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General strikes and the struggle against austerity in Spain

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Salvoechea
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Sep 30 2010 15:03

I read about 2 pickets hit by lorries.

More from Barcelona:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoTBf9MrQHU&feature=player_embedded

An explanation about this (someone wrote in Alasbarricadas):

Quote:
Sobre los disturbios en Barcelona:

Todo empezó con la okupación del Banco el 25-S. Fue un golpe de efecto enorme, y la vuelta a la escena del movimiento okupa, muy debilitado ultimamente (porque cada uno está a lo suyo y no existe una colaboración ni cohesión). Desde ese día el edificio se convirtió en un nido de okupas de todos los pelajes (insurreccionalistas, indepes, comunistas, punks, hippies, postmodernos, troskistas, peña del movimiento estudiantil, etc). Con esto conseguían de cabeza el protagonismo.

Luego, el 29-S, en cada barrio se formaron piquetes autónomos, que aprovecharon para liarla en algunos sitios (se cortó la Diagonal, y la Meridiana varias veces). Los piketes de Vallcarca (okupas e indepes) cortaron lesseps con neumáticos ardiendo. Los de Gracia (troskos, indepes y okupas libertarios y punks) asaltaron la Librería Europa. Y los de Sants tuvimos un piquete realmente conflictivo, con 3 detenciones y muuy caliente, a punto de cargar los mossos varias veces. De verdad, ayer pareciamos un ejército.

Con esta guisa nos juntamos todos en Plaza Catalunya, donde esperaban los de la okupa del Hotel y los compas de la CNT que estaban haciendo piquetes pro el centro. Poco a poco llegan los bloques de los barrios. Luego la CGT y otros sindicatos y partidos. Se hace la mani anticapitalista. Las Ramblas están cortadas, asi se va por Pelai hacia Pl. Universitat. En universitat nos cortan el camino hacia el centro. Se lia una tangana. Primeras carreras, luego contraataque. Se está a punto de empujar a los mossos para atrás hasta 3 veces. Pero lo vemos chungo. Previendo la estampida nos intentamos ir hacia el Raval, pero nos damos de cabeza con un furgon de los mossos que estan con las porras. Luego volvemos a la mani y estamos delante del famoso coche. Lo del coche es sospechoso, estaba muy a huevo, puesto a proposito. Ya hay un punky encima, luego otro, luego pedradas, luego un liquido inflamable. Dicen que los primeros eran infitrados, yo no lo sé. me parecian punkis normales. Y ya no vi más porque salimos corriendo. Los mossos cargan con todo, pelotas de goma, etc, y entran en la plaza llena de gente con las furgonas a todo trapo. Carreras y palos toda la mañana y mediodia.

Luego vuelta al Banco okupado a reagruparse. A media tarde los mossos entran en la okupa a desalojar. Lo hicieron militarmente y con perfecta ejecución. Palos a diestro y siniestro. Y más tarde cargas con pelotas de goma en Paseo de Gracia (que no me quedé a disfrutar). Luego más carreras y containers ardiendo con cada vez más frecuencia. Mientras tenian lugar las manis de los sindicatos bastantes encapuchados atacaron el Corte Inglés. Lo consiguieron cerrar. En estos momentos toda plaza catalunya y plaza urquinaona (hasta Gran Via) fueron zonas de guerra. Nosotros estábamos en Laietana abajo de todo.

Al ver el fuego media mani de CNT nos fuimos para arriba (cayendo en la provocación). Atrás de la mani de la CGT había decenas cientos (quizas más de 100 o hasta 200) de encapuchados. Imagino que fueron ellos los del corte ingles. Se pasa por la comisaria de la Policia nacional, se quema un furgón que estaba a huevo. Más o menos por aqui creo que se les jodió la mani a los de la cgt. se veia venir lo del furgón. luego con los que venimos de abajo se forma un bloque negro hasta la catedral, donde hay mas ostias, y luego por todo el centro, que es cuando me piro yo.

Sinceramente, a pesar de lo que se pueda decir luego, no vi ninguna necesidad de infiltrados. Las ganas de marcha las llevaba la gente encima desde hacia años. ayer se soltaron todas las pasiones. vamos a tener a los okupas clamando por más huelgas generales. :?
Nos vamos a pasar meses montando conciertos para la gente detenida.

