Spanish workers occupy a Duke’s estate and turn it into a farm

Spanish workers occupy a Duke’s estate and turn it into a farm

Earlier this week in Andalusia, hundreds of unemployed farmworkers broke through a fence that surrounded an estate owned by the Duke of Segorbe, and claimed it as their own. This is the latest in a series of farm occupations across the region within the last month.

Their aim is to create a communal agricultural project - similar to other occupied farms, in order to and breathe new life into a region that has an unemployment rate of over 40%

Addressing the occupiers, Diego Canamero, a member of the Andalusian Union of Workers, said that:

Quote:
“We’re here to denounce a social class who leave such a place to waste”.

The lavish well-kept gardens, house, and pool, are left empty, as the Duke lives in Seville, more than 60 miles away. The occupation is the latest example of the smouldering class tensions that are developing across the area.

An unemployed farm worker said that:

Quote:
“Nobody lives here now, but the sprinklers are functioning and keeping the lawns beautifully green,” he observed. “Just imagine how many farming wages you could pay instead of using the money to water empty gardens.”

As well as suffering from the austerity measures that the rest of Spain has to deal with, the farming community are suffering further, due to wealthy farm owners choosing to accept large sums of money ‘not’ to grow crops, which then translates to massive job losses across the sector.

Canamero said that:

Quote:
“European subsidies reinforced landed interests because the payments’ value was based on the size of the landholding rather than on its productivity. “There is zero incentive for these already wealthy owners to grow anything,”

He added:

Quote:
“We’re not anarchists looking for conflict, but our claims are similar to those of the 1930s, because the land is, unfortunately, under the control now of even fewer people than at that time.”

The Andalusian police have not yet responded to the occupation, but have evicted occupiers from other farms in Andalusia

The following is a clip from one of the other occupied farms.

Comments

Steven.
Aug 24 2012 23:38

Great stuff! Thanks for writing it up

(a short editorial note: now bloggers can approve their own revisions when you edit an article. Just click "view list of revisions" then "revert" to the version you want)

Butters
Aug 25 2012 12:19

Really regreattable and something to reflect about the way large parts of the anarchist milieu in Spain are completly and blindly going hand by hand with the Left:

- Being simply the left wing of the state-unions in their protests (we saw it clearly the last general strike the 29 th of march; we've seen again in the last miners dispute; we are seeing today with the new call for a general strike in some regions together with reactionary nationalist unions like ELA or LAB). See a debate on libcom about that:
http://libcom.org/news/account-march-29-spanish-general-strike-barcelona-01042012

- Cheering the actions of the alternative Left (the last case: the stalinist tv star and MP Gordillo and his performances in supermarkets) with a completly lack of revolutionary critics.

An article in spanish about the real meaning behind the televized campaing of the supermarkets lead by the SAT union:
http://es.internationalism.org/node/3447

Espectáculo del SAT y apoyo de la izquierda: la clase dominante en España, enfrentada a la crisis y al creciente descontento, trata de darle una capa de pintura a su desgastado aparato político y sindical

La crisis capitalista, en su paso por España, está haciendo que las contradicciones y antagonismos sociales que recorren la sociedad capitalista se muestren de una forma mucho más descarnada y clara, y que el Estado capitalista, tras su fachada democrática, aparezca de forma cada vez más evidente como lo que es: la máquina encargada de mantener las relaciones sociales y de producción capitalista que requiere la burguesía para su dominio sobre la población en general y sobre la clase proletaria en particular.

La situación se acerca a lo insostenible: aumento brutal de la pobreza y el hambre, paro masivo, miles de desahucios, aumento de la precariedad y la explotación, drásticas reducciones salariales, recortes o eliminación de servicios básicos (sanidad, educación, lucha contra incendios, etc).

