lock arms on the way to Wall Street to stage a demonstration.
authorities backed down with their threat to evict Occupy Wall Street
from Zuccotti Park, which has been their base, Oct. 14.
Like the Americans,
Germans Must Stand Up in Outrage at Last!
Wall Street's numbers are swelling with more and more trade unionists joining
their ranks and even Europeans planning protests. In this, the fourth year of
the financial crisis, protests against capitalism as it currently exists have
begun. It is high time that citizens rise up against the madness that is enveloping
them. Not to abolish capitalism, but to reform it so that financial markets
have less influence."
The massive upheaval in
the U.S. shows that in the fourth year of the financial crisis, it is once
again about rescuing the banks - at taxpayer expense. Those in this country who
want to protest this redistribution of financial capital won't find much
sympathy with any German political party. But it is high time that German citizens
rise up against this insanity.
To begin with, at first there
were very few people occupying a park near Wall Street. It was easy to dismiss
them as cranks unable to hinder the billion-dollar business that stock brokers
pursue and which dominates the world every day. But their numbers are swelling
with more and more trade unionists joining their ranks and even Europeans planning
protests. "We get nothing, the bankers get everything!" This is a
rallying cry that many Germans can surely identify with. In this, the fourth
year of the financial crisis, protests against capitalism as it currently
exists have begun. It is high time that citizens rise up against the madness
that is enveloping them.
Seldom since the end of the Second
World War have residents of the West felt such commonality
as they do today. The citizen during a financial crisis is a defenseless
creature, tossed about by the daily imperatives of the "market." There
are the downgrades of Italy and the U.S. and banks in Britain and Portugal, vast
new bailout packages are planned before the previous ones have run out - let
alone be paid for. And it no longer surprises anyone that the Chancellor is
sacrificing yet another Sunday to meet with France's president for the
umpteenth crisis meeting over bailing out the banks. The banks? Again? That's
right, the exact same financial sector that was propped up by billions from
taxpayers in Europe and the United States only three years ago.
This repetition, this second
massive redistribution at the expense of the public - shows just how all-important
decisive protests have become. For years, banks profited from their speculative
ventures, but the moment they stumbled in 2007-2008, states began to cover
their losses by taking on their massive debt. This redistribution is now being
followed by yet another. Meanwhile, the debt amassed during the financial
crisis has overwhelmed unsound euro-countries like Greece. If one were to go by
the textbook of the markets, it should be the nation's debtors - in other
words, the banks and other bond holders - who should come to the rescue. But
yet again, it is the taxpayer who is footing the bill.
Those who wish to protest this
naked redistribution of financial capital won't find much sympathy with any of
the German political parties. The major parties appear driven by the markets. Whatever
elicits a reaction from them, for example, criticism of the Gauweillers and Schaefflers of this world
[who oppose the euro], it tends to be about the misguided rejection of the euro.
In pioneering against runaway markets, the Left has a trailblazer in Oskar Lafontaine, but
their activities amount to gestures without providing solutions.
It is high time that even the
German public take to the streets to force the political parties to reconsider.
Not to abolish capitalism, but to reform it so that financial markets have less
influence. Their must be barriers for banks, so that they attend to providing
credit instead of dealing in derivatives - and a fair distribution of the costs
of the crisis. It says a lot that Deutsche Bank was only recently forecasting a
record profit this year, while the government had to shoulder billions in new
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