Rallies Across the Globe Protest Economic Policies

The following excerpts are from a story in today’s New York Times entitled “Rallies Across the Globe Protest Economic Policies”.  It didn’t make the front page, only the 4th.  Maybe we’ll look back at this as the beginning, when people demanded the real and practical (not bogus “democracy”), that the economic and political systems, and the technological, and everything, be focused on meeting the unmet needs of humanity, and be addressed to solving the true pressing problems of humanity, rather than those systems serving as a vehicle for the enrichment or profit of the few.    There is, after all, enough for everyone.

Buoyed by the longevity of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Manhattan, a wave of protests swept across Asia, the Americas and Europe on Saturday, with . . .people expressing discontent with the economic tides in marches, rallies and occasional clashes with the police. . .  arrested in New York . . . accused of trespassing in a Greenwich Village branch of Citibank . . . demonstrations across Europe . . .people marching past ancient monuments and gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Similar scenes unfolded across cities on several continents, including in Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; Hong Kong; Toronto; Chicago; and Los Angeles . . . despite the difference in language, landscape and scale, the protests were united in frustration with the widening gap between the rich and the poor. . .protesters entered a Chase branch in Lower Manhattan . . . Saturday’s protests sprang not only from the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York, but also from demonstrations in Spain in May. This weekend, the global protest effort came as finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 industrialized nations meet in Paris to discuss economic issues . . . In London, where crowds assembled in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the ubiquitous emblems of the movement were on display. “Bankers Are the Real Looters” and “We Are the 99 Percent,” . . . “We don’t feel represented by the government. Alessia Tridici, 18, said in Rome. “We’re upset because we don’t have prospects for the future. We’ll never see a pension. We’ll have to work until we die.”       

Source URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/world/occupy-wall-street-protests-worldwide.html

Photos & captions below accompany the Times article and can be seen at link above and at

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/10/15/world/20111016-PROTESTS.html?ref=world

Demonstrators attempt to break through the entrance of a bank branch during a demonstration in Rome on Saturday.

Times Square in New York City

 

Protesters marched through the streets of Berlin to support the Occupy Wall Street movement on Saturday.

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Hunger Is Getting Some Play In Media Recently

You’ve got a billion people in chronic hunger, year in and year out (see http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/front-page-news/hunger-a-shame-on-humanity with  statistics from 2007 which I need to update), and this gets little news coverage in spite of the death and suffering it causes to SO MANY HUMAN BEINGS – about a billion!  That’s the reason this webpage was started – to address what news SHOULD be, that which effects the largest number of people in the most serious ways.  Recently, because of a worsening drought near the horn of Africa, hunger has been getting some play in the mainstream news media, with even reporters themselves, seemingly for the first time, questioning why this news story is not being treated as it SHOULD be:

From CNN’s Anderson Cooper:

“600,000 children are on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations. 600,000 children. That should be a headline in every paper, every newscast, every day as long as this famine lasts. It won’t be of course, because we’ve come to accept these catastrophes as somehow inevitable events that we can’t do anything about until it’s too late. That’s not true of course, but it’s the way many perceive it. It isn’t until we see pictures of dying children that we feel compelled to take action. Sadly those pictures aren’t hard to find in Somalia today.”

Source: Cooper: 600,000 children are on the brink of starvation – Anderson Cooper 360 – CNN.com Blogs

Address : http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/10/cooper-600000-children-are-on-the-brink-of-starvation/?hpt=ac_mid

From NBC anchor Brian Williams:

‘“What’s sadly common about this is, it’s been going on for some time, but the world is just taking note,” the “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams said that night.’

Source: Networks Step Up Coverage in Famine Zones – NYTimes.com
Address : http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/networks-step-up-coverage-in-famine-zones/?gwh=9118E189D61819F5DC6FC8B9B5D385B7#more-69579

Agencies have been begging for news coverage:

“I’m asking myself where is everybody and how loud do I have to yell and from what mountaintop,” said Caryl Stern, chief executive of the United States Fund for Unicef, a fund raising arm for the organization.