En este contexto, la función principal de la mal llamada “clase política”, que no es otra que mentir, sembrar ilusiones y dar legitimidad “democrática” a la dominación capitalista, obviamente sufre un gran desgaste, por lo que es importante para la clase burguesa el preparar piezas de recambio, tanto en lo referente a los partidos e individuos que directamente asumen la función de gestión y aplicación de las medidas que el capital manda, como en los encargados de contener y canalizar el malestar social.

Y algo similar sucede con los sindicatos. Ante la gravedad de la situación, el capital y su Estado debe contar en la reserva con aparatos sindicales capaces de controlar y canalizar hacia puntos muertos las luchas y protestas cuando los “oficiales” CC.OO. , UGT u otros se muestren incapaces.

El caso es que el pasado 7 de agosto el SAT (Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores), previa llamada a los medios, organizó “asaltos” simbólicos a varios supermercados en la región andaluza “para denunciar la situación de miseria de muchas familias en Andalucía”. Los medios burgueses han situado estas acciones en portada durante varias días con dos objetivos, aparentemente contradictorios pero perfectamente complementarios: primero, el intento de criminalizar y asociar toda lucha y movilización con violencia hacia personas y trabajadores, utilizando de forma hipócrita y cínica las lágrimas de una cajera nerviosa a raíz de un pequeño rifi-rafe durante la acción, y así sembrar dudas en aquellos proletarios que sientan el impulso de lanzarse a la lucha en el futuro; y segundo, darle una inestimable publicidad al SAT, de paso a Izquierda Unida, y de forma general a toda la izquierda del capital.

Es bien conocida la férrea censura y blackout imperante en los medios “democráticos”: lo que no interesa a sus dueños es ocultado, o si es imposible por su amplitud, convenientemente tergiversado y manipulado. Desde luego las acciones simbólicas podrían haber sido, como tantas otras veces en casos similares, ocultadas o minimizadas por los medios; si no lo fueron es por las razones arriba señaladas. Y como decíamos, la publicidad al SAT y a IU ha sido enorme, con presencia de miembros del sindicato en múltiples platós televisivos (con la vedette y diputado andaluz por IU Sánchez Gordillo a la cabeza) soltando libremente todo su discurso, junto con sectores de IU que han tenido la oportunidad de mostrar su apoyo a la acción, con el respetable parlamentario Gaspar Llamazares como elemento mediático destacado, y así ponerse por un momento el disfraz de “combativos”.

Pero la cuestión fundamental que subyace de estos “eventos mediáticos” va más allá del SAT, o de tal o cual sigla o personaje; la clase dominante busca a corto y medio plazo el alimentar 3 elementos fundamentales para dificultar la reaparición histórica de la lucha de clase del proletariado a nivel masivo y mantener su poder: alimentar ilusiones sobre el parlamentarismo y las farsas electorales; fomentar la idea de que el sindicalismo (en sus distintas versiones, “oficial” o “de base”) sería una herramienta eficaz de protesta y lucha para los explotados; y espolvorear todo el arsenal de confusión con posiciones políticas y reivindicaciones reaccionarias y ajenas a la lucha proletaria.

La burguesía ha tratado de transmitir que, pese a todo, el parlamento representaría al pueblo, y que hay parlamentarios que sí se preocupan de “los ciudadanos” (su distinguida señoría Llamazares ha aprovechado bien la ocasión para hacerse la foto y se ha erigido en defensor de los pobres). En definitiva, que existiría alguna esperanza de lucha transformadora en el seno de ese cascarón vacío y podrido, lleno de cotorras mentirosas a sueldo del capital, sin otro fin que legitimar la dominación capitalista y alimentar ilusiones “democráticas” y electorales de cambio, que es el parlamento burgués.

