Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

UK | Increasing gap between rich and poor

Manchester University Press will publish a new book in 2016. Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, Accumulation and the Global South by Nicholas Hildyard. Here some quotations from background paper for this book. The author calculates gap in incomes between rich and poor in global scale.

Greece | December 6th in Greece: 7 years later…

The year 2015 says farewell to the Greek reality with the workers’ movement, the people and the youth back in the streets. With two massive general strikes in a period of few weeks, (12/11 and 3/12) with the big mobilization for the 43 years from the Polytechnic revolt (17/11), and finally, with the demonstration for the 7 years from the December’s revolt in 2008 (6/12), caused by the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos by the cop Korkoneas.

Israel | Local Jews in shock after Ukrainian city of Konotop elects neo-Nazi mayor

Two months after local elections were held across Ukraine, residents of the small northern city of Konotop are expressing shock and dismay over the behavior of newly chosen Mayor Artem Semenikhin of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party.
According to reports, Semenikhin drives around in a car bearing the number 14/88, a numerological reference to the phrases “we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and “Heil Hitler”; replaced the picture of President Petro Poroshenko in his office with a portrait of Ukrainian national leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera; and refused to fly the city’s official flag at the opening meeting of the city council because he objected to the star of David emblazoned on it. The flag also features a Muslim crescent and a cross.
Svoboda, known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine until 2004, has been accused of being a neo-Nazi party by Ukrainian Jews and while party leaders have a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, their rhetoric has toned down considerably over the past years as they attempted to go mainstream.
While it managed to enter mainstream politics and gain 36 out of 450 seats in the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, the party’s support seemed to evaporate following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution (in fact deep counter-revolution – edit.), in which it played a central role. It currently holds six seats in the legislature.
The party managed to improve its standing during recent municipal elections, however, obtaining some 10 percent of the vote in Kiev and garnering second place in the western city of Lviv. For the most part, however, Svoboda is far from the major worry for Ukrainian Jews that it was only two years ago.
“It is a sad, but a reality when anti-Semites are being elected in local governing bodies, even mayors promoting hate and intolerance.
Konotop is a clear case,” said Eduard Dolinsky of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.
For the Jews of Konotop, however, worries persist, with Ilya Bezruchko, the Ukrainian representative of the US-based National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, saying he believed residents, who generally get along well with local Jews, voted for Semenikhin because he projected an image of someone who could bring change and reform a corrupt system.
However, Semenikhin himself has a history of fraud, having been arrested for posing as an electricity company worker in order to extract payments from businesses in Kiev in 2012, Bezruchko charged.
Bezruchko, whose late grandfather was the head of the community and whose mother currently works for the city council, said Semenikhin and his assistant have left angry comments on his Facebook page in response to critical articles that the Jewish activist had posted on his blog.
He claimed that someone close to the mayor claimed that he would be hospitalized if he returned to the city from Kiev, where he currently lives, and that the mayor himself posted to say that his mother was corrupt and should be fired from her job.
“The reaction of [the] community is shock. People are shocked it could happen in [a] city and nobody believed it could happen here but it happened somehow,” community activist Igor Nechayev told The Jerusalem Post by phone Monday.