Thousands march in Portugal to protest austerity
March 3, 2013

"If the government pays attention to what is happening and understands that the people are against them, they should get out," said Serafin Lobato, 65. "If not, this won’t stop."

Portugal is expected to endure a third straight year of recession in 2013, with a 2 percent contraction. The overall jobless rate has grown to a record 17.6 percent.

The marches were powered mostly by young people. Unemployment among people under 25 is close to 40 percent.

The country’s largest trade union, the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers, with some 600,000 members, also supported the marches and swelled numbers.

After several years of tax increases and welfare cuts, austerity is poised to deepen as the government looks for another €4 billion ($5.2 billion) to cut over the next two years, with the national health service, education, pensioners and government workers likely to be the hardest hit.

"There is no future without education, there is no future without culture," said student Ana Julia, 23. "We have to protest to get back what they are trying to take away from us."

The government is locked into debt-cutting measures in return for the €78 billion ($102 billion) financial rescue set up in 2011. More tax hikes this year sliced another chunk off wages.

Source

The People’s Record Daily News Update - Whose news? Our news!

November 12, 2012 

Here are some stories you may not otherwise read about today:

  • In an effort to “tackle anarchists” and further criminalize the poor and working class, squatting is now a criminal offense in the UK. With the new law in place, the ministry of justice estimates that they could prosecute up to 2,000 people each year. 

Follow us on Tumblr or by RSS feed for more daily updates.

Italy to join Greece, Portugal and Spain in European mega strike
November 8, 2012
Italy will join Greece, Spain and Portugal in holding strikes against austerity on November 14 in an unprecedented show of co-ordinated action on the continent.
The decision to take a four hour strike was announced Monday night by Italy’s largest trade union confederation, CGIL, which stated:

‘For many years, the European trade union movement deplores austerity measures…They are dragging Europe down into economic stagnation and recession. This results in stunted growth and unemployment that continues to increase.’
‘Cuts in wages and social protection are attacks on the European social model and exacerbate inequality and social injustice.
‘The ‘errors of judgment’ of the International Monetary Fund have had an incalculable impact on the daily lives of workers and citizens. The whole basis of the policies of austerity has to be revisited. The IMF must apologize. And the Troika must revise its demands.”
‘Twenty five million Europeans are out of work. In some countries the youth unemployment rate exceeds 50%.
‘The sense of injustice is widespread and social discontent is growing.”
‘We need to change direction towards a European social pact. The European trade unions are calling for a change of course.”

The European Trade Union Confederation, which has called a day of action on November 14, has been campaigning for economic policies that stimulates quality employment, ‘solidarity’ between countries and social justice.
‘It is time to end tax evasion, tax havens and tax competition between countries. A financial transaction tax should help repair the damage of unregulated capitalism,’ the CGIL added.
The CGIL’s strike was also called in opposition to a fresh set of austerity measures and neo-liberal reforms recently unveiled by the government of unelected prime minister and former Goldman Sachs advisor Mario Monti.
Spain and Portugal are planning on holding a second wave of general strikes on November 14 while Greece, Malta and Cyprus are also planning strike action on the day.
Source

Italy to join Greece, Portugal and Spain in European mega strike

November 8, 2012

Italy will join Greece, Spain and Portugal in holding strikes against austerity on November 14 in an unprecedented show of co-ordinated action on the continent.

The decision to take a four hour strike was announced Monday night by Italy’s largest trade union confederation, CGIL, which stated:

‘For many years, the European trade union movement deplores austerity measures…They are dragging Europe down into economic stagnation and recession. This results in stunted growth and unemployment that continues to increase.’

‘Cuts in wages and social protection are attacks on the European social model and exacerbate inequality and social injustice.

‘The ‘errors of judgment’ of the International Monetary Fund have had an incalculable impact on the daily lives of workers and citizens. The whole basis of the policies of austerity has to be revisited. The IMF must apologize. And the Troika must revise its demands.”

‘Twenty five million Europeans are out of work. In some countries the youth unemployment rate exceeds 50%.

‘The sense of injustice is widespread and social discontent is growing.”

‘We need to change direction towards a European social pact. The European trade unions are calling for a change of course.”

The European Trade Union Confederation, which has called a day of action on November 14, has been campaigning for economic policies that stimulates quality employment, ‘solidarity’ between countries and social justice.