===

This is one of the first times that CNT has gone together with CGT (and sometimes with the "radical left") in plenty of towns like Zaragoza, Mallorca

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sabot
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Sep 30 2010 15:35

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55SBvemWTxg&feature=player_embedded#!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aRpCdkr7z4&feature=geosearch

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fingers malone
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Sep 30 2010 16:12

I made a mistake, the strike wasn´t very successful in Euskadi, it was strongest in Asturias and Galicia.

That´s great about joint CNT-CGT demos.

It says more than a hundred people arrested now in the papers. Thanks everybody for accounts, they are great. Anyone else?

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fingers malone
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Sep 30 2010 18:48
Caiman del Barrio wrote:

Isn't Universidad de Sevilla autonoma? Why are those fucking cops there?

Yeah, they are not allowed in without permission. We told them that, just before they kicked our heads in.
I saw on the internet a lot of teachers angry about it and they are going to complain to the director. That´ll have the riot police shaking in their size twelves... no no I´m not going to be sarcastic, it´s good that they are going to complain.
Sabot, one of those videos is about the eviction of students from a protest about the university reform last year, not about the general strike. Same bastard cops though.

There´s this other thread now about protests around Europe, I´ve put a note on it telling people this stuff is here.

Caiman del Barrio
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Sep 30 2010 18:57

In my experience, all this autonomous shit is very much in principle, and when the shit hits the fan (ie the UNAM occupation of 2000), the rector will invite the security forces in anyway.

Still, some kinda legal wrangling against the state won't hurt if the US rector's willing...I'm not even sure of the protocol when it's broken?

EDIT are there still CNT members workign there btw? I ask cos my ex studied there a couple of years back...

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fingers malone
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Sep 30 2010 23:11

Don´t know of any CNT people in the university, there were in the maintenance section in the UPO, the other university in Seville. There is a section of the SAT in the University of Sevilla now.

Here´s a bit more of the same...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO2x0jzZIdA

akai
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Oct 1 2010 00:07

I'm not opposed to appearing even at the demos of the mainstream unions if the point is to make new contacts with workers or be a critical presence but don't see any reason to call the joint demos with CGT "great" (except for the more reformist sections in the CNT who don't feel a real difference or the pro-CGT syndicalists). I'd take that as the low point of the actions actually.

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fingers malone
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Oct 1 2010 15:10

Ok I don´t want to get into an argument about the CNT and CGT.

Anyway here is something impressive from the general strike in Madrid, a demo of domestic cleaners & top manta (people that sell from a blanket in the street), 2000 people.

http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?blog=2&p=48344

[edit] shit, I think these photos are not from the general strike, someone had put them up in with a load of general strike photos, but I think these are from another demo last year.

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fingers malone
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Oct 1 2010 09:55

valencia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGTFmOy-wuo&feature=player_embedded
Don´t know where this is, the banners are in catalan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inewBTsUjVA&feature=related

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thegonzokid
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Oct 1 2010 12:37

Two of us from Liverpool went to Barcelona to experience the general strike and show solidarity.

The CNT demo was very well attended, there's a few pix and a bit of video I took here. At one point a cop car drove through the crowd at high speed, it was amazing it didn't plough into anyone.

We visited the occupied building on Placa de Catalunya on Tuesday night. Lots of curious people coming and going - good stuff. The police moved in on the day of the strike and took it back - a merry old time was had trying not get cracked round the head by fascist cops with riot sticks.

All in all, it was an interesting experience, even if we didn't always know exactly what was going on due to the language barrier. Fun and games over now, off to work in the cold and rain all evening... circle A

Samotnaf
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Oct 1 2010 14:02

akai said:

Quote:
I'm not opposed to appearing even at the demos of the mainstream unions if the point is to make new contacts with workers or be a critical presence but don't see any reason to call the joint demos with CGT "great" (except for the more reformist sections in the CNT who don't feel a real difference or the pro-CGT syndicalists). I'd take that as the low point of the actions actually.

To which fingers malone replied:

Quote:
Ok I don´t want to get into an argument about the CNT and CGT.

