* NATO SUMMIT: EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH OUR SOCIETY
By Paul Heise, StopNATO
The NATO summit held in Chicago last weekend reflects everything that is wrong with our society.
The NATO summit put on display how we can and do conjure up foreign and domestic threats to justify government control of our society. For it is fear that justifies not just our obscene military spending, but more importantly, the official violation of our civil and constitutional rights and the concession of political power to corporations.
This fear is then used to justify a growing military alliance even when there is no credible threat. It is the basis for the militarization of our police force, the erosion of our civil liberties and globalization of our economy. […]
* CHICAGO TEACHER’S UNION MARCH
Video by Fred Hickler, Chicago Indymedia
The Chicago Teacher’s Union had a massive rally and march in downtown Chicago on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 to protest budget cuts, privitization and union busting tactics that have been taking place in Chicago schools.
* ATTORNEY: “NATO 3” ACTIVISTS DETAINED ON TERROR CHARGES ARE VICTIMS OF POLICE ENTRAPMENT
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
DemocracyNow.org – Following a weekend that saw nearly 100 arrests of protesters at the NATO summit in Chicago, we speak with National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino, who represents one of the five activists charged with terror-related crimes. Two are accused of attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices, and three more are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives. Gelsomino says the so-called “NATO Three” were set-up by government informants who planted the explosives.
* CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE ENTRANCE BLOCKED AS PROTESTERS CRITICIZED HUGE TAX BREAK
By BobboSpherre, Daily Kos
Seniors, people with disabilities and health care workers blocked the front entrance to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange(CME) Wednesday around 9:30 this morning, as well the adjacent Jackson and LaSalle Streets. Police moved in about half an hour later and ordered people to clear the streets or face arrest. Demonstrators were protesting the CME’s parent company (CME Group) which was awarded multi-million-dollar tax breaks while human services were being cut by the State of Illinois. […]
Arrests at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Blockade
Mike Ervin explains why Stand Up Chicago is protesting at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
[…] The May 23 actions were in the same spirit as the National Nurses’ United rally on May 18 to support a global Financial Transactions Tax, which drew thousands of nurses and supporters. Commonly called a “Robin Hood Tax”, it would be small percentage on certain high end transactions, exempting 401k’s and other transactions commonly done by working people. Stand Up Chicago proposed a similar tax on CME Group’s high risk derivative trading earlier this year.
Stand Up Chicago issued an excellent economic plan for Chicago entitled Investing in Chicago Communities: A Jobs Fund for a Future That Works produced in conjunction with the Chicago Political Economy Group. It’s an excellent alternative to what the financial barons of LaSalle Street are planning for us. […]
* MONTREAL’S STUDENT PROTESTERS DEFY RESTRICTIONS AS DEMONSTRATIONS GROW
By Erin Hale, Guardian UK
[…] As protesters snaked through the city’s neighbourhoods on Thursday, residents and customers in restaurants showed their support by banging pots as they passed by.
The protest, which began at Place Emilie Gamelin, was declared illegal before it began, because organizers had not provided police with an itinerary, as required by a controversial new emergency law. But Montreal police said in a message posted on Twitter that protesters would be allowed to march as long as they remained peaceful. Four people were arrested.
Helicopters and riot police are an increasingly common sight on the streets of Montreal as a province-wide student strike passed the 100-day mark, but popular support only seems to be growing as the government attempts to clamp down on the strike.
Small red squares, the symbol of the strike historically worn by Montreal students supporting free tuition, are everywhere in the city – cloth pinned to peope’s lapels and daubed onto signs and walls. […]
* MARCHA ANTI EPN D.F.
Sábado 19 de Mayo 2012, marcha Anti Peña Nieto del Zócalo al Angel en México D.F.
Más de 22 mil personas* (Actualización: según la SSPDF 46 mil personas!!) nos unimos para demostrar que a pesar del manejo truculento de los medios convencionales, México está consiente que Peña Nieto es solo un títere con muchas manos detrás que lo único que quieren es ver por sus intereses propios, sin importar que estos sean dañinos para el país y sus habitantes.
Saturday May 19, 2012, Peña Nieto Anti march to the Zócalo in Mexico City. Over 22 thousand people * (Update: according to SSPDF 46 000 people!) Join us to show that despite the blackout in the mainstream media, Mexico is aware that Peña Nieto is just a puppet who only cares about its own interests, regardless of what is harmful for the country and its inhabitants.
* UK, GREECE AND ARGENTINA – DEBATE
Whilst this debate took place on October 2011, it has not lost its relevance with the passage of time. A controlled default by Greece appears to be on the agenda.
* HOW GOLDMAN SACHS HELPED MASK GREECE’S DEBT
Nick Dunbar, author of ‘The Devil’s Derivatives’, reveals how the country turned to investment bank Goldman Sachs for help getting around the deficit rules. In his report for Newsnight, some of those who did the deal, talk publicly for the first time.
* GREECE IS NOW THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE WORLD
By Guy Rundle, Crikey
[…] So everything from here on is uncharted. The technocratic Greek government — which remains in place — paid off an €5 billion-plus bond issue that came due today — but interest is due on hundreds of billions of euros of debt in the next month — much of it euro-debt — and the country has less than a billion euros in foreign reserves. So the EU would have to decisively refuse to underwrite the next series of payments — which would simply go from one euro account to another — in order to force the crisis.
The sensible solution would be the one proposed by new French President Francois Hollande — that bad Greek debt be swapped for eurobonds, and that the private debt take an 80-90% haircut, and that a rational 10-20 year paydown of what debt remains be negotiated without strangling the Greek economy — which would then shrink the economy further, and make it impossible for the country to repay its debts. It is utterly irrational, but so too is neoliberalism — it is the equivalent of the Incas believing that only human sacrifice would keep the sun rising, and that the advance of the conquistadors meant that they should redouble their efforts of tearing hearts out of chests on the top of ziggurats, rather than responding to the immediate threat in a rational and direct manner.
Every number quoted by the finance journalists — the hundreds of billions of euros owed, the terms coming due — are all bullshit. All that is due is the interest payments, and most of those are ludicrously inflated by the shell-game that got Greece into this mess in the first place — the sudden downrating of Greek debt by ratings agencies part-owned by the very banks that would profit from a hike in interest rates in the first place. Most finance journalists are simply unthinking propagandists of a system they have neither the intelligence nor the desire to examine. […]
* IT’S PAYBACK TIME: DON’T EXPECT SYMPATHY – LaGARDE TO GREEKS
By Larry Elliot and Decca Aitkenhead
The International Monetary Fund has ratcheted up the pressure on crisis-hit Greece after its managing director, Christine Lagarde, said she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens.
In an uncompromising interview with the Guardian, Lagarde insists it is payback time for Greece and makes it clear that the IMF has no intention of softening the terms of the country’s austerity package.
Using some of the bluntest language of the two-and-a-half-year debt crisis, she says Greek parents have to take responsibility if their children are being affected by spending cuts. “Parents have to pay their tax,” she says. […]