Details here of the next round of strike action and demonstrations in Greece against the austerity measures.
Meanwhile the CCOO and UGT unions made some noises this week about calling a general strike over the austerity measures in Spain, with threats of one on the 2nd of June. There are conflicting reports in English about whether they've now been ruled out - see here and here.
Are any posters or readers based in Spain able to shed some light on the situation over there, what the level of militancy is etc?
El Pais has a couple of short
El Pais has a couple of short English language reports on the Valencia protests:
Valencia police clash with students protesting social cutbacks
Police clash with students once more as Valencia protests swell
There are photos going round
There are photos going round on facebook of the police attacking a blind man on one of the protests
Report and photos on
Report and photos on alasbarricadas
Spain budget cuts spawn
Spain budget cuts spawn 'Valencian Spring' protests (AFP)
Spanish police brutalize student protesters in Valencia (Roarmag)
alasbarricadas thread (machine translation)
CNT condemns police and
CNT condemns police and institutional violence against students and workers in Valencia
Sometimes I truly confused
Sometimes I truly confused why people don't prepare to such an actions of the police. It's fucking plain and simple: the filth must be stopped, disarmed, and paralyzed. Fuck the police!
soc wrote: Sometimes I truly
Really? IDK, I've been out on a few demos and the majority of them were not attacked by the police. I imagine most non-anarchos don't expect to be assaulted when they go to a protest. The first time I was attacked by a police officer, it rocked my world in a serious way and I hated the cops at that point.
Another general strike call
Another general strike call
Maybe part of the subtext here is that Galicia and the Basque country have significant nationalist/regionalist unions and it can make sense to call a general strike, even without the participation of the mainstream UGT and CC.OO.
So today was a European
So today was a European general strike or something right?
Either way it's kicking off in Barcelona right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-2vUjmvOIM
#vaga29f says that the Universitat de Barcelona rectory's been occupied too...
CNT call a general strike for
CNT call a general strike for the 29th: http://www.cnt.es/noticias/la-cnt-convoca-huelga-general-el-pr%C3%B3ximo-29-de-marzo
EDIT: OK looks like call is coming from main two unions feds, but CNT are also calling one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17315961
General strike is on for the
General strike is on for the 29th looks like.
CGT just held a special
CGT just held a special congress to discuss the general strike and that congress issued a call for a general strike on March 29.
v quick before I go to
v quick before I go to work
updates from the south:
MercaSevilla shut by more than a thousand pickets, some trouble with the police
100% strike by the rubbish collectors in Cadiz
pickets going round closing bars at midnight
Jaen- 100 pickets make sure the post service is closed. Police search and arrest pickets.
1 am seville 70% of the night shift at Renault is on strike
2 am three arrests in Malaga of young pickets trying to close down bars
Pickets from the 15-M movement in Seville go round Triana closing bars
4:45 am Cordoba MercaCordoba not a single lorry enters. Three arrests.
8 am University of Seville 100% on strike
will translate more in the afternoon
electricity consumption is
electricity consumption is down 26% which means a lot of industry is not running.
Students blocked the main
Students blocked the main road into Madrid this morning causing a massive fuck-off traffic jam..
Also big transport and airline strikes by the sound of things..
Osuna (small town in
Osuna (small town in Andalucia) 300 pickets have closed down all the supermarkets which were open and now are headed for the mercadona in Estepa.
Madrid- lot of police
Madrid- lot of police charges, people injured and arrested.
According to Soli Obrera the strike in the transport sector has been very strong.
There was a "bicipicket" of 200 cyclists going round the M30 motorway at nine in the morning blocking the motorway!
In the bus stations pickets "sabotaging" (don't know if breaking, painting over or what) windscreens of buses, these buses have had to stop running.
Electricity consumption lower than the last strike which means less industry running.
Police charges in the bus depots with horses, pickets arrested.
12 people arrested last night on pickets in Madrid
Protesters blocking Madrid
Protesters blocking Madrid motorway..
Uni students march down main road in Barcelona, also blocking traffic..
translations from Solidaridad
translations from Solidaridad Obrera
Young picket badly injured by police in Vitoria
Union lawyers say they don't know how many people have been arrested as the police are not letting them speak to people but that it is a lot more than last time.
La Rioja- strike is much stronger than last time. Only two newspapers for sale and pickets trying to stop distribution of those.
Madrid- very few people have gone to work in RTVE (buses) hardly any buses are running. A security guard threatened pickets with an iron bar.
(I think these are towns near Madrid or barrios of Madrid)
Carabanchel- two pickets arrested at Mercadona
Alcorcon- police threaten pickets at gunpoint. At midnight about 150 people picketing bus depot and stopping servicios minimos from leaving. Someone was filming pickets, they demanded to see some identification, this person refused, police then started shoving elderly pickets and arrested a younger picket who tried to defend them. The pickets gathered round and the police pulled out their guns. The police continued harrasing the pickets violently throughout the morning. Later pickets went to ALcampo where they had heard that the company was threatening workers if they went on strike. There were a lot of police waiting at ALcampo.
People said they couldn't ever remember such a strong strike in Alcorcon and they also remarked on the aggression of the police which was much worse that 2010 (which was no picnic either, translator's note)
Madrid- strike "massive" in
Madrid- strike "massive" in industrial sector, much bigger than last time.
Ports shut down in Valencia, Algeciras, Vigo, Barcelona.
Burning barricades in Seville.
Sounds promising, seems much
Sounds promising, seems much more widespread and militant than the last couple of one day affairs.
Thanks to fingers for all the translations, and others for posting photos/updates
The Guardian reports that
The Guardian reports that Greek unions have been watching the situation in Spain:
That looks fucking
That looks fucking wicked.
Thanks for the translations Malone.
In the end, who was this strike endorsed by? Any of the major union federations?
The strike was convoked by
The strike was convoked by all of the unions, though not necessarily together. The CNT for example convoked a general strike on its own account rather than seconding the call by the major trade unions.
CNT, CGT, Solidaridad Obrera and a few smaller groups called for a joint march this evening, separate from the one called by CCOO and UGT, which I just got back from. I can barely estimate how many thousands were there, but I'd say at the end at least 10,000.
All the reports say it's much
All the reports say it's much more militant than last time, more people out on strike, more picketing.
Interesting that the 15-M assemblies have been involved in pickets.
Everybody says that there are more police out than ever before and that they are more violent.
Strike report Catalunya:
"Passeig de Gracia" in Barcelona may now be renamed in "Passeig de Grecia".
Placa Catalunya was teargassed and there were heavy charges with generous use of rubber bullets all around the city center. Police charged against young and old, militant or peaceful. Many injured, one victim might loose eye due to rubber bullet.
Quite a few detentions already and new ones are still being reported.
In my small town, there was a mobilization of ccoo and ugt at the town square, whereas CGT, COS and l’Assemblea pels Drets Socials called for a seperate march. Most people (some 2000) choose to participate in the march. : )
Speeches emphasized the need to continue with the mobilization of workers, students and unemployed.
Atm I don't know how many people were on strike, most shops and bars were open as usual though.
Further reports on the Barcelona strike and riots should be available in English soon, so I leave it at that.
Nice one, thanks. Someone
Nice one, thanks.
Someone lost an eye, fucking hell.
Some pictures off the
Some pictures off the Guardian site.. my favourite..
.. raised fist, never goes out of fashion.. :oops:
Also a video here of people going all out (can't get the fucking thing to embed on the page for some reason)..
Thanks for the updates
Thanks for the updates everybody. The on the ground reports have been especially interesting.
I edited it to "might loose
I edited it to "might loose an eye" because new information stated that he is still in the operation...
best wishes from us to that
best wishes from us to that picket.
More videos (all in Spanish
More videos (all in Spanish but you get the idea):
Barricades in the centre of Barcelona
Demonstration of the general strike
Aggression against two La Vanguardia journos
Shops smashed up during strike
Demonstration in Valencia.
Demonstration in Madrid.
Numbers might have been
Numbers might have been amazing for all anticapitalist blocs by all accounts. In many places that official main unions didn't call for a demo, popular and social movements did taking thousands to the streets. That's the case for Mollet (close to Barcelona) in where there were 3000 people in the streets called by CGT as CCOO and UGT didn't do anything.