Source: Off Media Radar, Famine Garners Few Donations – NYTimes.com
Address : http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/world/africa/02donate.html

And even after the United Nations officially declared parts of Somalia a “famine” (which means “acute malnutrition rates among children exceed 30 per cent”, see http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39086&Cr=Somali&Cr1) none of the mainstream U.S. news media outlets have even one reporter covering this story full time.

“The networks are rotating reporters in and out of the region, meaning that they do not always have a reporter there.”

Source: Networks Step Up Coverage in Famine Zones – NYTimes.com
Address : http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/networks-step-up-coverage-in-famine-zones/?gwh=9118E189D61819F5DC6FC8B9B5D385B7#more-69579

That’s NOT what news should be.

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Protest seeking economic justice for a change

It was encouraging to see a report in today’s New York Times of large numbers of people protesting for economic and “social justice”.  Excerpts of the article appear below in italics like this.

This is in big contrast to the recent demands for “democracy” of the ‘Arab Spring’ protesters1– presumably of a similarly meaningless type like we’ve got in the U.S. with just 2 identical warmongering parties serving the rich to choose from2, as they were trained in the art of protest by the U.S. State Department and other corporate sponsors.3

It’s also in sharp contrast to the protests for the imposition of Islamic Sharia law in Egypt  – see 2 pieces from the Times’ last week4 one of which contains this protester’s quote:

“If democracy is the voice of the majority and we as Islamists are the majority, why do they want to impose on us the views of minorities — the liberals and the secularists [the non-religious]?” asked Mahmoud Nadi, 26, a student. “That’s all I want to know.”

demonstrating another reason why “democracy” should not be the goal.  The goal should be a global economic system geared only to the service of humanity’s needs (see the most pressing ones on the front page of this website to start with), rather than towards private profit and certainly without regard to humanity’s religious creed, race, sex, etc.

It’s also about an economic protest which was not marred by any violent provocateurs as has most likely been the case with the Greek “Syntagma” protests. 5

And now, excerpts from today’s New York Times’ article entitled “Israelis Feel Tug of Protests, Reviving the Left’s Spirits”

“. . . the rise of a huge protest movement over the cost of living and the sense that, despite soaring national wealth, the paycheck of the average Israeli does not cover family expenses. What started as a modest Facebook-driven protest by young people over housing prices has mushroomed into what many analysts suspect could be one of the more significant political developments here in years — and a possible opening for the defeated left.

On Saturday night, 150,000 people took to the streets across the country demanding “social justice,” one of the biggest demonstrations in Israel’s history and its largest protest ever over social and economic issues. . . .

“We’d been accustomed to believe that everything that mattered was about security,” Anat Ben-Simon, a Jerusalem psychologist, said in an interview. “All other issues had to wait. And we were constantly on the verge of some solution. But now there is nothing on the horizon, it’s pretty quiet on the security front and people got sick and tired of waiting. Meanwhile Israel became insanely expensive with a handful of families controlling everything.”

Daniel Doron, director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, a pro-market research institution, agreed. “Monopolies and cartels dominate every sphere of life here,” he said. “After years of being exploited the Israeli consumer is waking up. There is a widespread feeling that people simply can’t hack it.”

Mr. Netanyahu quickly grasped the significance of the protests and, canceling a trip abroad, issued directives and plans to ease the burden on consumers. He has proposed new rules to make housing more affordable and has frozen gasoline prices, while his public responses have been dominated by bold talk of ending monopolies and sympathy for the demonstrators. On Sunday, the director general of the finance minister resigned as a result of the protests.

But Mr. Netanyahu may not have sidestepped the political risk. One of the most debated questions is whether the movement is creating an opening for the country’s battered and dormant political left to challenge his leadership. Many think the answer is yes but only if it stays focused on social and economic issues and avoids the geopolitical and security ones where its views are in the minority.

Last week, the powerful Histadrut labor federation announced its strong support for the protests.

“The left has risen back to life,” Shai Golden, deputy editor of the newspaper Maariv, said in a column on Sunday. . . .

The left today hopes to revive itself with similar plans. The mayor of Beersheba, Ruvik Danilovich, who is an independent with roots in Labor, said in an interview in Maariv on Sunday that the theme of the new movement is “social justice, meaning a change in priorities.” He listed education, health care and affordable housing. He added of the Saturday night protest, “This was a landmark event. The norms that have been accepted in the past will not be in the future.”

