Monday, February 27, 2012

Chinese netizens flood Obama's Google+ page

Hundreds of Chinese have flooded US President Barack Obama's Google+ page, apparently taking advantage of a glitch in China's censorship system to post about human rights and green cards.

Google+ -- the US Internet giant's social networking site -- has been unavailable in China since it was launched last year, apparently blocked by the nation's strict censorship system, dubbed "the Great Firewall of China."

But over the past few days, Chinese netizens say they have unexpectedly managed to get onto the site, and have decided to concentrate their presence on Obama's page.

"Many people don't understand the meaning why all Chinese are coming here. We envy American people their democracy and freedom!" one netizen said in English under Obama's latest posting about his campaign's bumper stickers.

The comments centre on freedom of expression and human rights, as well as more mundane issues such as how to get US green cards.

"We are not barbaric people, we are just suppressed," one netizen wrote, while others called on the US president to "come and liberate China".

It is hard to prove if all those commenting are from China, but most write in simplified Chinese characters – used in the mainland as opposed to Hong Kong -- and expressions are similar to those found on the nation's microblogs.

It is also difficult to determine what glitch in the Firewall they are taking advantage of.

On Sunday, Google+ appeared to be available in China on some people's mobile devices but not on fixed computers --a fact confirmed by some netizens on Obama's page.

Others in China, however, were still unable to access the site, which remained blocked on their mobiles along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Some netizens urged Obama to help free activists such as blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who is currently under house arrest, or Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Many of those posting comments also enquired about green cards -- US permanent residency certificates – asking Obama to send them one along with his re-election campaign stickers.

Serious Materials Occupation -- Republic Windows Part 2

Workers facing layoffs at a Chicago window factory have declared victory after occupying their plant for 11 hours. Through direct community action, including the support of Occupy Chicago, the workers and their union prevented the California-based Serious Energy company from closing the plant for another 90 days. The workers hope this will give them time to keep the plant open, possibly by purchasing it themselves and creating a worker-owned co-op. “We can run this company,” Juan Cortez, who has worked more than 23 years in the factory, told the media. “We got smart people to manage the money. We can find customers. We know how to run the company.” Members of Occupy Chicago showed up in solidarity and brought supplies. In 2008, workers at the same factory occupied their plant for six days during a labor dispute with its previous owners, Republic Windows and Doors. That occupation forced Bank of America into a $1.75 million settlement with the workers.
Via the Occupied Chicago Tribune:
By Dan Massoglia
Dozens of workers emerged from the Serious Materials factory building at 1333 N. Hickory Avenue last night, chanting “Si se pudo!” to cheers from a wet but excited crowd of roughly thirty, many of whom had planned to spend the night in solidarity. Led by UE Local 1110 President Armando Robles, they exchanged hugs as Robles spoke into a camera. First in English, then in Spanish, he welcomed the result.
“We got a good resolution, better than we expected,” he said, and thanked those there for their support. The main portion of the settlement was an agreement that the workers could keep their jobs for 90 days while searching for new owners for the plant, and Robles’ suggestion that the workers could run the company under their own banner was met with applause. “Give us hope, give us work! For the workers of America!” cheered someone from the crowd.
A short, conciliatory statement from a Serious Materials spokesperson followed, but minds were clearly elsewhere, elated with the victory and the future prospect of a cooperative enterprise.
Robles, speaking to press in alternating English and Spanish, described events of the morning, when workers were taken to a notorious anti-union law firm and informed that their jobs would be terminated, effective immediately; though they would still receive 60 days of Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act pay, they would not be allowed to work any more. The company planned to begin dismantling the plant for sale, to which Robles and UE responded, “This is not acceptable.”
At the 5 p.m. shift change, workers stayed in the factory, and the rest is (newly written) history. In coming days, Robles said workers will get in touch with workers cooperative groups in New York and Argentina for guidance.
By the time the tents were packed and the workers on their ways, the rain had turned to ice and snow, leaving a pair of confused security guards cracking jokes outside the doors of a major labor victory.

Athens: Open assembly of the translation counter-information network Contra Info

Polytechnic School (Gini building), entrance from Stournari Street, Athens

Kilkis, Northern Greece: Message from a member of the workers’ general assembly, from the occupied city’s hospital

Hello all,
Thank you so much for your interest and support.
The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers started on Monday, February 20th, at 8:30 local time. This occupation is not only about us, the physicians and the workers at the Kilkis Hospital. Neither is it only about the Greek National Health System, which is collapsing, indeed. We are in this fight because what are in real danger now is the human rights. And this threat is not against just a nation, or against a few countries, or a few social groups, but against the low and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, in the whole world. Today’s Greece, is tomorrow’s picture of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries worldwide.
The workers at the Kilkis Hospital and at most of the hospitals and health centers in Greece are not paid on time and some of them see their salaries being cut down to practically zero. A fellow-worker of mine was transferred to our cardiologic clinic in shock, when he realized that instead of receiving the usual check of 800 euros (yes; that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a note saying that not only he will be paid nothing for this month, but he is also to return 170 euros. Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) euros for this month. Those of us who still receive some kind of a salary will support them in any way we can.
This is a war against the people, against the whole community. Those who say that the public debt of Greece is the debt of the Greek people are lying. It is not the people’s debt. More »

Ear tag applier

So it is, so it was, the disgust never bakes
Though we do, though we trip, or just hear
Though we act at the rear, and it aches
Abductees don’t uptake, neither lean
In the mocking and cracking of fear
Whatever may fake, it is there if it’s near
The illusion is mere, yet the core of desire
Never sleeps, never rests but resists what it takes
So it was, so it is, demonstration of gears
And the cry in between so it sheers and appears
Non-victims, non-assholes, non-peers
Though it launches its freaks, revolt ever peaks.

