Mar 142013

By Anthony Verias, WeAreChange GREECE

 Live2 & Apset, “FaceArt”, Carpe Diem's mural program during 15th Biennial, Polytechnic area, Thessaloniki, 2011

Live2 & Apset, “FaceArt”, Carpe Diem’s mural program during 15th Biennial, Polytechnic area, Thessaloniki, 2011

By now you have probably heard of a certain UK based graffiti artist who goes by the name of Banksy, who has gained enormous fame with his politically charged works. A movie loosely based on himself was even nominated for an Oscar! So what does this all prove? That there is an ENORMOUS market for graffiti tourism, so much so that maps are made to better locate that elusive Bansky piece. One such piece is rumored to be on the Greek island of Corfu. This island as well as others have seen a sharp decline in tourism since the start of the crisis. Tourism is right at the heart of the Greek economy with jobs in that sector accounting for 1 out of 5. The high season is of course in the summer, people come for the islands and to view the ancient art of Athens. Though, a movement of modern art could be a bright spot for the future of Greece’s economy. Carpe Diem is the team that is responsible for the urban treasures popping up all over Greece, creating an artistic revitalization; the likes of which the country has not seen for decades. Albert Einstein once said that “crises bring progress” and “creativity is born from anguish”. The anguish caused by the crisis has allowed the arts and creativity to flourish in the Northern port city of Thessaloniki.

I got to witness that anguish and creativity firsthand on the way home from intense riots which occurred after protests commemorating the 1973 fall of the military Junta. As I was leaving this scene of carnage; fire and smoke hanging in the air, with my eyes still stinging from the tear gas, it was this mural which gave me hope for Greece. Hope had so quickly grown from despair. In reality, there are reasons to be optimistic about Greece’s future everywhere you look; you just need to know where to look. Fragile bar is just one of the places which gives hope to a country so desperately in need of it. Media the world over have also stood up and took notice of the cultural and artistic revival in Greece, with the NYT noting “Salonika’s youth are embracing a do-it-yourself ethos resulting in a wave of arts and night-life venues that they hope will hold up in tough times”. Fragile Bar is a prime example of Greeks coping and even persevering in the face of great adversity.

It is clear that the work of graffiti artists gives the country an esthetic boost and the expansion of this art-form has certainly grown rapidly since the start of the crisis, but can it’s presence offer Greece anything more than a “face-lift”? For this answer I turned to Kiriakos Iosifidis, organizer and founding member of Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is the team responsible for transforming dilapidated spaces into public works of art.

Kiriakos believes that bringing some “color” into a communities everyday life can go a long way as far as lifting it’s spirits and as a citizen of Thessaloniki where his work is prominently displayed I can firmly attest to that.

Carpe Diem mural

Carpe Diem mural



Aug 202012


Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart


Source: londonmediaclub

Lonmin is threatening to sack its striking staff unless they go back to work on Monday despite the deaths of 34 miners shot by the South African police last week.

The London-listed platinum miner said it would stick to an ultimatum issued before Thursday and the worst incident of police violence since the end of apartheid at its Marikana mine.

“The final ultimatum provides RDOs [rock drill operators] with a last opportunity to return to work or face possible dismissal,” the company said in a statement on Sunday. “Employees could therefore be dismissed if they fail to heed the final ultimatum.”

The company issued the ultimatum to striking workers last week and extended the deadline to Monday after the police opened fire on protesters on Thursday.

Workers at the mine, near Johannesburg, said threatening them with dismissal just three days after the deaths insulted the memories of their fallen colleagues.

“Expecting us to go back is like an insult. Many of our friends and colleagues are dead, then they expect us to resume work. Never,” miner Zachariah Mbewu told South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. “Some are in prison and hospitals. Tomorrow we are going back to the mountain [protest site], not underground, unless management gives us what we want.” […]




Source: EUbusiness

Greece’s creditors say it must cut 14 billion euros ($17 billion) from its budget in the next two years, 2.5 billion euros more than they originally demanded, German weekly Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

The amount was revised upward as a result of the most recent audit mission by the country’s so-called troika of bailout lenders, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, Der Spiegel said.

Troika auditors visited Athens recently and are expected to return in September, when they have said they will remain for the entire month.

Based on that audit, the EU and IMF will decide whether to release Greece’s next loan disbursement of 31.5 billion euros. […]




Source: Automatic Earth

[…] Money has no value in and of itself; it derives that value from the world it rolls in. Take away that world, and you take away the value.

Yes, financial markets are doing relatively well, and if they don’t, central banks will throw more of your cash at the banks. The problem is that they don’t throw that cash at the people. Many of whom could really do with some. According to the present paradigm, banks are more important than people, and people, if I understand it well, can only be saved if banks are saved first (with the people’s money). This paradigm is the sort of insanity only economists and bankers can come up with. The life of a person, whether rich or poor, is infinitely more important than the life of a bank. No contest. You would think.