In fact, pickets in this strike have been much more widespread than in sept. 2010. Social movements and anticapitalits have learned that lesson. So, we had in every town a convergence between traditional unionism and social movements.
Afaik, in Zaragoza the numbers of the 'critic' bloc has been about 15,000-20,000; the biggest demo of this kind since 70s. The demo was called by CGT, CNT, SOA and intersindical, and backed by many popular collectives in the city.
But in Madrid and Barcelona the anticapitalists blocs brought together around 10-15-20,000 each. it's difficult to calculate. In Madrid a separate CNT demo was joined by more than 2000 people. A demo in Salamanca called by CNT had the same number (which is amazing for Salamanca).
This numbers come not for the support to determined union (be it radical or anarchosyndicalist) but for the will of people to express their anger against government and the rejection to mainstream unions. That's why the 15M people choose to join anticapitalist demos instead of been a bloc in the official demos.
Anyway, in some cities cnt have won dozens of members in just a few days.
and everybody talks that this is the first step, the first strike. Thought, this strike have been far away from paralizing the economy.
A few further thoughts: In
A few further thoughts:
In Madrid I'd say about half of the retail shops that I saw were closed, even outside of the center. Even some international chains like Pizza Hut were closed, but all of the Starbucks, McDonald's etc that I saw were open. For most of the day Sol was filled with 15-M type people, and they were going around and picketing shops until they closed.
At least in the center, businesses that stayed open got their windows covered with stickers, and quite a few were spray-painted, etc. - businesses that closed were relatively untouched. I mention this not to fetishize damaging windows or anything like that, but because the sheer number of stickers implies that this was a popular and spontaneous activity (perhaps some of the Spanish posters can say whether this is already a tradition in Spain).
Coverage in Italy: Video of
Coverage in Italy:
Video of pretty heavy fighting in Barcelona from La Repubblica
Video report from Corriere della Sera with some nice footage of cyclists blockading motorway..
Some photos from La Repubblica.
Photos from Corriere.. one of my favourites:
I want a bicipicket on my
I want a bicipicket on my next strike.
Are the firemen doing CPR on someone in the Barcelona video?
This is really funny, they
This is really funny, they are talking about your "rights" as people always go on about their "rights" and freedom to choose when they are crossing the picket line. So the subtitles go on about your right to get laid off with 4 days warning under the new agreement.
edit: redundant response to
edit: redundant response to earlier post
The contra-info's article and
The contra-info's article and gallery is worth to check:
Excellent pictures. But let's
Excellent pictures. But let's be honest, anyone who doesn't enjoy seeing pictures of red and black CNT flags being waved around in Spain probably doesn't belong on this website...!
Bob Savage wrote: Excellent
I've never seen so much red and black flags than on those photos from yesterday. I say, we should make an international competition... ;)
A curious incident took place
A curious incident took place early in the morning in Barcelona (maybe at 1 AM) in a Bingo. A group of hooded pickets took advantage that the whole police was busy with pickets at the factories, and stole about 2300€ in cash from it. They were wearing stickers from CGT. Of course, CGT says they have nothing to do with that pickets. :)
What is a Bingo?
What is a Bingo?
Report probably from
Report probably from insurrectionaries
I'll try to work on this some
I'll try to work on this some more tomorrow, but for now the CNT are claiming that the march that they called jointly with CGT, Solidaridad Obrera, and 15M type groups in Madrid had 50,000 people. Having been there, I can believe it.
Actually, it was not the
Actually, it was not the whole CNT of Madrid, but just CNT-Villaverde (Villaverde is a worker neighbourhood from the south of Madrid) which, despite, being neighbourhood of Madrid (it has not a different city council) it constitutes a different 'local federation'. CNT-Madrid called a different March in another neighbourhood of the south of Madrid (about 2000 people, I have read somewhere). I think this is mainly due to the heavy political differences inside CNT, one of its main issues is if to call joint demos-actions with CGT and Solidaridad Obrera.
Reports from the beginning of the demo CGT-Soli-CNT (villaverde) said it was 10.000. This web page says it was 72.000 people at the end (I think this probably is an overstimation). The main newspaper (El pais = The Guardian, I think) says the official demo was about 169.000.
This video is from the official union demo when some Uni studentes spread out a banner saying 'Traidores' (traitors). As you can hear there were both applauses and whistles...
By the way, a Bingo is a
By the way, a Bingo is a place where people (mainly old people) play the game called bingo
This is shit
This is shit though...
Barcelona train station worker beaten by extreme-left demonstrators during general strike
Should have a proper disciplined bloc and NEVER attack people who aren't cops.
Couldn't see the start of the
Couldn't see the start of the incident, so no idea who got punched by who and why. Shit if it was unprovoked. This made me chuckle though: "syndicalist general strike in Spain has received low support from workers except by their own affiliates, around 1 million."
Well, CCOO has about
Well, CCOO has about 1.200.000 affiliates, and UGT more or less the same, so clearly that is incorrect.
Union density is around 16%
Union density is around 16% (surprisingly low, actually)
I'm really curious how well
I'm really curious how well the strike was followed by those who don't have the legal right to strike.
In Spain, as far as I understand it, only workers with a legal work contract have the right to strike when a union calls one. Workers who aren't in this category don't. This includes workers who are paid by "scholarship" (including myself and thousands of other Americans and anglophone English teachers) and presumably "sumergidos", or "illegally employed" workers.
Many of the teachers I work with were surprised that I wanted to strike, even the ones who have followed the majority of strikes this year - and counseled me not to, since I don't have the "right". Several even told me that I was not a "worker".
I mention this because I think most Americans tend to assume that labor law is "better" in Europe. Staughton Lynd for example has suggested that the union pluralism one finds in Europe would be a step forward. Yet there are also some parts of European labor laws that are incredibly reactionary when compared with the American laws. At least in America, anyone who is employed theoretically has a right to strike.
Obviously, this aspect of Spanish law creates a "hole" in workers solidarity - many workers will be for supporting the strike, but not for supporting those who are not "workers" according to Spanish law.
The CNT has fought many times to support "scholarship" workers and at certain points groups of these workers have even struck (illegally) with the support of the CNT, with one of their demands to be made into "real workers".
ETA: Obviously in practice there are many ways that striking is limited in the US, and there are certain industries where it is legally much harder. But in the general legal ideology it's clear that stopping work is a natural right of employees, even if for example they are undocumented immigrants, or students.
Quote: I mention this because
I think this is a really important point and one that I tried to make a while back in this thread.
Oddly enough, "concerted activity", which includes strikes, is legally protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act. Having a union contract in the US--which almost inevitably includes a no-strike clause--undermines this right which belongs to all workers!
Of course, what any of this means in practice...
Salvoechea wrote: Afaik, in
That's right. More 15000 than 20000 tho but it was equally the biggest demo under our flags in Z. It's equally true the thing about "non workers". Labour reform ain't gonna be abolish tho and we still should wait until the announcements about the regional cuts cos they weren't specified and have to be announced on monday or tuesday, they will probably be savage. But the mood of the people towards fighting was quite amazing. In fact i was quite surprised of how succesful the strike has been considering the fear campaign that has been taking place in the last year. we have ten turmoil years ahead imo.
I'm amazed by the numbers of
I'm amazed by the numbers of Madrid. 70k!! (organisers claimed 50,000! ). That's the biggest anticapitalist demo since 70s for sure. In barcelona we only managed to gather 10000 before demo was attacked by police.
For lack of better English
For lack of better English language sources, I link the following:
"Spain accused of 'draconian' plans to clamp down on protests
Spain has been accused of planning “draconian” new laws against street protests by curbing the use of social networking."
"Police negligence admitted in soccer fan death"
"Police murder of Iñigo Cabacas: witness declaration"
Yesterday, police arrested 6
Yesterday, police arrested 6 persons who are now being accused of participating in the criminal acts that took place on 29M in Barcelona and Tarragona.
David Piqué's (comisario general de coordinación territorial de los Mossos d'Esquadra statement is downright disgusting. Guerillas urbanas = rats that hide in sewers and caves...
A campaign to denounce participants in the riots has been part of media reports and will be set forth with the launch of a webpage that is to help identify more "rats" with the help of the citizen.
