Category Archives: Class

Unpaid Brazilian police threaten Olympic strike


The latest chapter in the ongoing Brazilian meltdown comes from folks who are charged with keeping order.

Form the Japan Times:

Police in Rio de Janeiro protested Monday over late payment of salaries and a lack of equipment ranging from car fuel to toilet paper as the Brazilian city prepares to host the Olympic Games.

About 300 police clad in black T-shirts stood on the steps of the Rio de Janeiro state assembly to denounce what they said had been their abandonment ahead of the Olympics, which start on Aug. 5.

“The police’s priority is the people, the government’s priority is the Olympics,” read one banner at the rare public display of anger by a force that finds itself in the midst of both a state budget crisis and a lethal surge in criminal activity.

One officer, who like other protesters asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions at work, told AFP that he had only been paid half his salary last month and was still waiting for this month’s salary.

“I haven’t been paid my overtime for five months either,” the 40-year-old officer said.

More from teleSUR English:

Hundreds of police gathered outside the police headquarters in the neighborhood of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, the state capital, marching with signs through the downtown streets until they reached the headquarters of the National Assembly.

“We are unsatisfied and without the prospect (of a solution), we can’t rule out a gridlock during the Olympic Games in August,” Neira said.

Police authorities put out a statement saying they understand the claims, which they also believe are fair.

According to the statement, a commission would analyze the requests, and begin working on the urgent cases.

All we can ask is ‘What next?’

Headline of the day: Trumped up promises


From the Washington Post:

Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years.

In the past 15 years, Trump has promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his money-making enterprises: “The Apprentice.” Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book. If he honored all those pledges, Trump’s gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million.

Massive Mexico City protest supports teachers


The battle over neoliberal educational “reforms” mandated by the regime of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has caused a walkout by teachers and massive unrest in the state of Oxaca, where as many as a dozen protesters were slain 19 June.

Now thousands have taken to the streets of the nation’s capital in support of the strikers.

We begin with raw video footage from RT’s Ruptly TV:

Mexico: 10,000s march in Mexico City in solidarity with Oaxaca teachers

And the details from United Press International:

Tens of thousands of people in Mexico City protested on Sunday over recent violent clashes between police and a teachers union in the Oaxaca state that killed at least 10 people.

The protest on Sunday was called by Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, one week after the clashes between the National Coordinator of Education Workers union and Mexican state police.

Authorities said more than 4,000 police officers were deployed to central Mexico City as the march occurred Sunday.

The teachers union, social organizations and local residents held protests and disrupted traffic on a major highway connecting Oaxaca to Mexico City for about a week before violence erupted last Sunday when riot police attempted to disperse the crowds. Authorities said 10 people died, but some witnesses said up to 12 people died. Dozens of civilians and police were also injured.

The Brexit Boogie: A vote that shook the world


Is the world headed into another Great Recession even before that shockwaves of the last one have settled down?

When one of the world’s two major financial centers pulls out of its continental base, there’s good cause for concern.

But that’s just one of the issues raised by Thursday’s vote.

Here’s a roundup of rumbles. . .

British buyers remorse?

Even before the dust settled, Brits were flocking online to sign a petition for a do-over.

From Agence France-Presse:

More than two million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum, after a shock vote to pull Britain out of the EU, an official website showed Saturday.

The website of the parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the surge of people adding their names to the call for another nationwide poll following Thursday’s historic vote.

“We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 percent based (on) a turnout less than 75 percent there should be another referendum,” says the petition.

The blame game begins

Guess who’s catching the heat?

Hint: He’s already resigned his job in disgrace.

From euronews:

Blame for the failure to convince British voters to remain in the European Union lies at the door of David Cameron, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger told Euronews.

The Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society told Euronews that the decision by the Prime Minister to “order” the Commission to stay “out of the game” was a mistake.

Asked whether Cameron was to blame, Oettinger responded: “ I think so, yes. What he did is not acceptable.”

The Commissioner insisted that Scotland and Northern Ireland, which both voted overwhelmingly for ‘remain’, could only rejoin the European Union as independent nations. He predicted that Scotland would “probably” split from the rest of the United Kingdom.

And fear runs rampant

Shrinks call it Separation Anxiety Disorder, and it’s an ailment running rampant these days, especially in Berlin.

From Sky News:

Germany fears France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary may follow the UK and leave the EU, a government paper says.

The finance ministry strategy paper expresses concern that the UK’s historic vote may trigger a Brexit domino effect across Europe, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.

It recommends that the EU enters into negotiations aimed at making the UK an “associated partner country” for the remaining 27 nations.

As it stands, the UK’s exit may cause Germany’s contribution to the EU’s budget to rise by 3bn euros (£2.44bn) a year, the paper adds.

And there’s good cause to worry, reports Reuters:

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union fired up populist eurosceptic parties across the continent on Friday, giving fresh voice to their calls to leave the bloc or its euro currency.

Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and France demanded referendums on membership of the union, while Italy’s 5-Star movement said it would pursue its own proposal for a vote on the euro.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigrant PVV party, said he would make a Dutch referendum on EU membership a central theme of his campaign to become prime minister in next year’s parliamentary election.

“I congratulate the British people for beating the political elite in both London and Brussels and I think we can do the same,” Wilders told Reuters. “We should have a referendum about a ‘Nexit’ as soon as possible.”

