Coal miners in the historically militant Asturias region of Spain have been fighting a bitter struggle for survival. Please see the comments below for frequent updates.
Around 8,000 miners have been involved in ongoing strikes and militant protests after the government announced cuts to subsidies for the region's coal mines.
There are around 40 mines in the country, mainly in the north, where they offer vital jobs in an increasingly depressed economy. The end of the subsidy will effectively mean the end of those jobs, as Spanish coal prices will increase beyond those of imported alternatives. The strikers view winning the strike as essential to their livelihoods. It is increasingly becoming a set-piece battle as the government deepens its austerity program.
Consequently, they have utilised various forms of direct action to maximise the impact of the strike.
During the week, miners set up 16 roadblocks, severely affecting traffic in the region. One burning tire block caused a five-mile jam for over two hours. They also blocked access to the main port of Gijon, closed access to a major road tunnel after "persons unknown" sabotaged the CCTV, and protested outside a major power station. Attempts to break the roadblocks to transport people and goods in and out of the mines led to running battles with police. The strikers used rocks, concrete blocks, and home-made rocket launchers.
On Friday miners blocked several roads and two railway lines. A mineshaft is occupied, and strikers have camped out in the main square of the regional capital, Oviedo.
Hey, thanks for posting this,
Hey, thanks for posting this, this story has been a big omission from our news section!
Just to clarify, what you mean by "set piece confrontation"? Do you mean a ritual dead-end? Because to me this doesn't seem like business as usual. I mean militant struggles like this do happen every now and again, likely Puerto Real shipyard strike, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Anyway, there have been some amazing photographs from this strike. We should really compile them into a gallery:
No, it's as in set-piece
No, it's as in set-piece battle: the stakes are massively high, with large scale mobilisations on both sides.
Thanks for the
Thanks for the clarification.
Amazing photographs here: http://periodismohumano.com/economia/la-batalla-del-pozo-santiago.html
edit: Jesus, can't do this
edit: Jesus, can't do this photo business.
Fixed. You have to right click the photo and choose 'Copy Image URL' - juan conatz
Given up trying to put up
Given up trying to put up photos.
There is going to be a general strike in the comarcas mineras which are Asturias, Castilla Leon and Aragon on June the 18th.
the strike was called by UGT
the strike was called by UGT and CCOO, which are the main unions in the coal mines in the Spanish State
Please, someone tell me how you put videos in?
Interesting that there's a
Interesting that there's a lot of banners saying "we're not 15-M, we're miners". Not sure if it's because they feel 15-M is a bit middle class or they are saying "don't fuck with us, we are not a pushover". Maybe a bit of both.
edit: actually this might be
edit: actually this might be from the general strike or something, it came up on a google image search for mineros asturianos en huelga though
(hit 'quote' to see the code)
I saw a cartoon on Facebook with the police charging forwards towards '15-M/indignados' saying '¡vamos!' and the same police in full retreat saying '¡no vamos!' from 'mineros asturianos', so I guess the latter?
Trans: THIS is the red, and
Trans: THIS is the red, and these are our olympic rings
[Spanish football team is called the red]
Spanish facebook is full of either photos of miners burning things, or furious comments about the bailout. There's some 'sack half the politicians in Spain' thing going round that is really popular.
Joseph Kay wrote: fingers
There's a banner that says
"We're not 15-M
We're not pacifists
And up till now we've been asking nicely"
but now I can't find the photo anywhere!
fingers malone wrote: ha, i
ha, i just spent 20 minutes finding that only to come back and see you'd beat me to it! Other pics I found while looking:
And those Asturian hillsides
And those Asturian hillsides look so beautiful too!
Apparently they have changed tactics a bit with the motorway blockades. Instead of building a blockade and trying to hold it they are building the barricade, then cutting across country and building another one somewhere else, to avoid so much police repression but cause a lot of disruption.
From what I can gather public support for the miners is massive.
I asked on the other thread, but does the bailout mean the government are less likely to try to come to some kind of deal? Does it make repression more likely?
Edit: btw the numbers of miners involved is much much smaller than in the miners strike here in 85, then there were about 170 000 miners working in this country I think. Plus most of Spain's energy doesn't come from coal (it's from natural gas from Algeria I think) so the only thing the miners can really do is cause massive disruption, just striking by itself wouldn't get them anywhere.
Bristol insurrectionists could learn a thing or two:
the arcos olimpicos photo!
the arcos olimpicos photo!
more rocket porn
more rocket porn
Can anyone explain the point
Can anyone explain the point of the fireworks/rockets thing? I mean, I doubt they are actually aiming for cops, or are they?
It looks pretty fun. Maybe
It looks pretty fun. Maybe keeps the cops at distance (don't want to baton charge up a steep hill into fireworks)?
Maybe it's also a miners'
Maybe it's also a miners' thing - in Bolivia they usually take dynamite to demos :
no1 wrote: Can anyone explain
yes they are!
Steven. wrote: no1
Night time march in Leon
Night time march in Leon
Mira, mira cómo vengo
Mira, mira cómo vengo yo.
Traigo la camisa roja, traigo la camisa roja,
De sangre d'un compañeru, mira, mira Maruxina, mira,
Mira cómo vengo yo.
