War on Democracy: Spain and Japan Move to Criminalize Protests

As might be expected as political and economic policy failures pile up and citizens become increasingly mad, the status quo is becoming increasingly authoritarian (recall blogger “Mish” was just fined 8,000 euros for a blog post).

In the latest disturbing news from a desperate power structure, the conservative government in Spain has passed an Orwellian bill titled the Citizens’ Security Law, which allows for fines of up to 600,000 euros ($816,000) for “unauthorized” street protests, and a 30,000 fine for merely having signs with “offensive” slogans against Spain or for wearing a mask.

This law is a perfect example of the increasing neo-feudalism being implemented across the globe by a corrupt, decadent and depraved status quo. Such laws must be immediately resisted or they will only get worse, much worse. It is quite obvious what the power structure in Spain in trying to do. It is putting into place an egregious punishment framework that could bankrupt a person by merely protesting. Such a threat is intended to make people not even consider their rights as human beings to express grievances to a crony government.

Instead of eye for an eye, it is like 25 eyes and a limb for an eye. If this does’t tell the Spanish people all they need to know about their government I don’t know what will. Below are some excerpts from a Reuters story covering the law:

(Reuters) – Spain’s conservative government agreed on Friday to toughen penalties for unauthorized street protests up to a possible 600,000 euro ($816,000) fine, a crackdown that belies the peaceful record of the anti-austerity protests of recent years.

Street protests and strikes have became increasingly frequent in recent years following huge cuts to education and health spending aimed at shrinking Spain’s public deficit to adhere to European Union demands.

But in contrast to Greece and elsewhere, where many similar protests have turned violent, Spain’s have remained largely peaceful, despite unemployment of 26 percent, rising poverty, and changes in labor laws that make firing easier.

Among other measures, protesters who cover their faces at demonstrations could be fined up to 30,000 euros while “offensive” slogans against Spain or its regions could reap a similar sanction.

The government also plans a new law restricting labor protests.

“This law … attempts to criminalize the act of protest,” said United Left lawmaker Gaspar Llamazares, questioning whether it complied with Spain’s constitution. “The government is trying to turn its political opponents into delinquents.”

 “Compare events in Spain with those of other countries around us,” wrote conservative columnist Jose Antonio Zarzalejos on the website El Confidencial. “This security law … will add the stigma of authoritarianism to the political failure of the PP.”

It’s not just Spain though. This sort of panic attack from desperate members of the status quo is popping up elsewhere. Japan is another example, and over the weekend I read that Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba compared demonstrations to “acts of terrorism.” From the Japan Times:

Citizens demonstrating against the controversial state secrets bill are committing “an act terrorism,” according to Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba.

In a blog post Friday, he wrote: “If you want to realize your ideas and principles, you should follow the democratic principles, by gaining as much support as you can. I think the strategy of merely shouting one’s opinions at the top of one’s lungs is not so fundamentally different from an act of terrorism.”

My take is that people worldwide will not stand for such nonsense. Increasingly citizens have very little to lose and if they all say no together, there is not much the state can do. Just look at how Ukrainians responded to a ban on protests. Hundreds of thousands of them filled the streets in defiance. Below is a video of just one of the many incredible street scenes from over the weekend. In this case we see demonstrators using a tractor to break police barricades.

Interesting times indeed.

In Liberty,
Mike

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9 Comments

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  1. This is a disgrace. To impose such sentences on people for demonstrating or taking pat in demonstrations is beyond belief but with the sort of people in power, this is all they know. The power junkies have their backs are up against the wall and they are panicking. Easy to see. .

    • Sergio of the Jungle

      It’s not a war on democracy that you should be concerned about. This is a war on Liberty as stipulate in the Constitution and the Bill of rights. Rise up or lose it.

      • Sergio of the Jungle

        I note that Mike signs of with the salutation; “In Liberty.” as opposed to In Democracy. Show me the statue of Democracy in NY and I’ll join in, p’raps.

  2. The Ukrainian protests are being orchestrated by the EU – it’s a tug of war between the EU and Russia. As far as I can see, one master is not better than the other. Don’t for a moment believe this is “the people’s” doing.

    I’m against protests in the streets – so 20th century – because they’re prone to manipulation, agent provocateurs, overtime pay for police, etc etc.

    There are much better ways. If only 10% tore up their debit/credit cards and withdrew from the too-big-to-fail, the too big would fail – how easy is that? Walmart’s low wages are only possible, because people shop there. And don’t get me started on bottled water… the list goes on.

    Forget the effing streets – we all have the power to make significant change.

