Angry. Desperate. Outraged.

The demonstrations are invariably reported as a reaction to government austerity initiatives, as if the absence of those measures would leave demonstrators with no reason to protest.

But look at these photos. Look at the faces. From the young, who have virtually nothing to lose — no jobs, no savings, no future — to pensioners, retirees, the out-of-work and the gone-out-of-business 60-plus crowd who are losing or who have lost everything, the story’s essentially the same no matter what country you’re in: Depression.

Yet, since the Panic of ’08, with adult and youth unemployment at 27 percent and 58 percent respectively in Greece, and remaining at double-digit highs in many countries throughout Europe, the media still labels the economic and social hardships affecting the vast majorities, “recession.”

Call it what they will, and label the protesters by whatever names politicians and the media choose — radicals, anarchists, labor unions, public service workers, students, militants, etc. — the depth of these movements should not be underestimated. It’s about much more than just street protests and reactions to austerity measures.

“Austerity measures?” That’s White Shoe Boy language. In street language, they’re “insanity measures” guaranteed to drive the over-burdened populace out of their minds and onto the streets. In order to cover the gargantuan bad bets made by the greediest of the “investor” class and biggest of the “too big to fail” banks, government measures were enacted that would force the general public to work more, earn less, lose pensions and benefits, have their retirement age increased, pay more taxes and receive fewer services — and for good measure, have valuable state and national assets sold to private investors at bargain-basement prices.

As socioeconomic conditions continue to deteriorate, the paths these marchers are taking will lead to civil war, class war and social upheaval. As the summer heats up, as economic misery spreads and as tempers boil, and considering the government and IMF measures already in place, a great risk exists for an “off-with-their-heads” moment to erupt in one or more of the austerity-ravaged nations of the world.

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