What's up with the photos?
What's up with the photos? Some of them are disappearing.
Which ones? The original link
Which ones? The original link could have disapeared, but also if you have Adblock or various Facebook blocks that might have something to do with it.
They've come back now!
They've come back now!
The miners say they have
The miners say they have received support from miners in the UK and Poland, I think some NUM delegation is going over from here at the weekend.
Nine miners arrested today
Nine miners arrested today charged with public order offences and with firing bolts and ball bearings at the police with catapults.
The HQ of the PP government party in Oviedo and various PP locals around Asturias were attacked last night. Two had black paint thrown all over the windows, some were bombarded with eggs and two suffered broken windows. In one a sack of coal was found afterwards on the premises.
Some motorways are being
Some motorways are being blocked with lorries across all the lanes.
Apparently there are strikes by transport workers and teachers and in the shipyards in Asturias, not sure if these are still going on, trying to find more info.
"love in times of struggle"
"love in times of struggle"
the night time march in Leon
the night time march in Leon again
Where is that last photo
Where is that last photo from?
"the night time march in Leon
"the night time march in Leon again" was a cryptic clue
Ok sorry for cheap sarcasm. Leon is north east Spain. It is basically south of Gijon. The most militant miners mobilisations are mainly in Asturias but some are in Leon. There might be a few in Aragon, not too sure about that.
are you sure the photo of the
are you sure the photo of the kiss is from Asturias?. I think is a old one from piqueteros.
edit: it is from Chile 2011
The day before yesterday the HQ of left-wing PSOE, which heads Asturias regional goverment, in Mieres was attacked with molotov coktails, and the personal car of SOMA-UGT leader Villa (which is the classical union leader "vendeobreros" = worker seller) was damaged in Tuilla.
By the way, the confrontations with the police have a significative "folkorical" and spectacular component: you know, people not in the coal-mining area thinks "miners are miners and do this kind of things". This is in no way going out of the control of the mainstream trade-unions (CCOO_UGT) which respect and encourage these methods of struggle and pressure when the miners (or shipyard workers) use them but denounce and criminalize if any other worker (not to talk not workers) use them. Of course, by the moment, the strike is completeley under the control of main unions leadership.
In my opinion, this is probably more the last resort of a dying worker composition than an upsurge of class struggle in Spain. Maybe the miners strike encourages some other ongoing worker struggles in the country (mainly the so-called "green tide" in education) but I don't see workers in Madrid setting tyres in fire in a near future. I hope I'm wrong.
Finally, I think that the crucial discussion is not in the means but in the objectives of the struggle. Sorry, but I have no time to write more about this. Maybe other day.
Ok fair enough about the
Ok fair enough about the photo, it was on twitter saying it was from Asturias
Yes, I saw it after I made
Yes, I saw it after I made the comment. It is not the first time people use photos from Chile. It the Valencia Spring (#primaveravalenciana) was the same.
fingers malone wrote: "the
Also, Durruti was from Leon.
These photographs are
These photographs are beautiful!
Solidarity from ex-miners.
Joseph Kay wrote: more rocket
... and a new sub-genre is born
'If our children go hungry,
'If our children go hungry, yours will shed blood'.
grupo_ruptura wrote: are you
yeah, thanks for that - fingers that was the photo I was asking about, but my post was double posted with your second photo. I asked because it looked very different from all the other photos (I mean, it's still a great photo)
I would also like to thank ruptura for her/his very informative comments on Spain recently
Joseph Kay wrote: I like
I like it, but did they not miss an obvious one with 'Coal of Duty'?
thanks grupo_ruptura for the
thanks grupo_ruptura for the insights. i've had enough of this riot porn knowing nothing what is really going on... not that i am much wiser now hehe, but at least something.
thought i'd post this up for
thought i'd post this up for the info contained within. it's a letter sent from a CCOO official in response to a solidarity message from my local trades council. as such i make no claims to the politics but it does give some useful background, namely that the unions had "reluctantly" signed off on "progressive cuts" to the subsidies already as part of an EU directive. but now the government is using austerity to bring them in earlier.
also here's some more riot porn, world's most ineffective tear gassing, take that hillside.
edit: bah, can't make it work
I left you two texts from
I left you two texts from Asturias. Soory, I haven't time to translate it to english.
The first one is a text from a anti-state communist group with some members in Asturias. It is called "Let's break the isolation of the miner's struggle". You can read, in Spanish, here
The second one is a Letter form a retired miner explaining the situation:
A Photo that appeared in the
A Photo that appeared in the Guardian's '24-Hours in Pictures' with the caption:
'Oviedo, Spain: striking coalminers behind their shields as they defend their position from riot police near the El Soton mine.'
"We have been using lengths
"We have been using lengths of pipe to aim sky rockets, slings, golf ball launchers and even a home-made device to fire potatoes to keep the police away," veteran miner Gerardo Cienfuegos, 39, told the Associated Press news agency.
Today, the main Unions CCOO
Today, the main Unions CCOO and UGT (and the rest of small unions in Asturias) have called a general strike in the coal-mining areas of Asturias, Leon, Aragón and Palencia. For the time being it seems it is being a complete success. Besides, today is the 18th day of indefinite strike in the mining-sector in Spain.