Switzerland: New anarchist library in Zurich

FERMENTO anarchist library

- Library (Lending and consultation)
- Archive (old and recent publications from several countries, documentation of struggles and people, etc.)
- Distribution (leaflets, posters, brochures, recent editions, etc.)
In German, Italian, French, English and other languages
- Photocopiers and work space
- Coffee, tea and other beverages
Opening times: Wednesday 17.00–21.00 / Saturday 14.00–19.00
Events will be announced via leaflets and mails. To stay updated, for questions and donations, please contact
Location: 10, Rosengartenstraße, 8037 Zürich
Tram 13 to ‘Wipkingerplatz’ / Bus 46 to ‘Rosengartenstraße’
or Zug to ‘Bahnhof Wipkingen’
Opening on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 — 14.00 to 22.00
This library will be a meeting place; between freedom-loving people and ideas; between rebels of the present and rebels of the past; between social struggles here and elsewhere. A meeting place between all those who reject this society, which is based on the principle of authority, and the very idea of anarchy, which is based on solidarity and self-organization. Between those today who are looking for ways to fight their oppression, and for traces to these ways that others have already left behind. Between those who want to understand and revolutionize their local and international reality that produces more and more social conflicts.
Today, as more and more people realize that the emotional and material misery will only pile up, and that society has always been about that; today, as we experience how even more people demonstrate once again the courage to uprise against this misery, we want to open this library in order to give new space to an old question: that of social revolution.
And this question is not a cause of a party or an ‘organization’, absolutely not! It is the cause of us all, as individuals, all who are tired of politics’ deceptions, who no longer accept delegation, bosses or leaders. It is the concern of all who want to fight for their own ideas, their own perspectives and their own lives.
The books in this library should be neither goods for mere amusement, nor materials for mere study, neither old stories for an escape in nostalgia, nor ideologies in search of followers. They should be ferment, leaven of ideas that cause the social mixture to simmer and stimulate the thirst for action. They should be a tool; towards the subversion of the prevailing regime and the construction of free relations.
in Spanish —sources 1, 2

Athens: Poster by Villa Amalias squat calling for protest demo on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

In times when the poor are baptized as ‘beggars’ and the rich as ‘philanthropists’… in times of generalized crisis, when totalitarianism marches on, when the centre of Athens is under police state and being reconstructed, and people who struggle and come from the lower social strata are stigmatized as criminals, when migrants are targeted by the social acceleration of fascism and the racist pogroms… In these times the squats, as one more social mound of resistance and struggle against barbarity, are threatened by state repression…
Solidarity to Lelas Karagianni 37 squat
and to the occupied municipal market of Kypseli
Hands off the squats, all self-managed spaces
and struggles made without tutelage
Demonstration: Saturday, March 3rd, 12.00pm
Gathering at the occupied municipal market of Kypseli
(42, Fokionos Negri Street)

Athens: Responsibility claim for arson barrage in solidarity with the imprisoned comrade Stella Antoniou

Solidarity banner in Amsterdam: ‘Freedom for Stella A.’
On Thursday dawn, February 23rd, we attacked various targets in five different areas of Athens:
- ATM of National Bank of Greece in Thymarakia
- ATM of Marfin bank in Palaio Faliro
- A vehicle of Free Sunday newspaper, owned by publisher Giorgos Kyrtsos, in Ilioupoli
- 4 ATMs in Ano Petralona (two of National Bank, one of Piraeus bank, one of Millennium bank)
- A branch of the Ministry of Culture in Exarchia
We dedicate these attacks to the anarchist comrade Stella Antoniou, who is incarcerated in Koridallos women’s prisons since December 4th, 2010, originally accused for participation in an unknown terrorist organization, a charge that soon became participation in the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, according to the abstract scenarios of the police anti-terror unit. The truth is that Stella is prosecuted for her consistent combative stance against the State and the Capital. She maintains this combative stance until today, inside the prison walls, actively participating in mass struggles of inmates, as well as stating her presence in daily prison life issues.
Stella faces a serious chronic health problem, which makes her immediate release and her regular monitoring by doctors imperative, something impossible to take place in the euphemistically called hospital of Koridallos prisons.
The prosecuting authorities’ position, through the repeated denials of applications for her release, shows the vindictiveness of the State against the people who still fight; against all those who neither bow their head, nor accept the oppression and misery imposed by the dominant Power.
In our times, when classist inequalities become clear in practice, affecting more and more social strata, we project forward the class solidarity between fighters, the creation of mounds against the plans of domination, the social revolution as the only way out towards the liberation of our lives.
We send our militant greetings to anarchist Stella Antoniou and demand her immediate release.

