Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Eleanor Finley Reports From Italy

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This comes from a Facebook Site “Protect the People”. In Ireland, state policing of people’s movements is not so restrictive (yet); we can learn from Eleanor’s report.

Italy update: Ciao amici (hi friends). Life under lockdown here in the Friuli region is slowly evolving, so I thought I’d post another update. Normally, I try to keep things upbeat, but today is a little different. Here’s the latest:

  • Escalated police presence: My husband Pierre went to add money to his phone today and a police checkpoint was at the end of our street taking temperatures and asking for papers. He also got pulled over at a checkpoint on the way home from his mom’s house yesterday (just doing her shopping, no direct contact). The whole “papers” requirement is strange because what if you don’t have a home printer? We sure don’t. So, basically, the police just ask where you are going and then allow you to leave. But one has to ask to what extent states can/are going to take advantage of these conditions and make temporary “security measures” permanent. FTP.
  • Every day at about 4-5 pm, the protezione civile (national agency tasked with emergency management) drives through our neighborhood blaring orders to stay inside. I support staying inside obviously, but it’s not clear to me that this serves a purpose other than to scare people. I suppose that helps keep all of the hopelessly cavalier dummies inside but it also produces a sense of doom and foreboding.
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Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 26, 2020 at 5:47 pm

All Out At Home, Thursday March 26 2020 Across Ireland for Health Workers

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All Out, Thursday March 26, 8pm Tonight Across Ireland.
Well Done Brid Smith TD and Memet Uludag

All Out Thursday March 26 2020 8pm Ireland

I will play Bella Ciao from my IPAD – Other Suggestions! https://youtu.be/X5dGRM7Fw88

Also here https://youtu.be/nJTOD5jjac4

COVID-19 is a class issue

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This useful article argues that the Irish Government needs to call off the March 17 St Patricks’s Festival in Ireland, where hundreds of thousands of people will gather together, and spread the CoronaVirus, which will bring down many people with CoVid-19 Illness.

The failure to take any of these measures could be disastrous. Not only would it leave our entire society vulnerable to the spread of infection due to working people having no choice but to work, but it would leave the most vulnerable in our society hanging out to dry whilst depriving us of an absolutely essential resource for fighting this crisis – healthy frontline medical staff. The price of putting profit above people is simply too high.

Change the system

It is a price that would, firstly, be a product of government inaction in order to protect the interests of the capitalist establishment it represents, but the ultimate cause would be the severe neglect and abuse of our health service, already stretched thin. In South Korea, where they have 12 beds per 1000 people, they are running short on beds due to the spread of the virus. Ireland has 3 beds per 1000 people – the numbers speak for themselves.

Now is the time to start taking the necessary action of establishing a single-tier universal healthcare service: where the most vulnerable in our society are taken care of, that is properly staffed and properly funded, with enough beds and free to access. In that process we need to take the private hospitals into public ownership.

The public health crisis is impacting the entire planet, and already we are seeing significant economic impacts starting in China and rippling outwards, potentially leading to a global economic crisis. The Eurozone, of which Ireland is a part, is already projected to enter into a very deep recession. It has been reported that upwards of 30-50% of the Irish population is likely to get sick (Sunday Business Post, 8 March 2020) and 40 to 70% of the global population within a year, which would be akin to a huge global general strike. Profits would massively fall, causing panic in the markets and likely capital flight. 

In this case, we must stand utterly opposed to any and all job losses, pay cuts, or attacks on conditions which the establishment will attempt to impose on us in the aftermath of the crisis. If businesses claim that these are necessary measures, we must absolutely reject that logic. They must open the books, and if they are unable to continue operating then they should be taken into democratic public ownership.

The crisis created by COVID-19 is a symptom of a fundamentally sick capitalist system. If we want to head off the worst effects of the crisis and protect ourselves into the future, the system must go.
— Read on www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/covid-19-is-a-class-issue

Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece – THE GUARDIAN

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Here is a fresh warning about the toxic combination of two different phenomenons – the CoVid-19 Health Crisis and a Financial Money Markets Storm, similar to the 2008 Crash.

The author is Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister sacked from a SYRIZA Government before it surrendered to the Austerians.

See also https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/coronavirus-is-not-responsible-for-the-fall-of-stock-prices-international-viewpoint-online-socialist-magazine/.

When the air is replete with inflammable materials, any given spark can cause a financial explosion, at any time.

Éric Toussaint of CADTM examines a worldwide stock market collapse.

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the international spokesperson of the CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt) , and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France. 
He is the author of Debt System (2019), Bankocracy (2015); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago; “Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank, Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers”, Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010. He has published extensively in this field. He is a member of the Fourth International leadership.

Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece

Nationalism and speculation have seldom had a better opportunity to combine forces as the one riding today on the coattails of Covid-19, known as the coronavirus. When Covid-19 leapfrogged from China to Italy, even ardent Europeanists normally appreciative of open borders joined the deafening calls to end freedom of movement across Europe’s national borders – a longstanding demand of nationalists. Meanwhile, the money men speculating on government debt are performing a classic flight from Italian to German government bonds, seeking the financial safety that only the continent’s hegemon can offer during any crisis. As if in a bid to remind us of the great contradiction of our times, Covid-19 is illuminating gloriously the freedom of money to transcend a borderless financial universe while humans remain as fenced in as ever.

Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – THE GUARDIAN

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/
— Read on www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/

The Virus – Apocalypse Now?

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This is a very gloomy CoronaVirus Warning – and it is credible.

The Monster Is Bursting Through Our Door

Pentecostal Christians – and probably many others – believe that at ‘the end of days’, which precedes the Second Coming of Christ, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride out.

The Four Horsemen are generally interpreted as being pestilence, death, famine, and war. If Pentecostals are thinking logically (as if) they should be expecting to see the Lamb of God some time soon.

In the wake of wars that have killed more than 500,000 since 2001 and an accelerating environmental crisis dramatised by the Australian firestorms, the current Covid-19 outstrips dystopian science fiction stories like Outbreak. What American Marxist author Mike Davis described as ‘The Monster at Our Door’ has, in a rather different form, burst through the door. Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Result From Italy : Democracy 1 NeoLiberalism 0

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Cinzia Arruzza Reports :

“The main motivation behind the No vote was the opposition to the government. But regardless of the diverging motivations behind the No vote, the referendum outcome defended democracy and popular sovereignty, destabilized the political system in a phase in which stability only means further attacks on democratic liberties and social rights, and opened a political space for a possible rebirth of social movements. On November 26, 150,000 women marched in Rome against male violence and on a radical platform, and the next day, thousands gathering in an assembly and workshops called for a women’s strike on March 8, uniting the fight against violence with opposition to austerity, social and health services cuts, and the casualization of labor.”

Women’s assemblies are being created in the whole country in preparation for the March action. The struggle we have ahead of us will of course be hard, as the Right is already trying to capitalize on the referendum result, hiding the fact that even a large part of PD voters voted against the reform. But the answer to this cannot be fear or lesser evilism, for these responses only work to strengthen the Right. The answer must be a return to politics as confrontation, starting from a participation in the women’s strike of March 8, which is opening the path for social resistance.”

 

http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article4793