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General strikes and the struggle against austerity in Spain

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Ed's picture
Ed
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Jan 23 2013 14:14

Thought I'd resurect this thread after coming across this interesting article..
Protest becomes way of life

Quote:
Judges, garbage workers, doctors and bus drivers are among those involved in a wave of disruptive strikes and demonstrations as workers lose patience with the centre-right government's spending cuts after four years of economic crisis.

Demonstrations have become a daily event in the capital and other major cities in the biggest social upheaval Spain has seen since the transition to democracy in the 1970s.

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Ed
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Jan 24 2013 11:28

Oh yeah, also this..

Thirty families have occupied six blocks of empty flats in Barcelona. The flats, which belong to banks, are recently built and have never been lived in. Catalonia has the highest numbers of evictions in Europe, according to PAH (Plataforma Afectados por Hipoteca- Platform for those affected by mortgages)..
http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1709115/0/barcelona/vivienda/banca-okupa...

Is Spain the new hotspot for fighting austerity?

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EastTexasRed
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Jan 25 2013 00:57

This has popped up in my facebook page.

Dunno if I did that right or not, it's a poster for 23 Feb 'Toma la calle' (take to the streets), and most importantly: "no mas golpes de estado" (no more coups), referring to the fact that 23 Feb is the anniversary of the 1981 coup attempt, the most memorable aspect of which was Col Tejero leading Guardia Civil into the Cortes (Parliament) and holding it at gunpoint for a day or so until reading that the coup had failed in the following day's paper.

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May 29 2013 21:45

Firefighters fighting police in Spain today..

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Ed
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Mar 23 2014 16:17

Some videos of it kicking off last night in Spain. First video is some of the most heavy fighting I've seen since probably when things started kicking off in Greece a few years ago..

This is from the Global Uprisings website and it's also pretty cool..

22M: Madrid Protests on March 22, 2014 from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.

Anyone else got any updates from people on the ground?

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Mar 23 2014 18:49

CNT doing their thing.. could easily have been a decent enough demo by themselves!

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Mar 23 2014 22:18

It's actually a compilation of demos. Part of it is in Madrid but some of the signs are written in Catalan. Some of the signs show which the locality

I was going to comment on the implications that this has for the CNT's organizational level - able to pull together a demo like this, with visible and well-made propaganda and signs, a speaker truck, as well as quickly edit together a video. The fact that it is a compilation of marches in multiple areas is more impressive. All of it together I think speaks to what a revolutionary union should be doing in a context like Spain's, in addition to the mostly invisible task of workplace organizing.

Salvoechea
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Mar 24 2014 15:44

By the way on monday morning, around 200 people went to claim the freedom of the arrested people.

http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=76346
http://www.publico.es/actualidad/509922/cientos-de-personas-piden-la-lib...

Cops are quite angry about being cannon fodder. Apparently there were 1000 rioters (a record in Madrid) and some anti-riots units were overrun. Many cops resulted injured.

The point is that the youth of working class areas in Madrid like Vallekas, Carabanchel, Vicálvaro, Villaverde, Leganés, Tetuán, Lavapiés... are getting radicalised. Left wing parties and unions (and squats and social movements) are gaining ground in those areas while in other parts of Spain working class youngsters are becoming nazis. That's the point: only a true working class struggle can avoid the rise of fascism.

CNT is getting bigger quite fast in the last year. And it is obvious out of its workplace conflicts. However it is still a small union. In mass mobilisations it get to gather thousands people, but most of it is not a member of CNT. This is a paradox, while the marches of other unions things are at the opposite way.

15M in Spain is being capitalised by lots of new social movements, as well as by CNT, and all the radical left. Communists are increasing their number and structure, as you may see in las Marchas de la Dignidad.

By the way, tomorrow and on wednesday there is a student strike in Madrid:
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/28742

And on next saturday another mobilisation against monarchy:
http://coordinadora25s.wordpress.com/

The most positive result of 22M has been that 1 million people has come to the streets without CCOO and UGT. We don't need institutional left anymore to be loads in the streets. The new challenge is to call a general strike without them.

Mass media are increasingly seen as a part of the problem by a growing part of population. This weekend news from the 22M marches were silenced and ignored. Instead all the media attention has been focused in the death of the former president Adolfo Suarez.

proletarian.
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Mar 24 2014 21:55
Quote:
Left wing parties and unions are gaining ground in those areas

Is this a positive thing though, what implications does it have?

hellfrozeover
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Mar 24 2014 23:45
Salvoechea wrote:
Mass media are increasingly seen as a part of the problem by a growing part of population. This weekend news from the 22M marches were silenced and ignored. Instead all the media attention has been focused in the death of the former president Adolfo Suarez.

