Today I have three news stories to share with you, dear Readers. The People continue to protest around the world, telling their governments to halt continued efforts to put greed and profits before humanity in Turkey, Europe, and Japan. The drum rattle of change continues unabated…..
‘Not About Trees Anymore’ as Turkey Protests Intensify: What started as a bid to save public land has escalated as youth face riot police with calls of revolution
Jon Queally, staff writer http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/01-0
What began as a protest to protect a public park in Istanbul from commercial development has escalated dramatically in a week’s time with violent clashes between demonstrators and police on Friday leading to an even larger escalation on Saturday as more than ten thousand Turkish citizens faced down security forces in a call for deeper social change.
On Saturday, what started in Gezi Park—where developers backed by the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) hoped to build a shopping mall—has now spread to other parts of Instanbul.
And the Hürriyet Daily News reports:
The Turkish police’s crackdown targeting the demonstrators protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park continued on June 1, as clashes broke out in Istanbul’s symbolic Istiklal Avenue and the Beşiktaş district on the European side of the city.
Security forces used tear gas and water cannons this morning to quell protesters who had gathered on İstiklal Avenue, as well as its sidestreets. When the police fired the water and gas, protesters tried to escape from the narrow streets leading to the Cihangir neighborhood.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters gathered again after the police’s first intervention. However police fired once again, entering the pedestrian street with a water cannon riot vehicle. Some protesters made barricades with trees and bins about 100 meters from Saint Anthony’s Church, near Galatasaray Square. Around an hour later the police destroyed the barricade and protesters escaped into sidestreets.
Despite the repeated police interventions, the numbers gathered at the protests only increased. Protesters chanted slogans against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on the government to resign.
“The protesters are saying that this is not about trees anymore,” said Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Istanbul.
As this video shows, the streets have become intense as protesters clash with police
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On Friday, in fact, an administrative court in Istanbul handed the #OccupyGezi protesters at least a temporary victory by putting a “stay” on the construction permit of the new development.
Despite that and following the aggressive use of force on Friday, including the detention of nearly 60 demonstrators on Friday, the protest movement seemed only to spread overnight.
German Official Warns of Immediate ‘Revolution’ if EU Adopts US Model: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble urges adherence to Europe’s welfare model
by Andrea Germanos, staff writer http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/29-6
Europe must not drop its welfare model in favor of US standards or it will spark a revolution “not tomorrow but the same day,” Germany’s Finance Minister warned on Tuesday.
Speaking at a conference in Paris, Wolfgang Schäuble was joined by other German, French and Italian ministers in issuing warning calls over the soaring unemployment plaguing nearly six million European youths, and that threatens an “entire generation of people” and risks losing “the battle for Europe’s unity.”
Warning of “catastrophe,” Schäuble said, “We need to be more successful in our fight against youth unemployment; otherwise, we will lose the battle for Europe’s unity.”
Reuters reports: While Germany insists on the importance of budget consolidation, Schaeuble spoke of the need to preserve Europe’s welfare model. If U.S. welfare standards were introduced in Europe, “we would have revolution, not tomorrow, but on the very same day,” Schaeuble told a conference in Paris.
“We have to rescue an entire generation of young people who are scared. We have the best-educated generation and we are putting them on hold. This is not acceptable,” added Italian Labor Minister Enrico Giovannini.
French president François Hollande, also at the conference, said “We need to act quickly” on youth unemployment.
“Remember the postwar generation, my generation. Europe showed us and gave us the support we needed, the hope we cherished. The hopes that we could get a job after finishing school, and succeed in life,” said Hollande. “Can we be responsible for depriving today’s young generation of this kind of hope?”
“Imagine all of the hatred, the anger, it’s not anger that we’re talking about in fact, it goes more than that. We’re talking about a complete breakdown of identifying with Europe.
“What’s really at stake here is not just ‘let’s punish those in power,’ no. Citizens are turning their backs on Europe and the construction of the European project,” said Hollande.
The New York Times adds: Werner Heyer, head of the European Investment Bank, said the deepening youth unemployment crisis, alongside obstacles to cross-border lending within the euro zone, represented the region’s two “megaproblems.” But he cautioned that politicians would be mistaken if they believed that the European bank’s resources alone would be enough to solve the unemployment problem. “Such expectations of the bank are beyond the horizon,” Mr. Heyer said. “There is no quick fix; there is no grand plan.”
Only ‘Unevolved Apes Want Nukes!’: Japanese Demand End to Nuclear Era: Thousands rally in Tokyo as nuclear restarts loom http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/02-0
Thousands of people, including victims from the Fukushima disaster in 2011, took to a central park in Tokyo on Sunday to protest the Japanese government’s intent to restart the nation’s nuclear reactors.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Protesters later marched through the capital, holding anti-nuclear banners including one which read: “No Nukes! Unevolved Apes Want Nukes!”
They also demonstrated outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was crippled by meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami.
[Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe], whose Liberal Democratic Party has close ties with the nation’s powerful business circles, has repeatedly said he would allow reactor restarts if their safety could be ensured.
Japan turned off its 50 reactors for safety checks in the wake of the disaster but has restarted two of them, citing possible summertime power shortages.
And RT adds:
Shortly after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, the Japanese government pledged to fully abandon atomic energy by the 2030s. However, in about a year authorities realized their promise was a hasty one, as the archipelago nation had hardly any other means to ensure sufficient electric energy supply but to return to nuclear power generation.
Earlier this year two nuclear reactors were put back into operation in Japan and plans were announced to restart six more by the end of 2013.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly promised the reactors would only be restarted if their safety is ensured by a special supervising body – Nuclear Regulation Authority. But his words could never quell the anti-nuclear moods in the country, where the tsunami disaster took 19,000 lives and lead to some 150,000 residents of the Fukushima area being displaced.
It’s estimated the post-disaster clean-up would take about 30 to 40 years and cost around US$15 billion.
- Protests in Turkey: Will Taksim Become Erdogan’s Tahrir Square? – TIME (world.time.com)
- The Right to the City Movement and the Turkish Summer (jadaliyya.com)
- Police retreat… (telegraph.co.uk)