It says on the union webpage
It says on the union webpage that the strike was a complete success but I can't find much more info.
Some newspaper report seems to be saying that the transport strike in Asturias has ended.
Miners from Germany, Great Britain, Poland and Chile have gone to Asturias to show solidarity and have gone to visit the miners who are still occupying two mines.
according to http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/succes-de-lappel-a-la-greve-des-mineurs-du-charbon-des-asturies-de-leon-et-de-castille/
Thanks for that Ent.
Thanks for that Ent.
gave up with photos again
gave up with photos again
I'd sorted out the Astur Wars
I'd sorted out the Astur Wars one before you deleted it! Copy the url of that one (by right clicking on it and then copying) and do the same thing again.. the other one had brackets in the address which fucked it up, dunno if there's a way round that.. maybe just copy the link in the post..
Thanks mate, though maybe
Thanks mate, though maybe it's worse knowing you might be watching while I incompetently struggle with the computer!
Apart from posting catapult porn, does anyone know any more about the dispute? How is it going?
 Ed mate! I still can't fix the picture!
Admin edit: sorted! :)
There is a march of 80 miners
There is a march of 80 miners leaving from Mieres (Asturias) to Madrid which is 284 miles.
The miners in Asturias have
The miners in Asturias have stopped blocking motorways and have gone to Carreño (just west of Gijon) to help clean up the coast as there has been a massive oil spill.
[edit, according to the news, checked on some pro miner facebook sites. Don't know how long for.]
Imo oil spills and the destruction of the coast is actually an issue with a lot of class anger behind it. A few years ago there was a massive spill off the coast when a tanker, Prestige, broke in half. The government infamously dealt with the sinking boat very badly which made the spill much worse.
As the spill was approaching the coastline there was no official action to deal with it and the fishermen were out desperately trying to contain the spill with their own boats. I remember a video where some politician on the beach giving a press statement had to be protected from furious fishermen, if I remember right, by the camera crew! There was a popular mobilisation to clean up the spill and there was general popular fury in Galicia and Asturias that the government was totally negligent. The economy of Galicia and Asturias was affected really badly by the spill and people felt that they had been abandoned to their fate.
Posteriormente, los mineros
Posteriormente, los mineros se dirigieron hacía la Plaza de la Escandalera donde visitaron a un hombre que se encuentra en huelga de hambre por un desahucio en el que corearon lemas como 'Aquí están, estos son, los mineros del carbón' y 'Solidaridad'. Muchos de los mineros colaboraron económicamente con la familia desahuciada.
The miners went to the Plaza de la Escandalera (in Olviedo) where they went to visit a man who is on hunger strike to protest an eviction. Many miners gave money to the evicted family.
Spanish miners solidarity
Spanish miners solidarity commitee
The road blocks are back on,
The road blocks are back on, 11 miners arrested.
warning- there are no rockets
warning- there are no rockets in this video.
Miners marching to Madrid, arriving in the city of Leon.
also from coal action
also from coal action scotland, support for the spanish coal riotous anti-austerity strikers, reflecting on spainish revolution in 1936 - with comment in response to Dave Douglas' (ex_National minerworkers union ) anti-ecologism...
Revolution as Self Defense: Spanish Coal Miners Fight Back! see comments....
also : -
The rich hatin' rhetoric of coal action
" Opencast coal mining in the Douglas Valley is about the ruling class destroying communities for their own financial gain. It’s about ecological destruction on a massive scale for capitalism’s unquenchable thirst for cheap energy. It’s about absentee fat-cat land-lords making millions off land that shouldn’t be theirs. It’s about morally corrupt local (and national) government putting profit before people. Join us 12-18 July in the Douglas Valley, South Lanarkshire, to build on 20 years of community struggle and four years of direct action against the UK’s biggest opencast mining company. It’s time to Take Back the Land! "
"... We’ll be taking on the UK’s largest opencast coal mining company, landlord-aristocrat-banker Lord Home and South Lanarkshire Council – together they conspire to make a few people very wealthy, whilst communities are left disempowered, disenfranchised and to suffer all the impacts that living next to opencast mines bring. The Douglas Valley is a sacrifice zone for the ruling class – but don’t despair! Scottish Coal are in big financial trouble and there’s been no better time to hit them where it hurts. In fact, its time to Take Back the Land! "
plus bonus link
I'm on my lunch break in the
I'm on my lunch break in the public library, and the computer isn't working properly so I can't write a proper report or put up photos, but there's something going on in Ciñera.
I can't read all the reports due to the computer but people are saying the police have attacked miners' wives who were having a protest, the town is full of riot police and there is a photo of a miner being arrested with his face covered in blood...
Will find out more when I get home.
Yeah Twitter's saying that
Yeah Twitter's saying that Guardia Civil have 'occupied' Cinera while bemoaning a media blackout: https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23Ci%C3%B1eraresiste
EDIT: in response, they've blocked another motorway in both directions, as well as the railway line just outside Cinera. Police are calling it a "battlefield" with 2 arrests so far: http://www.telecinco.es/informativos/economia/mineros-Leon-Cinera-cortan-carretera-via_tren_0_1643836078.html
Also, short doc on the miners with English subs: http://vimeo.com/44865854
"Estamos encerrados en una
"Estamos encerrados en una casa del pueblo. Hay un herido, un señor mayor al cual han golpeado con las porras. Lo han detenido y nos ha parecido que iba sangrando. Esta persona es un vecino del pueblo, ajeno a las protestas, que se encontraba cogiendo pelotas de goma para fotografiarlas a posteriori.
