I mentioned earlier that the #OccupyWallStreet protests in America have spread throughout the world's metropolitan areas, and that they had set Rome on fire.
I think at this juncture we can bury any comparisons to the Tea Party. CNN reports:
The "Occupy Wall Street" movement went global Saturday, crossing the Atlantic to many European cities, where protesters turned out by the thousands for largely peaceful demonstrations. In many cities, handfuls of protesters donned masks portraying a sinister, smiling face with a pointy black moustache and a thin lip beard taken from the movie "V for Vendetta" about a masked hero who fights against totalitarianism.
Well, they got that almost completely wrong, which is to say about as right as most people donning "the colors" do. The mask in question portrays Guy Fawkes, a greasy 17th-century Catholic terrorist who tried to blow up Britain's House of Lords.
Also, the mask was popularized by the movie version of a much better graphic novel. I say "much better" taking its creator at his word, because Alan Moore had his name taken off of the film, and it was directed by noted plagiarists the Wachowski brothers.
The V of the novel is also more an antihero than a hero, and an outspoken anarchist, not just an anti-totalitarian. Okay, nerdy bitching out of the way, what else is going on?
An initially peaceful protest in central Rome turned violent Saturday, after anarchists - some wearing ski masks and belonging to a group termed the "Black Bloc" -- torched cars, broke windows, and clashed with police. The violent group also fought with other protesters, who attempted to extricate the rowdy anarchists from the march. Rocks, bottles, and tear gas canisters flew, and an interior ministry building caught fire in the mayhem. Firefighters battled the blaze at the main gathering spot, the Piazza San Giovanni, which transformed into a battleground between police with water cannons on the one side and anarchists armed with knives, bats, Molotov cocktails and fireworks on the other, Newsweek correspondent Barbie Nadeau told CNN.Other highlights from the CNN article: 10,000 protesters gathered in Madrid, Julian Assange was at #OccupyLondon. Huge protests in Brussels (EU capital), Berlin, Frankfurt (capital of the EU Central Bank),
and Stockholm. Other reports on worldwide solidarity protests at the BBC , Al-Jazeera , and the New York Times.
It's worth noting that the Black Bloc are acting like scumbags again. The Declaration adopted in New York City is very specific about avoiding black bloc tactics and keeping things nonviolent. That said, this is what happens when "austerity measures" run up against the world's 99%.
This isn't some silly little American right-wing tempest in a media teapot. Some serious business appears to be afoot.