‘It is time to end tax evasion, tax havens and tax competition between countries. A financial transaction tax should help repair the damage of unregulated capitalism,’ the CGIL added.

The CGIL’s strike was also called in opposition to a fresh set of austerity measures and neo-liberal reforms recently unveiled by the government of unelected prime minister and former Goldman Sachs advisor Mario Monti.

Spain and Portugal are planning on holding a second wave of general strikes on November 14 while Greece, Malta and Cyprus are also planning strike action on the day.

Source

Portuguese continue the fight against austerityOctober 16, 2012
Demonstrators started a fire outside the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon Monday night, protesting government plans to increase austerity measures.The government led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced a budget plan for next year that includes sharp tax increases, pension cuts and other saving measures.  Protesters gathered outside the National Assembly lit a huge model of a data stick, representing all the new budget data.   The draft budget for 2013 is one of the harshest in Portugal’s recent history and could take away the equivalent of a month’s wages for many workers. The government says the measures are needed to cut the national debt as Portugal strives to restore its financial health.  Critics say the measures will choke the economy. Last year, Portugal received more than $100 billion in a rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to avert bankruptcy.Portugal’s largest union - the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers - has announced a general strike against austerity for November 14.
Source

Portuguese continue the fight against austerity
October 16, 2012

Demonstrators started a fire outside the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon Monday night, protesting government plans to increase austerity measures.

The government led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced a budget plan for next year that includes sharp tax increases, pension cuts and other saving measures.  

Protesters gathered outside the National Assembly lit a huge model of a data stick, representing all the new budget data.  
 
The draft budget for 2013 is one of the harshest in Portugal’s recent history and could take away the equivalent of a month’s wages for many workers.
 
The government says the measures are needed to cut the national debt as Portugal strives to restore its financial health.  Critics say the measures will choke the economy.
 
Last year, Portugal received more than $100 billion in a rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to avert bankruptcy.

Portugal’s largest union - the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers - has announced a general strike against austerity for November 14.

Source

Portugal protests erupt over austerity measuresSeptember 29, 2012
Thousands of Portuguese protested on Saturday against austerity, stepping up their opposition to the country’s 78-billion-euro bailout ahead of new spending cuts and tax hikes to be announced in the government’s 2013 draft budget.
The peaceful protest organized by the CGTP union came after the center-right government ignited widespread anger this month with a hike in social security taxes that threatened to end Portugal’s so far high social acceptance for austerity.
Facing criticism from unions, opposition politicians and businesses alike, the government reversed the tax hike. But it is now rushing to find alternative measures to adopt in its 2013 budget to ensure the country meets fiscal goals under its bailout from the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF, the so-called troika.
Protesters marched through downtown Lisbon, shouting “Let the fight continue” and carried banners reading “Go to hell Troika, we want our lives back.”
"A year ago the prime minister told us the solution to the country’s problems was the agreement with the troika," shouted CGTP head Armenio Carlos in a speech.
"But we have already seen this film in Greece, this is a road without an exit, pushing us toward the precipice,” Carlos told the marchers that crowded into Lisbon’s main Praca de Comercio square on the banks of the Tagus River.
The protest in Portugal came after a week of similar anti-austerity marches in Greece, Spain andItaly as southern Europeans face increasingly grim economic conditions under hardship sparked by the euro debt crisis.
Carlos said the protest was one of the largest organized by the CGTP, Portugal’s biggest union, in recent years but he gave no figure of the number of people present. Praca de Comercio square has a capacity of about 100,000 people but it was not completely full on Saturday.
The protests were smaller than nationwide marches on September 15, immediately after the tax hike was announced, which prompted an estimated 500,000 people to take to the streets.
Portugal’s unemployment rate has hit record levels above 15 percent as the country descended this year into its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of spending cuts and tax hikes.
Anger by the Portuguese at austerity is likely to rise further as the government now expects the recession to extend into next year with few signs of economic growth emerging from the bailout plan.
The government has to present its 2013 budget by the middle of October.
Source

Portugal protests erupt over austerity measures
September 29, 2012

Thousands of Portuguese protested on Saturday against austerity, stepping up their opposition to the country’s 78-billion-euro bailout ahead of new spending cuts and tax hikes to be announced in the government’s 2013 draft budget.

The peaceful protest organized by the CGTP union came after the center-right government ignited widespread anger this month with a hike in social security taxes that threatened to end Portugal’s so far high social acceptance for austerity.