A prison called Honduras

by Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Last Tuesday night, February 14th, the penitentiary centre at Comayagua burned down, with the deplorable result of more than 355 charred prisoners. This is the third time in less than 10 years that horrific fires take the lives of hundreds of prisoners; many of them without having received any sentences at all or simply brought before the authorities because of having tattoos.
The fires in the prisons at Ceiba and San Pedro Sula, during the tenure of the nationalist Ricardo Maduro, did not serve as a lesson on the aberrant management of justice and prisons in Honduras. Once again history repeats itself, but now seems even grimmer, with leaked declarations of alleged fugitives, which talked about a scheduled escape in complicity with the prison authorities, and the indications of neighbours of the prison farm, which felt a strong smell of gasoline coming from the detention facility. The violence in which the country finds itself is not unsubstantiated. The reduced elite of Power are complicit in the sequestration of Honduras, clearly with the customary support from countries whose interests revolve around the plunder of the so-called natural and human resources.
The coup d’état in 2009 served as a catalyst for the indignities suffered by the Honduran people. Unfortunately, the elections imposed by the US Empire and some countries of the European Union legitimized the coupists and the heir regime that served the process of defenestration of democracy.
The existing putrefaction in state security bodies, the looting of arsenals, the arms trafficking from the US, the militarization of the drug cartels, the uncontrollable gangs (maras, children of neoliberalism) are parts of this violence cocktail, which crushes the people in Honduras.
If the rumors about penitentiary authorities’ involvement in causing the incident were confirmed (apart from the abominable negligence of not allowing firefighters’ entry to the site and keeping the prison cells locked), the events in Comayagua will prove to be a premeditated massacre, thus stoning the already deceased judicial system of the current banana republic.
The entire country is completely overwhelmed by this massacre. Meanwhile, the current administration keeps its permanent smile, and after the narrative style of George Orwell and his ministry of truth, they intend to disguise the honduras, the depths in which we are immersed, into a field of human rights and economic crisis affecting the country. In this country we are all prisoners of a small group of maniacs, some of them specialized in repression and others in deterrence. The political laboratory that has become the so-called triangle of death (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) helped the US Empire to create a war zone, where insecurity is used by media disinformation in order to instill in the people the supposed necessity for heavy-handed government to eradicate violence.
An example is the elected president of Guatemala, Otto Pérez, known as the butcher of the Ixil people. The loss of people’s historical memory is a serious indicator of the inability to solve our problems, and how some factions step in applying for a foreign intervention.
The ongoing violence is not unsubstantiated, but rather part of a script well-prepared and directed over long distances, with the macabre aim of setting fire to Honduras and prolonging domination.
La Ceiba, Atlántida, February 20th, 2012
sources: 1, 2

Greece: Chronicle of the latest attacks on migrants and some initial thoughts on recent events in Patras

January 23rd, 2012
The old factory of Peiraiki–Patraiki (Greece’s former largest textile producer) is a huge area of abandoned buildings right across from the last entrance/exit of the new port of Patras. In the last several months a few hundred migrants from Afghanistan, Sudan and some others from Algeria, Somalia and Morocco have started to live in this area. It’s precarious ‘housing’ for the people who seek an exit from Greece daily, through the port, to a new life.
It is not only a daily dream and aspiration to leave, though, but also a constant struggle to survive; a daily fight with all that it entails. Trucks run over migrants killing them, and migrants die inside of trucks looking for shelter, or even die from cold; they face the elements and some freeze to death. Then there are always the port police, who beat them, torture and humiliate them.
The last 20 days, during the Christmas holidays, we stood next to the migrants after repeated incidents, which sum up the conditions of misery and barbarity reserved for their life in Patras, as a border, as a passage for their transit to Europe. To be more specific:
20-12/2011: A 27-year-old Afghan seriously injured his head after he jumped from the second floor of a building in a construction site in his effort to avoid the cops that were chasing him in Rio (area of the city of Patras). The same cops, despite the fact that they saw his fall, left the 27-year-old where he was, laying injured. After a while some residents from the area called an ambulance. At the hospital doctors denied him care (because he did not have documents). When they realized he had internal bleeding in his brain, they operated. After the operation he remained sedated for 15 days. Today he is in the neurological clinic of the general hospital of Patras in a stable condition.
Patras, December 23rd, 2011
23-12/2011: Migrants living in Peiraiki–Patraiki made a demonstration to the city centre and back, with the support of people showing solidarity, to protest about the incident with the 27-year-old and their general living conditions.
27-12/2011: Two juvenile Afghan migrants, who had been missing from the previous day, returned to the old redundant factory with head and leg injuries after they were seriously beaten by the coast guard inside the new port.
3-1/2012: Three migrants (between the ages of 15 and 19), who had just arrived at Peiraiki–Patraiki and hadn’t managed to find a place to settle, found shelter in the cabin of an abandoned truck inside the factory. They made a small fire in a metal box to keep warm, but were stuck inside the vehicle. This resulted in one of them dying from a lack of oxygen and the other two going to hospital with serious health problems. The local media totally distorted the incident and said that the migrant was found dead in the area of the port, inside a truck that had Italy as its final destination.
4-1/2012: The day after the death inside the truck, about 10 fuckers from DIAS (motorcycle cops division) entered the factory at dawn. They woke those sleeping there with kicks, proceeded to tear and burn their papers, stealing their money and mobile phones, and insulting and humiliating them.
More »

Germany: A-Netz supports the mobilizations of March 31st

The Anarchistische Netzwerk Südwest* (Anarchist Network Southwest) supports with the following call the Europe-wide day of action, the mobilizations against capitalism in March 31st, 2012. On that day there will be actions in numerous European cities. The M31-alliance is supported by anti-authoritarian, anarchist and grassroots groups. In the FRG, a central action will be held in Frankfurt on March 31st.
Capitalism is not just a phrase, is not just an empty battle cry of anarchist and leftist organizations. It threatens humanity and nature, destroys daily lives and livelihoods on this planet. If we do not bring down this system, then it will bring us down. At worst, it will take our lives, if that serves its survival. Capitalism forces people to always be on the lookout for new opportunities of utilization and exploitation, at regional, national or global level. All are affected by this: also we, who try to fight capitalism, reproduce it as a mechanism for action. The State and its institutions take over the task to maintain the capitalist relations of production by any means necessary.
In 2011, the planet experienced a wave of resistance against the intolerableness of this system, as with revolutionary movements in Egypt and Tunisia, with Occupy movement in New York or Oakland, or with general strikes and mass demonstrations in Greece and Spain. Many people and groups, that were and are active in these struggles, have a common goal: to overcome the prevailing circumstances and the political and economic system. Everywhere grows the willingness and courage of the people to take their concerns into their own hands at last. Self-organization, grassroots democracy and creativity create spaces, in which there is an attempt to escape the capitalist relations. Thus, these relations are increasingly being called into question. The system gets cracks in its facade, and these are growing from resistance to resistance.
In order to overcome capitalism, in order to achieve conditions in which the life of humanity is at the center, in which every person can live a good life, we need to make more cracks in the system, we must tear down the system and its structures of Power once and for all, and finally use the resources of this planet sensibly, collectively and in solidarity. This can only happen if we organize, as well as exchange and develop joint forms of action beyond land boundaries and locality logics, aiming at overcoming the prevailing conditions.
Thus, as Anarchistische Netzwerk Südwest* we join the pan-European proclamation by the alliance called ‘march31’ and call upon everyone to take part in the demonstration and the main actions in Frankfurt am Main. For this purpose, we will organize car pools and buses.
Supporters from the A-Netz are: Libertäre Gruppe Karlsruhe, Libertäres Bündnis Ludwigsburg, Saarland, Offenburg, Anarchistisches Netzwerk Tübingen, Emanzipatorische Gruppe Konstanz, Freie Arbeiter*innenunion (FAU) Stuttgart, Anarchistische Gruppe Freiburg