  3. The protests in Ukraine are the usual BS every 5-10 years. I’m sure it’s funded by the EU indirectly. Last time around it was Soros funding the protestors to get puppet Yukushenko in. Now it’s the EU funding the protestors to remove Yanukovych and get in their own puppet.

    A good chunk (49%) of the country voted in Yanukovych. If you ask anyone in Ukraine about Yanukovych they are embarrassed by the guy. He’s a hoodlum who can’t speak properly at all and I wouldn’t be surprised if he can’t read or write at all. The powers that be insert the deaf, dumb and blind in office because they are too stupid to rebel against their masters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych.

    You should check out some videos of Yanukovych hob nobbing with the EU elite. It’s hilarious the way they look at him. You can clearly see they are wondering what in the world this guy is doing in the room.

    Years ago Yanukovych needed EXTENSIVE training to get him to speak somewhat coherently and to look and act presidential. He’s basically a village idiot. Totally hilarious this guy is the president of anything. I wouldn’t hire him as an intern to fetch my coffee at the office.

  4. Japan had one kind of corporatist regime, Spain had Franco, and Ukraine has never really gotten rid of socialist mentality.

  5. ——————————————
    Protests or sharing? Servants or owners?
    ——————————————

    Everywhere in the world, PROTESTS against something (absence of work/income, for rights, caused by control and surveillance) continue to be done by unsatisfied people who do not succeed to find, anyway, a good progress. Demonstrations after all are expressions of past epochs, when we were living in Countries that were self-declared tyrannical (empires, monarchies) and we were then all subjected to despots. In those times, protests could help, because the subdued servant people had this only chance. In addition to bloody revolutions, naturally.

    Demonstrations were SERVILE PETITIONS presented to the bosses, to kings, to emperors.
    The bosses gave us ALMS and the Story could continue with UNCHANGED SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

    But long time ago our situation indeed changed. We begun living in Countries that self-declared democratic and we become FREE MEN, citizens, PEER to PEER with the STATE, people who do not need demostrations nor revolutions.

    … Or at least it should be in this way :)

    In fact our “democratic” societies inherited the traditional organization of the tyrannical State. Public jobs, incomes and powers continued to be life long assigned to a minority which aim was to divide, exclude, separate people from the State. This archaic State setting, instead to disappear when SOVEREIGNTY passed to PEOPLES, was mantained by public careerists. So State men for life, by acting a long ABUSE of POWER, still remain above us.

    The democratic fundament (without which democracy does NOT exist!) of the periodical restitution of public powers to people still works only inside our government’s ambits. On the contrary, the largest part of our States (public jobs) is still in the hands of a tyrannical minority that, making peoples powerless, can make its worst.

    Let us look it better.

    In true democratic Countries citizens do NOT need to demostrate. They participate to all the State concrete activities, to public jobs. By staying inside the State, BY BEING THE STATE, citizens give their genuine imprinting to politics. The same rulers, by having around citizens (careful for common good, not for their career), follow fair policies, commit themselves to do their best. They know otherwise would be put to shame.

    Now, after known this UNDUE LINK TO THE PAST, this GLOBAL POLITICAL TRAP, we can choose.

    We can:

    – continue to protest: in this way we contribute to make live
    mankind eternally in a fake, minim, partial, democracy;

    – help people to EMANCIPATE: to become aware of what happened,
    about things work, how we can build a complete democracy.

    We can choose to:

    – continue to servilely protest for the problems
    inevitably generated by tyrannical States,

    – inform world’s peoples (Internet greatly help us)
    about the above and all together build NEW STATES.

    Indeed the most powerful people of the world are no longer Bilderberg’s, Davos or Wall Street’s tycoons. The most influent people able to change our world now are US. The world, now, is literally in our hands.

    Let us everywhere claim for PUBLIC DEMOCRATIC EMPLOYMENTS, for shared public jobs: assigned tempouraneously among citizens who have the requirements necessary for the role and wish to serve their people. It will become impossible for every clique, elite and mafia even attempt to maneuver our States. THE STATE ARE US! Only servants demonstrate. Legitimate owners, people sovereign on their respective RES PUBLICAs, do not protest.

    They, we, pacifically, legally, civilly, go to OCCUPY our LEGITIMATE PLACE in the STATE.

    Danilo D’Antonio

    DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
    http://www.hyperlinker.com/ars/

    everyone’s empowerment

  6. It is obvious that governments and other groups in power are afraid and fear the awakening of the common people or silent majority. This silent majority has received at least a voice: Internet and so far control thereof has escaped the rulers. They will finally loose as control works counterproductive and produces opposite results to what is envisaged.

  7. The anti-protest laws were expected, but why are these people paying to be treated in such an undemocratic manner?

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