The left hopes that in the coming year or two it could sweep back to power through a focus on social issues and then, in the bargain, shift the country’s external policy. The left would heavily curtail settlement building in the West Bank and has shown greater willingness to yield territory to the Palestinians and to share Jerusalem in a two-state solution.

The Times’ quoted a radio show host to downplay any significance of this protest:

Others are skeptical. Yaron Deckel, the host of a popular morning radio discussion program, said in an interview that while he was amazed at the size of Saturday’s demonstration and the participation of people between ages 25 and 40, the talk of some new revolutionary era was ill-informed.

“There is more atmosphere than substance to the movement,” he said. “It’s summer, the kids are on holiday, you live in a tent, it’s fun. The demonstrations are not very focused. They are for a higher standard of living. Fine. But there is no danger to this government.”

You can read the entire article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/world/middleeast/01israel.html

  1. [1] See for example Nada Matta’s article entitled The Egyptian Uprising and Workers’ Grievances which indicates that:

    “Though the revolt was caused by increasing economic hardship and insecurity, as well as by mounting political repression and authoritarianism, the demands of its youth organizers were solely focused on political democracy. The economic and social justice campaigns that in part laid the groundwork for this revolt over the past few years (with 3,000 workers protests and strikes since 2004)[1] have as yet to take centre stage politically in this mass upheaval.”

  2. [2] http://gowans.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/obama-better-than-bush-yes-but-for-who/
  3. [3]U.S.-Financed Groups Had Supporting Role in Arab Uprisings” front page of  New York Times at  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html;

    “U.S. Provides Secret Backing to Syrian Opposition” front page of Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-secretly-backed-syrian-opposition-groups-cables-released-by-wikileaks-show/2011/04/14/AF1p9hwD_story.html;

    And see also my comment to Nada Matta’s article which I entitled “Why Youth Leaders Not Making Worker/Economic Demands?” speculating  about the possible influence such U.S. government and corporate sponsored training of the protesters might reflect at the end of the page here: http://www.zcommunications.org/the-egyptian-uprising-and-workers-grievances-by-nada-matta#

  4. [4] See this link:

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/tension-rises-as-islamists-dominate-tahrir-square/?scp=3&sq=egyptt%20protest%20islamic&st=cse

    which reads in part:

    As my colleague Anthony Shadid reports, tens of thousands of Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square on Friday for a day that had been billed as one of unified protest against the interim military government. But the turnout was lopsided, dominated by members of religious movements, ranging from the most conservative, the Salafists, to the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood.

    According to The Associated Press, instead of chanting “The people want to topple the regime,” a slogan heard at protests across the Arab world this year, from Tahrir Square to Tunisia, demonstrators called out, “The people want to implement Sharia,” a strict code of Islamic law.

    and this link http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/world/middleeast/30egypt.html?hp which included the protester’s quote above and also reads in part:

    Crowds played on slogans made popular during the epic protests that culminated in February. Heard often back then was a cry that soon became famous: “Hold your head up high, you’re Egyptian.” On Friday, “Muslim” was substituted for “Egyptian.” The chant that became the revolution’s anthem, “The people want to topple the regime,” changed on Friday to “The people want to apply God’s law.” The crowd itself seemed buoyed by the impressive show.

  5. [5] “Anyone, who has been watching live feed and following this story since the real protesters or “Indignants,” took over Syntagma Square, would know that the “hooded youths” as they are called, the ones wearing gas masks, carrying large sticks, and throwing molotov cocktails, have destroyed a genuine, grassroots, democratic movement. The only time they showed up was on June 15, yesterday, and today, all days during which, I believe, there were general strikes, and all days on which massive demonstrations were planned. The result of their antics was that the whole Syntagma Square became emptied of genuine protesters. Curiously the hundreds or thousands of police chose to only make few arrests. Instead, they threw tear gas, in amounts great enough to cause all in the area to flee. Mission accomplished by whoever did not want protesters there. These hooded youth cannot be characterized as protesters, anymore than looters during a blackout are protesters.”

    A New York Times reader’s comment posted to the New York Times website article: “Greece Approves Tough Measures on Economy – Readers’ Comments – NYTimes.com, Address:

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/world/europe/30greece.html?sort=oldest

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Nato Says It’s Okay to Bomb Television Stations

.