Russia: Anarchist antifascist murdered in Samara – Friends and family need your support!

On February 9th, 2012, at 6.30 in the morning in the area of the Physical Institute of the Academy of Sciences (FIAN), a janitor found the body of Nikita Kalin, born in 1991. At 8.00 police arrived, and at 11.00 the cops finally contacted the mother of the murdered. According to his mother, Nikita was stabbed 61 times; besides this, his ribs were fractured multiple times, and head was wounded as well. Nothing was stolen from the deceased.
Currently, a suspect for the murder is held, as Nikita’s blood was found on clothes of this arrested person. It is obvious that Nikita was attacked by a group. Police also told to the mother (off the record) that the detained suspect is a national socialist activist (neo-Nazi), who refuses to name any other suspects or accomplices. Despite the murder’s brutality, investigation has still not questioned neither Nikita’s mother, nor his friends, and in particular the companion that was the last person who saw him. Due to this fact, we presume that authorities will attempt to cover up the case, as it often happens in Russia.
Nevertheless, the suspect has already hired a lawyer. We fear that police investigation is already working in defense of the arrestee’s interests, thus your support is necessary. At this point, a human rights organization has provided a lawyer to the family, but funds are still needed for funeral costs. Nikita was from a simple working class family, and never hid his antifascist and anarchist views. If you want to help his friends and family to raise funeral costs, you may donate to Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow, here.
Nikita in a local meeting against election fraud, holding a placard reading: ‘We don’t need any authority! Freedom or death! Our candidate is self-governance!’

100 million workers to strike work on February 28

About 10 crore workers belonging to almost a dozen central trade unions will hold a nationwide general strike on February 28 during the budget session of Parliament.
Trade union leaders said a consensus on the strike was arrived at during a meeting at the office of the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) here on November 24.“Central trade unions are of the opinion that we should take to the streets against the UPA government’s failures on various fronts during or just before the Union Budget is presented next year,” Swadesh Dev Roye, national secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), told DNA on Friday.
While the general budget is usually presented on February 28, the government may table it in the Lok Sabha the following day next year. Congress labour wing, Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) which is the second largest union after the BMS, would also participate in the general strike, likely to be the 14th since economic reforms started in 1991.
According to a member of the CPI-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the strike is estimated to attract 10 crore workers from the public sector including the railways, defence, banking, insurance, road transport and energy.
“What is the alternative before workers if the government does not talk to them?” AITUC national secretary GL Dhar said when asked about such a strike’s negative impact on the country’s economy.
The unions’ list of demands include reining in price rise, combating corruption, government aid for the creation of national social security fund for unorganized sector workers, removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund, increasing the quantum of gratuity and assured pension for all (including the private sector).
The BJP, Left and Congress unions among other parties also want the UPA government to ratify the International Labour Organisation conventions section 87 (freedom of association) and 98 (collective bargaining).

Iran Cuts Greece Oil, UK Gas Hits $9.00 Per Gallon

Gas prices in the U.K. skyrocket to $9.00 a gallon as Iran cuts oil shipments to Greece in response to western sanctions

As oil prices skyrocket ahead of Memorial day,  in the face of what now appears to be an inevitable war with Iran by the end of the year, Iran has cut oil shipments to Greece after following similar moves last week to cut oil to France and the UK.
Despite repeated reassurances by western politicians and media outlets that Iran acting to cut oil supplies in the face of western sanctions would not affect oil prices, global oil prices refuse to following that scripted narrative
Gas prices in the U.S. spiked toward all time highs following last weeks cuts from Iran with Los Angeles becoming the first city to break the $5.00 a gallon mark with WTI Crude closing on the 24th at $109.77 per barrel and Brent spot prices at $126.65.
That represents an upward move of nearly 15% surge NY crude oil prices in just a short three weeks  since its intraday low of $95.81 on February 2nd.
NY Crude spikes 15 percent in last 3 weeks
NY Crude spikes 15 percent in last 3 weeks
Those spikes in prices come despite the fact that U.S. and global demand for oil is very weak and oil inventories are high.
Experts on media outlets across the U.S. continue to reinforce the notion that the spike in energy prices are not due to underlying fundamentals and instead deflect the blame on the escalating situation in Iran while warning that U.S. gas prices will skyrocket to over $5.00 a gallon nationwide by the summer.
In Europe, the situation is far worse as U.K. gas prices surged to 150p per liter — approximately $9.00 a gallon — on news that Iran cut oil shipments to Greece.
Press TV reveals that the announcement to cut shipments Greece follow the refusal of Greece officials to sign a long-term contract stating they will not go along with EU sanctions against Iran.
Iranian officials let the world know oil shipments are being cut to Greece by sending a Greek tanker home empty after arriving in Iran to refuel on oil.

