As usual, a local subject on the world news for all the wrong reasons. This photograph, taken yesterday, is traveling the world, as if it added or stated something new. It belongs to Hugo Correia and depicts his coworker Patricia Melo, from AFP, instants before being hit by a police officer, amidst demonstrations related to the General Strike.
Although reading this image may seem immediate, I can assure you it is not. It highlights severe gaps in the Portuguese media, namely the fact that they are incapable of giving a truthful account of events. It has always been the case. One could think, I did, that being their relation to the truth so superficial and watching their colleagues’ work being blocked (another photojournalist was beaten by the police), they would make an effort to tell the story and trace the line of events, but that’s not really the case. We lack good journalism, people who do it for the right reasons and want to pass on information to their pairs, who want to share their knowledge and in that process give people the necessary tools to fight injustice and oppression.
Censorship has taken over and it seems that this image is going to mark the moment the country is made aware of it and decides to keep his mouth shut and eyes closed. Unfortunately we seem to have nowhere to go but to be throw in the streets to fight the most cowardly side of this oppressive state: the police. It’s a shame, we’re going to meet the oppressor’s wishes, because that’s what the state wants, and it will inevitably happen.
Are “forced labor camps” being created here, in the middle of the European Union, as the Hungarian daily newspaper Népszava wrote? Are unemployed people from remote villages being housed in worker camps on large construction sites? No one has to work against his will, but everyone who does show up for work is paid the legal minimum wage, says Karoly Papp, the state secretary in the Interior Ministry in charge of the program.
Orbán’s concept of moral renewal and economic rehabilitation for Hungary has several tenets: Those without work are to be given work; those who are already working should work more in the future, but without being paid more; in the interest of the country’s “stability,” those who hold political power today should be allowed to remain in office for as long as possible; and those who once had power and did not use it for the benefit of the people should now be punished.
Where is the country headed under this government? “I don’t believe that Hungary is on the path to a dictatorship, although this is perhaps what Orbán would like,” says the professor. “But our people tend to be somewhat relaxed, and our greatest contribution to European culture was probably the operetta. What is now taking shape here is an operetta dictatorship.”
It isn’t necessary to smell fascism behind every bush, says Heller [Agnes Heller]. “The worst thing is that the checks and balances are being eliminated in this country, and that the rule of the yes-men has begun.” In fact, she adds, now dissidents are even being treated as criminals.
The Hungarian authorities are investigating Heller and some of her philosopher friends, known as the “Heller gang,” for alleged embezzlement of research funds. But Heller, sitting in her apartment high above Guttenberg Square, laughs off the accusation.
What is most troubling to Heller, who survived both the horrific regime of the Hungarian version of the Nazi Party and the communists, is the disquieting feeling that the clique now running Hungary does so without “responsibility” — and without a sense of the “danger that violence could erupt.” “Orbán is extremely sure of himself,” says Heller. “It’s a typical characteristic of dictators.”
Full article “The Goulash Archipelago: EU Remains Silent as Hungary Veers Off Course” can be found in Spiegel
More of Stefan’s work here
Greece: Post #2
“The economic crisis in Greece has sparked riots and violent reactions. Massive protests broke out against severe government spending cuts aimed at saving the country from economic collapse. Thousands of people march through central Athens protesting government plans to impose new spending cuts to save the country from bankruptcy. The protesters chanted in the streets as squads of riot police with stun grenades, tear gas and arrests attempt to enforce discipline.”
More of Angelos’ work here
Greece: Post #1
More of Milos’ work here