Se suman ya cuatro detenidos. Entran en las casa pegando patadas en las puertas. Estaban usando gas, pelotas de goma y al final han pasado al enfrentamiento cuerpo a cuerpo golpeando con los escudos."
"We are shut up inside a house in the village. There is one injured person, an old man who they beat with truncheons. The have arrested him and it looked to us like he was bleeding. This person is a neighbour of the village, he wasn't involved in the protests, who they caught picking up rubber bullets to photograph them for proof.
There are now altogether four arrested. The went into the houses kicking in the doors. They were using gas, rubber bullets and in the end confrontation body to body beating people with their shields."
El choque entre GRS y mineros
El choque entre GRS y mineros llega a todas las calles de la localidad con una virulencia desconocida / Dos mineros son detenidos en una jornada marcada por la derrota minera
"The confrontation between GRS and miners overran the whole place with a virulence not seen before. Two miners were arrested in a day marked by defeat of the miners."
Cuentan desde Ciñera en
Cuentan desde Ciñera en Twitter que los antidisturbios han irrumpido por las calles y casa por casa para hacer detenciones; disparan bolas de goma y gritan amenazas a la población. También se sospecha que estén usando inhibidores de frecuencia. En la televisión, nada. Informaros en red.
Palabras de un antidisturbio en la puerta de mi casa: “Disparar a todo lo que se mueva, a por ellos a saco”
"From Ciñera by Twitter. The riot police have charged down the streets and gone house to house to make arrests, they shot rubber bullets and shouted threats at the population. We also suspect that they are using frequency inhibitors. Nothing shown on tv. Get your information online.
Words of a riot cop in the doorway of my house:
"shoot anything that moves, go for them hard."
Caption on facebook
Caption on facebook says:
"This is how the riot police pointed a gun at my mother! They aimed like this at everybody."
Those guns are for pelotas de goma, like rubber bullets.
A very interesting text on
A very interesting text on the situation in Asturias:
Consideraciones sobre la lucha en la minería y en Asturies
Basically, it states the increasing fracture between the union leadership (Villa, the chief of SOMA-UGT, which also "controls" or, at least, controlled for some time, the PSOE in Asturias) and the increasing radicalized miners (in the struggle forms, I mean), and the near state-of-war in some regions of Asturias, as Fingers Malone reports show.
The 11th July, the Miner's march will arrive to Madrid. It seems there will be a 'welcome reception' form people of social movements and near to the 15-M. It will be interesting to see what happens that day.
Maybe, from next week I could write a little bit more. Sorry, quite busy right now...
A "funny" note: These are
A "funny" note:
These are miners launching firecrackers and stones to Police (actually, Guardia Civil) using Tennis rackets... (wait to 2:20 at least)
This reminded me an old Spanish TV ad of NIKE (which, by the way was censured):
Another police attack on a
Another police attack on a village. After a roadblock on the motorway at 10 o'clock last night, police went into the village Polo de Lena firing gas at peoples' houses. Photos on fb of people's houses with smashed glass on the floor. A child has had to go to casualty due to inhalation of tear gas.
"The riot police are still charging against the population who were peacefully supporting the miners in a miners' barrio in Polo de Lena"
"Polo de Lena looks like a town beseiged by an invading army. A lot of fear and tension. The pickets are holed up in the mountains and resisting."
This video contains rockets.
According to reports things have calmed down now, the road is unblocked and the police have stopped attacking but someone is reporting from another village about half an hour ago:
"Caborana is in a war situation"
El País: The price of coal
El País: The price of coal
"Vaya locura de noche x pola
"Vaya locura de noche x pola de lena, lanzaron contra la gente k taba apoyando y mirando de todo a dar, lacrimógeno por mediu pueblu, y boles reventando persianes, coches... llegaron a meter un bote de humo en una casa y tuvo k salir la familia corriendo con una cria pequeña."
"Insanity last night in Pola de Lena, they attacked the people who were supporting or watching [the miners' action], tear gas in the middle of the village, and rubber bullets breaking through windows, cars.... they shot a smoke bomb into a house and the family had to run out of the house with a small child"
More reports mentioning
More reports mentioning Caborana, Pozu Santiago, but not really any info.
Jesus. Police are dropping
Jesus. Police are dropping tear gas out of helicopters at Pozo Santiago.
Ok, analysis. The miners
The miners ultimately can't win a military battle with the riot police. "The struggle needs to spread" is the classic response. So, can we look at the struggle spreading and not spreading. Is the march to Madrid a good way to link up with other people in struggle? 15-M Madrid are apparently planning joint actions with the miners.
Is it possible for the struggle to spread outside of the mining provinces, where there is mass popular support? Do other workers feel a real connection to the miners and their struggle?
In what ways is the struggle spreading and what is stopping it spreading?