De la misma forma, la clase dominante ha pretendido dar oxígeno al sindicalismo, y más concretamente al sindicalismo “de base” o “alternativo” (cuyas diferencias con el sindicalismo “oficial” serían más de forma que de fondo, siendo en general los “alternativos” meros apéndices críticos de los “oficiales”, como pudimos comprobar una vez más en la última “huelga general” del 29-M). ¿Los métodos de estos sindicatos “alternativos”?: acciones simbólicas para llamar la atención de los medios, marchas a pié, aislar y centrar los conflictos en una empresa o zona geográfica, acciones espectaculares (ocupaciones, bloqueos de carreteras, etc), movilizaciones a toque de corneta de los sindicatos grandes, suplicar en la puerta del político de turno, etc. Lejos de lo mínimo que la clase proletaria requiere hoy día: espacios de encuentro, solidaridad, reflexión y debate donde romper el aislamiento; la extensión de los conflictos y las protestas más allá de la empresa o área geográfica particular; el uso de las movilizaciones desmovilizadoras de los sindicatos “oficiales” para contactar y debatir con compañeros y no para ser una mera comparsa chillona.

A la vez, dándole publicidad al SAT, lo que la burguesía ha pretendido es difundir lo máximo posible el arsenal de confusionismo y posiciones reaccionarias que este sindicato comparte con la mayoría de la izquierda y extrema izquierda [1] (y con gran parte del aparato político e ideológico burgués). Este sindicato tiene sus propias peculiaridades ideológicas (entre las más reaccionarias estarían su extravagante nacionalismo andaluz, que identifica la solución a todos los problemas “de Andalucía” -así, en general- con su independencia de España; la caduca y estéril reivindicación de “reforma agraria” para el problema del paro jornalero en Andalucía, como si fuera un problema separado del conjunto del proletariado; o sus reivindicaciones especialmente humillantes y más propias de Cáritas como la de que los supermercados entreguen comida a punto de caducar a la gente necesitada...) pero, como decimos, estas son algunas posiciones de la izquierda en general que es necesario denunciar:

- La utilización del aparato político burgués (la “clase política”) como taparrabo del sistema al que culpar de la crisis (“malas políticas”, casos de corrupción, los sueldos y privilegios de los políticos, etc), y así no señalar al sistema capitalista como un todo, y al aparato político y su corrupción como expresión de este. Mientras la indignación se dirija y limite a los políticos la burguesía puede estar tranquila.

- La utilización de los bancos y el sector financiero también como chivos expiatorios “culpables de la crisis” como si estos no fueran organismos estrechamente ligados al Estado capitalista y al sistema como un todo, y como si el hundimiento del sector financiero no fuera otra cosa que la expresión del derrumbe de una parte de la economía capitalista. Vuelta a la vieja cantinela antiglobalización, hoy retomada por los restos del 15M y la izquierda de que “el poder financiero se está cargando la democracia” (¡!).

- La utilización de sus acciones dirigidas a “llamar la atención del gobierno” y evitar la “helenización de España”, y a que este “haga políticas a favor del pueblo”. Por supuesto sus acciones no van dirigidas al conjunto de explotados, a que el proletariado gane en fuerza, autoorganización, unidad, solidaridad y capacidad política para el combate contra la burguesía.

- Denuncia de que “Bruselas” y “Merkel” estarían acabando con “nuestra soberanía”, discurso que exime a la clase capitalista española (y andaluza) y a su sistema de toda culpa en los ataques a las condiciones de vida. Como se vé, el reaccionario y antiproletario nacionalismo andaluz (que reivindica para crear empleo, entre otras cosas, que no se lleven la industria a Cataluña...) es perfectamente compatible con el reaccionario y antiproletario nacionalismo español (que se esfuerza en señalar a “Alemania” y “Bruselas” como los ladrones de “nuestra soberanía”...).

- Soluciones mágicas para la crisis: que el BCE preste dinero barato (¡cuando precisamente el crédito excesivo para crear una demanda ficticia que diera salida a las mercancías ha sido la causa inmediata de la crisis!), que se hagan inversiones productivas, que se genere empleo, etc... Por lo visto aquí no hay lucha de clases, no hay antagonismos sociales, la burguesía y su Estado no mirarían por su propio beneficio sino por “el bien del pueblo”, no hay contradicciones en el sistema que lo llevan a crisis y convulsiones cada vez más profundas, sólo “buenas o malas políticas” en las que habría que acertar por el “bien del país”... ¿y la crisis?, sería mentira, “una estafa”.

