Greek Riots coming here soon?

Greek riots – the flashpoint of a 15-year-old son of a bank manager shot dead by police. Another western society that has been destabilised by a new left government implementing IMF/World Bank neoliberal policies that has left one fifth of population living in poverty while the rich have gotten richer under a deregulation and low tax program. The government is perceived by the people as corrupt and ineffective. With an insulated governing class; and a prime minister himself the nephew of a previous president.

The Guardian newspaper interviewed a Greek who spoke of a generation who see their parents stuck in debt who themselves have no hope, living on 500 Euros a month.

In some ways it is invigorating to see people rise up and say ‘Enough!’ Refreshing that technology has not been deployed to prevent people from doing so – such as microwave cannons designed to cause burning sensations and nausea in people. For now, it still comes down to tear gas and truncheons; with the usual media focus of ‘anarchists’ and ‘stone throwers’ when no mass movement can consist entirely of those elements. Though mobile phones and internet allow flash mobs to form according to CNN: “These young people — often referred to in Greece as ” the known-unknowns” — use texting and Web sites to organize and communicate.” A linguistic legacy of Rumsfeld.

These riots follow hot on the heels of those in Iceland, where one third of people are trying to exit the country. Discontent bubbles quickly to the surface as citizens realise the government is unaccountable and incapable of managing the economy effectively as it is the international bankers who pull the strings. And then what can you do but take to the streets? We are going to see more of this – like the so-called ‘IMF riots’ seen in Argentina, Russia, Mexico, etc. in previous decades as the middle classes feel the chill.

The Financial Times reports today that UK corporate pension pots are falling in value at a time when corporate insolvencies are mounting. The dangers of unrest increase as the middle class gets looted and every day seems to bring a story telling us that the recession/depression will be deeper than feared.

When will it happen here?

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