I feel that the refusal of
I feel that the refusal of Madrid´s authorities to provide them a place to sleep during their march should be an mind-opener to all that working class that actually voted for this right wing party. The same authorities that provided to the Pope & his thousands of sheeps roof, bed, food, almost free mass transit.
fingers malone wrote: "The
what support are
what support are anarcho-syndicalists looking to provide? is there another 'toward a general strike' campaign they could lead and try and get local ugt and ccoo sections to follow? i'd hope that anarcho-syndicalists are strong enough over there to push for political strikes
@Harrison - From the links
@Harrison - From the links below it looks like there are two rival coordinating groups, an anarcho-syndicalist orientated one and a more base union/leftist one (I'm not sure if this is national or just for Madrid). Some of the Madrid CNT sections are listed as being involved in the Bloque Unitario. Others aren't, which I suspect reflects divided opinion in the Madrid CNT. I don't really know any more than this.
I've started translating some
I've started translating some statements but I have to go out now.
Hi, the first poster (from
the first poster (from Bloque Unitario = Unitary Block, I think) says: "Welcome those who fight towards general strik" I think it is composed from people form the more workerist assemblies and work-groups of the 15-M, CGT, and CNT-Villaverde (a neighbourhood in the south of Madrid), there are some so-called worker's assemblies of the neighbourhoods (actually, they are mainly formed by extra-parlamentary leftists and maybe some anarcho-syndicalists).
The platform "Hay que pararles los pies" (More or less, "They have to be stopped") exists even before the 15-M and is composed by tiny leftist trade unions and leninist parties. Their poster says "The worker Madrid supports the miners"
I have seen in FB that people from the "Marea Verde" (green tide), which groups teachers, students and fathers, are going to join the miners demo.
The Metal section of CNT calls to support the miners demo, too:
The 15-M movements has its own groups that support the miners demo.
Maybe later I will write something about the questions posed by Fingers Malone....
Quote: The less we work, the
Las luchas mineras: ¿retrogradas o revolucionarias?
Fifty years ago...
Spanish coal miners challenge Franco dictatorship, 1962
Guy Debord: The Asturian strike
Miners strikes in Asturias
fingers malone wrote: Ok,
Didn't they already go to Madrid last month though? although there is a long tradition of these caravanas in Spain/Latin America and it seems like it's getting a big reception in many places.
Have they been visiting other major workplaces, either in small groups or en masse? There were reports of solidarity strikes on some shipyards, any details on that?
I think we could also do with analysing the role of the mainstream unions and PSOE in this. Looking forward to reading Ruptura's article. I've heard similar whispers of strange manipulations from CNT comrades too.
According to the Guardian a
According to the Guardian a couple of weeks ago (though I've no idea how representative of CC.OO/UGT views this is):
Caiman del Barrio
Caiman del Barrio
Can't find anything on the shipyards, the transport strike got called off after five days, with an agreement of a 1.1% pay rise over three years. :( The occupation of the Thyssen factory got settled, don't know on what terms.
They did go to Madrid a month ago but I think this march is much more of a big deal, as they are walking all the way so they are passing through the towns and villages en route. I read that some factories have stopped work when they arrive as the workers go out to cheer the miners.
Visiting other workplaces, I just don't know. Probably. Anyone know?
The "Marea Verde" some
The "Marea Verde" some education struggle against cuts thing I think, has said that they are going to meet up with the miners when they get to Madrid.
Police kicking down doors and
Police kicking down doors and invading houses with guns in Cinera.
Blimey, UHP! That's a slogan
That's a slogan from round about the start of the civil war. Haven't seen that one in use for a while.
"Unidad Hermanos Proletarios"-
Unite Proletarian Brothers"
No rockets but this is really
No rockets but this is really nice.
"Esta pueblo si nos quiere" (This village really loves us)
The "Aragon column" get a heroes welcome as they reach Alcala.
miner from the Aragon
miner from the Aragon column:
"We are really emotional with all the support we have received. We didn't expect this so far from the coalfields. Thanks Acala, thanks Madrid, thanks Collado Villalba with the northern column... Thanks to all the good people! TOGETHER WE ARE GOING TO WIN."
http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/espagne-un-village-en-guerre-civile/ & http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/insurrection-miniere-en-espagne/
Documentary on police
Documentary on police brutality
El País: Miners’ black march
El País: Miners’ black march arrives at gates of Madrid
Caiman del Barrio wrote: I
Caiman del Barrio
Here's an article that's critical of the role of the unions and the organisation of the march:
La mafia del carbón
Noche Minera in Madrid -
Noche Minera in Madrid - 150,000 on the streets according to twitter
please fix this, it's a great
please fix this, it's a great photo of gran via full of people
They are singing the miners
They are singing the miners song and chanting "long live the struggle of the working class" or maybe it's more like "the struggle of the working class lives" as in "isn't history"
The Black March is amazing.
The Black March is amazing.
The Guardian has a video report up on the miners. I did notice that at least one of the people on the motorway blockades was wearing a red & black sticker/badge.
. rtve video Photos
Photo from the march
Photo from the march today
very powerful stuff being
very powerful stuff being posted here.
does anyone know how long the miners plan to stay in madrid?
also facebook says there's some solidarity demo at the spanish embassy in london tonight.
