Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting to the bottom of things

So we need to get to the bottom of why Spanish firefighters are showing up at protests buck-naked--although firefighters were a visible & attired presence at protests today in Madrid & Barcelona. Turns out they’re not just shameless exhibitionists or looking for a date. They’re steaming mad & trying to make a point in the most dramatic way. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but some of us like it. In Mieres, Spain, 8 members of the fire brigade posed  in flagrante (which in Latin means, “in blazing crime”) in front of the firehouse under a banner saying, “With so many cuts, we have been left naked.” So there you have it. Firefighters began protesting in 2010 against the privatizing of emergency services, a pay cut of 5%, & a wage freeze. Protests continued in 2011 against broadsided attacks on all public workers (including teachers, nurses, firefighters), with cuts to health, education, public transport, water. In the new round of attacks, public workers will lose a Christmas bonus (equivalent to a 7% reduction in annual pay), & sales tax increases that will pummel them & all consumers. (Photo by Eloy Alonso/Reuters)

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