The New Enemy of Economic Recovery: Austerity Protesters

George Osborne image

Eric Blair
Activist Post

As the United States surpasses the debt ceiling today, and Obama and Boehner play “let’s make a deal” for deep cuts to the budget, citizens must prepare for austerity measures of higher taxes and less benefits.  These cutbacks won’t necessarily be as evident as European austerity, because Americans scarcely get anything tangible from their tax dollars.  However, cutbacks will likely bring similar hardship and protest.

The increasingly ferocious protests over public service cuts and asset looting in the Euro-zone hints at what may be in store for America. Over the weekend a Washington Post article described the escalating unrest in Greece over punishing austerity measures.  However, the thrust of the article was to create the new enemy of the economy recovery: austerity “anarchists”:

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience. 

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new ‘amateur anarchist groups, whose tactics include planting of gas canisters in mailboxes and destroying bank ATMs. 

Some attacks have gone further, heightening concerns about a return to the kind of left-wing violence that plagued parts of Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. After urban guerrillas mailed explosive parcels to European leaders and detonated a powerful bomb last year in front of an Athens courthouse, authorities here have staged a series of raids, arresting dozens and yielding caches of machine guns, grenades and bomb-making materials.

The article is a carefully crafted smear piece with a clear intention to link anyone who opposes the banking cartel’s slavery of entire nations to militant anarchists.  Anarchists that must be hunted down like terrorists. And the so-called “amateur anarchists” are described by Mary Bossi, one of Greece’s leading terrorism experts, as “…just a few frustrated high school students with a Web site, but as we continue to see, others have the potential to be dangerous.”

The article goes on to describe all the various forms of violence that protesters are committing throughout Europe and how much of a threat it is to law and order.  And the “order” of the day is submission to continued raping of services and assets where riot police thankfully enforce the “law”.

To the author’s credit, he includes quotes that accurately describe the frustrations of the European citizens:

‘There is a sense of general injustice, that the government bailed out capitalism and the citizens are footing the bill while the capitalist system is running like nothing ever happened,’ said Bart Cammaerts, an expert in anarchist movements at the London School of Economics. ‘And yet, things have happened. There are more taxes, less services, and anger is emerging from that tension.

However, in the next breath, like all establishment pieces covering this story, it describes the threat of runaway debt and bankruptcy facing these nations.  In other words, playing the fear card of further suffering if nothing is done to coral the uncontrollable debt — with the solution being more centralized bailouts that will “surely come with a requirement to slash domestic spending even further.”

In what might be the most telling section of this brilliantly-crafted propaganda piece, the perception of a  majority is used to justify these “reforms”.  The reporter, vaguely but with certainty, refers to Greek polls that show a broad support for austerity reforms, while at the same time characterizing the minority who oppose them as “extremists”:

To be sure, polls show that a majority of Greeks — tired of waste, corruption and public largesse — largely support the reforms. But without doubt, experts say, extremism is on the rise and could disrupt attempts to get the nation back on track. (emphasis added)

This is an obvious ploy attempting to get the reader to fear the “radical minority” of dissenters and just submit to the will of the majority because aren’t we all “tired of waste, corruption, and public largesse”?  To further drive this manufactured intention home, it details and blames the fringe aspects of the extreme left and right.  It personalizes a journey to radicalism as if begging for violence as a justification of the brutal counter-offensive to peaceful dissent.  A young Greek activist is quoted:

‘I don’t support violence for violence’s sake, but violence is a response to the violence the government is committing against society,’ Galanos said. He later added, ‘It is now hard for any of us to see a future here. I feel it’s my duty to fight against the system.’

Noticeably absent from this article was any reference to the manufactured financial collapse and lack of any significant reform to the perpetrators.  Instead, the thrust of blame is placed squarely on the lowly citizen, especially if they keep pointing to the bailout corruption. Indeed, the theme is clear; more debt and flesh is needed to satisfy the international bankers’ debt despite their clear role in the causation of the “crisis”.  The establishment will categorize dissent as “extremism” that threatens economic recovery. And the bankers will get their pound of flesh from their slaves.

In America, the fear of government debt is drawing similar support for gutting spending.  Yet, big government has no intention of slashing spending on wars, the bloated surveillance industry, corporate bailouts, or heavy-handed regulators. The banks, military industry, oil companies, big agriculture and big pharma will keep getting their bailouts and subsidies, while everyday Americans will be stretched even thinner.  If debt-ridden countries in Europe are an accurate indicator, the anger of downtrodden Americans will likely grow, the flames of extremism will be fanned, and the establishment will crush dissent of the “radical minority”.

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