They've said they'll stay as
They've said they'll stay as long as it takes! The right wing city council say they can't camp in Plaza del Sol.
People being beaten up on the
People being beaten up on the demo right now
Sorry don't know how to do facebook photos.
jesus it looks terrible
jesus it looks terrible
Those photos are terrible...
Those photos are terrible... :( I guess the order has gone out not to let them take Sol at any cost.
David Villa, footballer for
David Villa, footballer for Spain and Barcelona, wrote on twitter:
More photos are coming in
More photos are coming in from the wire photographers of the clashes in Madrid, including one that shows an injured CNT member.
A little kid has been injured
A little kid has been injured by a rubber bullet.
Sorry but can't do it, could anyone sort this out? Two links to the same picture.
fuck thats awful
fuck thats awful
I think that building the
I think that building the police are guarding is the Ministry of Industry.
The woman who is speaking at 2:13 says "you won't win, cowards. Torturers of workers. We are fighting for our food."
The last video is a police
The last video is a police charge in Sol after the march. On twitter there's a photo of people taking refuge in a shop to get away from it.
The photos fingers malone was
The photos fingers malone was trying to post:
Some more photos from the Guardian
thanks for that Mark.
thanks for that Mark.
de nada - some more photos
de nada - some more photos here
The police charge in Sol -
The police charge in Sol - photos and videos. Also here. There were clashes after this. I'm not sure if they're still going on.
Sol earlier in the day:
I've got messages saying they
I've got messages saying they were from about an hour ago.
Taking refuge in Corte Inglés
Taking refuge in Corte Inglés
More videos from the march
More videos from the march yesterday from El País and ABC
The police charge in Sol
Yo, just wanted to say, nice
Yo, just wanted to say, nice one everybody for keeping us updated.. this is all really amazing stuff!
But what now? What could be
But what now? What could be the next step for the miners? I mean, they're already in strike. Is there a broader movement arising? Linking the different fights together?
Ed wrote: Yo, just wanted to
Roarmag: Police crackdown as
Roarmag: Police crackdown as striking miners march on Madrid
Another video of the police losing it in the centre of Madrid yesterday
There seems to be talk of more protests and strikes from other workers who will be affected by the cuts announced yesterday - see this report from El País for example - but tbh I don't know enough to add much.
Various other marches are due to arrive in Madrid on 21 July - links here.
On Saturday the 'first meeting between miners and indignados' is being held in Ciñera in Asturias, organised by 15M Mieres.
Broader movement arising is
Broader movement arising is the only thing that is going to get them anything, as you said they are already on strike and as the govt wants to shut the mines anyway....
There is a fair bit going on already, other strikes, marea verde (anti education cuts) and anti evictions and so on, (Madrid has the highest number of resisted evictions, according to the PAH website) but it depends if things really go up a gear or not.
It does look like people are not really going for the "bloody greedy strikers" line anyway! Maybe it is partly the special place miners have in peoples affections. But it does feel like everyone in Madrid who is pissed off has turned out for this. The march from the coalfields really did seem to get massive public support and enthusiasm. It certainly worked on me, I got up early for work every single day so I could watch it!
This is from rubber bullets
This is from rubber bullets [edit: rubber balls, not bullets] in Madrid/Sol, which the press aren't reporting apparently ("Se está liando en #Madrid y ningún medio de comunicación dice nada... En Sol no sólo disparan pelotas de goma ¡OJO! —BALAS-DE-GOMA") via CNT Madrid facebook.
Fuck that is awful. Yeah
Fuck that is awful.
Yeah thats a clarification we probably should have made earlier. Those mental guns you see the riot police with shoot "pelotas de goma". Weve all been translating that lazily as rubber bullets, but they are not, it is a hard rubber ball that can take your eye out, which they did in the last general strike, or kill you if it hits you square in the head, but they are not as dangerous as rubber bullets. Thing is there isnt an English translation as they dont use them here. If they are firing real rubber bullets as well, that is a big escalation as they dont usually.
Sorry for bad punctuation but I cant find the apostrophe on this keyboard.
Just translated this
Just translated this quickly.
"The government cannot let the miners win this trial of strength because if they win, they will give a bad example to the rest of the workers, and we might take notes, learn the lesson, follow their example to get heard, to not be stepped on, to not keep losing: struggle, resist, build nets of solidarity, keep firm, keep going to the final consecuences, take the streets, take them over. This is the purpose of the very violent police repression against the miners and their criminalisation in the media.
For the same reasons the workers need the miners to win this arm wrestle: because their victory will clear the way for us, and their defeat will make it more difficult to mount resistance. For this reason we are all miners, and we have to be with them. For justice, for history, for memory, because they have earned it. But also for us, because if they are afraid for their future, ours is black, coal black"
no it's pelotas de goma,
no it's pelotas de goma, sloppy translation on my part. if those were rubber bullets that guy would probably be dead (if i understand it right, rubber bullets proper are alternative ammo/cartridges for standard firearms and can kill if fired directly at people).
'The Durham Miners
'The Durham Miners Association has arranged for a delegation of 11 striking Miners to attend the Durham Miners Gala'
Tomorrow - mind you Ed Milliband will be there as well.