La gravedad de la situación, los múltiples y sofisticados métodos y aparatos de confusión y canalización que posee la clase dominante y su Estado, la descomposición social y la atomización creciente, hacen absolutamente indispensable un mínimo de claridad política para luchar contra el capitalismo. No puede haber práctica revolucionaria sin teoría revolucionaria, sin conocer el terreno que pisamos, la portería que defendemos y en la que nos toca marcar, a nuestros enemigos y a nuestros falsos amigos.

Los compañeros que honestamente tratan de luchar contra este sistema bajo la influencia de la izquierda y la extrema izquierda del capital tienen que hacer un esfuerzo y reflexionar acerca de la actividad y discurso de esas organizaciones e ideologías, cuyo fin (más allá de los honestos y combativos militantes que pudiera haber en sus filas) en la sociedad burguesa es el de contener, canalizar y debilitar la capacidad, teórica y práctica, del proletariado para luchar contra el capitalismo.

Mark.
Aug 25 2012 12:37

This last post has already been put up elsewhere on libcom. If ICC members are going to comment on this thread then maybe they could find something to say about the action itself (and maybe about how SAT's politics and organisation might affect it) rather than just spamming the boards with generic ICC articles on SAT.

Steven.
Aug 25 2012 13:19
Mark. wrote:
This last post has already been put up elsewhere on libcom. If ICC members are going to comment on this thread then maybe they could find something to say about the action itself (and maybe about how SAT's politics and organisation might affect it) rather than just spamming the boards with generic ICC articles on SAT.

yes, I agree. And they could just post a link rather than copying and pasting the entire text. Especially as most of us don't even speak Spanish. I mean, I would be interested in reading critique of this in English if it exists anywhere. For those of us in the UK it is difficult to get a full picture of what is going on

Caiman del Barrio
Aug 25 2012 14:17

Yeah it's pretty irritating spam. I'd also be interested in reading more about SAT, since they seem like a pretty influential grouping. Fingers can probably help with this.

I was chatting to a CGT anarcho the other day & he said that Gordillo could prove to be some sorta useful idiot: apparently there were copycat autoreduzione in Seville soon after the SAT one(s), with folk storming into supermarkets & saying "we wanna do what that Gordillo guy did...".

Butters
Aug 25 2012 16:07

None ICC militant wrote that post (let's put aside some conspiratorial and machiavellian approaches please... I´m just a southpark character though, left-communist when the sun goes down...).

Going straight to the point, the general social and political situation in Spain would have this features:

