Hundreds of people are expected to attend the annual gathering on London’s South Bank this Saturday (4 July 2015) to pay respects to the legendary International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.
Organised by the International Brigade Memorial Trust, the commemoration will take place next to the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX) from 1pm to 2pm.
The park’s memorial is dedicated to the 2,500 volunteers from the British Isles who defended the elected government of the Spanish Republic against Franco, Hitler and Mussolini. Of these, 526 gave their lives.
Speakers at this Saturday’s event include political commentator and activist Owen Jones. He will be joined by Carmen Negrín, grand-daughter of Juan Negrín, the last prime minister of the Spanish Republic, who is active in Spanish Civil War remembrance organisations in Spain and France, where she now lives.
There will be music from award winning “new wave” folk singer-songwriter Ewan McLennan.
Wreaths will be laid by, among others, representatives of the Catalan government’s delegation in London, Spanish exile and refugee groups and the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women. This will be followed by a minute’s silence.
Only one British veteran of the International Brigades survives: Stan Hilton, aged 97, a former merchant seaman from Newhaven, Sussex, who lives in a nursing home near Melbourne, Australia.
More info here http://www.international-brigades.org.uk/content/4-july-london
In view of the situation in Greece, and following the breakdown in the negotiations by the Eurogroup, Podemos wishes to communicate the following:
1.- Last Monday, the Greek government presented a proposal to the Eurogroup which included important concessions and was unanimously welcomed by the lenders as being reasonable and viable. In the following days, however, the international creditors led by the IMF did not accept the Greek government’s proposal to tax the wealthiest sectors of society, restructure the debt and launch an investment plan to revive the economy. Instead, they demanded to raise VAT on basic services and food and required further cuts on pensions and wages. In their effort to demonstrate that there is no alternative to austerity, the creditors only seem to accept the money of the poor, and insist on imposing the same logic and measures that led the country into a humanitarian disaster. The Greek economy is asphyxiated. To keep strangling it is the precise opposite of what must be done.
2.- Facing such blackmail and extortion, the Greek government has reacted to the ultimatum in an exemplary manner: by calling on the people to decide their own future in a democratic and sovereign way. Unlike the Spanish governments of 2011 and 2012, the Greek government has refused to violate the popular mandate derived from the January election. All the attempts at coercing, intimidating and influencing this vote by unelected powers, especially by the European Central Bank -which is willing to suffocate the Greek financial system to influence the outcome of the referendum-, constitute a flagrant and unacceptable violation of the democratic principle. We say that Europe without democracy is not Europe: all democrats should join their voices in denouncing these intolerable interferences and pressures. Democracy is incompatible with letting unelected powers govern and decide for us. It is democracy what is at stake.
3- With their intransigence, the creditors have demonstrated that they have no interest at all in solving the Greek debt crisis; their aim is rather to subject and overthrow a democratically elected government so as to prove that there is no alternative to the politics of austerity. Their blindness is such that they are willing to put at risk the integrity and the stability of the financial system and the European project itself, exposing them to speculative attacks whose price will ultimately be paid also by the citizens of other countries. We will say it once and again: they will be the ones to blame, they will be responsible for the consequences of this disaster.
4- Syriza did not create the tremendous economic crisis that affects Greece. It was the governments of New Democracy and PASOK, the friends of our PP and PSOE, who falsified data and accounts, surrendered the sovereignty of the country to the Troika, and handed Syriza an economic and social catastrophe that is necessary and urgent to reverse.
5.- Many international actors have already distanced themselves from the dogmatism of the creditors. Hundreds of thousands of people across the world have expressed their solidarity with the Greek people in their defense of the democratic principle. We demand that the Spanish Government and the European institutions respect the sovereignty and dignity of the Greek people, and that they consequently guarantee that the referendum takes place in conditions of freedom and complete normality. The democratic will and the fundamental rights of the Greek people, which have been systematically attacked during the long years of austerity, must be respected.
There are two contradictory fields in Europe: austerity and democracy, the government of the people or the government of the market and its unelected powers. We stand firm on the side of democracy. We stand firm with the Greek people.
You can also read it here
IN the press:
By Ana Parra and Andrea A. Morillo
Podemos criticises Cameron’s migration policies
Download on pdf here
We would like to express our frustration about the unjustified border control checks carried out last Saturday by the UK authorities when the Spanish MEP, Pablo Echenique, his team, and his wife were travelling from Brussels to London. Despite having all the necessary permits, they were considerably delayed at the UK border because she is a Venezuelan national, making them miss their train.
This might simply look like as an unfortunate anecdote, but in the current context it can also be seen as evidence of Mr Cameron’s intentions to curtail the legal rights of many people who may have to undergo much worse situations in the future for not having a UK passport.
We therefore would like to express our concern and disappointment about the xenophobic escalation in the UK. A government who boasts its country to be a global player and currently benefits from the visits of millions of people for work or leisure to their shores every year should not embark upon anti-immigration policies.
Interestingly, according to a report by the Migration Observatory, migrants’ economic contribution in the UK is highly positive for the country, as the revenues they generate largely exceed the value of any services and benefits received.
We believe Mr Cameron is testing the public opinion on the question of EU migration as part of an electoral strategy inspired in the xenophobic proposals and rise of UKIP, which are an attack on people’s fundamental rights.
Meanwhile, the Home Office estimates that around 10,000 people in the UK, mostly from abroad, are in a situation of enslaved work. Any decent government should direct their efforts to fix his situation, rather than cutting back the rights of working people.
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