Iran refuses to deliver 500k-barrel oil shipment to Greece

Iran has refused to deliver a 500,000-barrel shipment of oil to Greece in response to EU oil sanctions imposed against the country.

Iran refuses to deliver 500k-barrel oil shipment to Greece
Iran refuses to deliver 500k-barrel oil shipment to Greece
According to a report by Fars News Agency on Sunday, oil tankers that had come to transfer 500,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil to Hellenic refining complex in Greece were forced to return empty-handed after the Islamic Republic refused to deliver the shipment.
European Union foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and to freeze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank across the EU. The sanctions will become fully effective on July 1, 2012, to give EU member states enough time to adjust to the new conditions and find alternative crude oil supplies.
The EU decision followed the imposition of similar sanctions by Washington on Iranian energy and financial sectors on New Year’s Eve which seek to punish other countries for buying Iran oil or dealing with the its central bank.
The Senate Banking Committee on February 2 adopted a package of tougher new sanctions targeting Iran’s national oil and tanker firms, authorizing the US government to impose a ban on foreign companies that buy oil from the National Iranian oil Company (NIOC) or have oil shipped by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
On February 16, Iran stopped oil exports to British and French firms in line with the decision to end crude exports to six European states in response to sanctions imposed on the country’s energy sector.
The announcement caused a major spike in oil prices pushing the price of crude to over 122 dollars a barrel.
Iran announced on February 21 that it will only continue exporting oil to the European Union if the member states give a guarantee to pay the price and sign medium- and long-term oil purchase contracts.
Source:Press TV
Press TV also reports on the skyrocketing gasoline prices in Great Britain.

Soaring petrol prices stalk the British people

Soaring petrol prices stalk the British people
Soaring petrol prices stalk the British people

The price of petrol in Britain is to rise to an all-time high of 150p a litre [$9.00 a gallon] while the continuous rise in the price of oil exacerbates the soaring hikes in pump prices across the UK.

The British Chancellor George Osborne is to approve a crippling fuel duty hike over the next five months driving the price of petrol to over 150p a litre, reported the Sun on Sunday 26 February.
The news comes as the price of Brent crude oil is nearing $126 following Iran’s decision to cut oil supplies to British and French companies.
After Iran imposed an oil embargo on Britain, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, denied that Iran’s decision would leave any “impact on Britain’s energy security.”
The British Foreign Secretary’s denial was against a general “rule of thumb,” as described by a spokesman for AA, which provides British motorists with advice.
“The rule of thumb used to be that a $2 rise in the price of a barrel of oil added 1p a liter to pump prices,” said the spokesman.
However, this is just one side of the coin. Last year, the UK’s imports of crude went beyond its domestic crude production for the first time in 33 years.
With Britain’s crude oil imports of over one million barrels a day and predictions made by the world’s largest oil trader, Vitol, that the price of oil could rise to over $150 per barrel, Hague’s denial could not hold for long.
Source: Press TV

Iceland – No More Bankster Lap Dances

Iceland’s Special Prosecutor Blows Stack on Bankster Bosses

        … by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor

Iceland Blows It's Stack on Bank Fraudsters
American remains on it’s knees to our 911 investigation fraudsters, and the mortgage, banking and Wall Street derivatives pirates, a sad legacy to a once great country. 

In contrast to the cowardice and Congressional corruption evident here, little Iceland is leading the way in going after our contemporary Viking looters…a wonderful irony in itself.

Several weeks ago I published the Sicily Pitchfork revolt on a similar ironic theme. A broad coalition of grassroots groups there shut the whole island of five million down for almost two weeks in protest over fuel tax hikes of 40%.

Among their list of demands were the arrests of all corrupt officials, huge cuts in political office pay, perks and benefits, and a complete turnover of all long serving public employees. Imagine that!

I pushed the piece because mass media had a black out on what was a great story. Here you had Sicily, the land of historical corruption,  and the good folks rising up against their political and business mobsters…but not here in the land of the free…not yet anyway.
The article did surprisingly well on VT. Who knew that a Sicily Revolt would catch on. But my gut feel was right. The uniqueness of the mixed age and makeup of the Pitchfork movement, and the media blocking out the story hit a nerve.
The readers picked up on it right away, with a lot of comments wondering when the rest of us would wake up and start working together more to fight our elitist aliens.

As often happens with VT hit pieces, the hundreds of international bloggers and websites who follow us picked the article up. When I googled the title with Jim W. Dean, I found it posted all over the place.
That is something we don’t mind really as the name of the game here is to get the word out. So yes, I am trying to double dip on this Iceland story.


I had heard
that the public at large was protesting the ‘Greek Fire’ IMF solution…a generation or more of servitude to pay bankers and regulators for something that they caused, or allowed to happen through greed, corruption and blissful incompetence.

Whereas most people, like here, would have focused on debt reduction and forgiveness…but not Iceland. Those Viking blood folks want some bankster heads on pikes, legally speaking. Their special prosecutor has not only been raiding their offices, but their homes, also. I may have missed it, but I don’t think that happened here.

Some of these investigations are several years old, but the prosecution net of those being targeted continues to grow. It looks to me like they mean to hunt down every last one and give them the full Monty, to borrow the Brit phrase. From Businessweek:
A new coalition, led by Social Democrat Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, was voted into office in early 2009. The authorities are now investigating most of the main protagonists of the banking meltdown.
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.
Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues.
Can you believe that, solitary confinement DURING an investigation? Seems like these Icelandic post Vikings consider the financial rape and pillaging of the country a serious offense, and not just an regulation flaw or and accounting irregularity.

