All photos of the Columbus Circle protest by Allison Kilkenny
Demonstrators across the globe in more than thirty countries called for the end of austerity over the weekend. Banging pots and pans, hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Spain and Portugal as part of “Global Noise” day, carrying placards saying, “We don’t owe, we won’t pay.”
“The idea is to make some noise so they hear us but we already know that these leaders don’t have ears for us,” one of the protesters told Press TV.
“None of us pushed the banks to lend huge sums of money to greedy property speculators, yet we are being asked to pay for other’s mistakes,” another protester said.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that the government would be cutting an extra 13 billion euros in 2013. In total, the government plans to cut 150 billion euros from the budget over the next three years.
“They are taking away the health system. They are taking away our basic rights and that’s not fair. Those who started the fraud should pay for it,” said one protester.
“This government will kill Portugal, and if we don’t do anything, it will be worse,” said Ivan Rodriguez, a protester in his 30s in Lisbon, where others banged on drums and clapped their hands to make as much noise as possible.
“I’m fighting to preserve my job and those of others,” he added.
Another slogan, “Let the troika go to the devil,” made reference to the country’s international creditors—the so-called troika of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
In New York City, hundreds of activists gathered at Columbus Circle to promote the same message, and also for an educational panel about debt, followed by a march around the city.