"Se pueden esconder donde quieran, porque les vamos a encontrar. Ya sea en una cueva o en una cloaca, que es donde se esconden las ratas, o en una asamblea, que no representa a nadie, o detrás de una silla de una universidad", ha exclamado.
You cannot see in this
You cannot see in this mainstream news report video a single red and black flag, they focus only on UGT and CCOO, whereas in all the other youtube strike footage there is loads of red and black not to mention the fact that libertarians called the general strike.
I think they are scared... of the fact that libertarian organisations led a successful general strike in 2012 in a country that is pretty important to the european (and even global) economy. (ok, they did rely on local CCOO / UGT sections joining the call, but still it was an initiative called by them).
For me this signifies a lot - spanish libertarians can still even today exercise industrial leverage on a national level, and anarcho-syndicalists are still capable of playing a powerful role in the class struggle.
Also from watching youtube footage of the rioting, the union marches are 100% comfortable with the property damage which is going on around them, even cheering. For me this recalls milbank and the student demos in England, except these aren't kids and weedy undergrads, but adult union militants going up against tear gas and rubber bullets. Clearly, you don't fuck with the spanish workers.
Harrison wrote: Also from
Everyone, that is, apart from CGT Barcelona, it would seem, whose first instinct was to release a communique distancing themselves from the violence: http://www.rojoynegro.info/articulo/accion-sindical/cgt-barcelona-antes-los-hechos-del-29-m#.T3mN8gMSb3c.twitter
Caiman del Barrio
Caiman del Barrio
that really is like an anarchist TUC ...
about CGT Barcelona, i remember reading this post, i wonder if its trot antics behind that piece, or just creeping reformism
Full Report [From
Full Report [From Crimethinc]: General Strike in Barcelona
Awesome Riot Pron:
Text of an anarchist poster put up before the strike
What is a general strike?
It’s the interruption of the normal functioning of the system. It’s blocking the flows of people and merchandise. It’s sabotaging the gears necessary for the system’s functioning. It’s attacking those responsible for our oppression. It’s confronting the defenders and false critics of the current paradigm. It’s struggling in our daily spaces (neighborhood, work, school, etc.). It’s going out into the streets and sharing what little we have left: rage, bread, and dreams. It’s using the entire arsenal of tools that the history of the oppressed has put at our disposal.
A general strike can only be wild, all the rest is self-parody. We’ll see each other on the 29th of March in the streets!
Quote: I think they are
That is completely innacurate. The strike was not called by any libertarian organisation and then by the official unions, it was called in that day because nationalist unions from Basque Country had called a "regional" general strike that day (and these unions really can call for a partially succesful general strike without CCOO-UGT in Basque Country). However, although CGT and CNT seems to be increasing their figures (especially CGT, which is absorbing a lot of former CCOO militants dissapointed with their organizations), nowadays they do not have strenght enough to call a succesfull general strike (and they now), maybe not even a relevant one.
Well, this seems to be a little bit excessive. In anarchist forums (alasbarricadas.org) a lot of people from of close to CNT is quite upset with the degree of destruction in the Barcelona demo. Althought some people may be comfortable with breaking the windows of the banks, the burning of the starbucks and the bin seems to be excessive to most of them. On one hand, the riots have been used by the local goverment of Catanlunya to discredit not only the strike but all the social movements (which is not quite surprising). On the other side, the goverment is going to trying to impute CGT and CGT with part of the responsability of the riots (as they happened at the end of their demo). Moreover and a forthcoming legislative reform is going to impute the organizations with the damages made by their affiliates (which is not only directed to CNT and CGT but to CCOO and UGT too, as their pickets not always are "peaceful").
a few clarifications, but
a few clarifications, but thanks for correcting my assertions: i thought it was CGT, CNT, SO put out the call? Thats how I remember it advertised on all of their websites... I know they don't have the strength on their own, just thought they pushed the initiative and successfully attracted other union locals to join the call. I thought March 29th was a result of their campaign of "toward a general strike"?
re. people on alasbarricadas, i didn't know that. sounds a lot like the libcom threads after March 26th union march in central london.
just to clarify, i don't really have a defined opinion any more on property damage and how far it should go at a given time, although i don't personally like doing it as it reminds me of bad times when i was learning the anarchy.
As far as I know, the call
As far as I know, the call from Basque Country came first. Then CNT / CGT (don't remember if it was cnt only and the united call came later) made the official call in Barcelona. The main unions joined afterwards.
I think Vaga is right. But
I think Vaga is right. But the point is that, in my opinion, the call for general strike of March 29 had little or nothing to do with the campaign "toward a general strike" that anarchosyndicalists, base unions and the some sectors of the May-15 have made, but more with the need of unions to keep their image, the pressure of their own base militants and to give a public answer to goverment measures (the "left"-wing socialdemocrat party PSOE is completely discredited and the "communist" party, IU, still has not capitalised the collapse of PSOE). Obviously they have taken into account that there are "other social actors" (specially the May-15) that should not be allowed to take the lead of their demos and actions (there is an official doccument of CCOO and UGT) saying more or less this, but I think that the decission to call for a general strike was not conditioned by these groups, and that the 29M was chosen because of the decision of the basque unions. Finally, what is most important is that, discredited as they are between a lot of people, the official Unions CCOO and UGT are the only social actors with muscle to put enough people and pressure in the streets. Well, they and, probably, the may-15 movement but only in special days, as the next 12 of May, that probably will be a huge demo (at least in Madrid and Barcelona)
Obviously, alasbarricadas is just a forum, but I think that usually reflects well the different tendencies inside the anarchist movements in Spain. Anyway, it was just to provide a reference, but I think the mood in most sectors of the CNT is probably the one I told.
Oh, seems I got it
seems I got it wrong.
Finally, CCOO and UGT called a general strike for March 29. Smaller regional unions in Galicia and Euskadi had already called a strike for that day, and the two major unions signed on to make the strike general and countrywide. CNT and CGT, unwilling to strike on their own after the experience of January 27, quickly followed suit.
nice text btw
The Barcelona secretary of
The Barcelona secretary of the CGT has been arrested in the wake of the strike, on trumped up arson charges:
Steven. wrote: The Barcelona
While I'm no fan of the CGT, this is messed up. W.S.A. will prolly send solidarity message to the CGT.
I'm curious if this sort of thing is happening to members of the CNT, members of the libertarian movement and some of the milder "red & black" independent unions? Anyone know?
syndicalist wrote: Steven.
several unions to the left of UGT/CCO are suffering repression at the moment, e.g. the leftwing Basque LAB and the Andaluzian SAT
meanwhile, Pedro Duarte, director for new medias at the Real Madrid football club has twittered 10 days ago that he would like UGT and CCOO members to be exterminated, see e.g. http://www.diariodenavarra.es/noticias/deportes/futbol/2012/04/20/un_alto_cargo_del_real_madrid_quot_mete_pata_quot_twitter_77700_1022.html ... unlike Jeremy Clarkson, he got dismissed
according to http://www.anarchismus.at/anarchistischer-blog/7104-franquismus-reloaded-repression-in-spanien (in German), even some members of the UGT and the CCOO got arrested or harassed during the last days
There is a general clime of
There is a general clime of repression in Spain against social movements. Yesterday, a group of activists made a protest against the rise of the Undergound in Madird. They activate the emergency brake of 13 trains simultaneoulsy while the train were stopped in the station. Two people have been arrested this morning.
A few days ago, the "Departmente of Interior" of Catalunya upload this web in which you can identify and report people supposedly involved in the 29-M riots
Finally, the assembly of the 15-M which is organizing the events which would conmemorate the first year of the movement (the 12th of may) decided to camp in Puerta del Sol square from 12th to 15th of May. The ministry of Interior said that "it was illegal" and that the camping will not be allowed. It seems it's gonna be a massive demo and a very tense days.
The judge has sent the
The judge has sent the Barcelona secretary of the CGT to preventive prison with no bail. The two other arrested (two union delegates from SEAT, one from UGT, the other from CCOO) have been released (they were arrested for confronting a security guard in a picket, not with the secretary of CGT).
fuck thats terrible about the
fuck thats terrible about the CGT sec
For those who can read
For those who can read Spanish (or have a good translation app in their browser) here are the websites to a couple of groups, collectives that have sprung up that are very critique of the unions and call for autonomous action by the class on the 29thM.