Yeah that was pretty blatant. El Intermedio tonight had a couple of fun things about that - comparing 2 photos of mass gatherings (this and the Pope) at Colón with their reported numbers. And international news coverage, which countries report the big demo and which the violence (guess...)
(plus riot porn, about 8-10 mins into the show, which you don't need to speak Spanish to appreciate)

Salvoechea
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Mar 25 2014 10:27

Thanks for your support.

Pics from CGT Block:
http://www.rojoynegro.info/galeria/agitaci%C3%B3n/las-marchas-llenan-dig...

from CNT:
http://www.cnt.es/noticias/fotos-22m-un-antes-y-un-despu%C3%A9s

Libertarian Youth from Madrid:
http://juventudeslibertariasmadrid.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/mata-a-tu-al...

Anarchist student bloc
http://feszgz.blogspot.com.es/

info from 23 and 24 march. Protestors and activitsts tried to set up a camp. however, this time it was swept by police
http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=76346

Of all the arrested only one goes to prision.

------

As for the implications of a new militant generation in working class areas, is only positive. You must take into account that past generations got politisized in universities and in workplaces. However nowadays Uni is not much active and youth is out of wokrplace with an unemployment rate of 50%. So, youngsters study until 25-30. And work in shit-jobs, in which they don't care about the conditions as they believe they'd quit as soon as possible.

Spanish youth has not future with capitalism. That's the point. Some will emigrate to other countries (ie. Britain, Germany, North and Southamerica), but the most part of it will stay at home. It's good to see people getting politisized. as an example:

http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=76353
http://juventudeslibertariasmadrid.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/extendamos-l...

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Entdinglichung
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Mar 25 2014 12:22

Yepa
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Mar 25 2014 12:26

A couple of more photos from inside the CNT block, it was almost not possible to take a pic from all of it.

http://i.imgur.com/PajgKYi.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/BhcsxT6.jpg

From inside CNT has mobilized thousands of people, we are back to our home towns with new energies.

Valeriano Orobó...
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Jun 2 2014 17:02

The king has abdicated today. Since march 22 and the last turn in the european elections things are speeding up around here. In this deep crisis of legitimacy a change of regime looks possible: the dynastic parties are in unstoppable decay, the press is systematically ignored or despised except for the far right and a bunch of scared socialdemocrats, justice is seen as corrupt, strikes and protest are breaking out weekly tho many not being reported on the media, the far right in the european election has been totally irrelevant: not a single mp. The new party capitalizing discontent - Podemos -, looks like a combination of oportunists of all sorts and disenchanted leftists which nevertheless would be essential in a change of scenery. However, people won't leave the streets easily cos all representatives look suspicious. Serious changes may happen in the months ahead.

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Jul 4 2014 09:57

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/02/spanish-unions-campaign-cri...

Quote:

With nearly 300 workers in court over their participation in strikes, Spain's major unions are fighting back, launching a campaign against what they call the increasing "criminalisation" of strikes and other labour activities.

At least 260 workers across Spain are facing cumulative jail time of 120 years over their participation in recent labour activities, said Cándido Méndez of the UGT general workers' union.

Threatened sentences range from fines to three years in jail. The moves is set against a backdrop of a recent labour law reform that made it cheaper and easier for companies to lay off people, reduce wages and modify the conditions of employment. "It's creating a dynamic in which the clear aim is to discourage workers from mobilising," Méndez said.

Prosecutors are exploiting an obscure article in the criminal code meant to prevent workers from being pressured into striking, said Ignacio Fernández Toxo, who heads the Workers' Commission trade union. The article is being increasingly relied on to justify fines and time in jail for those who strike.

The result, he said, was chilling. "They're trying to make examples of a few, instil fear and discourage people from participating in mobilisations and strikes. We're talking about a fundamental right that's enshrined in the Spanish constitution."

As part of the campaign, letters are being sent out and meetings planned with prosecutors and government officials. Rallies are also being organised across Spain next week.

The issue takes on particular importance, said Toxo, when Spain's recent history is factored in. It was not that long ago that Spanish workers lacked the freedoms to claim their rights as workers, he pointed out.

"We thought we had clearly overcome this phase in Spain. But it seems like maybe not."