What got me started on all of this is a great – great in its sadness – little tale from today’s Spiegel, by Barbara Hardinghaus and Julia Amalia Heyer, on what happens with real people. Either we deal with issues such as this, or we don’t. And if we don’t, the issues will deal with us. Down the line, whatever happens to others happens to us too. We are after all social animals, that’s not something we can alter at will. But we still try hard, don’t we? […]




By Constantine Blintzios, ekathimerini

For decades, the decrepit walls of downtown Athens have been sprayed, splattered and scrawled upon at the hands of its youth. Its mottled demeanor, whose motifs range from childish obscenities and soccer team slogans to spectacularly elaborate and expressive pieces of work, has become ingrained within the minds of those who visit and is today seen as part of the city. As a place of both intense beauty and at the same time supreme ugliness, Athens’s imbalance and visual dissonance are what make it the perfect tableau upon which graffiti artists thrive.

Its anarchic connotations are rooted in the fact that all graffiti art is fundamentally illegal. There are occasions, so-called ”legals,” whereby a space or wall will be donated to an artist; this is however generally frowned upon by the majority of graffiti crews and the community in general as they consider the risk factor of ”bombing,” or illegal graffiti, an imperative aspect of their projects. When asked whether the total legalization of graffiti would better the artists and ”writers” and generally broaden the appreciation of the practice, well-respected artist OPEK stated: ”I don’t believe that the writers would improve if it was legalized. I also don’t care whether the public would appreciate it more just because it’s legal. I respect the members of the public that approve of it even though it’s illegal.” […]




Source: whale

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor,  etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen,  and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant.  Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus  on side issues which can be used show the topic  as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the  ‘How dare you!’ gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers.  Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public  can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact. […]




By David Edwards, TheRawStory

Former Bush political strategist Karl Rove may be connected to a Swedish effort to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, sources for several legal experts suggest.

Rove is a longtime adviser to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who recently tapped the Republican operative to aid his 2010 reelection campaign.

Speaking to Legal Schnauzer’s Robert Shuler, an unnamed source suggested that Rove is likely “playing a leading role in the effort to prosecute” Assange. The founder of the secrets website was arrested Dec. 7 in London after Sweden issued a warrant for alleged sex crimes.

After Assange’s release on bail, Guardian obtained and published leaked details of the allegations against him. A WikiLeaks source told The Australian that the leaked police reports were “a selective smear through the disclosure of material.”

And there’s no coincidence that the charges against Assange originate in Sweden, Shuler’s source said. […]




No Mercy in Sight for the Iraq War Whistle-Blower

By Jake Blumgart, TheStranger

[…] On a muggy morning a month ago, the shriveled pool of reporters consisted of representatives from Al Jazeera, the Associated Press, Courthouse News, and a French wire service, along with me, an independent correspondent representing The Stranger. The driver of the WikiLeaks truck, which rolls around the country covered in garish messages in favor of Manning and WikiLeaks, was there, too, smiling impishly and acting as an unofficial courtroom artist. Also in attendance was Firedoglake blogger Kevin Gosztola, who has stuck with the process throughout and cowritten a book (with the Nation’s Greg Mitchell) about Manning’s case, Truth and Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning.

These few remaining reporters made light of the low attendance. “Still no one from the New York Times,” someone snorted derisively. Another reporter noted that there wasn’t even a representative from the Guardian, a progressive British paper that has taken a particular interest in the case. Manning’s case has struggled to maintain sustained public interest since day one. Even the Obama administration’s tacit condoning of Manning’s unconstitutional punishments gained little attention until blogger Glenn Greenwald began writing about it. Even then, debate and concern were largely relegated to activist groups and politically inclined journalists. Unlike, say, the crappy economy or health-care reform, issues of civil liberties or foreign policy lack the blatantly obvious implications for the wider population. In that light, it isn’t particularly surprising that the pretrial hearings have been reduced, in most media, to a nonstory.

Inside the courtroom, hulking guards idled around the exits. When Manning entered the chambers, a new batch of burly guards materialized throughout the courtroom, establishing a wall of muscle between the gallery and the prisoner. Manning’s escorts towered above him, emphasizing the prisoner’s slight build (he is five foot two and very slender). […]




By Kali Katt,

After 15 days in jail, 31 year old Danny L. Johnson, Chicago NATO protestor and member of Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Walk USA, was released the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 14 from Cook County jail on an ankle bracelet home arrest e-monitoring program. Activists in Chicago and around the country helped post his bail Monday, Aug. 13, and establish a Chicago address for Johnson to be released to. Johnson returned to Chicago Monday, July 30 to turn himself in after learning that dropped charges acquired when was arrested in Chicago for protesting the NATO Summit earlier in the year, were reinstated by Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez through a grand jury indictment. On June 29 a bench warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest on two felony counts of battery on an officer -although original dropped charges were one felony count of battery on an officer and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of traffic.

Some are saying the charges were re-filed by Alvarez under pressure from Mayor Rahn Emanuel, and, according to local Chicago activists Adesina, as part of a “political agenda to use every avenue available to criminalize NATO protestors.” […]