This movement of a minority within the class which is calling for autonomous class question has not got a lot of coverage on this thread, which I find surprising. In Valencia, Barcelona, Palencia,
Here is the call out by the Alicante Critical Bloc and Assembly
And a leaflet by the Workers' Group of Palencia
There are also growing links between these groups.
In general, I agree with the
In general, I agree with the analysis of grupo_Ruptura, is well informed and realistic.
About the breaking of windows during the cgt-cnt demo, probably the problem are not the actions themselves, but the moment. In the morning, usual actions of pickets are well received. But in the evening's demo, the unions wanted to gather lots of people (and they succeessed, comparing with the usual numbers this union's demos have), also the ones that didn't picketed in the morning (families with children, old people,...), the social base of this unions.
So they think that it was not the moment for rioting and provoking the police charge.
They claim that in Basque Country, with a huge tradition of fight, the left-nationalist movement knows how to combine riots with pacific demos. And every militant knows what is the moment for each thing.
The debate is open but I'm afraid that most part of the autonomous/insurrectional movement will claim that the unions are weak and democratic and will not respect the terms of the union's demos.
I think that there no exist autonomous organizations at the work place.
Most of autonomous people are not very interested in organizing at they work place (in the case they are not students or unemployed), although they have called for a wild-cat strike and picketing. The ones that are interested in haven't succeeded in it, they form pro-worker autonomy groups. You've mixed both of them in your links, in fact there isn't a clear line between them, but we have to be aware that most of the ones that called to a wild-cat strike doesn't have a workerist approach.
Example of pro-worker autonomy collective: http://asambleaautonomazonasur.blogspot.com.es/
Of course, it's not a critic, also most of people that belongs to cnt don't develop his union work at his work place.
Maybe in Madrid in the public educational sector have been a kind of autonomous movement against the cuts (green tide - marea verde), but I haven't see any article of any of this groups about it.
The three guys sent to prison
The three guys sent to prison in the 29M are free now. The Audiencia of Barcelona (a higher tribunal than the one that sent them to prison) have overturned the bail ordered by the judge. By the way, some days ago, the ministry of Interior of Spain recognized that they had to "force the law" to sent the guys in prison (remeber they were sent to prison not because of the riots of the afternoon but because the picktes in the morning).
More info (in catalan) http://barcelona.indymedia.org/newswire/display/445738/index.php
Laura is still in preventive prison.
In Barcelona the mood is
In Barcelona the mood is still quite defiant againts state repression. People was not caught in the mediatic fear-mongering campaing and instead every major blow against the movement has rised more determination.
As for the mayday demonstration, we've seen one of the biggest specifically anticapitalist demonstrations ever. About 22.000 people joined a huge demo called by radical unions (CNT, CGT, COS-catalan left independentists, anarchists, communists, trotskists, etc.). We have to cross up to 3 different police checkpoints to get the demonstration. However, this time demo was quite peaceful, as unions didn't let anything to be out of their control.
Numbers are similar to those of the 29-M general strike.
edit: sorry I'm trying to
edit: sorry I'm trying to post a picture from the miners' strike in Asturias but I can't work out how to do it.
Imagine there is a picture of a big burning barricade on a motorway above this post.
Admin: fixed. if you press 'quote' on this post you'll see how the image works.
edit: thank you, the story is hundreds of miners are striking in Asturias and Leon over threats to close mines, and have been blocking several motorways.
Spain’s Coal Miners’ Strike
Spain’s Coal Miners’ Strike to Block State Aid Cuts to Industry
30 May 2012 ICEM InBrief
Strikes, road blockades, and mine sit-ins will continue through tomorrow, 31 May, as 8,000 mineworkers at over 40 coal mines in northern Spain continue their protests against government action to cut coal subsidies.
Backed by mining unions within both of Spain’s major labour federations -- Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) – strikes that began last week will re-start today and tomorrow following the break-off of tripartite talks yesterday, 29 May.
The unions had hoped those negotiations would at least partially rescind the 64% subsidy cuts contained in the government’s budget.
Spanish Coal Miners on Strike Last Week
The strikes began last week, 23-24 May, and saw 100% participation by coal miners. They were halted in order to give a tripartite monitoring committee on coal an opportunity to scale back the subsidies. But after six hours of futile negotiations that lasted into yesterday evening, mineworkers’ unions of both federations announced resumption of strikes today and tomorrow in and around the cities of Aragon, Asturias, and Castilla y León, with a major demonstration planed in Madrid.
Even before talks started yesterday, miners began blocking major road arteries linking northern cities, and ten miners began sit-ins late Monday evening after their shifts ended at the Candín mine in Oviedo. The premature strikes were spontaneous and not authorised by the unions, but the protests depicted the deep frustration felt by Spanish miners to the proposed subsidy curtailments.
The Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is adamant to enforce the 64% subsidy reduction in order to reduce the public deficit. But miners and their unions feel such a drastic cutback will be the death knell to coal-mining in Spain, a country that has shed 40,000 jobs over the past 20 year due to pit closures.
With interesting picture of
With interesting picture of the direct action:
This ICEM release is also available on the ICEM Web-site
Antonio Campón, a pensioner
Antonio Campón, a pensioner and activist of the CCOO from Málaga has been sentenced to one year in prison by a court which followed the allegations of the cops who accused him of having thrown a plastic bottle at them during the last general strike while he was on a picket line
http://syndikalismus.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/spanien-1-jahr-gefangnis-fur-streikbeteiligung/ (in German)
That's rough. Is he serving
:( That's rough. Is he serving the sentence or is it suspended?
Miners vs Police:
Miners vs Police:
Photos from the clashes in
Photos from the clashes in Madrid
More miners vs
More miners vs police
Huelga en la minería del
Huelga en la minería del carbón
Heard it off my flatmate last
Heard it off my flatmate last night, Spain has had a bailout. We watched the news in Spanish so I'm not clear about all of it(also I don't understand economics). It's a bailout to a central bank rather than directly to the state, right? I'm assuming this comes with conditions for more austerity, but how does that work if the bailout isn't directly to the state?
The miners protest is getting a lot of popular support as far as I can tell. I'm wondering what will happen regarding this and other popular opposition to austerity. Is the government in a position to give any ground even if it wants to, due to the bailout? Does this mean repression of popular movements could get much more serious? (It's pretty serious already)
Añready there is nothing
Añready there is nothing clear about the conditions of the bail-out.
First of all, it seems that it is not a bail-out as those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. It is a loan to bail-out "just" the financial system, i.e. the banks with problems (a 30% of the system according to the Economy ministry).
However, it is the Spanish government who receives the money, but trough an instrument called FROB, which was initiated in 2009 to "clean" the banking system. The spanish banking system was not affected by the toxics assets from US subprime mortgages, so it needed not bail-out after the Lehmann Brothers collapse, as other european or US banking systems. However, it is very affected by their own toxic assets from the huge spanish real state bubble (mainly mortgages and credits to buliding firms and real state agencies). They have been trying not to show this in their balances and accounting, but finally, with the nationalization of Bankia (the fourth biggest bank of the country) the cat let out the bag, and the whole system needs to be bailed-out.
It seems that no Troika "technicians" (the Men In Black, as the Budget ministry called them last week, what a moron....) and no austeriry plan is going to be imposed to Spanish Goverment, at least by the moment.
The problem is the Spanish goverment is trying to sell us that it is not exactly a bail-out but a kind of "financial help" so they are being not very clear about which are going to be the consequences in the medium-term. According to some leftist analysts, the European Commision and Germany are going to supervise the whole process and maybe they are going to demand some "structural reforms": increasing the VAT, decrease the retiring pensions, decrease the unemployment benefits (with more than 5 million unemployed in the country) and enlarge the retirement age.
Sorry about the English...
The English is fine as is the
The English is fine as is the analysis. The bourgeoisie admit - to some extent - that it's already imposed enough austerity on the Spanish population and the working class particularly, for the time being. The social question is a consideration for the ruling class. But there's more grief to come for the population of Spain and for Europe generally.