The Iceland Review reported on February 6th that even the banks accounting firms are getting drawn in now:
Three employees of the auditing firm KPMG were questioned on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor on Thursday and documents concerning the investment company Milestone and related companies were confiscated at KPMG’s headquarters.
From the Financial Times on February, 23rd, by Michael Stothard in Stockholm we have this incredible admission from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office that they have bungled  their investigation.
So how does little Iceland, with much less resources, manage to get it right? Might it be that there is no political corruption protecting the guilty?

Iceland’s Kaupthing probe leads to charges

Kaupthing Bank in Prosecutor's Cross hairs

The Icelandic probe into the collapse of Kaupthing Bank in 2008 made a big leap forward this week just as the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was admitting it had mishandled its investigation in the same affair.

The Icelandic special prosecutor charged Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the former chief executive of the failed lender, and Sigurdur Einarsson, the former chairman, with fraud and market manipulation. They are due to appear in court next month.

The move was the culmination of a three-year investigation by the special prosecutor, which was set up following the country’s 2008 banking crisis to look into “suspected criminal conduct before, during and following the events that led to the so-called ‘collapse’ in Iceland”.

“This is a good moment for the people of Iceland, many of whom are still very angry about the events of 2008,” said Thorolfur Matthiasson, professor of economics at the University of Iceland.

The indictments will come as a relief to Olafur Hauksson, the special prosecutor leading the case, who has in the past faced criticism for lack of progress. His fortunes are today in stark contrast to those of Richard Alderman, director of the SFO, which has been investigating Kaupthing’s UK ties.

The British agency was forced on Wednesday to admit “very regrettable errors” in the way it handled part of its Kaupthing inquiry involving Vincent Tchenguiz, the property tycoon, who was a major borrower from the bank.”’

The SFO joined the investigation into possible criminal activity at Kaupthing in 2009 because of the sizeable operations it had in the UK and also because several UK-based figures were among its biggest shareholders and borrowers, including Mr Tchenguiz and his brother Robert.

Over the next three years, the SFO and Icelandic special prosecutor co-operated on numerous operations, launching a raid on offices in Luxembourg, which was an important offshore base for Kaupthing…..

Legal Sparks are Flying in Iceland - Who Will Get Burned in the End?

Why have the Banksters gotten a free ride?
So despite our huge Justice Department resources here, rather than honoring their oaths of office our own public officials are tripping over each other trying to shake down the business community for giving them a pass on their pillaging if they can be generous enough with their begotten loot.

In all of the financial stories I have read there is a nary a whiff of potential criminal prosecution. The way they play the scan here is that if you steal a little you actually do risk possibly going to jail.

But if you can actually steal a huge amount, then you can use the country’s well being as your human shield…that to prosecute your company criminally would hurt a lot of innocent stockholders who might remember that come election time.

Our legislators have been very chummy with them on legislation creep that has made corporate criminal cases virtually a thing of the past. And as for our regulators and protectors, what do you think their odds are for a lucrative post government career would be for those who made a name for themselves with criminal corporate prosecutions?

Is this an election issue? Of course it isn’t. When it is question 22 on a polling list of five issues, it doesn’t do very well. I heard of one poll where gas/fuel prices ranked 20th on a list of concerns. I have never since a list of 20 polling questions in my life.

And not an issue…when rigged gas prices are holding back our economic recovery? Gordon Duff, with his international oil and banking work has written multiple articles on how oil should be $40 a barrel based on demand and gas $1.75 a gallon. Inflation would be down and all of the public would have a lot more spending money that is now going to the oil Vikings, the Gulf pirates, Russia, Iran.

And to repeat….this is not a presidential campaign issue? What more proof do you need that mass psychology is an advanced art and they really do control much of what we think based on what they allowed to be seen being discussed in public, and what they don’t.
It works, it pays, and they do it. So now what are we going to do? We know what the Iceland Neo-Vikings are doing.  They want to have a Bankster barbecue. Are you getting my drift? Yes…we need to hire some…now!!!
We need Viking special prosecutors. All I want out of it is rights to the reality TV series. It would be a huge hit, especially the executions part.

Why Can't We Americans Duplicate What the Icelanders are Doing to Their Banksters?

The Texas Warrant Roundup Training Police for Mass Arrest of Dissidents in the Future?

Well what can I call people getting traffic tickets on the side of the road? Taxation by citation as Sheriff Richard Mack calls the traffic ticket fraud… There are cities of Texas I avoid driving through for one good reason. It is because the Police write tickets all the time for nothing. It has gotten so bad in Texas. More than Ten percent of Texans now have a warrant for their arrest for failure to pay fines. These traffic tickets are no more than revenue generation for the city and county governments. It is the biggest fraud ever.

On February 25, many law enforcement agencies working together are starting the Great Warrant Roundup going after people with delinquent fines or failure to appear. Mixed into the fray are felony and misdemeanor warrants also. If there is any outstanding warrants for any reason mundane or not. The police are coming after them. I know the economy is not helping matters when people get expensive tickets. People do not have the money and I can say for a fact. Many people, who are in jail, should not be incarcerated at all. The United States has the highest incarceration rate per capita then any nation in the world. Even more then those totalitarian countries we decry for human rights violations.

I just wonder if the Federal government is involved coordinating these operations for future roundups? I know many of these Law Enforcement agencies are hooked into the Fusion Centers. There has been a relentless effort by Homeland Security to label anyone who dissents against the government are now labeled a domestic terrorist. I am talking about Anti war activist, pro gun groups, private property advocates, and constitutionalists. People exercising their first amendment right who are as American as apple pie are now designated enemies of the state. The NDAA now allows the Military to arrest American citizens without the right of Habeas corpus and due process. Can we see the Military assisting in these warrant roundups in the future? Never mind the border is wide open and  violent Illegal aliens who are fugitives killing the police. Our goverment does not care about that. Many big cities in Texas are sanctuary cities who will look the other way concerning these violent felons who are illegal aliens. Only non violent offenders they will go after who play by the rules.