- The deep crisis has no way out in the short term. The agenda of the ruling class is no other that worsen working and living conditions to levels unthinkable for the majority no long ago (mass unemployment; several generations sharing a flat; great growth of soup kitchens all over the country; mass emigration of young people).
- So far the governments has been able to handle the social situation but at the cost of a growing mistrust towards the ruling parties and, till certain point, the system. The capitalist class requires new politicians and parties able to get back some trust.
- Very much the same can be said about the official unions. More and more seen for the working class unable to respond to the scale of the gravity of the situation, they are little by little losing the influence and control (although still are powerful) they could have on sectors of the proletariat. Again: this contents a tremendous potential danger for the ruling class which could lead to self-organization... so the need for a renewal in the unions apparatus.
- Despite all, the scale of the struggles to fight back are far away the scale of the attacks. Mass unemployment is a dark fear hanging over every worker (including those for the public administration, till recently untouchable...); the lack the last decades of great struggles, self-organization, social fabric in communities and work-places, the mistrust towards politics in general and common action, etc, is all a heavy weight the proletarian class has to overcome to be able to confront the ruling class.
- Having said that, there is also a growing will to fight capitalism and not to take the crisis as divine plague, and many sectors of the exploited which don't seem any thing to lose but their chains. The original (now, without real movement behind it, is a nest of leftists and democracy-reformists) 15-M movement, despite its many weaknesses and illusions, showed the first spark. No doubt in the medium term the general trend is to see a growth in protests and strikes kind of “Greece-style”. The capacity of self-organization and the political strength (there we must include the capacity of the minorities to intervene) to confront and eventually overcome left-wings organizations and unions is going to be key for the evolution of the situation: either the left and unions control and channel the movement to nationalistic claims and dead-ends, and therefore defeat the movement; or growing class self-organization and political strength to defend itself enable working class to fight back and defy capitalist order.
- It's in the process of feeding and renewing the unions apparatus that we must set all the TV show of the stalinist Sánchez Gordillo and his crew of the left-wing regionalist SAT union (those green and white aren't Celtic FC flags but andalucia nationalist ones). Their occupations and “raids” are nothing but symbolic performance to get some TV attention (they had agreements with the police and journalists to do the performances, that's well known). Of course, people are angry (and hungry) but the movement is a “bluff” entirely controlled by the stalinist SAT. The article published on the web of the ICC is unfortunately the only one, as far as I know (together with another one in a left-communist approach forum in Spanish http://inter-rev.foroactivo.com/t1901-iu-posiciones-del-alcalde-de-marinaleda-acciones-del-sat-el-papel-del-izquierdismo-burgues and http://inter-rev.foroactivo.com/t1916-sat-marcha-y-ocupaciones-simbolicas ) able to denounce the key points behind the show.

fingers malone
Aug 25 2012 16:38
Butters wrote:
Their occupations and “raids” are nothing but symbolic performance to get some TV attention .

Funny they occupied some land in 1991 and they are still on it then.

fingers malone
Aug 25 2012 16:55

It's such an awful response I don't even know how to argue with it.

so I will put up a video instead. They are blocking the high speed train, something they do all the time, the police response is the response they get all the time as well.

Butters
Aug 25 2012 17:23

What do you mean fingers malone? the fact the police beat you up doesn't turn your politics or action into revolutionary... In that case, the izquierda abertzale (nationalist basque left) or irish republicans would be among the most radical movements...
Precisaly images like the one you show (why don't you show those ones where, for example, they beg the government do "good things for the people" or propose that supermarkets done products about to be out of date as a solution for hunger...?), are used by the left to hide that, under this "radical" surface, they stand for the same things and do the same as the official unions and left-wing MP's.

Butters
Aug 25 2012 17:53

Quick and improvable translation of the article in question.

SAT performance and support from the left: the ruling class in Spain, facing the crisis and the growing discontent, tries to renew its political and trade union apparatus.

The capitalist crisis in Spain is making the contradictions and social antagonisms that run capitalist society display a much more stark and clear, and that the capitalist state, behind its democratic facade, appears with increasing more obvious for what it is: the machine responsible for maintaining social relations of capitalist production that the bourgeoisie requieres for rulling over the population in general and the working class in particular.

The situation is approaching the unsustainable: brutal increase of poverty and hunger, massive unemployment, thousands of evictions, worse working conditions and exploitation, drastic pay cuts, cuts or elimination of basic services (health, education, firefighters , etc).

In this context, the main function of the so-called "political class", which is nothing to lie, sow illusions and legitimize the "democratic" capitalist domination, obviously suffers heavy wear, so it is important for the class bourgeois to prepare spare parts, both in terms of parties and individuals who directly assume the role of management and implementation of the measures that the capital needs, and for those in charge of containing and channeling social unrest.

And something similar happens with unions. Given the gravity of the situation, the state capital and reserves must be in union with devices capable of controlling and channeling deadlocks struggles and protests when the "official" CC.OO. , UGT unable or other display.