The workers of Europe are being hammered with those of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland suffering the worse blows. This can only widen because there is not even a glimmer of a recovery on the distant horizon. Not even with the massive amounts of funny money printed. There is no foreseeable basis for an economic recovery that will pull capitalism out of the mire.
As the numbers become astronomical, and the financial manipulations become more and more complex and conditional, the capitalist economy shows itself as a tragic farce. Austerity is all it has to offer to the working class.
The terms of the bailout, as
The terms of the bailout, as I understand it from the patchy details released so far, is that the money will go to the FROB, but it will be put onto the national deficit. The difference between this and the Portugal-Ireland-Greece bailouts, is that the Spanish state will still be trying to fund the rest of it's current spending deficit from the bond market - i.e. it is not a bailout of the state's full funding needs for the next 2-3 years, as was the case with the "3 little pigs" bailouts. I haven't yet put a figure on what the cost of a full state deficit-covering bailout for 2 years (including rolling over existing debt) would be for Spain, but it would be far in excess of 100bn. In fact I'd be surprised if there was much change left of the putative 500 bn in the ESM.
The fact is that the Spanish economy is more than twice the size of Portugal, Ireland & Greece put together. For that reason it's definitely a case of "big boys games, big boys rules" particularly from an Irish perspective where the source of our financial woes is a property bubble and insolvent banks in a close parallel to Spain.
The reasoning on this seems to have flipped around over the last week. Originally the powers that be were desperate to avoid a "bailout-lite" for Spain that could only add to the arguments of SYRIZA, etc in Greece that the terms of the Memorandum were mainifestly unfair. But as the fear gauge went up last week and politicians policy wonks finally got around to reviewing the "worst case scenarios" their economic people had done for them, the priority became to forget Greece and worry about shoring up Spain from the risks of contagion before the Greek election.
The problem is this bailout-lite option relies on Spanish bond yields coming down to more sustainable levels, now that the deal is announced and once we get past next Sunday. Whether than will happen, is not at all clear. This time next Monday we could still potentially looking at another eurocrisis meeting process to try and get a full bailout for Spain, if they end up frozen out of the sovereign capital markets.
Thanks everyone, appreciate
Thanks everyone, appreciate it.
What do people think it means for the social struggle?
Dunno. Today for the first
Dunno. Today for the first time I saw propaganda from a far-right group called "Falange Autentica". Visually it could have been leftist, it was an old woman wearing boxing gloves and talked about defending "social rights" and taking back what was "stolen".
(Well, for a big game between Bilbao and Barcelona a few weeks ago there was some anti-regionalist stickers but :hat wasn't so directly related to the crisis and the bailouts...)
What it means for the social
What it means for the social struggle? Given the current direction of Italian bonds (the next domino), I'm tempted to reply "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think...".
But if only one thing is clear, it's that standing back and gawping at the spectacle of the eurocar-crash is definitely not going to get us anywhere. To get sucked into that, would guarantee defeat.
I wouldn't say "ignore the spectacle of the eurocrisis" exactly. But we should approach it instrumentally, to make use of it only for our own purposes, to delegitimise the local state and boss discourse, even to challenge passivity motivated by "things could be worse" type of thinking.
But the main thing is our power to make a difference is through building our own contestationary movements and struggles. The only response to the crisis (and n.b. I reject the "no es una crisis, es una estafa" - it's not a crisis, it's a scam - line of the M15) is to make sure that the crisis caused by our resistance is the biggest crisis of all. Unlike the autonomist slogan of the 70s, saying "we are the crisis" would be both premature and manifestly incorrect as to origins. Yet it is still often the case that just because you didn't start the fight doesn't mean you aren't going to have to finish it on your terms, if you want to avoid a beating. So if we are not yet it, we must aim to become the crisis.
Report of the Spanish miners
Report of the Spanish miners night time demo (in Spanish):
Click on the link at the end of the report for some great images.
fingers malone wrote: Thanks
Well, I think that the bail-out itself will not affect social struggle beyond increasing a little bit more the "indignación" of the people, who are seeing that there is money to save the banks but to expend in health and education.
However, according to some analysts the bail-out could be a new stone in the economy, worsening even more the austerity plans. Altought the EU is not going to count the whole bail-out as deficit, it still not clear what will happen with the interests of the credit. If the EU counts them as budgey deficit, a new cut of 3000 million euros will be needed (or maybe a VAT increase). On the other side, it seems that the lending conditions will be limited to the financial system, but the EuroGroup press release insituated that budget deficit would be controled too. Moreover, it seems that "the markets" are not very confident in the effects of the bail-out, so the interest rate of spanish debt has increase since the bail-out.
I think the point is that the EU is pressing the Spanish goverment to make new structural reforms that the goverment does not want to implement because of future electoral costs. Now, with the bail-out the pressure will be higher.
The M-15 movement showed muscle during its anniversary, but currently it is in a kind of political impasse. They are developing a lot of local initiatives: squatted social centres, banks of time, urban gardens and thinks like that, but their actions and demos on more general issues as the whole Bankia affair are not being very followed.
On the other side, the mainstream trade-unions (CCOO and UGT) have completely dissapeared from the political map since the general strike. The labour reform has been approved in the congress with minor modifications, it has caused a lot of new dismissals, and no new general strike has been called for. CGT decided last week to begin a process to launch a new general strike before the end of the year, but they know perfectly that withouth CCOO-UGT it will be a complete failure, so I think they are going to press the trade-unions grass-roots to put pressure on the union leadership.
It should also be said that
It should also be said that one of the reasons the exact meaning of the bailout is hard to assess at the moment, is because the PP and EU heads are deliberately being vague at the moment - this from yesterday's Guardian live blog
The downside of this studied vagueness is that the markets aren't buying it either (there are questions over whether the money will come from EFSF or the new ESM - if the latter, all existing bondholders would be downgraded as ESM funds will have super-seniority). Worse, the contagion factor is now lifting Italian bonds up into the red-zone as well.
Firemen in Spain occupy the
Firemen in Spain occupy the stock exchange, facebook photo so can't post it properly
[edit- thanks admins]
video going round of the
video going round of the police in Lavapies the night of July 19th saying "porque no reventamos los bares?" which translates roughly "Why don't we smash up the bars?"
RT report on anti-austerity
RT report on anti-austerity protests in Spain
El País: Outrage on the streets of Spain after latest austerity measures
Roarmag: Millions take streets as Spain unites against austerity
 Photos from yesterday's march
Has anyone seen the photos
Has anyone seen the photos going around that purport to be demonstrators applauding riot police who've removed their helmets, attached to a piece saying that there have also been dessertions from the police? Any comrades in Spain know anything about this?
I don't know of any photos
I don't know of any photos but the RT report from Mark above talks of police fighting police on the Madrid demonstration.
I saw some talk of that after
I saw some talk of that after the Madrid demo but not anything really confirmable.
There's loads of stuff going round with photos of the police beating people up in various strikes, tenants' mobilisations etc and saying more or less "now they say they are on our side? Bollocks"
And this one is just gratuitously funny, the fireman's placard says "Rajoy, let me make a cut." And the other fireman says "Now WE'LL make the cuts."
I miss Spain. If that was England you wouldn't see that with a fireman carrying an ACTUAL chainsaw.... bet he wished he wasn't after the first couple of hours though, must weigh a tonne.
Thanks baboon, I find it
Thanks baboon, I find it difficult to watch videos on this machine so haven't checked that out yet.
I've heard other sources claiming that the photo of the police with no helmets on was because their helmets didn't fit very well - apparently they're issued as 'one size fits all' so they spend most of the time wearing their caps which are more comfortable, is what this other source said, and an hour after the photo was taken those same police attacked the demonstrators with tear-gas.
So perhaps not a strong indicator of support for the demonstrators among the police. There do seem to be tensions inside the police force more generally, though perhaps these have more to do with the cops being unhappy that they're not properly equipped to deal with the situation, rather than because there's significant support for the miners and the indignados.
EDIT: thanks for that too, Fingers, it wasn't there when I started posting.
while the police are
while the police are protesting about their pay cut they have been kicking people's heads in at the same time, so I personally I don't think their protest means they will start to refuse to police the protests. Their union has been telling the government to make the cut to everybody else in the public sector but not to them, which I could imagine happening.
