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Anti-Austerity General Strike Sweeps Europe

Millions of Europeans are protesting spending cuts and tax increases during a continent-wide general strike that comes days after a 53-year-old woman in Spain committed suicide as she was about to be evicted.

Journalist and former “Democracy Now!” producer Maria Carrion says the story of Amaia Egana, a former city council member in the town of Barakaldo in the Basque Country, is representative of the sort of interminable suffering being endured across Europe as the economic crisis continues:

[H]er case is especially tragic because she actually didn’t share just how bad off the situation was even with her husband. So, most people had no idea that there was a whole—there had been a repossession and an eviction process. She was so desperate and so ashamed of the situation that she jumped out of her balcony, her fourth floor apartment, as court employees came to evict her. This comes two weeks after police found a man dead in his apartment as they went in to evict him from his home after repossession.

And—but, you know, the movement to stop these evictions and repossessions has been working very hard on this for almost two years, and this is just the watershed. This has been the one situation that has actually forced government and the opposition and banks to come to the table and talk about real reform. Before this, you had these evictions taking place—500 orders every single day—silently. And thanks to the 15M movement—this is—was the Occupy movement in Spain just over a year ago—the platform against evictions was incredibly energized. And so, they have been able to stop hundreds of evictions.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Democracy Now!:

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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