I think it is important to argue about these things - and to draw practical concusions; I don't know enough about the current CNT in Spain to participate much in this, but I do know that in France sections of the CNT are making a rapprochement to the CGT which will merely contribute to the confusion and derailment of any build-up in struggles. If the European movements are going to develop into a serious force the Unions and all their modernised manipulative practices, and the way people fall for them, have to be attacked (I'm talking about Unions in the traditional sense of having private negotiations with the bosses, participating in works committees, etc. which i gather is not the case with most CNT sections in Spain). I'll leave it at that for the moment - for one thing I'm too busy with other stuff, for another, there are others who obviously know more about such things than me.

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 1 2010 15:06
Samotnaf wrote:
I don't know enough about the current CNT in Spain to participate much in this, but I do know that in France sections of the CNT are making a rapprochement to the CGT which will merely contribute to the confusion and derailment of any build-up in struggles.

which french cnt?

Dannny
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Oct 1 2010 16:28

I went to the CNT demo in Granada and the mood, speech, chants and leaflets were all very much against the official unions. To be honest this chimed with the mood of my mates and colleagues here who seem by and large non-plussed by the strike and resent the major unions. There were about 100-150 people at the demo I´d say, although I only went to the midday one and there was another later, maybe more turned out for that...

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fingers malone
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Oct 1 2010 16:41

To what extent do people think the strike was a success or a failure?

Or, do people think the strike was a meaningful event for the working class? Did it show strength or weakness?

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Oct 1 2010 17:07

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fingers malone
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Oct 1 2010 17:08

Trans: Asturias isn´t Greece... but we´re working on it

Samotnaf
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Oct 2 2010 04:24

radicalgrafitti:

Quote:
Samotnaf wrote:
Quote:
I don't know enough about the current CNT in Spain to participate much in this, but I do know that in France sections of the CNT are making a rapprochement to the CGT which will merely contribute to the confusion and derailment of any build-up in struggles

Quote:
which french cnt?

The CNT not the CNT/AIT - the Nimes section, certainly; I think also a/the section in Paris - though I'll check with friends if you want greater details. Maybe others I haven't heard of.

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 2 2010 11:12

I think CNT Vignoles are part of the 'Red and Black co-ordination' with the CGT, SAC, UK IWW et al.

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 2 2010 12:52

thats the that was expled from the cnt-ait right? why are they called cnt vignoles? so they are basically the equivalent of the spanish cgt?

i find all these organisation with the same initals confusing

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 2 2010 13:08

Pretty much. They're known as Vignoles because their office is on Rue Vignoles iirc. The Spanish CGT initially called themselves the CNT too immediately after the split, just to add to the confusion. The issues in both splits were similar; participation in works councils (state-backed representative bodies) and related issues of participating in union elections and accepting state funds.

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fingers malone
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Oct 2 2010 16:01
fingers malone wrote:
To what extent do people think the strike was a success or a failure?

Or, do people think the strike was a meaningful event for the working class? Did it show strength or weakness?

And?

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fingers malone
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Oct 2 2010 18:21

I´m trying to listen to something important on the radio and there is a fucking virgin going past literally under my window. wall
When I squatted this flat we were in the dark wrestling with the lock and there was a virgin going past and you could even smell the incense wafting in through the window.
Spain is different.

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fingers malone
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Oct 2 2010 18:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AxN_AbQEwg&feature=related
This is the shipyard workers in July.

Being in UCU wasn´t like that.

Still want some opinions re. my question above.

Samotnaf
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Oct 3 2010 04:10

fingers malone wrote:

Quote:
To what extent do people think the strike was a success or a failure? Or, do people think the strike was a meaningful event for the working class? Did it show strength or weakness?

Since I don't know much more about Spain today other than what I've read here and there, anything i say is going to be very limited. But surely your question can only be answered if there are some kind of independent developments of struggles in Spain after the 24 hour strike. There was a 24 hour general strike in France on the 23rd, and there'll be one on the 12th, and since the 23rd there has been a limited rise in struggles (particularly in the High schools and the Universities); talking to people yesterday on one of the national marches (ostensibly about the extension of retirement age), there does seem to be a desire for a fight and the hope that there'll be a major one but talk is cheap and often the attitude is to wait for others to move, or to blame others for not struggling, or to want to get "them" (usually the unions) to do something. Also an attitude that it's better to do something like marching round in circles and arriving at the same point but just more tired than do nothing at all. But is it? The illusion that doing this is doing something is worse than admitting you're not doing anything. It prepares the ground for a resigned "We tried - but we failed", whereas people saying this usually never try anything new or anything that hasn't been initiated by others.

