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Hometown: Detroit, MI
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Fight Against Austerity is Fight for 'Democracy's Legitimacy'

Published on Sunday, September 30, 2012 by Common Dreams

Anti-Austerity Fervor Rages in Spain and Portugal
Fight Against Austerity is Fight for 'Democracy's Legitimacy'

- Common Dreams staff

Riot police struggle with protesters during demonstrations in Madrid against austerity cutbacks. (Photograph: Chema Moya/EPA)Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese took to the streets in their respective countries on Saturday, showing the resilience of the anti-austerity sentiment in Europe and calling on their governments to end the destruction of budget-slashing economic policies.

The protests in Madrid was the the third large-scale protest in a week and followed directly on Friday's announcement by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the government's 2013 draft budget that will cut overall spending by $51.7 billion, freezing the salaries of public workers and cutting unemployment benefits.

Al-Jazeera reports from Madrid:

Chanting that politicians must resign, the demonstrators surrounded parliament (...) facing off with riot police and denouncing the conservative government's deep budget cuts.

Rallied by the ("Indignados" protest movement and organised on social media, the protesters held up signs that said simply "No", "Resign" and "Democracy" and shouted toward the legislature: "They do not represent us".


Writing about what's driving the popular movement in Europe—and to some extent in the US—professor of economics at Cambridge Ha-Joon Chang says it is a reaction to the rise of global capitalism that pushes an austerity agenda which he describes as "nothing short of a complete rewriting of the implicit social contracts that have existed since the end of the second world war." ........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/09/30-1

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