Edit: report on this here
Police attack on CNT block on
Police attack on CNT block on Wednesday's march - photos
Joseph Kay wrote: ("Se está
"Its kicking off in Madrid and the media arent saying a thing.... in Sol they are not only shooting pelotas de goma, WATCH OUT! RUBBER BULLETS"
So the facebook says they are using both, but the photo could be pelotas de goma, although I think usually pelotas de goma give you big bruises rather than those cuts, but maybe that was from really close up.
Marcha Negra in Gijón
Marcha Negra in Gijón (Asturias) tomorrow, supported by various unions including CSI and CGT. This seems to be about wider opposition to the cuts rather than just the miners.
Seen a photo going round now,
Seen a photo going round now, yes it is pelotas de goma AND plastic bullets.
Reply to Mark, yes seems like there is a generalised mobilisation going on, there are 5 marches of unemployed people from all over marching to Madrid.
The cuts announced yesterday were wide ranging and include health cuts, education cuts, attack on pensions, lower public sector pay, cuts to dole money and a rise in VAT.
CSI, I saw them once in Seville, they split from Comisiones after strikes in the shipyards I think. They are a good combative union.
fingers malone wrote: Reply
'if there's no justice for the people, there will be no peace for the government'
'unemployed marches arrive 21st of July in Madrid'
El País: Cabinet approves
El País: Cabinet approves biggest austerity drive in democratic history
List of anti-cuts protests today --- video clip
El País: The Spanish revolt
The CSI-F, jesus they are a
The CSI-F, jesus they are a really useless corporatist right wing union. Things must be getting serious.
Thats a great poster with all the marches on it, I could work out all the cities by position except Salamanca.
11th July: Rayo Vallecano
11th July: Rayo Vallecano Ultras welcomes miners to Madrid
an old lady arrested in
an old lady arrested in Madrid
Madrid yesterday - I'm not
Madrid yesterday - I'm not even sure what this was about, apart from being against the cuts, but I get the impression that something is taking off quite rapidly in Spain, with plenty of reports of protests taking place or planned.
For example here's a press report claiming that public sector workers, including police, guardia civil, prison officers and judges, are planning their own 15M style camp:
CC.OO are talking about a "probable" general strike in October. The same report quotes a CSIF spokesman as saying that the spending power of public sector workers has already been reduced by 21 per cent since 2009, which I suppose helps explain the fighting talk coming from some unexpected quarters.
It's interesting that the initiative seems to be coming from the mainstream rather than alternative unions. As to where this is all heading I think it's anyone's guess - maybe 'Spain, the new Greece'.
As an example (admittedly extreme) of things getting serious here's a quote from a regular poster on alasbarricadas faced with being unable to pay for medical treatment for chronic illness due to new charges being brought in:
I suppose with austerity measures on this scale there must be plenty of lesser stories of personal desperation. If the post-transition consensus of welfare and economic growth is breaking down then what happens to the moderate centre left demographic that has mostly voted PSOE or IU and chosen to support or join the UGT or CC.OO rather than anything more radical? It looks like part of it at least is now stirring.
Madrid yesterday - photos 1
Madrid yesterday - photos 1 ----- photos 2
Mark. wrote: I suppose with
Good posts Mark.
Members of some of the "moderate" unions have been getting pretty full on for quite a while. In the last two general strikes a lot of the roadblocks etc were organised by workers in CCOO and UGT, metalworkers for example in my city built roadblocks on the access roads to the industrial estates.
I think the videos are from
I think the videos are from the demos by the public sector workers, they are cutting their pay, pensions and cutting services.
The Asturian miners who got
The Asturian miners who got arrested on heavy charges in Madrid have been let out now on bail. There is a nice message from CSI Asturias thanking Solidaridad Obrera in Madrid for all their help and solidarity with them.
fingers malone wrote: I
This video makes it clearer
#quesejodan seems to have
#quesejodan seems to have become the big hashtag to follow on Twitter if you can read Spanish.
Quote: On Saturday,
thanks the comrades posting
thanks the comrades posting updates
Auto wrote: #quesejodan seems
"¡Que se jodan!" - an explanation in English
If you can read Spanish there's some mainstream media commentary here.
Zona Crítica: Soy
Zona Crítica: Soy minero
Public sector workers
Public sector workers demonstrating against cuts a few hours ago. Report in Spanish here. Police have been taking part so obviously the ones on duty haven't been attacking anyone today.
Police on the demo
Edit: reports on twitter now of an impending police charge to clear the remaining protesters.
Photos from yesterday - which
Photos from yesterday - which ended with a few arrests
Live updates from today's protests http://eskup.elpais.com/*protestas_recortes_2012
AFP: Protests multiply against cuts in Spain
The government is importing
The government is importing coal from Colombia, the miners are blocking the coal trucks.
Now reading reports that the police "armed to the teeth" have chased the miners off the motorway, the miners have run into a village Bembibre, the police are attacking them and firing some kind of projectile at them and have done something so their mobiles don't work.