Slothjabber, here is an
Slothjabber, here is an example of what you were asking about,
Los 546 nuevos agentes de la Policía Nacional que se han incorporado al Cuerpo han dado la espalda a las autoridades al romper filas para aplaudir a una veintena de sindicalistas que protestaban a las puertas del complejo policial de la Zona Franca donde este viernes se ha celebrado el acto de presentación.
Tras los parlamentos de la delegada del Gobierno en Catalunya, Llanos de Luna, y del director general de la Policía Nacional, Ignacio Cosidó, los 546 agentes se han girado y han aplaudido a los sindicalistas de CEP y SUP cuando las autoridades estaban dando la mano a los agentes en un gesto espontáneo e inédito apoyando las reivindicaciones contra los recortes.
El acto, que estaba fijado para las 13.00 horas, no ha empezado hasta las 14.00 horas, con lo que los nuevos agentes han tenido que estar formando y expuestos al sol durante muchos minutos, lo que ha provocado que al menos dos de ellos se hayan desmayado, han explicado fuentes policiales.
Antes de empezar la ceremonia, los sindicalistas han protestado a una distancia prudente del complejo al grito de 'No a la dictadura del PP' y, cuando ha empezado el acto, han incrementado el volumen con silbatos, que han hecho de banda sonora a los discursos de De Luna y Cosidó.
Durante su protesta, también han cargado contra el director general de la Policía y la subdelegada del Gobierno en Catalunya, identificándose con los integrantes del 15M, al manifestar reiteradamente: "Policías indignados, policías indignados".
Can't be bothered to translate it properly (it's not even nine o'clock in the morning yet) but it says the newly joined police, in their graduation ceremony, turned their backs on the authorities and applauded some trade unionists who were having a counter demo. CEP and SUP are the police unions.
I'm highly sceptical that the police will take the side of the protests, the government will probably exempt them from the cuts as they know they are going to need them and they are happily breaking heads at the same time as protesting about their pay cut.
A woman in Spain phoned the
A woman in Spain phoned the radio on Monday to say that her husband had committed suicide 20 days before because he couldn't find a job and the family was in serious financial problems. She asked for everyone to keep on fighting.
That's great Ent. Very
That's great Ent.
Very briefly about 1000 people from the SAT fieldworkers union have occupied land in Seville owned by the military, which is mostly wasteland. They say they will stay there, it is not a symbolic occupation. Unemployment in the area is at 40% and that the land has to be used for productive purposes as people are so desperate. There are 1,200 hectares of land and the military only use 20 hectares of it, for rearing foals. The union spokesman says that the empty land should be put into the hands of the workers and used for workers co-operatives.
fingers malone wrote: Can't
Supportive reactions to this on a thread on a guardia civil forum (link broken):
I think in Greece the police got a pay rise while everyone else was facing cuts - though I can't remember the details.
fingers malone wrote: Very
The music on the video is from ex-CNT flamenco singer El Cabrero (more here)
I was in the demo in Madrid
I was in the demo in Madrid this weekend. Actually in my case there's been protests non-stop since april, one of the reasons i don't post here often. The huge and more violent demo was on last thursday where three people were severely injured; two men, one of them had a cop standing on his chest for hours, the other one handcuffed near an exhaust for a long time got severly suffocated, while a girl was hit by rubber balls or bullets in the mouth and her legs, collapsed, fell on the floor and nearly broke her head, no sanctions against the cops as you can expect. The violence of this demo plus the heat on saturday, the exhaustion of the people and the bad organization, all were detrimental for saturday's demo. Not many people attended, more than in any other july tho, and there were no casualties and/or endurable detentions as far as i know. The police were nowhere to be seen in Sol, they were hidden as usual in the nearby streets. In Lavapies (an area in Madrid filled with inmigrants) the tension could be cut with a knife and down there riots break out constantly because of the cops' harashment of anyone with black or brown skin.
Right now there is a stand-by situation, still quite colourful tho. Probably we'll see a wave of strikes from september on and the greatest stuff will happen in october: there are a lot of collective bargain agreements in loads of companies that will be negotiated on that month. The management's proposal will be obviously double work for half the pay (which they can implement thanks to the new labour regulations) and there are going to start the serious riots imo. Besides these cunts that pretend to be ruling us haven't got the slightest fucking clue what to do except to keep impovering us, unfortunately most of my fellow spaniards haven't got a clue either about the capitalist tsunami the immediate future is going to bring us and besides there is no organization able to unify struggles so we'll see.
About the occupations and
About the occupations and police: Land occupations are gonna be more i'm sure about that. Success will depend on the attitude of the neighbours and the passivity of the cops. It's true that there is unrest among them but mainly due to the cuts in wages. Once they are sure they are gonna get a rise (and i'm sure they will) they'll wave their battons once again no doubt about that. Cops joining the protests? my arse. In madrid on thursday in a video someone could be seen saying. "look at that bastard hitting the boys, in the previous demo he was the one telling us he was with us" No remarkable defections indeed, nor now neither in the near future. I wouldn't say the cops here are as fascists as the greek ones but their mentality is too absolutely passive and authoritarian.
@Valeriano: is the "unrest"
is the "unrest" among members of the Guardia Civil or among the "normal cops"?
I haven't gathered anything about GC, more about policía nacional i think. The deslegitimation of parliamentary democracy is huge here. No important rise of any explicitely fascist party here tho even if the PP is filled with exfascists and authoritarian manners and politics, however just like psoe. I think the reluctance of some tiny part of the police here facing the govment would have more to do with loathing the sky high level of corruption that plages the conservatives than with anything else (that's the cops that aren't part of this corruption themselves, of course) The only thing that could be taken advantage off would be their passivity facing some moves sometimes. We'll see.
ELA, LAB, ESK, STEE-EILAS,
ELA, LAB, ESK, STEE-EILAS, EHNE, Hiru, CGT-LKN, CNT y más de un centenar de organizaciones sociales han convocado una huelga general para el próximo 26 de setiembre en Hego Euskal Herria en contra de recortes del Gobierno español.
General strike in the Basque country 26th September called by the unions listed and by more than a hundred social organisations against the cuts.
Occupations of over twenty
Occupations of over twenty dole offices in Andalucia started yesterday.
sorry, can someone fix this?
sorry, can someone fix this? It's twitter I think. It's a good photo.
These 70 workers have been working in an old people's home in Seville and haven't received their wages for the last six months, they are surviving on help from their families. They went on strike on the sixth of July. They say they can't just leave firstly because that counts as absenteeism and they lose entitlement to redundancy and so on, and secondly because they are worried about what will happen to the old people if they do.
Just got this text message
Just got this text message from my workmate on holiday, straight up:
"Hey. We're sat on a train from Barcelona to Valencia & pickets have blockaded the line. We're stuck at Tarragona. Lots of CNT flags."
@fingers - something to do
@fingers - something to do with this at a guess: http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/21664
Highlights translation: Train
Train strike 3rd August
6am Madrid: some lines with four hour delays
6am Barcelona: R2 sur and R2 norte blocked for 20 minutes by barricades.
10 am Seville: success in the 24 hour strike of Renfe-Adif. 92% of workers on strike. Abusive high level of “servicios minimos”.
2nd August: Atocha (Madrid). 500 workers demonstrated in the arrivals area of the AVE. Without incidents until the police decided to charge the workers. Various train workers injured, one with a broken nose.
The blockade my mate is talking about is much later than this, so there must be blockades going on all day.
Today the SAT fieldworkers
Today the SAT fieldworkers union have tried a "Can't Pay Won't Pay" with some success. 200 unemployed field workers and members of the SAT union went into two Carrefour supermarkets, in Ecija and in Arcos de la Frontera, and tried to take out trolleys full of food, saying that they intended to expropriate basic foodstuffs to take to the people. They said "In this crisis, when they are expropriating the people, we want to expropriate the expropriators." In Arcos (Cadiz) they were stopped by the police who blockaded the doors but in Ecija other demonstrators created a distraction and they managed to take out twenty trolleys, filled with milk, eggs, sugar, oil, vegetables, chickpeas, pasta and rice. The food will be given to services which distribute free food. Unemployment in the Sierra de Cadiz is now at 40%.
bit more lively this video
bit more lively this video
CNT member starts a hunger
CNT member starts a hunger strike in Fuerteventure, Canary Islands: https://www.facebook.com/HuelgaDeHambreEnFuerteventura
Occupied land "La Turquilla"
Occupied land "La Turquilla" in Mark's post at the top of this page, was evicted at 5am by the riot police.
