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The question of the repayment of public debt is undeniably a taboo subject. The heads of State and governments, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the mainstream media present it as inevitable, indisputable and obligatory. The people have no other choice than to knuckle under and pay. The only possible discussion pertains to how the burden of the sacrifices will be spread around so as to find sufficient budget to meet the nation’s obligations. The borrowing governments were democratically elected, thus the debts are legitimate; they must be paid. A citizens’ debt audit is a means of breaking this taboo. It enables an increasing proportion of the population to grasp the "ins and outs" of a country’s national debt process. It involves an analysis of the borrowing policy followed by a given country’s authorities.
In a manner infused with the spirit of Western Orientalism, as defined by Edward Said, some Arabs have held that a despotic mentality has taken root among most of their fellow Arabs as a result of their cultural and educational background.
The developed economies have entered a new recessive phase of the crisis which began in 2007. The rebound obtained thanks to public spending is exhausted and the next relapse will be marked by a strong rise in unemployment. To get back to at least the level of employment that existed before the crisis it would have been necessary to create 17 million jobs in the world, but public treasuries are exhausted by the aid given to the banks.
The association, Europe solidaire sans frontières, initiated three financial solidarity campaigns in 2011 (Japan, Pakistan and the Philippines). We are presenting below the financial situation of the first, launched aftere the terrible disaster on the 11th of March – earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster – in the Northeastern region. [We are using and updating the second update on our solidarity campaign, done April 21, 2011. See on ESSF (article 21171), Japan: Update on fund raising and solidarity.].
In memory of the murdered environment, in memory of the murdered people: environmental destruction in Mindanao at its worse25 January 2012, by
The tragedy that had ravaged the areas in many areas of Northern Mindanao during the flashfloods that hit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City last December 17, 2011 and the landslide in Pantukan Compostela Valley last January 5, 2012 are more than enough of a wake up call for everyone. The government may have responded through different reliefs and aids for the victims but still a very vital reality had been bypassed. The hows and whys of the people are answered through a generic explanation safe enough to justify the incident. It is because of the tropical storm Sendong that passes through the area of Mindanao with heavy rain-falls and the unexpected rise of the water levels in the rivers-great enough to consume all the houses near the river banks, created new pathways and submerged deep the areas that is before haven’t experienced flooding. Therefore, it was an unexpected fate that caught everybody unprepared.
A progress report on the campaign of solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Washi / Sendong in Iligan (Philippines)25 January 2012, by
On the night of December 16 2011, the northern coast of Mindanao, the Philippines was hit by a violent typhoon and floods whose severity is based on massive deforestation. Our association, Europe for Solidarity Without Borders (ESSF) has supported the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Action Centre, Inc.. (RDRRAC - Action Center Ranaw disaster response and reconstruction) that organizes relief in the province of Iligan [[ http://www.internationalviewpoint.o...] ].We present a first assessment of this initiative.
The future of the Arab spring and the Indignados and Occupy Wall Street movements is very difficult to foresee. The Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings are likely to lead to a transition similar to those that ensued in Latin America, the Philippines and Korea with the end of dictatorships in the 1980s, or in South Africa in the 1990s and in several sub-Saharan African States: with the stabilization of a neo-liberal bourgeois regime. Today is a different era, the Muslim world presents very specific characteristics, and the geo-strategic stakes are significant (especially as regards Egypt and the Middle East, less so Tunisia): history is an open process. The capacity of the oppressed to organize will be decisive.
How do we change the world? This is the question asked by thousands of people intent on changing things, the question that is often repeated in alternative social gatherings ... a question that the French philosopher Daniel Bensaïd said has no answer: "Make no mistake, no one knows how to change the world." We do not have an instruction manual but we do have some hints on how to do it and some working hypotheses.