Facing criticism from unions, opposition politicians and businesses alike, the government reversed the tax hike. But it is now rushing to find alternative measures to adopt in its 2013 budget to ensure the country meets fiscal goals under its bailout from the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF, the so-called troika.

Protesters marched through downtown Lisbon, shouting “Let the fight continue” and carried banners reading “Go to hell Troika, we want our lives back.”

"A year ago the prime minister told us the solution to the country’s problems was the agreement with the troika," shouted CGTP head Armenio Carlos in a speech.

"But we have already seen this film in Greece, this is a road without an exit, pushing us toward the precipice,” Carlos told the marchers that crowded into Lisbon’s main Praca de Comercio square on the banks of the Tagus River.

The protest in Portugal came after a week of similar anti-austerity marches in Greece, Spain andItaly as southern Europeans face increasingly grim economic conditions under hardship sparked by the euro debt crisis.

Carlos said the protest was one of the largest organized by the CGTP, Portugal’s biggest union, in recent years but he gave no figure of the number of people present. Praca de Comercio square has a capacity of about 100,000 people but it was not completely full on Saturday.

The protests were smaller than nationwide marches on September 15, immediately after the tax hike was announced, which prompted an estimated 500,000 people to take to the streets.

Portugal’s unemployment rate has hit record levels above 15 percent as the country descended this year into its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Anger by the Portuguese at austerity is likely to rise further as the government now expects the recession to extend into next year with few signs of economic growth emerging from the bailout plan.

The government has to present its 2013 budget by the middle of October.

Source

People of Spain & Portugal pour into the streets to protest austerity
September 16, 2012
Tens of thousands of people from all over Spain rallied in the capital on Saturday against punishing austerity measures enacted by the government, which is trying to save the country from financial collapse.
Large protests against austerity measures also took place in neighboring Portugal. Demonstrators in Lisbon threw tomatoes and fireworks at the Portuguese headquarters of the International Monetary Fund. Two protesters were arrested, but otherwise the rally was peaceful.
Spain is stuck in a double-dip recession with unemployment close to 25 percent. The conservative government of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has introduced sharp cuts and raised taxes in a move to reduce the deficit and to reassure investors and officials from the 17-nation euro zone.
The marchers in Madrid unfurled banners with slogans like “Let’s go! They are ruining the country and we have to stop them.”
“This government’s policies are causing too much pain,” said a union leader, Ignacio Fernández Toxo. “It’s a lie that there isn’t another way to restore the economy.”
The situation looks to get worse. At a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Cyprus, Spain announced that it would present a new set of economic reforms by the end of the month. The move raised expectations that Spain might soon ask for financial help.
The economic plan will be unveiled by Sept. 27, and it is expected to be the starting point for Spain’s tapping of a new European Central Bank bond-buying plan.
Just before Saturday’s march began, buses transporting protesters blocked several major roads in the Spanish capital. The main organizers were Social Summit, an association of more than 150 organizations, and the Workers’ Commissions and General Workers trade unions.
The Interior Ministry’s regional office said it had expected more than 500,000 people to reach a central Madrid square, but it later said that 65,000 had attended to listen to speeches made by protest leaders.
Mr. Toxo called for a referendum on the government’s austerity and bailout plans, saying the measures were so different from the ruling Popular Party’s election pledges that Spaniards should have the right to express an opinion on them.
The Madrid protest comes four days after another antigovernment gathering in Barcelona that attracted about 1.5 million demonstrators, according to estimates by the police.
“We’ve had our pay cut. We don’t get the firefighting training and equipment we need. There are more students and fewer teachers in our children’s classrooms, and health care is also being cut,” said a firefighter, Carlos Melgaves, while marching in a group of about 50 firefighters. “We can’t take it anymore.”
The prime minister has accepted a loan of up to 100 billion euros, or about $130 billion, to help ailing banks hurt by a collapse of the country’s real estate and construction industries. The government also has faced punishingly high interest rates while raising money on bond markets to keep the economy in liquidity.
The country is widely expected to ask to sell its bonds to the European Central Bank, but the conditions attached have been the subject of continuing negotiations.
In Portugal, another package of recently announced government austerity measures could turn the nation’s sullen acceptance of belt-tightening into an explosion of anger similar to that seen in Greece over the past two years.
More than 50,000 people said on Facebook they would attend a large protest in Lisbon, and organizers called smaller demonstrations in 40 other Portuguese cities.
Last week, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal announced an increase in workers’ social security contributions to 18 percent of their monthly salary from 11 percent. The cut is equivalent to a net monthly wage.
The country’s finance minister, Vitor Gaspar, said income taxes would go up next year and public employees would lose either their Christmas or vacation bonus, roughly equivalent to a month’s income. Many pensioners will lose both.
A protester, Magda Alves, said the austerity measures being applied to overcome the financial crisis were not working.
“What is being done in Portugal now was done in Greece, it is being done in Spain, and was also applied in other countries on other continents,” Ms. Alves said. “The result was always the same: disaster.”
Source