Mentions that 50 satistas (do you call them that? heh) are demonstrating in Ecija town square againt the autoreduzione arrests & the eviction.
photo of eviction
Yeah flatmate just came and said that
following an interview with a
following an interview with a SAT-member in the german "Jungle World" there semms to be the concrete idea of calling for a simultaneous strike in italy, greece and spain in october: http://jungle-world.com/artikel/2012/34/46112.html also there would be a day of action on september 15th.
Didn't put this up when it
Didn't put this up when it happened but a few days ago the SAT occupied the Placio de Moratalla, an empty estate owned by the Duke of Segorbe. Think they've left now.
Really regreattable and
Really regreattable and something to reflect about the way large parts of the anarchist milieu in Spain are completly and blindly going hand by hand with the Left:
- Being simply the left wing of the state-unions in their protests (we saw it clearly the last general strike the 29 th of march; we've seen again in the last miners dispute; we are seeing today with the new call for a general strike in some regions together with reactionary nationalist unions like ELA or LAB). See a debate on libcom about that:
- Cheering the actions of the alternative Left (the last case: the stalinist tv star and MP Gordillo and his performances in supermarkets) with a completly lack of revolutionary critics.
An article in spanish about the real meaning behind the televized campaing of the supermarkets lead by the SAT union:
Espectáculo del SAT y apoyo de la izquierda: la clase dominante en España, enfrentada a la crisis y al creciente descontento, trata de darle una capa de pintura a su desgastado aparato político y sindical
La crisis capitalista, en su paso por España, está haciendo que las contradicciones y antagonismos sociales que recorren la sociedad capitalista se muestren de una forma mucho más descarnada y clara, y que el Estado capitalista, tras su fachada democrática, aparezca de forma cada vez más evidente como lo que es: la máquina encargada de mantener las relaciones sociales y de producción capitalista que requiere la burguesía para su dominio sobre la población en general y sobre la clase proletaria en particular.
La situación se acerca a lo insostenible: aumento brutal de la pobreza y el hambre, paro masivo, miles de desahucios, aumento de la precariedad y la explotación, drásticas reducciones salariales, recortes o eliminación de servicios básicos (sanidad, educación, lucha contra incendios, etc).
En este contexto, la función principal de la mal llamada “clase política”, que no es otra que mentir, sembrar ilusiones y dar legitimidad “democrática” a la dominación capitalista, obviamente sufre un gran desgaste, por lo que es importante para la clase burguesa el preparar piezas de recambio, tanto en lo referente a los partidos e individuos que directamente asumen la función de gestión y aplicación de las medidas que el capital manda, como en los encargados de contener y canalizar el malestar social.
Y algo similar sucede con los sindicatos. Ante la gravedad de la situación, el capital y su Estado debe contar en la reserva con aparatos sindicales capaces de controlar y canalizar hacia puntos muertos las luchas y protestas cuando los “oficiales” CC.OO. , UGT u otros se muestren incapaces.
El caso es que el pasado 7 de agosto el SAT (Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores), previa llamada a los medios, organizó “asaltos” simbólicos a varios supermercados en la región andaluza “para denunciar la situación de miseria de muchas familias en Andalucía”. Los medios burgueses han situado estas acciones en portada durante varias días con dos objetivos, aparentemente contradictorios pero perfectamente complementarios: primero, el intento de criminalizar y asociar toda lucha y movilización con violencia hacia personas y trabajadores, utilizando de forma hipócrita y cínica las lágrimas de una cajera nerviosa a raíz de un pequeño rifi-rafe durante la acción, y así sembrar dudas en aquellos proletarios que sientan el impulso de lanzarse a la lucha en el futuro; y segundo, darle una inestimable publicidad al SAT, de paso a Izquierda Unida, y de forma general a toda la izquierda del capital.
Es bien conocida la férrea censura y blackout imperante en los medios “democráticos”: lo que no interesa a sus dueños es ocultado, o si es imposible por su amplitud, convenientemente tergiversado y manipulado. Desde luego las acciones simbólicas podrían haber sido, como tantas otras veces en casos similares, ocultadas o minimizadas por los medios; si no lo fueron es por las razones arriba señaladas. Y como decíamos, la publicidad al SAT y a IU ha sido enorme, con presencia de miembros del sindicato en múltiples platós televisivos (con la vedette y diputado andaluz por IU Sánchez Gordillo a la cabeza) soltando libremente todo su discurso, junto con sectores de IU que han tenido la oportunidad de mostrar su apoyo a la acción, con el respetable parlamentario Gaspar Llamazares como elemento mediático destacado, y así ponerse por un momento el disfraz de “combativos”.
Pero la cuestión fundamental que subyace de estos “eventos mediáticos” va más allá del SAT, o de tal o cual sigla o personaje; la clase dominante busca a corto y medio plazo el alimentar 3 elementos fundamentales para dificultar la reaparición histórica de la lucha de clase del proletariado a nivel masivo y mantener su poder: alimentar ilusiones sobre el parlamentarismo y las farsas electorales; fomentar la idea de que el sindicalismo (en sus distintas versiones, “oficial” o “de base”) sería una herramienta eficaz de protesta y lucha para los explotados; y espolvorear todo el arsenal de confusión con posiciones políticas y reivindicaciones reaccionarias y ajenas a la lucha proletaria.
La burguesía ha tratado de transmitir que, pese a todo, el parlamento representaría al pueblo, y que hay parlamentarios que sí se preocupan de “los ciudadanos” (su distinguida señoría Llamazares ha aprovechado bien la ocasión para hacerse la foto y se ha erigido en defensor de los pobres). En definitiva, que existiría alguna esperanza de lucha transformadora en el seno de ese cascarón vacío y podrido, lleno de cotorras mentirosas a sueldo del capital, sin otro fin que legitimar la dominación capitalista y alimentar ilusiones “democráticas” y electorales de cambio, que es el parlamento burgués.
De la misma forma, la clase dominante ha pretendido dar oxígeno al sindicalismo, y más concretamente al sindicalismo “de base” o “alternativo” (cuyas diferencias con el sindicalismo “oficial” serían más de forma que de fondo, siendo en general los “alternativos” meros apéndices críticos de los “oficiales”, como pudimos comprobar una vez más en la última “huelga general” del 29-M). ¿Los métodos de estos sindicatos “alternativos”?: acciones simbólicas para llamar la atención de los medios, marchas a pié, aislar y centrar los conflictos en una empresa o zona geográfica, acciones espectaculares (ocupaciones, bloqueos de carreteras, etc), movilizaciones a toque de corneta de los sindicatos grandes, suplicar en la puerta del político de turno, etc. Lejos de lo mínimo que la clase proletaria requiere hoy día: espacios de encuentro, solidaridad, reflexión y debate donde romper el aislamiento; la extensión de los conflictos y las protestas más allá de la empresa o área geográfica particular; el uso de las movilizaciones desmovilizadoras de los sindicatos “oficiales” para contactar y debatir con compañeros y no para ser una mera comparsa chillona.
A la vez, dándole publicidad al SAT, lo que la burguesía ha pretendido es difundir lo máximo posible el arsenal de confusionismo y posiciones reaccionarias que este sindicato comparte con la mayoría de la izquierda y extrema izquierda  (y con gran parte del aparato político e ideológico burgués). Este sindicato tiene sus propias peculiaridades ideológicas (entre las más reaccionarias estarían su extravagante nacionalismo andaluz, que identifica la solución a todos los problemas “de Andalucía” -así, en general- con su independencia de España; la caduca y estéril reivindicación de “reforma agraria” para el problema del paro jornalero en Andalucía, como si fuera un problema separado del conjunto del proletariado; o sus reivindicaciones especialmente humillantes y más propias de Cáritas como la de que los supermercados entreguen comida a punto de caducar a la gente necesitada...) pero, como decimos, estas son algunas posiciones de la izquierda en general que es necesario denunciar:
- La utilización del aparato político burgués (la “clase política”) como taparrabo del sistema al que culpar de la crisis (“malas políticas”, casos de corrupción, los sueldos y privilegios de los políticos, etc), y así no señalar al sistema capitalista como un todo, y al aparato político y su corrupción como expresión de este. Mientras la indignación se dirija y limite a los políticos la burguesía puede estar tranquila.