As for the CNT points above - I'll get more information, but I'm 99% sure that these developments (in CNT branches) is not the Vignolle group.

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fingers malone
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Oct 3 2010 08:07

Ok, fair enough, we´ll have to wait and see how struggles go in the next few months.

News: Confederación General de Trabajadores Portugueses (CGTP) have called a general strike in Portugal for the 24th of November.

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georgestapleton
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Oct 3 2010 20:35
fingers malone wrote:
a fucking virgin

oxymoron

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fingers malone
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Oct 4 2010 07:05
georgestapleton wrote:
fingers malone wrote:
a fucking virgin

oxymoron

You don´t belive the virgin Mary was really a virgin do you?

Anyway when I went to have a look it wasn´t actually a virgin, it was a Jesus.

I don´t understand how you have all these different virgins, the virgin of Guadaloupe, the virgin of Fatima, etc. Isn´t it all the same person?

Valeriano Orobó...
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Oct 4 2010 18:21
fingers malone wrote:
To what extent do people think the strike was a success or a failure?

Or, do people think the strike was a meaningful event for the working class? Did it show strength or weakness?

I was waiting for a mate to send me a summary of what happened in Barna but i don't know how much i am going to wait so here's my two cents.

If you consider the numbers of the 2002 general strike the wednesday one was a moderate, mild success or even a quasy-falliure. If you consider the current levels of demobilization, unemployment, right-wing propaganda, disorientation and fear it's been an undeniable success.

I couldn't go to the industrial zones the day of the strike cos i was ill. I simply managed to go to the nearest commercial zones near where i live and thaty was disappointing; not even a 20 % of the shops were closed. I already knew that i was in the 7 % or so that striked in the public sector, so at first the outlook was quite bleak. Neverthless in the industrial and transport sector things were very different. Every big industry in my area stopped, a huge wholesales market were the retailers buy closed and it was the same all around Spain. The transport sector was as paralized as the industrial one. This is imo very important because a) transport has been gaining more and more weight in spain's labour market in the last years, there are already many people employed there and b) most of these workers are what we called "fake self-employed", that is that the company doesn't pay them social security but however they use em as if they were wage-earners. This is a group usually very divided, with no collective agreement and unprotected and the strike was massive among them.

From different mates i've gathered informal summaries of what they saw in Barna and Madrid. I'd say that the strike was harder there. People were more fed-up and confident. Two things are important; in the clashes with the police people didn't withdraw, among those confronting the cops were "latin kings" and what my mates call "pijos" (posh) that is people that don't wear the usual alternative stuff (dreadlocks, skater pants, sweaters with hoods and so on) and that usually don't engage in such confrontations. And there is a prevailling sensation that things went much better and bigger than expected, that is gonna be necessary to keep fighting in the near future and that vigilance must be maintained on the big unions and their probable manouvre trying to sell out once again.

Salvoechea
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Oct 4 2010 20:20

Partial translation of article and chronology from a las barricadas
(translator’s note: CCOO and UGT are major reformist labor unions. The CGT is a large union that split from the CNT and has a mildly anarchist or anti-capitalist politics. The CNT is the anarcho-syndicalist labor union).

Pictures and videos at
http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=14890

Alasbarricadas.org will conduct special coverage (same as many other counterinformation websites) of the general strike of 29-S, with punctual updates of tomorrow’s happenings. Even though our organizations and initiatives have little strength in comparison with the big labor unions of the system, we don’t doubt that the proportional force of our pickets is great. Nonetheless we’ll need all the strength we can muster for this day, as the success of the strike depends on our capacity to paralyze the country’s economy tomorrow. Thanks to the infinite betrayals of the unions CCOO and UGT, tomorrow’s strike will be difficult. Their chicanery has made a great many laborers wonder why they should go on strike, thus endangering the result.

It’s up to us to double our efforts in order to make it happen, and after tomorrow to continue struggling against the new economic measures that they’ll inevitably try to impose on us. The logic of the neoliberal politicians who remain in government and which is imposed by Europe, threaten to extend the cuts well beyond what we’ve already seen. Only a massive social mobilization will force the banks or the bosses to be the ones to bear the brunt of the losses. If we do nothing, the working class will have to swallow it all.