The fact is that on August 7 SAT (Andalusian Workers Union), after having called the media, organized symbolic "raids" in supermarkets in the Andalusian region "to denounce the misery of many families in Andalusia". The bourgeois media have placed this in cover for several days (now weeks) with two goals, apparently contradictory but perfectly complementary: first, the attempt to criminalize and link every struggle and mobilization with violence against persons and workers, using hypocritically and cynically the tears of a worker of the supermarket who got nervous during the action, and thus cast doubt on those proletarians who feel the urge to throw the fight in the future; and second, to give an invaluable advertising to SAT, therefore to Izquierda Unida (United Left, new-age post-cold war stalinist party run alliance, with links with SAT) and in general to the whole left-wing spectrum.

It is well known the strong censorship and media blackout prevailing in "democratic" mass media. Certainly those symbolic actions (as described by the leaders of SAT them)might have been, as so often in similar cases, hidden or minimized by the media, if it were not it's for the reasons stated above. And as we said, the SAT and IU advertising has been huge, with the presence of those organizations leaders in many TV show (with the star and MP Sánchez Gordillo leading the show) freely releasing all his speech, along with sections of IU who have had the opportunity to show their support for the action, with the respectable MP Gaspar Llamazares as a prominent media, and so for a moment put the guise of "combative".

But the fundamental question underlying these "media events" goes beyond the SAT, or a particular symbol or character; the ruling class seeks in short and medium term feeding three key elements to hinder the historic comeback fight the proletariat a mass level and maintain its power: feeding illusions about the parliamentary and electoral fraud, promoting the idea that trade unionism (in its various versions, "official" or "rank and file") would be an effective tool of protest and fighting for the exploited, and sprinkle the entire arsenal of confusion with reactionary political positions and claims unrelated to the proletarian struggle.

The bourgeoisie has tried to convey that, despite everything, parliament represent the people, and that there are MP'S who care of "citizens" (The Distinguished Gentleman Llamazares has made good use of the occasion to take the photo and has emerged as defender of the poor). In short, there would be some hope of transforming struggle within this empty shell and rotten, full of parrots capital paid liars, with no other purpose than legitimizing capitalist domination and nurture illusions "democratic" and electoral change which is the bourgeois parliament.

Similarly, the ruling class has tried to give oxygen to trade-unionism, and more specifically to "rank and file" or "alternative" ones (whose differences with the "officials" would be more of form than of substance, and a general nothing more that "alternative "critical appendages of the" officers ", as we saw again in the last" general strike "of 29-M). The methods of "alternative" ones: symbolic actions to attract media attention, foot marches, isolate and focus the conflict in a business or geographical area, spectacular actions (occupations, roadblocks, etc.), mobilization when and how the big unions say, begging at the door of the politician in office, etc. Far from the minimum required for the proletarian class today: meeting spaces, solidarity, reflection and debate where to break the isolation, the spread of conflicts and protests beyond the business or geographical area; take advantages of the strikes and demonstrations controlled by the "official" unions to contact and discuss with with workers not to be the stooge shrill of the big ones.

At the same time, giving publicity to the SAT, which the bourgeoisie has tried to do is to disseminate as much as possible the arsenal of confusion and reactionary positions that the union shares with most of the left and far left (with right and far right too). This union has its own particularities (among the most reactionary nationalism would be its extravagant Andalusian nationalism that identifies the solution to all problems of "Andalusia"-like that, in general-, with its independence from Spain; the old-fashioned and useless claim for "land reform" to solve the problem of unemployment among andalusian laborer, like if it war a separate problem of the whole proletariat; or more claims, particularly humiliating, NGO-style, like that supermarkets deliver food about to be out of date to people in need .. .) but, as we say, these are some positions of the left in general which is necessary to denounce:

- The use of bourgeois political apparatus (the "political class") as loincloth system on which to blame the crisis ("bad policies", corruption, salaries and privileges of politicians, etc), and so no point to capitalist system as a whole, and the political apparatus and its corruption as an expression of this. While the anger is directed and limited to politicians, they ruling class can rest easy.

