreviated list of recent uprisings during the last 30 days:
In Kyrgyzstan riot police clashed with protesters during demonstrations on Oct 1st.
The protests were called to demand the nationalization of the country’s lucrative gold venture with Canada. Kyrgyz police, protesters clash over gold venture.
Police used tear gas on demonstrators in Tehran. The mass protests in Iran are the result of a major currency crisis which has destabilized the economy and led to the devaluation of the rial.
An estimated 2.8 million Indonesian workers went on strike Oct 2 to oppose outsourcing of their jobs. 800 factories were closed during the massive labor walk out. Business and banking in Jakarta was paralyzed.
Bahrain was again the site of major protests which erupted after a political activist died in prison. Police fought demonstrators who threw Molotov cocktails and rocks. Meanwhile, a group of physicians were imprisoned by the government because they dared to provide medical treatment to injured protesters. Andrew Simmons: Ask Me Anything on Syria.
Note: A former CNN journalist became a whistle blower when she claimed that the Bahrain government bought favorable news coverage from the network.
An angry anti-austerity activist climbed onto the dome of St Peter’s basilica in Rome and unfurled a protest banner. http://rt.com/on-air/dome-protest-austerity-peters/
Mass demonstrations against forced austerity measures were staged in Madrid, Lisbon and Athens September 26 – 29. Hundreds of thousands of people faced off with police in riot gear. In Spain protesters attempted to surround the national congress to demand economic justice. They were met with police batons and barricades. In Athens demonstrators threw fire bombs at police lines. In all three cities mass arrests were made and protesters were injured by riot police.
I am certainly not an alarmist and I make no apologies for reporting the truth. These news stories are simply being ignored by the US media. The larger implications of these popular uprisings against austerity and despotism have not even been considered by the self-absorbed talking heads and political pundits. What remains is a perilous sense of ignorance and irrelevance coming from the corporate American press. It seems that old adage still applies – “The revolution will not be televised.”
While Occupy Wall Street groups around the country and the world celebrate their one year anniversaries, the need for this movement becomes more urgent in the face of the following news stories.
For the first time in its illustrious and infamous history, the New York Stock Exchange has been fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for trading fraud. The SEC charges that the use of complex mathematical computer algorithms has allowed preferred traders to monopolize and manipulate the market.
A court has now ruled that the US government’s involvement in the collapse of Lehman Brothers will be investigated as part of a major federal lawsuit. U.S. Role in Lehman Collapse Allowed in Reserve Trial
Barack Obama’s Department of Justice is finally going after some of the “too big to fail” Wall Street financiers who caused the crash of 2008. One major financial firm is being prosecuted for pushing their fraudulent mortgage backed securities.
Also, a scathing report by the US Senate is condemning the waste of billions of dollars on the “FUSION” centers set up by the Department of Homeland Security. The senators are calling these efforts in the war on terror “useless”. And, no surprise, it turns out that the intelligence agencies and their partners in corporate security firms have once again been found guilty of spying on law abiding peaceful US citizens. Senate report savages terrorism ‘fusion centers’ as useless
The lesson here is that big money attracts surveillance and intelligence agencies. It’s big business! They have been feeding heartily at the public trough since the Bush years and now these folks have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. One of the few examples of cutting edge US investigative journalism was the excellent series by the Washington Post on America’s secret intelligence industry.
Here’s another under reported news story that highlights international attempts to corporatize the public realm.
The UK government is purposefully dismantling their national healthcare system. There has been a massive drive to sign contracts with private companies to offer medical services. This crass effort to privatize national health insurance is sure to meet with opposition from healthcare advocates and the folks involved with Occupy London and Occupy the London Stock Exchange. Hundreds of contracts signed in ‘biggest ever act of NHS privatisation’
The global power elite are going to have to come to some kind of accommodation with the poor and working class. At the present moment, the struggle for equality is at a standstill with neither side willing to back down.
The governments and bankers tell us, “There is no more money for social services, education, healthcare or the arts. We are in serious debt!”
But we must always ask ourselves, “Who do we owe all this money to? German banks? The Chinese government? The IMF and World Bank?”
Most folks don’t have the slightest clue as to where all of the money is going. All they know is what they’ve been told – that nations are in debt and it’s causing a world-wide financial crisis. But follow the money and you will find the true dynamics behind this current global struggle for economic and political power.
For the US this struggle represents the results of an unsustainable global military and economic empire. Endless wars and military campaigns have taken their toll on the national treasury. The billions being spent on the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq could have gone into rebuilding our own national educational, industrial and transportation infrastructure. Instead, we have financed a huge monolithic security police state which continues to encroach upon the private territory of its citizens while offering very little service to the community.
The corporate propagandists claim that there is no more money for the middle class and poor. Those of us who have already been suffering from high unemployment, lack of health insurance and loss of pensions and benefits are being told that we must sacrifice even more so that the wealthy can continue to finance their private party at the public’s expense. The pro-austerity propaganda coming from business, the banking industry and government is the same whether you live in the United States, Iran, Spain or Indonesia.
Some may accuse me of practicing muckraking journalism, but there is nothing that can be done to deny the reality of these latest news stories. The trend around the planet is towards a populist movement for economic, social and environmental justice. Even if these altruistic campaigns for peace and freedom are stopped in Bahrain, Montreal or Greece, the storm that is sweeping across the world will continue unabated until a new balance of power is achieved.