Copiamos aquí algunos tuits
Copiamos aquí algunos tuits acerca de lo que está pasando en Bembibre:
"Esto suena como la guerra. Riadas de mineros huyen d los antidisturbios en la recta de #sanromandebembibre es la guerra. #19J"
La que se está liando en #sanromandebembibre los mineros corren hacia #Bembibre. Se cortan los móviles continuamente"
Los antidisturbios han entrado a #SanRomándeBembibre y reprimen a los mineros. Un poquito antes, y celebran el 18 de julio. #FASCISTAS
"This sounds like a war. Floods of miners running from the riot police in Bembibre."
"It's kicking off in San Roman de Bembibre. They keep cutting off the mobiles."
"The riot police have entered San Roman de Bembibre and are attacking the miners. A bit earlier and they could have celebrated 18th of July. FASCISTS"
fingers malone wrote: The
Do you have a link for this (preferiblemente en castellano si es posible)? Might launch a doubtlessly flawed attempt to coordinate something with Colombian contacts via the Latin American anarcho list...
Bien, te lo busco tio.
Bien, te lo busco tio.
Anti-cuts protest by firemen
Anti-cuts protest by firemen in Mieres (Asturias) today
Major demos across Spain today - photos from Madrid
Interesting the firemen
Interesting the firemen shouting at the police in the video, a few days ago there were people saying that firemen were protecting people from the police violence in the miners demo. In Spain like a lot of countries the firemen are usually more conservative and allied with the police than they are in the UK.
 just read on another site (el ventano) that the firemen are behind that grille because the police had shut them in there, blimey.
police charges in Lavapies,
police charges in Lavapies, alternative-ish barrio in central Madrid with big immigrant population
“Unions and the employers see
“Unions and the employers see the beginning of the end of the mining conflict after making an agreement which doesn’t include a greater economic role for the government in the mines.”
Can’t translate the agreement as it’s all in economics-ese and I can’t read it.
Can anyone tell us what is going on?
That report from
That report from leonoticias.com
I can't make much sense of it either.
Sorry for loads of facebook
Sorry for loads of facebook photos.
"Asturias olympics" picture
Miners are blocking the power
Miners are blocking the power station at Compostilla to stop lorries of imported coal.
If I've understood right
If I've understood right seems that the minister Soria has refused any new negotiations and the road blocks of motorways are back on.
It was in the evening of the
It was in the evening of the big demo on the 19th July, the police were chasing people around in central Madrid and were attacking people in Lavapies, a neighbourhood where they have been carrying out anti-immigrant mass stops recently. The police action in Lavapies has got a bit famous as there is a video where you can hear the riot police saying "why don't we smash up the bars?" which has been passed around a lot.
Miners in Aragón have voted
Miners in Aragón have voted to go back to work. Report in Spanish here.
Strike called off. I haven't
Strike called off. I haven't seen anything about this in English but here's a report in Spanish from Leonoticias:
El Gobierno gana y la huelga de la minería leonesa llega a su fin
Some comment from the CSI (Corriente Sindical de Izquierda), criticising the role of the CCOO and UGT leadership:
CSI ante el conflicto de la minería
CCOO y UGT dan por finalizados los encierros y las movilizaciones de los mineros
Candido Gonzalez Carnero
Mark's link from CSI
Mark's link from CSI translated.
The unions ask the miners to return to work and the companies, that they return to “normality”.
Today is a sad day as what has happened, yet again, is what we feared so much from the beginning. Disgracefully this time we were also not proved wrong. One more time, like so many times throughout history, UGT and CCOO have betrayed the exemplary struggle that the miners have carried out for the last few months.
Everything made you think that what was happening wasn’t normal, it wasn’t comprehensible that after the support given in Madrid to the march of the miners, these two unions would publicly announce a change of strategy in the struggle that, after 11th of July, when moral strength was at its highest for intensifying the struggle, because of the support received, the unions have renounced it making it easier for the PP to carry on, with increased strength, more cuts and more layoffs in this and other industrial sectors.
At no time was there any assembly of the workers, not at the start of the mobilisations nor at the finish. Without having a say, UGT and CCOO have taken the miners through a strike of two months and more than 60 days occupying the mines, when they could have used other methods, bearing in mind that the conflict could be a long and hard process.
The miners struggle has been exemplary, without a doubt, and neither the miners nor society can see this unwanted end as a defeat, but as a betrayal by these unions which, disgracefully, do this often.
The wake left by the miners is the reference point to follow against the cuts and against the criminal policy which this government and their collaborators are implementing, against the disadvantaged classes.
But the conflict isn’t over, now comes the repression. The struggle in the mines needs backup for the more than 100 people who are undergoing court cases as a consequence of the struggle.
This article “La mafia del carbon” written during the miners march to Madrid, gives a good summary of the situation in mining.
Candido Gonzalez Carnero is a member of CSI (Corriente Syndical de Izquierda)
This from SMSC (British
This from SMSC (British solidarity grouping, linked to old NUMmers maybe? Not sure...):
Yeah, that is right, there is
Yeah, that is right, there is some NUM connection.
More than 100 people are up on criminal charges from the mobilisations so they will still need a lot of solidarity.
Masked 'miners' block a coal
Masked 'miners' block a coal lorry & unload it on the motorway in Leon: http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/provincia/piquetes-mineros-impiden-traslado-de-siete-camiones-de-carbon-bierzo_714792.html