Tomorrow must be the first day of a new dynamic of social and labor struggles throughout the state. We have to keep up.

The 29th of September: an opportunity and a challenge.

Chronology:
Banesto, the Credit Bank of Spain, building on Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona, is occupied by anticapitalists starting 25 September.

TeleMadrid is off the air due to the general strike. The screen reads: “The general strike, convoked by the unions against the Labor Reform, is blocking the transmission of TeleMadrid.”

CanalSur is off the air. On the screen one reads: “Our programming is being interrupted due to the General Strike convoked by the class unions against the labor reform approved by the government.”

TV3 and Channel 33 also have their programming interrupted thanks to the general strike.

Three picketers run over in Madrid outside printers’ offices, trying to block the distribution of various daily papers.

2:10. Barcelona. Mercabarna. A unionist was run over while carrying out informative work, explaining the reasons for the general strike.
3:00. Valencia. The national police are loading up stacks of the newspaper El Levante into their vans, for distribution.
5:30. Zaragoza. The highway has been cut off at the entrance to industrial zone Malpica. The UGT and CCOO pickets “disappeared” at a certain point. The UGT and CCOO pickets, searching for a photo op, blocked the entrances to the city (when strategically the important thing is to cut off the exits, which is what the workers use to go to the industrial zones), and then returned to the sidewalk when the light turned green. Six pickets of the CGT and the Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales, faced with the passivity of the UGT and CCOO pickets, tried to cut off the exit lanes. Due to the aggressivity of the drivers and the passivity of the pantomime pickets, they had to give up their attempt, when vans of riot police surrounded the hundred CGT picketers, who began yelling at the others: “scabs! Sell-outs!” It becomes obvious that the UGT and CCOO have made a pact with the state to pacify today’s strike.

4:15. Madrid. During the informative pickets taking place in the early hours of the morning, the police arrested at least 5 comrades from CSOA (Squatted and Self-Organized Social Center) La Casika.
8:40. Ferrol. A police charge. Barricades have been put up. Two arrestees from the CNT, one detained after being shot with a rubber bullet, the other after being detained was hit and clubbed.
Compostela. The pickets have paralyzed the industrial zones and also stopped the city buses that bring in the workers.
9:15. Madrid. Nearly 500 bicyclists convoked by the Madrid Platform for the General Strike and the Assembly of Social Movements of Madrid have been forced off the strets and one person has been arrested.
9:38. Barcelona. All the stores and bars of Plaça Reial, tourist center of the city, have been shut down.
9:43. Barcelona. Police charge in the neighborhood of Les Corts. They’ve lined up dumpsters across Av. Madrid to protect themselves from the charges. There have been clashes.
Madrid. 11 detainees at the pickets outside the municipal bus stations.
9:48. Jaen. In the factories, city services, and public transport, the strike is a success. According to the latest information, a majority of workers are striking.
9:49. Sevilla. The riot police have entered the university and charged brutally against the students.
9:54. Asturias. Transportation, cleaning, and mining stopped. Arrests in Uvieu, riots in Xixón.

10:00. Barcelona. The principal entrance to Corte Inglés (major shopping center) in Nou Barris is closed.
Cartagena. 30 people with the CNT have occupied the central post office, to shouts of “Indefinite General Strike!”
10:04. Córdoba. The CNT section here confirms that the strike is being supported by multiple sectors, including municipal services. Complete stoppage in the municipal businesses, the central market, and the trash collection.
10:09. Electricity consumption on Wednesday is down 20%. This indicates participation in the strike, as it corresponds to typical energy consumption on a holiday.
10:15. Charges and arrests all throughout Barcelona, simultaneously. It seems the Mossos (Catalan autonomous police force) have received orders to break all the pickets.
10:17. Ryanair airlines cancels all its flights to Spain.

