Jun. 28th, 2011

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Yesterday:General Strike! Greek people reject Austerity

The impending fire sale of historic treasures of the people of Greece to pay the billionaires bar bill at Club Euro has infuriated a broad cross section of the Greek people. People from as far away as the outer isles of Greece are converging at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament to protest tomorrow and Wednesday.


The Greek government's plans to surrender the Palace of Corfu (Image: tourist's photo in public domain) to German bankers has infuriated the well to do as well as the working class.

Spiros Avramiotis. a local olive oil producer is furious at the idea of losing one of Corfu’s prime locations and angrily stated. “We have to stand up and send a message to the politicians in Athens that Corfu is not for sale, not one inch of it. Full stop.” He added, “Greece may be on the verge of bankruptcy, but surely it’s not a good idea to sell off the family silver,” a belief that is held by a great number of citizens in Greece. Behind Spiros Avramiotis stands hoardes of islanders who are preparing to join mainland workers in protests against the government in their bid to raise €50 billion from the auctioning of state assets. The Palace is one of several state-owned properties said to be up for sale. Other locations are beaches, casinos, airports and marinas around Greece.
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Greek general strike and austerity debate - Tuesday 28 June

Here's a summary of events today:

• Tens of thousands of Greeks have taken to the streets to voice their opposition to a new wave of austerity measures which will be subject to a vote in parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. A two-day strike called by unions began today. Transport, schools and other services as well as many private businesses were shut as a result of the strike called by ADEDY, the union representing half a million civil servants and GSEE, which represents 2 million private sector workers. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or rescheduled and protesters have blockaded the port of Piraeus.

• A minority of protesters were involved in running battles with the police. Many of them wore crash helmets or bandanas over their faces. They brandished wooden staves, hurled missiles including bricks and molotov cocktails and started fires. Two communications trucks were set on fire and shops were vandalised. The troublemakers, believed to consist mainly of anarchists, also threw smoke grenades and firecrackers. Police fired rounds of teargas leaving the air in central Athens acrid. Police said 18 people were detained, with formal arrest charges laid against five of them, and that four policemen were injured and transferred to a military hospital. There were reports of dozens of people being treated for the effects of teargas in Syntagma Square, which has been the focal point of the protests.MORE



Showdown in Greece: Interview with Panos Petrou



THE MEDIA analysis of the crisis in Greece claims the same thing that we hear in this country--that working people have been living beyond their means, and now they have to sacrifice. Is this really the source of the crisis?

THIS CLAIM is a total inversion of reality. During the recent past, the economy was booming, and gross domestic product was growing. But working people, the ones who created this wealth, have been living in a state of constant austerity since 1985--with governments implementing one austerity plan after another, while capitalists keep the whole pie for themselves.

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Disabled persons laud Special People's Law

People living with disabilities in Lagos have lauded the signing into law of the Lagos State Special People's Law. Babatunde Fashola, the state governor, signed the law last Friday, June 24, thereby making Lagos the first state to promulgate such law in Nigeria.

The law was earlier passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly in December 2010 and a similar bill which has been passed by the National Assembly is still waiting for the signature of the president.

Among other things, the Special People's Law contains provisions to ensure that people living with disabilities in Lagos State are given equal rights in all social services, employment, political, and educational facilities.

The law also safeguards disable persons against discrimination; guarantees them right to access information, conducive socio-economic environment; access to special education and public transport facilities. Under the law, a dedicated Office for Disability Affairs to address complaints of harassment, discrimination and torture will be set up.

The office will also ensure that the tenets of the law are fully and effectively implemented.

David Anyaele, executive director of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) said the bill brought joy to him and other people living with disability in Lagos. The CCD and several organisations made significant contributions to the passing and eventual signing of the bill into law.

According to Mr Anyaele, the bill was designed by people living with disabilities in Lagos. "We did the lobbying, there was no international funding. We drafted everything ourselves. It is a thing of joy when we see this thing coming out successfully," he said. MORE
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via: fyeahafrica

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