People of Spain & Portugal pour into the streets to protest austerity

September 16, 2012

Tens of thousands of people from all over Spain rallied in the capital on Saturday against punishing austerity measures enacted by the government, which is trying to save the country from financial collapse.

Large protests against austerity measures also took place in neighboring Portugal. Demonstrators in Lisbon threw tomatoes and fireworks at the Portuguese headquarters of the International Monetary Fund. Two protesters were arrested, but otherwise the rally was peaceful.

Spain is stuck in a double-dip recession with unemployment close to 25 percent. The conservative government of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has introduced sharp cuts and raised taxes in a move to reduce the deficit and to reassure investors and officials from the 17-nation euro zone.

The marchers in Madrid unfurled banners with slogans like “Let’s go! They are ruining the country and we have to stop them.”

“This government’s policies are causing too much pain,” said a union leader, Ignacio Fernández Toxo. “It’s a lie that there isn’t another way to restore the economy.”

The situation looks to get worse. At a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Cyprus, Spain announced that it would present a new set of economic reforms by the end of the month. The move raised expectations that Spain might soon ask for financial help.

The economic plan will be unveiled by Sept. 27, and it is expected to be the starting point for Spain’s tapping of a new European Central Bank bond-buying plan.

Just before Saturday’s march began, buses transporting protesters blocked several major roads in the Spanish capital. The main organizers were Social Summit, an association of more than 150 organizations, and the Workers’ Commissions and General Workers trade unions.

The Interior Ministry’s regional office said it had expected more than 500,000 people to reach a central Madrid square, but it later said that 65,000 had attended to listen to speeches made by protest leaders.

Mr. Toxo called for a referendum on the government’s austerity and bailout plans, saying the measures were so different from the ruling Popular Party’s election pledges that Spaniards should have the right to express an opinion on them.

The Madrid protest comes four days after another antigovernment gathering in Barcelona that attracted about 1.5 million demonstrators, according to estimates by the police.

“We’ve had our pay cut. We don’t get the firefighting training and equipment we need. There are more students and fewer teachers in our children’s classrooms, and health care is also being cut,” said a firefighter, Carlos Melgaves, while marching in a group of about 50 firefighters. “We can’t take it anymore.”

The prime minister has accepted a loan of up to 100 billion euros, or about $130 billion, to help ailing banks hurt by a collapse of the country’s real estate and construction industries. The government also has faced punishingly high interest rates while raising money on bond markets to keep the economy in liquidity.

The country is widely expected to ask to sell its bonds to the European Central Bank, but the conditions attached have been the subject of continuing negotiations.

In Portugal, another package of recently announced government austerity measures could turn the nation’s sullen acceptance of belt-tightening into an explosion of anger similar to that seen in Greece over the past two years.

More than 50,000 people said on Facebook they would attend a large protest in Lisbon, and organizers called smaller demonstrations in 40 other Portuguese cities.

Last week, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal announced an increase in workers’ social security contributions to 18 percent of their monthly salary from 11 percent. The cut is equivalent to a net monthly wage.

The country’s finance minister, Vitor Gaspar, said income taxes would go up next year and public employees would lose either their Christmas or vacation bonus, roughly equivalent to a month’s income. Many pensioners will lose both.

A protester, Magda Alves, said the austerity measures being applied to overcome the financial crisis were not working.

“What is being done in Portugal now was done in Greece, it is being done in Spain, and was also applied in other countries on other continents,” Ms. Alves said. “The result was always the same: disaster.”

Source

Portuguese doctors go on strike over budget cuts

July 11, 2012

According to Portuguese health ministry, the strike which began on Wednesday will lead to the cancellation of 400,000 appointments and nearly 4,500 operations.

“We have no doubt that the strike will be a resounding success and that the protest will assemble thousands of white coats,” said Mario Jorge Neves, head of the National Federation of Doctors.