After the jump, Boldness in Bratislava, a British downgrade, trillions in losses, the pain in Spain, grief in Greece, troubles in Tokyo, and a Schadenfreude alert. . . Continue reading

Chart of the day: Material deprivation in Greece


From the Hellenic Statistical Authority:

BLOG Greece

Among the findings:

  • 47.5 % of the poor households declare incapacity to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day, while the respective percentage of the non-poor households amounts to 1.8%.
  • 29.2% of the total households declare inability to keep their home adequately warm, while the share of the poor households is 50.8% and the share of the non-poor households is 23.7%.
  • 87.2% of the poor households and 44.5% of the non-poor households report difficulties in facing unexpected financial expenses of approximately 410 euro.

Cold War 2.0: The tensions continue to rise


As the Obama administration draws to a close, global tensions largely dormant since the end of the Cold War near three decades ago are smoldering again, and with renewed intensity.

It.s an ominous turn, given that both apparent presidential candidates are among the most bellicose since the Cold War ended.

We begin today’s account of the latest development with RT:

Russia will take adequate measures to counter NATO’s increasingly “aggressive rhetoric,” President Vladimir Putin told MPs at the closing session of the State Duma. He called to create an international security system open to all countries.

It’s necessary to create a collective security system void of “bloc-like thinking” and open to all countries, Putin said on Wednesday in Russia’s parliament.

“Russia is ready to discuss this extremely important issue,” he said, adding that such proposals have been so far left unanswered by Western countries.

“But again, as it was at the beginning of WWII, we don’t see any positive response,” he continued. “On the contrary, NATO ups its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions near our borders.”

“In this environment, we must pay special attention to strengthening our country’s defense capabilities,” he concluded.

Russia plans to public positions of America’s secret spay satellites

From RT again, another provocative move:

Russia’s own data on near-Earth objects – including military satellites not covered by the open catalog of the North-American warning system NORAD – could soon be made publicly available as a comprehensive database, Russian media report.

Russia is planning to set up a free database on thousands of near-Earth objects, including those not publicly listed in open catalogs of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday.

NORAD doesn’t only track Santa at Christmas – its database also provides details on thousands of satellites launched, destroyed or still functioning. While the catalog does not disclose data on America’s own military or dual-use satellites (or those of allies – Japan, France, Germany and Israel among them), as Izvestia says, it does feature Russia’s defense satellites.

At a Vienna meeting of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in mid-June, Russia proposed to create a similar UN-run database “collecting, systemizing, sharing and analyzing information on objects and events in outer space.” Such an international database would be available to any country that has capabilities in the areas of human spaceflight, launches or satellites.

And the U.S. sends spy planes to the China Seas

Another move certain to up the ante in the hot zone where provocations by the U.S., China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam could easily tturn into armed conflict.

From the Diplomat:

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, the United States Navy dispatched four U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft and about 120 military personnel to Clark Air Base, an air force base located on Luzon Island in the Philippines, according to a U.S. Seventh Fleet press release.

The four aircraft and 120 personnel arrived on June 15 for training with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) FA-50 aircraft pilots and to support U.S. and Philippine naval operations in the South China Sea, as the statement makes clear with a veiled reference to so-called freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the disputed waters.

“In addition to bilateral training missions, Growler aircraft will support routine operations that enhance regional maritime domain awareness and assure access to the air and maritime domains in accordance with international law,” the press release reads.

There’s more, after the jump. . . Continue reading

Peña Nieto doubles down on Mexican ed ‘reforms’


Resistance to the neoliberal educational agenda of the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has sent thousands of Mexican teachers and their supporters into the streets of Oaxaca cities and towns.

Violent repression by police has led to the deaths of at least nine protestors and injuries to scores more, leading physicians to join in with a strike of their own.

But all the activism has been met with a stone wall of resistance from the capital.

The latest development from teleSUR English:

Mexico “will continue to deepen” the controversial education reform that has resulted in violent repression of teacher protests, Education Minister Aurelio Nuño said on Thursday.

Nuño called the law, which was implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto, a “central and essential project” that Mexico needs to be successful in the twenty-first century.

The minister gave these statements during a meeting with the head of the government-recognized teachers union, the SNTE.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osoio Chong met with leaders from the radical CNTE teachers union, who have been leading protests against the reform. No agreements resulted from talks, which followed the massacre of 12 people in the southern state of Oaxaca during CNTE-led protests against the reform.

Teachers have been protesting since 2013, when Peña Nieto presented the education reform as part of a set of 11 radical neoliberal reforms in key areas such as finance, health and energy sector.

Meanwhile, strike supporters have joined the protest in New York City.

From RT America:

Protesters gather outside NYC Mexican Consulate in solidarity with 9 killed in Oaxaca

Program notes:

For a second day, demonstrators gathered outside the New York City Mexican Consulate, outraged over the shooting of teachers in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca in southern Mexico. State and federal police are accused of opening fire Sunday on protesters who were expressing their dissent over government reforms to privatize education. Many of the people were teachers in their teens and early twenties. In the carnage nine people died; 100 were injured, including 45 who remain hospitalized; 21 were arrested, and 23 are disappeared. Video and reporting by @RebMyles.