- The use of banks and the financial sector as well as scapegoats "to blame for the crisis" as if these organisms were not closely linked to the capitalist state and the system as a whole, and as if the collapse of the financial sector were nothing that expression of the collapse of part of the capitalist economy. Back to the old antiglobalization song now taken up by the remnants of the left 15M and that "the financial power is destroying democracy" (!).

- The use of his actions to "draw attention of the government" and avoid the "Hellenization of Spain", and in order "the gorvernment makes policy for the people." Of course their actions are not adressed to all exploited to gain in strength, self-organization, unity, solidarity and political capacity to fight against the bourgeoisie.

- Complaint that "Brussels" and "Merkel" would be ending "our sovereignty", speech that exempts the Spanish capitalist class (and Andalusian) and its system of any blame in the attacks on living conditions. As seen, the reactionary and anti-proletarian nationalism Andalusian (claiming to create jobs, among other things, that the industry doesn't go to Catalonia ...) is perfectly compatible with the reactionary and anti-proletarian Spanish nationalism (which strives to bring to "Germany" and "Brussels" as thieves of "our sovereignty" ...).

- Great solutions against the crisis: that the ECB lends cheap money (when excessive credit precisely to create a fictitious demand for goods output would have been the immediate cause of the crisis!), that the government does investments, which creates jobs, etc ... Apparently there are no class struggle, no social antagonisms, the bourgeoisie and its state would not look for its own benefit but for "the good of the people", there are no contradictions in the system that lead to crises and convulsions every time deeper, only "good or bad policies" you have to choose for the "good of the country" ... What crisis?, it would be a lie, "una estafa" (a fraud).

The gravity of the situation, the multiple and sophisticated methods and apparatus of confusion and channeling that the ruling class and its state have, the social breakdown and increasing atomization, make absolutely necessary a minimum of political clarity to fight against capitalism. There can be no revolutionary practice without revolutionary theory, without knowing the ground beneath our feet, the goal where we have to score and the one we have to defend, our enemies and our false friends.

Comrades who honestly try to fight this system under the influence of the left and the extreme left of capital have to make an effort to reflect on the activity and speech of those organizations and ideologies, whose purpose (beyond the honest and combative militants who may have in their ranks) in bourgeois society is to contain, weaken and channel capacity, theoretical and practical, of the proletariat to fight against capitalism.

fingers malone
Aug 25 2012 18:37
Butters wrote:
What do you mean fingers malone? the fact the police beat you up doesn't turn your politics or action into revolutionary... In that case, the izquierda abertzale (nationalist basque left) or irish republicans would be among the most radical movements...
Precisaly images like the one you show (why don't you show those ones where, for example, they beg the government do "good things for the people" or propose that supermarkets done products about to be out of date as a solution for hunger...?), are used by the left to hide that, under this "radical" surface, they stand for the same things and do the same as the official unions and left-wing MP's.

I don't think that getting beaten by the police means you are revolutionary, I was just trying to demonstrate that it isn't all some staged managed stunt politics, prearranged with the police.

I think that, although there are plenty of things you could criticise about the SAT, people are carrying out genuine class struggle in the south and the SAT is an organisation doing pretty well in bringing people together and organising to do that.

fingers malone
Aug 25 2012 18:46
Butters wrote:

Similarly, the ruling class has tried to give oxygen to trade-unionism, and more specifically to "rank and file" or "alternative" ones (whose differences with the "officials" would be more of form than of substance, and a general nothing more that "alternative "critical appendages of the" officers ", as we saw again in the last" general strike "of 29-M). The methods of "alternative" ones: symbolic actions to attract media attention, foot marches, isolate and focus the conflict in a business or geographical area, spectacular actions (occupations, roadblocks, etc.), mobilization when and how the big unions say, begging at the door of the politician in office, etc. Far from the minimum required for the proletarian class today: meeting spaces, solidarity, reflection and debate where to break the isolation, the spread of conflicts and protests beyond the business or geographical area; take advantages of the strikes and demonstrations controlled by the "official" unions to contact and discuss with with workers not to be the stooge shrill of the big ones.
.