NATO’S murderous double-speak continues.  Quotes from a couple of articles appear in italics like this.

NATO has been bombing Libyan targets since March, when it intervened under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s forces as he fights a revolt against his 41-year rule. 1

In their latest bombing they targeted Libya’s television stations:

“Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while (preserving) television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict,” the alliance said in a statement posted on its website.  It called Qaddafi’s TV broadcasts inflammatory and said they were intended to mobilize his supporters. 2

“Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them,” the NATO spokesman said. 3

———————————————————————————————————

That’s what NATO said, now let’s see what Libya says:

——————————————————————————–

Libyan state television continued to broadcast, however, and the Libyan Broadcasting Corporation issued a statement saying three employees were killed and 15 wounded in the strike.

“We are not a military target, we are not commanders in the army and we do not pose a threat to civilians,” said Khalid Bazelya, an LBC official, reading the statement to reporters.

“We are performing our job as journalists representing what we wholeheartedly believe is the reality of NATO aggression and the violence in Libya,” he said.

“The fact that we work for the Libyan government or represent anti-NATO, anti-armed gangs views does not make us a legitimate target for NATO rockets.”

On a visit to the Libyan state television compound, a Reuters witness saw one building that was completely destroyed, along with three satellite dishes that had been bombarded and damage to other areas.

Lavoie expressed scepticism about the casualty report.

“At this stage we have no evidence whatsoever to suggest there is any foundation to these allegations,” he said. 4

———————————————————————————————————————————

One of the buildings was “completely destroyed” in the bombings and yet there’s no evidence to suggest that people were hurt?   NONE of NATO’s claims passes the laugh test, only it’s not funny; and attempting to cut off television from the people is so blatantly and brazenly telling.

So what information does NATO not want the Libyan people to see on TV that causes them to bomb TV satellite dishes and the buildings they’re on?

Libyan state television broadcasts endless footage of state rallies and tribal meetings in support of Gaddafi.

Talk shows feature hosts and guests condemning NATO airstrikes and discussing hardships imposed on Libyans by the bombing campaign. It shows little information about the rebels, whom it calls armed gangs or agents of Islamist extremism.  . . .

One analyst suggested a link between the bombing of Libyan TV equipment and the killing on Friday of rebel military chief Abdel Fattah Younes, apparently by his own side.

“It’s absolutely plausible that what NATO is concerned about is the dissemination of propaganda exploiting Younes’s death, particularly now that there’s more information suggesting it was an Islamist-orientated group that committed the killing,” said Shashank Joshi, of London’s Royal United Services Institute.

“This chimes perfectly with claims made by the regime that al Qaeda is behind the rebellion,” he said.

Source: Libyan TV still on air despite NATO bombing
Address: http://www.canada.com/news/NATO+bombs+Libyan+satellite+dishes/5182019/story.html

  1. [1] Source: Libyan TV still on air despite NATO bombing
    Address : http://www.canada.com/news/NATO+bombs+Libyan+satellite+dishes/5182019/story.html
  2. [2] Source: NATO Says Precision Strikes Have Hit Libyan TV Transmitters – FoxNews.com

    Address : http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/07/30/nato-says-precision-strikes-have-hit-libyan-tv-transmitters/

  3. [3] Source: Libyan TV still on air despite NATO bombing
    Address : http://www.canada.com/news/NATO+bombs+Libyan+satellite+dishes/5182019/story.html
  4. [4] Source: Libyan TV still on air despite NATO bombing
    Address : http://www.canada.com/news/NATO+bombs+Libyan+satellite+dishes/5182019/story.html

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August 3rd in Theatres across the U.S.

Looking forward to hearing Ray Kurzweil and Dean Kamen speak on August 3rd in New York City (also being shown that same night in theatres all across the U.S.) and hope to hear them address Kamen’s life saving invention that turns dirty water into clean water and what is required to get this to the 1.1 billion people who desperately need it.  See http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/sister/videos/technology.

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Technology

Technology is the solution to the most pressing problems of humanity when it is used to benefit humanity rather than for the creation of private profit.