10:24. Valladolid. Police charges have injured five. Massive participation in the strike.
Participation in the strike in the industrial zones is calculated at more than 75%.
Zaragoza. At the picket of the picket of the municipal building, more than one hundred people are having a popular lunch. All municipal services are stopped at the moment, except for the police, who are at work everywhere.
10:41. Barcelona. Av. Meridiana, one of the main arteries of the city, is cut.
10:45. Zaragoza. Corte Inglés is closed down, to cries of “Victory! Victory!”
Betanzos. Barricades around the industrial zone Bergondo.
Logroño. Three people detained, one a victim of police aggression. Two CNTers have been beaten by cops, along with one from the CCOO. The two CNT comrades are still detained without being informed of their charges, the CCOO member has been released.
10:52. Barcelona. 9 arrests throughout Catalunya. Plaza Glories (major traffic hub) is blocked. The strike committees of Poblenou and Clot have blocked Gran Via. A second picket of 300 people has blocked Av. Meridiana in another location.
10:54. Córdoba. Riot police from the National Police charged the 300 person concentration in front of the Corte Inglés.
11:10. Alacant. 300 people shut down Corte Inglés.
11:11. Madrid. 500 people block off Gran Vía.
11:14. Tarragona. All the accesses to the industrial zones are blocked off.
11:30. Las Palmas. Stevadores, transporters, and industrial workers on strike.
11:31. Tarragona. 1,000 people are closing all the businesses on Rambla Nova.
11:32. Corunha. The port, garbage collection, and industries are closed.
11:40. The AVE (highspeed train) between Segovia and Madrid has stopped.
11:45. Bilbo. A picket of 400 people formed by the CNT and ESK has concentrated in the circular plaza and cut off access.
12:00. Cádiz. 2,000 people concentrate in plaza España.
12:00. Barcelona. A hundred youth take advantage of the general strike to sack Libreria Europa (a fascist bookstore people have long been trying to close down). The attack left many materials from inside the shop destroyed and scattered on the street.

12:34. Barcelona. More than 3,000 people have gathered in Plaça Catalunya and are making barricades at the entrance to Las Ramblas. Different groups of pickets are arriving from all over the city.
12:38. Campo de Gibraltar and Algeciras. 100% stoppage in industry.
12:48. Terrassa. More than 200 people occupied the central offices of the Patronal for twenty minutes.
12:55. Barcelona. The pickets gathered in Plaza Catalunya have managed to start going down Las Ramblas.
13:08. The mossos have begun to attack the march of picketers on Las Ramblas. People have had to pull dumpsters into the streets to protect themselves.
13:09. Valencia. Police charges against a unified picket of 500 people. Several injured.
13:25. Palma. The unified platform (CGT, CNT, Frente Solidario, SCTA, Endavant y Maulets—the latter are left Catalan youth organizations) has shut down Corte Inglés. In the evening they hold a protest of 2500.
13:30 Radio Contrabanda (squat pirate radio) is informing us about fights in the center of Barcelona, Pelai street. The police have divided the unified picket in two groups. A police car of the Guardia Urbana is on fire, a circle-A painted on the hood.

13:44. Barcelona. The protest has been broken up by several attacks with rubber bullets and police cars driving through the crowd.
14:04. Córdoba. Two picketers in front of the Corte Inglés have been beaten and arrested. 10,000 people participated in the protest in the city, with a critical bloc composed of the CNT and others.
14:24. Valencia. A worker has a broken clavicle after a police charge.
15:00. Madrid. 100 people participate in a roving feminist picket, closing shops along the commercial streets.
15:06. Barcelona. The unified picket from Plaza Catalunya, composed of 3000 anticapitalists, has managed to go down Las Ramblas all the way to Palau de la Virreina. The Banesto building, occupied since September 25, is under seige by police.
15:18. The mossos have destroyed the front door of the occupied bank and broken in.
15:22. The strike is successful in Vigo. Over 100,000 in the streets.
15:30. Barcelona. The mossos enter the occupied Banesto building without a judicial order. There’s been a call-out for the evening demonstrations to end in front of the building.
Asturias. Blocking of streets and burning of dumpsters. Massive participation in strike.
Ferrol. Everything is stopped, all the detainees have been released.
Compostela. Industry and Transport paralyzed. Police charge the CNT picket, injuring 10. CNT-CIG protest a success, with thousands of participants.
Corunha. Port and transportation paralyzed. 15,000 people in the protests.
Zaragoza. 500 people in the CNT demonstration.