Hang on, but are occupations and roadblocks only spectacular actions? Can't they be an effective method of causing economic disruption, and especially useful for unemployed people?
"mobilization when and how the big unions say" I don't think so. They organise all the time, not just when there are general strikes on the national level, for example they organised a general strike in the Sierra de Cadiz when there wasn't a national mobilisation.
Solidarity- I saw them show a hell of a lot of solidarity. Just for example, in that video with the people trying to resist the eviction in Coronil, there are people from the SAT there in the action.

Butters
Aug 25 2012 19:42

It wasn't my intention to get into any detail about the SAT (most likely it seems you know SAT more than I do...) there are quite a few let's say rank and file unions in spain (left-wing, nationalists, anarcho, ...), and the reflection is more general about their methods and ideology, and to me they are an obstacle for mass proletarian direct action.

No doubt there are honest militants within left-wings organizations (including CCOO and UGT, and IU...). I myself met SAT militants in Granada a few years ago participating in assemblies and rallies againts unemployment.... The critics are towards, as I say, methods and ideologies, which I consider wrong, and which channel a lot of energy and good will into dead-ends. For example the case in Granada the SAT were holding assemblies and rallies not intending to spread the unemployment movement to other struggles but limiting the rallies (of course nothing of self-organization and autonomy, there are well known leaders and chiefs) to put the city council under pressure to give people a job (with a list of those participating...the more you participate in their rallies the more chances of getting the job...If you know SAT must be aware this is a common practice in this left-wing union). That's one of the features of “radical” unionism: they dont seek to strength a mass movement (practically and theoretically) , they focused on “getting solutions”... And so on, and so on... But as I said dont wanna focused on SAT.

For me it's undeniable the existence of a campaign (there is about to start a tv show in tele 5 again about the SAT... it seems another boring saturday night if I don't change my plans...) to promote and give publicity to “radical” unions, given the discredit of the big ones. Since at least the end of WW2 unions (and in a general sense, unionism) have become everywhere a key part of the state, the fifth column of the state within the workers' movement.

I encourage you to read a discussion I had on libcom a few months ago abouth the 29M general strike.

http://libcom.org/news/account-march-29-spanish-general-strike-barcelona-01042012

Saludos

Mark.
Aug 25 2012 23:15

For anyone who does read Spanish there's a thread on alasbarricadas covering some of the same ground. It's probably worth mentioning that the views of a minority (at least I think it's a minority) of CNT members on working with SAT, and supporting their actions, seem similar to the views of the left communists. I don't agree with them but the debate is interesting. On the alasbarricadas thread 'eu' is arguing the anti-SAT position (from page 6 onwards).

Edit: actually from looking through that thread again I think I may have overstated the scepticism towards SAT. Even eu seems more hostile to Gordillo than to SAT itself.

fingers malone
Aug 25 2012 20:52

Thanks for the heads up on that Mark.

Mark.
Aug 25 2012 23:09
Caiman del Barrio wrote:

I'd also be interested in reading more about SAT, since they seem like a pretty influential grouping. Fingers can probably help with this.

I was chatting to a CGT anarcho the other day & he said that Gordillo could prove to be some sorta useful idiot: apparently there were copycat autoreduzione in Seville soon after the SAT one(s), with folk storming into supermarkets & saying "we wanna do what that Gordillo guy did...".

There's a new ebook, Utopia and the Valley of Tears by Dan Hancox that sounds like it could have a bit to say about SAT, or at least Gordillo and Marinaleda. He's asked libcom to review it. Extract here - from this I suspect it might be a bit on the uncritical side. He also has this article in today's Guardian.

akai
Dec 15 2012 13:30

Personally I miss the days when you could find some critical views on such unions / organizations on Libcom and appreciate that Butters brought it up. But I suppose it is falling on deaf ears.