Here’s a short video clip introduction (less than a minute) into how TECHNOLOGY can save humanity.   It’s a clip from the movie about inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil called “The Transcendent Man”1.  This man, Kurzweil, is, among other things, the inventor of the scanner and a beloved reading machine for the blind.

You may recall from the front page of this website’s newspaper2, that 17 percent of humanity lives without access to clean water and that lack of sanitation leads to the 2nd biggest killer of children today.   One of the life saving technologies mentioned in the above clip is a machine that turns dirty water into clean water.  This machine, invented by Dean Kamen 3, gets a fantastic demonstration on Stephen Colbert’s show, which you can see here Dean Kamen on Colbert Report.

I asked where Ray Kurzweil’s indication in first video clip that it would only cost $3 billion to get clean water to the entire African continent came from and was advised that “Dean Kamen estimates that in volume production (which would be the case if we were addressing all of Africa), the machines could be produced for $1,000 each. Each machine can meet the water needs of 100 people. There is no significant operating cost and the machines can be self sustaining. So that’s about $10 per person. So $3 billion would be sufficient for 300 million people which is an estimate of the number of people without access to adequate clean water. The entire population of Africa is 680 million people.” Well, those population statistics seem a little out of date, and if the cost is still estimated as $10 per person, and there’s approximately now 1.1 billion people without clean water  4, then that means it would be just 11 billion dollars to get clean water to all people who need it.  Just 11 billion?  Yep, think about how we give 700 HUNDRED BILLION TO BANKS 5at the drop of a hat.

So, what’s the hold up with Kamen’s truly life saving clean water invention?  Why hasn’t it already been implemented?

“Kamen emphatically states that the science is not the problem but rather that the policy is the stumbling block to implementation. When he presented his idea to the World Bank, the resident water experts were nonplussed” 6,  and this in spite of Kamen showing that this technology would be the quickest to implement to the people in real need and cost effective over the long term.   In discussing what had transpired, Kamen indicated “If everything I now say by way of recalling my history here seems to you like I’m frustrated, and angry, and disappointed, it’s mostly because I’m frustrated, angry, kinda disappointed,” said Kamen 7.  The World Bank’s reaction, however is NOT surprising given that although the World Bank is supposedly financed by rich nations to reduce poverty in poor ones, it always does the opposite and keeps people in grinding poverty and neglect (see  http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/front-page-news/hunger-a-shame-on-humanity for just one heartbreaking example of countless others.)

Both Ray Kurzweil and Dean Kamen will be speaking at a live event on August 3rd in New York City, which is also being shown on movie screens across the country that same night, see http://www.kurzweilai.net/transcendent-man-movie-blowout-august-3 and http://www.facebook.com/TranscendentMan/posts/186989171360198#!/event.php?eid=230845916937907 , and hopefully they will both speak to the status of this life saving invention and what can be done to get it into people’s thirsty and dirty hands.   You got water?  It’s nice, isn’t it?  There but for the grace of God go we.

  1. [1] http://transcendentman.com
  2. [2]  At http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/front-page-news/no-clean-water and http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/front-page-news/what-a-shitty-way-to-die
  3. [3]  http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/29/idUS231104+29-Oct-2009+PRN20091029
  4. [4]17 Percent of the World’s Population does not have sustainable access to an improved water source, per the chart on 308 of the Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf.”  Address : http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/front-page-news/no-clean-water
  5. [5] http://useconomy.about.com/od/criticalssues/a/govt_bailout.htm
  6. [6] http://csis.org/blog/water-vision-future
  7. [7] http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/water-conversation-dean-kamen

Bombing of Libya & the Libyan so-called “opposition”

Yesterday I posted a comment entitled:

Where’s Your Suspicion About Western Supported Libyan Opposition? And political demands for “democracy” versus ECONOMIC or other meaningful demands

to an article by Horace Campbell entitled:

“The Peace and Justice Movement and the NATO Bombing of Libya”

both of which can be read here:

http://zcommunications.org/the-peace-and-justice-movement-and-the-nato-bombing-of-libya-by-horace-campbell

and then today I also added another comment with the link (and complete text) of an article in today’s NY Times entitled “Libyan Rebels Accused of Pillage and Beatings” along with the captions of the photos included with the article on the Times website.  See  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/world/africa/13libya.html and http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/07/12/world/africa/20110713-LIBYA.html

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