Tens of Thousands Protest Austerity in 80 Spanish Cities.
MADRID — Tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets during the weekend to protest austerity budget cuts and commemorate the anniversary on Tuesday of a movement that inspired other groups on Wall Street and across the Western world.
Raquel Pereira, a 44-year-old government worker, was among the protesters at Puerta del Sol around midnight on Saturday.
“The sad thing is that Spain is in much worse shape than when I was here last May,” she said. “More than ever, this country is led by people who are either clueless or only care about their own interests…”
NATO Secretary General begins pre-Summit consultations with visit to Spain
Visiting Spain ahead of the Chicago Summit next month, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with President of the Spanish Government Mariano Rajoy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo and Minister of Defence Pedro Morenes, in Madrid on 26 April 2012.
They discussed the key aims for the Chicago Summit on May 20-21: setting the course for future engagement in Afghanistan; providing the Alliance with the capabilities it needs to deal with the full range of threats; and strengthening NATO’s network of partnerships across the globe.
The Secretary General thanked the government of Spain for its significant contribution to NATO…
Amy Jacobsen on WIND in Chicago was breathless with mostly manufactured panic. She was perhaps best known as the reporter fired for having a bikini pool party at the home of an accused murderer, certainly making her the best possible critic of the media. Jacobsen didn’t want all these “foreigners” in her city, she repeated on this morning’s show about the protests, adding that she was “intuitive and I can tell this will be bad.”
“Some restaurants have put up plexiglass on their windows,” she told her co-host, Big John. “Guess what, no one is going to your restaurant ‘cause we’re afraid of the protesters!”
“Why don’t they hold this on a military base where the protesters can’t get to them?” said a caller. “What if they beat up our cops?
John and Amy dismissed the caller’s fear, with Amy remarking about what police should do with protesters, “Maybe just a good Chicago beat down.”
John chuckled sophomorically. “Ya mean like when they fall down the stairs accidentally, get dragged back up and fall down again?”
Amy gave a snide, rasping and hollow laugh. “Enhanced interrogation techniques.”
But the day had already begun dramatically. At the Prudential building, anti-war protesters and Occupy activists appeared spontaneously in the park opposite, surprising building security, and apparently catching police unaware. A number of the protesters brushed past security, making up the long escalators towards Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters. Police arrived in short order to arrest without incident 6 of the activists. Outside, the gathered group of perhaps 200 cheered on the arrestees as heroes.
The whole world it seemed was in protest, outraged at the perversion on the unjust imbalance of power around the planet. In Spain, on the one year anniversary of anti-austerity actions that helped inspire Occupy, one hundred thousand so-called Indignatos filled the streets of more than eighty cities. There were protests against the US supported regime in Bahrain, and peaceful outrage against the plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Tom Koffer was watching the news on FOX when the phone rang direct to his desk without going through the secretary. Koffer recognized the number instantly. He frowned and snapped up the receiver.
“Congressman Rand,” he said in a thoroughly manufactured tone. “To what do I owe this pl…?”
“Your guy got exposed,” said Rand, forcing his voice low. “You said that wouldn’t happen.”
“Relax,” he replied, sitting down in the tall leather executive’s chair and turning to face the city. “A cop got a little overzealous investigating the target. He was told to back off, if he wants to keep his retirement. Nothing to worry about.”
Rand fumed. “Don’t treat me like a punk.”
“Your job is to make sure that legislation gets introduced in Congress designating Occupy a terrorist organization, and its affiliates, including MoveOn.org and that fucking Media Matters bunch. One shot and I wipe all these bastards off the board and clear the way for Romney all the way to the White House.”
“You’d better have all the angles covered, Tom.”
“And you better get that legislation through, just exactly the way we wrote it for you.” He smiled, but it was a cold and cruel smile. “Ed Schultz and the liberals want to make ALEC out to be a monster, well then we’ll give ‘em gad dammed Godzilla!”
10 miles east Angelo sat in a Berwyn used car trailer. The man across from him was built like a body builder, with arms like tree trunks. A black and white-striped dress shirt was stretched tight over those muscles. He was soft-spoken with a disarmingly gentle demeanor. His air was an unnatural blond color, fully at odds with the man’s green eyes. The small cramped little metal trailer was raised on wood supports off the asphalt. The man’s snakeskin cowboys boots clicked and clacked loudly over the sagging wooden floor. The air was thick with patchouli oil over stale sweat, cold coffee and mildew.
“Cash, yes?” Angelo noted n accent, and despite having been around the world, Angelo couldn’t quite place it.
“Five thousand for each.” Angelo drew a clear folder and opened it without touching the papers inside. They were carefully and perfectly done forgeries, each with Jack Murphy’s name and signature. The man took the papers. Angelo closed the folder and slipped it back into his pack. It was a good price. None of the three cars he was purchasing was world two thousand let alone five.
“Everything you need is there. All you have to do is put through the paperwork and deliver the vehicles to this address in Chicago.” Angelo drew a photograph of Jack. “The police will come. This is the man you sold the cars to.”
The men stood and shook hands. Both men had read each other, and knew full well the business both were in. The dirty little world of espionage was all too apparent for those who were initiated. It was likewise a very small word in which trust became everything, like all criminal enterprises, and a man’s word could save or cost him his life.
“I hope we can do business again.”
The tension grew in the city, building daily, hourly, by the minute in anticipation…and trepidation. The tension rose even among the ranks of the protesters, fanned by a media that pressed and seemingly wished for violence. Talking with one protester over the phone, WBBM News radio perennial news man seemed especially animated by the specter of violence.
“What I’m hearing from my people is one of two things. The first,” said Cody, white-haired, bespectacled and a salty as they made a street reporter in Chicago. “The first is that this will be like Y2K. Remember Y2K? The other is about black helmeted thugs coming to Chicago to destroy things.”
It was bullshit, and the wise old Cody had to know that it was. Either that or the media was as mindless and one-side and as fully programmable as its honest critics said.
That evening the week took on a new dimension with the “discovery” of a suspicious package near the little Dunkin Donuts at Granville and Clark Street on the cities far north side. A transit point for immigrants and homeless people, the neighborhood was also notable as being close to a vibrant Muslim and African neighborhood, as well as a hot bed of sympathy for the Occupy Movement. As the sun went down Clark street remained closed, creating a traffic nightmare for the usually bustling Rogers Park neighborhood. The summit was less than a week away.