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Author Topic: General strike in Lebanon
a lonely worker
Babbler # 9893

posted 08 January 2007 07:39 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Two years ago our media had blanket coverage of the US funded "orange revolution" in the Ukraine with journalists using every spin tactic possible to show this was a "people's revolution".

Over the past five weeks, Beirut has been shut down with the US puppet government hiding behind barricades unable to leave their offices while the people of Lebanon stand outside pushing for a truly democratic government. After the first couple of days of negative spin from our media about a "hezbollah rally" (ignoring all the other parties present) the corporate media has been incredibly quiet.

In the meantime, the neo-libs puppets in Lebanon have signed the largest sweeping privatisation schemes in their nation's history in exchange for the continual backing of the west and Saudis:

Lebanon approves reform package ahead of world donor meet

The Lebanese government on Thursday approved an economic reform plan to present to an international aid conference aimed at revitalizing the war-devastated economy, a spokesman said.

The five-year reform plan centers on social and financial reforms and privatization of the telephone and electricity sectors.

A Lebanese delegation will travel to Paris next week to take part in preparatory meetings for the conference, which is to start on January 25, Aridi said.

The conference is to be attended mainly by Western and oil-rich Arab nations that support the government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and its anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, and which hope to stabilize the government after more than a month of protests by the mainly Iran- and Syria-allied opposition.

Increasingly Lebanese of all "confessions" are having enough of this massive sell out and the protests are growing daily.

On Saturday, Lebanon's trade union movement formally joined the coalition for true Lebanese independence:

Labor considers action to block Siniora's reforms

The General Labor Confederation is threatening to take action if the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora applies the taxes mentioned in its economic-reform plan. According to a statement issued by the federation on Friday, the president of the umbrella union, Ghassan Ghosn, met with other members of the organization to review ways to confront the government's plan.

The federation denounced the government in the statement, saying all successive governments since 1992 have contributed to the economic deterioration through their policies.

"Those who were responsible for the economic plight in the country do not deserve to solve the problems of the Lebanese," the statement said.

It claimed that the government was always biased toward the rich and "its only concern was to make a profit at the expense of the people."

The federation also denounced the government's privatization program.

"The government wants to sell some of the state-owned companies at very cheap prices after deliberately mismanaging these institutions to give a pretext for privatization."

The government intends to privatize the telecom and electricity sectors and sell its stake in Middle East Airlines and Intra Investment Company.

All the proceeds from the privatization will be used to reduce the $41 billion public debt.

"For the past 14 years, all the governments failed to solve the problems of electricity, oil and transport or to fix the problems of the National Social Security Fund," the statement said.

The federation said it would meet on Saturday to discuss its next move.

It is still not clear what kind of actions the opposition plans to take but sources believe the trade unions will probably stage demonstrations and rallies across the country which may further exacerbate the situation.

Definitely a story to watch and one our media will do nothing to cover (except to say that we're giving "aid" to Lebanon without mentioning the privatisations we've attached as a condition of this "aid").

No wonder so many parts of the world are getting rightly pissed off at "the west" and our puppets.

[ 08 January 2007: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]

From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
Babbler # 9893

posted 08 January 2007 07:58 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It appears strike action will occur on Tuesday at their VAT offices in the first stage of labour's escalation.

I won't quote extensively from the article. Even though its from the right wing Beirut Daily Star it is the most accurate of all media sources because they at least quote what the main participants are saying instead of the usual "pro-Syrian Hezbollah and their allies" fluff we get on our corporate shores:

"The opposition will launch daily protests that will begin on Tuesday and in a progressive manner will extend to all the ministries and public institutions until all our demands are met," the statement said.

"The opposition ... adopts the call to protest in front of the VAT office on Tuesday at 11 a.m. and calls on all Lebanese to participate," Arslan said, announcing the opposition's official move to throw its weight behind the main labor union's call for a strike against Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's economic reform program.

On Saturday, the General Labor Confederation urged the Lebanese to join a strike on Tuesday outside the Finance Institute in Beirut to protest against the plan, specifically the tax hike and privatization plans which the unions say would harm workers' rights.

The opposition meeting was attended by Arslan, former Prime Minister Omar Karami, Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh, two Hizbullah representatives, two Amal representatives, MP Osama Saad and other figures representing various factions in the March 8 alliance.

Following the conference, Aoun took over the question-and-answer session, since the conference was taking place in what Arslan called "the house of the opposition."

"Every day there will be something new," said Aoun. "We will not exempt any ministry or any facility after today.

Accusing the Americans and the French of interfering in Lebanon, Aoun asked: "What is this secret driving the US and France to keep holding on to a government that lost its legitimacy?"

Beirutis brace for spread of protests across capital

From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged

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