Europe Hit by Wave of Austerity ProtestsWorld | November 14, 2012, Wednesday| 157 views
Students walk in a row on A6 Highway in Madrid, Spain, during the general strike called 14 November 2012 in Europe. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Workers across the European Union are expected to take to the streets on Wednesday in a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures.
Strikes are expected in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, with other protests planned in Belgium, Germany, France and some eastern EU states.
Greece Protests Turn Violent
Watch LIVE footage from the protests here.
By Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas
ATHENS, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Greek police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters who flooded into the main square before parliament on Wednesday in a massive show of anger against lawmakers due to narrowly pass an austerity package.
The violence erupted as a handful of protesters tried to break through a barricade to enter parliament, where Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to barely eke out a win for the belt-tightening law despite opposition from a coalition partner.
In all, nearly 100,000 protesters - some chanting "Fight! They're drinking our blood" - packed the square and side streets in one of the largest rallies seen in months, police said.
US preparing for unrest, martial law: Ron Paul
Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:29PM
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says that the federal government is preparing for civil unrest and martial law in the United States.
Ron Paul has recently said that H.R. 645 (The National Emergency Centers Establishment Act) could lead to Americans being incarcerated in detention camps during a time of martial law, Infowars reported on August 20.
“Yeah, that's their goal, they're setting up the stage for violence in this country, no doubt about it,” responded Paul.
The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645, first introduced in January 2009, mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.
The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations.”
The bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.
The legislation was referred to committee and did not proceed any further, but it was not rejected in a vote and can be re-introduced at any time in a new session of Congress.
Europe Protests Austerity With Strikes in Spain, Italy
By Emma Ross-Thomas and Joao Lima - Nov 14, 2012 4:19 AM ET
Andres Kudacki/AP Photo
In Spain, unions said most auto and metal workers joined the strike, even as power demand was just 13 percent below usual. One of Portugal’s two biggest labor groups also called a strike, partial walkouts are planned in Greece and Italy, and French unions are urging workers to join protest marches.
Opposition to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s cuts in health, education and welfare benefits is growing while those measures are failing to rein in the budget deficit or bring down borrowing costs. Demands for less austerity are gaining traction as the International Monetary Fund recommends nations including Spain slow the pace of budget cuts.
“This is a strike against the suicidal economic policies of the government,” Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, head of Spain’s CCOO union, told supporters late yesterday.
Rajoy, who won a landslide election victory a year ago, is wrestling with the second-largest budget deficit in the euro region while trying to revive the economy from a five-year slump that pushed the jobless rate to 26 percent. He is trying to avoid following Portugal, Greece and Ireland into seeking a sovereign bailout as Spaniards resist the measures being implemented as a condition for the 100 billion-euro European bank rescue he agreed to in June.