17:45. Barcelona. 500 have gathered in Plaza Universitat in the CNT-AIT demo.
18:00. Madrid. Police shut down the anarchist protest.
18:02. Barcelona. 8000 gather for the CGT protest.
18:50. Barcelona. Three columns of fire between Pau Claris and Consell de Cent. Various luxury businesses have been looted on Passeig de Gracia.
19:55. The CNT march gathered 2-3000 and was attacked by police, several people hit by police vehicles driving through the crowd. The march arrives before the Banesto building in Plaza Catalunya. Fighting with cops, burning barricades. Police disperse the crowd. Number of arrests unknown.
20:00. Huge protest in Valencia. The head of the march has reached the end of the route and the back of the march hasn’t left the starting point yet.
21:00. Palma. 2500

Salvoechea
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Joined: 17-05-04
Oct 4 2010 20:55

About the riots in Barcelona (29-S)

Everything started with the occupation of the empty building of the Banco Español de Crédito in Plaça Catalunya (the heart of Barcelona) on the 25th. It was a huge effect and the resurrection of the squatter movement, quite weaken in the last years as it is divided into different factions and it lacks of internal cohesion (divided into anarcho-insurrectionists, leftist catalan separatists, post-modern, hippies, autonomous, rave-ists, punks, universitarians, etc.). The occupation came public after an anti-capitalists demo on the saturday 25th (the building was squatted two days earlier). From that day the place became into an anticapitalist headquarters. With the action the squatters got a lot of media attraction as well as a point to prepare the general strike.

In Barcelona the strike was conceived as a mixture between the unions pickets, and the social movements acting as a picket. So, unions (CCOO, UGT, CGT, CNT, USO, IAC, etc) were more based and focused in industrial areas of the city, and the social movement pickets (let's call them "autonomous") were in the different neighbourhoods. These autonomous pickets were a mixture of anticapitalists elements, like trotskists, independentists, anarchists, communists, and so on. The anarchist presence was strong in some of them. There were no fewer than 10 of those pickets, attracting each from about 50-100 people to 300.

For instance, the university formed its own picket closing Diagonal, a big street. Other pickets closed Lesseps (a square) with burning wheels or Meridiana (another big street). In Gracia, the pickets attacked and fucked up the nazi bookshop "Europa". And the people from Sants had a conflictive picket - a demo, in fact - with 3 arrests (spanish police does not arrest as much as nordic police). There were a few clashes all along the morning in the different neighbourhoods, preluding the riots of later.

In Plaça Catalunya we all got together in front of the squatted bank. Little by little the pickets from the "Barris" were coming together as well as the demos and blocs of other anticapitalists groups and unions (CGT, CNT, asamblea de parados, COBAS, etc). Ramblas were blocked by a strong police line. So the demo, with around 4,000 people went to Plaça Universitat. In Universitat the road was also bloked. The mood is really high, the demo gets massive, and the police goes back. Then the people pass through a police line... and a police car gets burned. The riot starts.

This riot last about half an hour, with police firing rubber bullets and hitting people with battons. Only one arrest, and plenty of injuries. The the demo went back into the bank to re-group... But, at 4 pm. police begins to evict the building. This provokes more riots (Barcelona has lost this practice. the last "political" riot I remember is from 4-5 years ago). So, this riot goes into all the town center around Plaça Catalunya.

At 5 pm. some anticapitalits demos started. I was with CNT. This has been the biggest demo of the CNT in Barcelona in 30 years. At first there were 500 people in the beginning, later 3,000. In the end of the demo a police van went into the crowd and it almost kill someone. In the end the organisation of the demo decided to call it off. We were in Laietana. But when we turned to Plaça Urquinaona, we could see a black smoke column and some fires. There had been battles around Plaça Catalunya and people were incontrolable.

Half of the CNT demo went to the fire (like flies to light) and we see the CGT demo... This demo has been as well, the biggest of CGT in Barcelona, with 8000-10,000 people on it and a combative spirit. I was impressed. At the end of their demo, the Black bloc - about 200 hooded people - burning the rubbins bins and rising barricades. When the demo arrived into the police station this people burned a police van. And new riots started in other parts of city center. The positive part was that CGT has been seen as the most combative union in Catalonia, and it could be a reference for the future (CNT is still too small).

Everyone is very happy with our role into this strike. But the strike was poorer than others at national level. About 70% of participation .