I just wonder in the future when these do these warrant roundups in other states including Texas under the cover story of going after people not paying their seat belt fines. Could we see the US Military participating with Police rounding up not only people with delinquent traffic warrants? It has been reported the Military working with the Police in joint operations in the past. Could we see these roundups arresting Political enemies and dissidents? Could the Great Texas Warrant Roundup be a prelude of the Police and Military doing mass arrest in the future after a false flag event blaming the patriots? They were planning mass arrest of Patriots and Political enemies right after the Oklahoma city Bombing

Could we see just the Police doing the Roundup with the Military waiting at the county jail when the police bring them in, they hand the person over to Military custody placing a black bag over the prisoner's head putting them on a bus waiting to take them to the FEMA camp. People now see the NDAA is such an overt act of war against Americans. If the Military goes out to round up Americans, they might get resistance, with police being issued a bogus warrant. The officers might not be aware if it is fake or not, telling the person come down and take care of the warrant might be a trick to get a person to stand down instead of resisting. People might not resist with the Police coming out, but will get into a shooting war with the Military.

Be very skeptical of the Great Texas Warrant Round up. This can be a practice using the reason of arresting people with outstanding warrants for minor infractions who are non-violent people. Police will not go after the violent fugitives. They will go after the non-violent ones. Are they getting ready to do the real round up of the Patriots next when the Fusion centers gives them a list? Be aware the government uses reasons that sound very reasonable to the average people. However, to do a mass round up of people state wide. This operation could be used for a more nefarious purpose to go after to round up the patriots next.

Jim Rogers - none of the candidates have clue except Ron Paul

Greece: The Epicenter of Global Pillage

Lendman writes: "Predatory bankers make serial killers look good by comparison. Their business model creates crises to facilitate grand theft, financial terrorism, and debt entrapment."
Protesters pass by a burning cinema in Athens, 02/12/12. (photo: Kostas Tsironis/AP)
Protesters pass by a burning cinema in Athens, 02/12/12. (photo: Kostas Tsironis/AP)
redatory bankers make serial killers look good by comparison. Their business model creates crises to facilitate grand theft, financial terrorism, and debt entrapment.
They steal all material wealth and then some. They systematically rob investors and strip mine economies for self-enrichment.
They demand they get paid first. They hold nations hostage to assure it. They turn crises into catastrophes.
They leave mass impoverishment, high unemployment, neo-serfdom, and human wreckage in their wake.
Their Federal Reserve/ECB/IMF/World Bank/political class lackeys do their bidding.
They're more dangerous than standing armies. They wage war by other means. They cause "demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight," explains Michael Hudson.
They're a malignancy ravaging societies and humanity. Greece is the epicenter of what's metastasizing globally. The latest bailout deal highlights out-of-control pillage.
On February 20, New York Times writer Stephen Castle headlined, "Europe Agrees on New Bailout to Help Greece Avoid Default," saying:
On Tuesday morning, Luxembourg president/Euro Group head Jean-Claude Juncker announced:
"We have reached a far-reaching agreement on Greece's new program and private-sector involvement. The new program provides a comprehensive blueprint for putting the public finances and the economy of Greece back on a sustainable footing."
In fact, it assures human misery and economic destruction, not restoration. It's a deal only bankers can love. It demands Greece reduce its debt from 160% to about 120% of GDP by 2020, but how incurring more debt achieves it wasn't explained.
It also demands sacking 150,000 public workers by 2015, slashing private sector wages 20%, lowering monthly minimum wages from 750 to 600 euros, cutting unemployment benefits from 460 to 360 euros, and reducing pensions 15% en route to eliminating them altogether.
Media reports said bondholders agreed to a 53.5% face value haircut - the equivalent of losing 75% overall. In fact, only 30% of toxic assets are involved. Most held aren't touched. Greece must make good on them, no matter the impossible burden.
Private lenders will swap current holdings for new lower face value/lower interest rate bonds. Representing bondholders, Institute of International Finance's Charles Dallara and BNP Pariba's Jean Lemierre called the deal "solid....for investors, a fair deal for all parties involved."
In other words, raping Greece for bankers is "solid" and "fair." Its citizens had no say. Without rights, what's best for them wasn't discussed.
They're left with huge wage and benefit cuts combined with mass layoffs. Greece faces less tax revenue to cover domestic priorities. In late 2011 alone, its economy shrank 7%. January revenues fell 7% year-over-year. Value-added tax receipts decreased 18.7% from last year. Death spiral financial deterioration continues monthly.
Moreover, the nation's $650 billion debt burden is double the reported amount. The more it increases, the harder it is to service and repay, the more future aid's needed, and deeper the country's economic catastrophe heads for total collapse.
The deal escrows $170 billion to assure bankers get paid. Investment advisor Patrick Young got it right telling Russia Today that dealmakers don't trust Greece living up to terms because its track record is so bad.
"So we now have a situation," said Young, "where Greece said we'll do anything you want, but the problem is" too great a burden to bear. "It's a catastrophe pushing people to the brink of starvation."
No matter. Finance ministers will give Greece some money on dreadful terms "where like a nine year old child, every Friday it has to go to daddy, say it's done its homework, say it's been a good boy, can it please have next week's pocket money to pay its civil servants. (It's) a horrible loss of sovereignty."
Troika power runs Greece - the IMF, ECB and EU. They're predators saying pay up or else.
Reports say its government will change its constitution to prioritize repaying debt ahead of vital domestic obligations.
Other terms involve lenders cutting interest rates on bailout loans by 0.5% over the next five years, and 1.5% thereafter. An estimated 1.4 billion euros would be saved by 2020.
The ECB will compensate by distributing profits on its 40 billion Greek debt holdings. In addition, Eurozone countries will contribute their Greek bond income through the end of the decade.
Still to be decided is EU/IMF burden sharing. Both agreed to contribute. Not discussed or considered is leaving 11 million Greeks on their own out of luck. They have three choices - starve, leave, or rebel.
The Rot Beneath the Surface
On February 21, Financial Times contributor Peter Spiegel headlined, "Greek debt nightmare laid bare," saying:
"A 'strictly confidential' report on Greece's debt projections prepared for eurozone finance ministers reveals Athens' rescue programme is way off track and suggests the Greek government may need another bail-out" soon after the latest one.
Even under the most optimistic scenario, imposed austerity's punishing Greece so severely, its burden's impossible to bear.
Agreed on terms are "self-defeating." Forced austerity elevates debt levels, weakens the economy, and prevents Greece "from ever returning to the financial markets by scaring off future private investors."
As a result, continued financial infusions are needed. Double or more the agreed amount's required. Current problems increase exponentially toward total collapse, default and bankruptcy.
The report explained Greece's impossible burden. It also "paints a troubling outlook for the debt restructuring, expected to begin this week." Bond swapping creates "a class of privileged investors who will chase off" others when Greece tries selling fixed income securities at market. Germany, the Netherlands and Finland opposed a deal doomed to fail.
The report warned "Greek authorities may not be able to deliver structural reforms and policy adjustments at the (envisioned) pace." Perhaps never with shrinking revenues unable to cover liabilities.
It's "now uncertain whether market access can be restored in the immediate post-programme years." Left unsaid was restoring it's impossible ever. Greece faces protracted deep depression. Its life force is ebbing. Only its obituary remains to be written.
A Final Comment
Greece's debt deal provides a model for future European sovereign restructurings. It's one of six or more troubled countries. Portugal looks like the next domino to fall, but Spain, Italy, Ireland, and others may follow.
Moreover, implementing Greece's deal entails problems. Reality may prevent fulfilling promises. If April elections are held, new MPs may balk. Declaring a debt moratorium, defaulting and leaving the Eurozone are options.
Moreover, private lenders may object. Legal challenges may follow. A sweetheart banker deal may unravel. Pressuring China and Japan to help isn't working. China Investment Corporation, the nation's sovereign wealth fund, and Chinese central bankers aren't willing to buy troubled European sovereign debt. According to one official, "(w)e aren't stupid."
How it all plays out isn't known. Technocrats run Greece. They may cancel April elections and stay in power. Public sentiment remains the wild card. Impossible to bear pain may become uncontainable rage. More than buildings may burn.
If political Greece doesn't care, people must act on their own. Revolutionary seeds are planted. They can erupt any time. Change only comes bottom up. It's long past time to get started.
Steven Lendman received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. Since 2007, Steven has hosted The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