- La utilización de los bancos y el sector financiero también como chivos expiatorios “culpables de la crisis” como si estos no fueran organismos estrechamente ligados al Estado capitalista y al sistema como un todo, y como si el hundimiento del sector financiero no fuera otra cosa que la expresión del derrumbe de una parte de la economía capitalista. Vuelta a la vieja cantinela antiglobalización, hoy retomada por los restos del 15M y la izquierda de que “el poder financiero se está cargando la democracia” (¡!).
- La utilización de sus acciones dirigidas a “llamar la atención del gobierno” y evitar la “helenización de España”, y a que este “haga políticas a favor del pueblo”. Por supuesto sus acciones no van dirigidas al conjunto de explotados, a que el proletariado gane en fuerza, autoorganización, unidad, solidaridad y capacidad política para el combate contra la burguesía.
- Denuncia de que “Bruselas” y “Merkel” estarían acabando con “nuestra soberanía”, discurso que exime a la clase capitalista española (y andaluza) y a su sistema de toda culpa en los ataques a las condiciones de vida. Como se vé, el reaccionario y antiproletario nacionalismo andaluz (que reivindica para crear empleo, entre otras cosas, que no se lleven la industria a Cataluña...) es perfectamente compatible con el reaccionario y antiproletario nacionalismo español (que se esfuerza en señalar a “Alemania” y “Bruselas” como los ladrones de “nuestra soberanía”...).
- Soluciones mágicas para la crisis: que el BCE preste dinero barato (¡cuando precisamente el crédito excesivo para crear una demanda ficticia que diera salida a las mercancías ha sido la causa inmediata de la crisis!), que se hagan inversiones productivas, que se genere empleo, etc... Por lo visto aquí no hay lucha de clases, no hay antagonismos sociales, la burguesía y su Estado no mirarían por su propio beneficio sino por “el bien del pueblo”, no hay contradicciones en el sistema que lo llevan a crisis y convulsiones cada vez más profundas, sólo “buenas o malas políticas” en las que habría que acertar por el “bien del país”... ¿y la crisis?, sería mentira, “una estafa”.
La gravedad de la situación, los múltiples y sofisticados métodos y aparatos de confusión y canalización que posee la clase dominante y su Estado, la descomposición social y la atomización creciente, hacen absolutamente indispensable un mínimo de claridad política para luchar contra el capitalismo. No puede haber práctica revolucionaria sin teoría revolucionaria, sin conocer el terreno que pisamos, la portería que defendemos y en la que nos toca marcar, a nuestros enemigos y a nuestros falsos amigos.
Los compañeros que honestamente tratan de luchar contra este sistema bajo la influencia de la izquierda y la extrema izquierda del capital tienen que hacer un esfuerzo y reflexionar acerca de la actividad y discurso de esas organizaciones e ideologías, cuyo fin (más allá de los honestos y combativos militantes que pudiera haber en sus filas) en la sociedad burguesa es el de contener, canalizar y debilitar la capacidad, teórica y práctica, del proletariado para luchar contra el capitalismo.
CGT comunica el acuerdo de la
CGT comunica el acuerdo de la convocatoria de una Huelga General de 24 horas en todo el estado para el 31 de octubre 2012
thanks for that
thanks for that
Empty luxury flats in Seville
Empty luxury flats in Seville occupied by homeless families
I'm posting updates on the
I'm posting updates on the occupations in Seville here http://www.libcom.org/news/evicted-families-occupy-building-seville-call-others-do-so-08062012
ReelNews wrote: The hot
If any of the Spanish people
If any of the Spanish people want to correct me on this please do because I mostly got this from hearsay and from a few spanish articles. But the CGT has convened a national general strike on the 31st of October, the reformist unions of the so called "cumbre social" on the other hand convened a general strike in November, and besides that the CNT said it wanted to have a general strike based on the unions to the left of the cumbre social (such as the CGT and the SAT) but they dont think that the 31st is gonna allow enough time to prepare for such a general strike.
I can explain it further. Yes
I can explain it further. Yes CGT called for a general strike (GS) on 31th october hoping to help create a bigger coalition of the left centrals (CNT included) However the preparation has been quite poor and careless. On the other hand the order unions (UGT and CCOO mainly) are going to call in november for a GS if they can't avoid it and CGT apparently will join this call instead of the one in october for the sake of unity. Anyway the main unions are there obviously to sabotage any apparent scalation of the conflict and the call of a general strike aims at asking for a referendum on the government cuts (ie economical policy) instead of plainly demanding the end of such measures. The problem is that they are at the moment the only ones able to achieve a succesful GS. I'm afraid the radical unions are far from reaching a good stable coordination against the cuts.
The CNT has agreed to try to
The CNT has agreed to try to work with the CGT and other unions to organize a strike outside of the CCOO and UGT for mid-November.
in barcelona the CNT is
in barcelona the CNT is joining the strike call for october 31th: http://internationalworkersassociation.blogspot.de/2012/10/la-cnt-convoca-huelga-general-en-la.html
a lot discussions related to o31 can be found here:
The unions in Spain appear to
The unions in Spain appear to have been particularly successful in keeping the workers and their demonstrations divided up into corporate prisons. The ICC's Spanish publication, Accion Proletaria, reports that around the July 19 demos, the CCOO and the UGT had secret meetings with Chanellor Merket and this was followed by secret meetings between the unions and Rajoy in the Mondoa Palace. Before the strikes of late March, Rajoy met each union leader seperately and the vice president admitted to 33 "technical" meetings with the unions.
From previous "secret" meetings between government and unions we can guess that the meetings were about how to to demobilise the workers and this would have been done, from the unions point of view also, as the defence of the national interests of capitalism, which all the major unions are committed to. Spain is a "good" example of this.
Student demo in Madrid today:
Student demo in Madrid today:
El País wrote: Spain’s main
Spain’s main labor unions, CCOO and UGT, plan to call a general strike for November 14 to protest the government’s austerity drive, just eight months after the last country-wide stoppage.
The stoppage will be formally called at a top level meeting on Friday. This will be the first time two general strikes have been held in the same year. A meeting will also be held of the so-called Social Summit, which groups together some 200 social organizations opposed to the government’s economic policies.
The decision to go ahead with the stoppage came just hours after the European Trade Union Confederation called for strikes and demonstrations against the belt-tightening movement in Europe on November 14.
The Portuguese union CGTP has called for a national strike on November 14, while stoppages are also expected in Cyprus and Greece…[/quote]
Yeah, cheers mate.. Many
Yeah, cheers mate..
Many thanks for your kind information.
Thought I'd resurect this
Thought I'd resurect this thread after coming across this interesting article..
Protest becomes way of life
Oh yeah, also this.. Thirty
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)..
Is Spain the new hotspot for fighting austerity?
This has popped up in my
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.
Firefighters fighting police
Firefighters fighting police in Spain today..
Some videos of it kicking off
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?
CNT doing their thing.. could
CNT doing their thing.. could easily have been a decent enough demo by themselves!
It's actually a compilation
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.
By the way on monday morning,
By the way on monday morning, around 200 people went to claim the freedom of the arrested people.
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:
And on next saturday another mobilisation against monarchy:
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.
Quote: Left wing parties and
Is this a positive thing though, what implications does it have?
Salvoechea wrote: Mass media
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)
Thanks for your support.
Thanks for your support.
Pics from CGT Block:
Libertarian Youth from Madrid:
Anarchist student bloc
info from 23 and 24 march. Protestors and activitsts tried to set up a camp. however, this time it was swept by police
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:
A couple of more photos from
A couple of more photos from inside the CNT block, it was almost not possible to take a pic from all of it.
From inside CNT has mobilized thousands of people, we are back to our home towns with new energies.
The king has abdicated today.
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.