Posted 5 years ago on Feb. 10, 2012, 3:26 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Under pressure from creditors, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the EU, the Greek government is forcing through unpopular austerity measures. The Greek Prime Minister threatened to remove any government minister who objected to the policies.
Wages are to be cut by more than 20 percent, thousands of civil servants will be laid off, and vital social programs will be severely cut. These laws punish the Greek 99% to repay the debts of the ruling class. The government has sold out sovereignty, the poor, and the working class in the interest of foreign creditors and the demands of the 1%. Bankers continue to make millions and corporations pay fewer taxes. The rest of society, having done nothing wrong, is being punished for the failures of the market.
In response, thousands have taken to the streets and occupied the square in front of Parliament. For the second time this week, Greek workers began a general strike for today and tomorrow. Most transportation has been shut down - limited-service trains will allow protesters to attend demonstrations in Athens. Protesters around Parliament have been attacked with stun grenades and teargas by riot police. Similar protests and strikes are underway across Europe, including in Belgium, where firefighters opposed to cuts in their retirement plan broke through police lines with water hoses.
Students also occupied a school and held General Assemblies for protesters. The occupiers released a statement:
The health structures, the educational spaces, the “welfare” benefits and anything making us productive in the dominant system are now a thing of the past. After squeezing everything out of us, they now throw us straight into hunger and impoverishment.
For years, Greece has been wrecked by the very same policies of austerity also underway in the United States and other countries. From Athens to Oakland, the 99% have awoken - and we refuse to be sold out.