The strike over government’s plan to reduce health spending as part of deep budget cuts to meet the terms of a multi-billion euro bailout deal went ahead after Portuguese unions rejected offer of negotiation from the country’s Health Minister Paulo Maceo.

Protesters say that Lisbon has decreased overtime in hospitals, increased prices for prescription medication and shut down certain services in order to meet cuts from health budget.

Portugal is the third country to succumb to financial troubles in the eurozone debt crisis and seek funding assistance after Greece and Ireland. The country received an EU-International Monetary Fund aid package in exchange for a commitment to impose austerity measures and reform its economy.

Europe plunged into deep financial crisis in 2008. The crisis has continued to intensify in recent months.

The worsening eurozone debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

Source

The Scope of the Global Spring

In December 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi drenched himself in fuel in the middle of Sidi Bouzid’s town square and ignited himself on fire as a traditional form of protest. Eighteen days later, Bouazizi died and four days after that, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year dictatorship crumbled. More than a year later, Bouazizi’s self-immolation has created a scourge of resistance across all corners of the world.

The people’s epoch of protest has not come easily, but no revolution ever has. Censorship, brutality, arrest and murder have greeted protesters to derail their struggle for liberation. But as last year’s Arab Spring has proved, once the oppressed have lost their fear and tolerance for tyranny, real revolution and change is possible.

An international uprising

Now that the people of the Middle East have paved the way for emancipation, the afflicted working classes across the world are stirring up mass waves of upheaval, each fighting for their own distinct struggles. So far, this Global Spring has activated thousands in nearly every country to take the streets, mobilize and launch an international revolution.

March brought the revitalization of resistance communities all over the world:

  • The Socialist Unity Centre of India has reclaimed the streets of New Delhi to rally against unemployment, lack of education opportunities and violence against women and children in India.
  • When the Indonesian government announced fuel price hikes of more than 30 percent, thousands invaded Jakarta to protest and were met with tear gas and water cannons.
  • On the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, protesters reignited the American uprising against capitalism in all areas of the country.
  • More than 200,000 Canadian students marched to protest tuition hikes in Montreal and awoke a student movement for accessible education.
  • Protesters in the Philippines have marched by the thousands to rally against the U.S. imperialist occupation of their country.
  • Portuguese protesters conducted a general strike against austerity measures after a 78-billion euro bailout last year.
  • More than 400 people gathered in Moscow after taking the streets to mobilize against state television propaganda programming condemning opposition rallies.
  • The Pakistan working class took over a petrol station to oppose power cuts in Lahore.
  • The Aysén Social Movement in Chile has made great strides against its government tormentors and has worked to provide the working class with better working conditions, healthcare, education and city infrastructure.
  • About 40 people were killed in this week alone in Syria as a continued backlash against the Arab Spring and activist groups. More than 9,000 have been killed in the year-long conflict, but protests and marches have continued.
  • Countless marches have sprung up in the United States to assemble against racism in the dozens of protests that fought for justice for murdered teenager Treyvon Martin.
  • Jamyang Palden set himself aflame in the town of Rongwo in China to protest the country’s occupation of Tibet where government officials have cut off Internet and international news access. Palden is the 27th person in the last year to self-immolate in protest.

…and this has only been in the month of March.

These are just a few of the communities of resistance that have assembled and organized against their oppressors to continue the legacy of revolution Bouazizi helped spark.

Solidarity in revolution

As the globalization of government and markets has come to be the way of the world, oppressive regimes and capitalist interests have terrorized working classes and distorted countries’ economies. But the working class is using internationalism to their benefit; one country’s struggle has become another’s struggle. This use of solidarity has acted as the fuel to enrage and motivate working class groups to begin their own emancipation. Globalization has forced us to see that revolution cannot just happen in one country; it must be an international effort to crush the oppressive forces of government control, greed, violence and war. Social justice and human rights cannot exist in one country and not in another. This conflagration of dissent is spreading purposefully and will continue a power shift from the oppressive to the oppressed.

Those maintaining the status quo are scared, too. The use of violence against protesters only demonstrates a government’s belief that uprisings can and will eventually topple them to dust. Brutality cannot and has not prevented activists all over the world from continuing their plight for basic human rights.

The Global Spring has arrived, but this is only the beginning of the emancipation of the world’s working class and oppressed.

-G. Razo