German cabinet minister calls for Greek euro exit

Germany’s interior minister called for Greece to leave the eurozone on Saturday as hopes that the world’s richest countries would stump up more cash to help the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fight Europe’s debt crisis faded.

Germany’s interior minister called for Greece to leave the eurozone on Saturday as hopes that the world’s richest countries would stump up more cash to help the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fight Europe’s debt crisis faded.
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Becoming the first member of Germany’s cabinet to openly call for a Greek exit, Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel magazine that Greece’s chances of restoring its financial health would be greater outside the euro. Photo: Reuters
Becoming the first member of Germany’s cabinet to openly call for a Greek exit, Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel magazine that Greece’s chances of restoring its financial health would be greater outside the euro.
“I’m not saying that Greece should be thrown out but rather to create incentives that it can’t say ‘no’ to,” he added.
His comments came as eurozone leaders faced calls to increase their own efforts before any more money is made available from the IMF. Fresh from agreeing a second €130bn (£110bn) bail-out for Greece, there were hopes that this weekend’s gathering of G20 finance ministers in Mexico City would achieve a deal on how to ramp up the IMF’s own European war chest by as much as $600bn (£378bn).
UK Treasury officials made it clear that any new deal with the IMF was now likely to be delayed until meetings in April. Eurozone leaders have been negotiating with the US, China and Japan to contribute more to the IMF to build a “financial firewall” that would shield the likes of the Spanish and Italian economies from any intensification of the region’s crisis this year.
Despite fears in Washington, Tokyo and Beijing that Europe still poses a real threat to the wider global economic recovery, they want to see Europe take further steps first. America’s opposition is fiercest, with the White House making clear it won’t contribute more to the IMF. “What we don’t want to see is the IMF substitute – and it really cannot substitute – for a stronger European response,” US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said.

Germany also raised doubts that finance ministers would come up with a deal on IMF funding this weekend. “I expect no decision at the G20 summit on boosting the IMF’s resources,” said Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s central bank.
Other major contributors to the IMF are insisting that Europe must combine its two existing bail-out funds as a pre-condition of any extra money from the IMF. The European Financial Stability Facility, which is worth about €250bn, will be joined this summer by the €500bn European Stability Mechanism.
“We have to take a hard look at the firewall,” said Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “The bigger, the thicker, the deeper and the taller it is, the more credible it will be and the less likely it will have to be used.”
European leaders will discuss whether to weld the funds together at a summit in Brussels this week. But, Germany has so far refused to say whether it would support such a move.
Mr Weidmann hit back at criticism that Europe’s largest economy was not doing enough to solve the Continent’s crisis. Germany bore a “disproportionately large share” of the financing of the two bail-out funds, he said, adding that there was a misconception the country had managed to “dodge the flames of the current crisis”.