Coal mines ignite in Asturias (with updates)

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.

Submitted by Django on June 10, 2012

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.

Comments

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 10, 2012

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:

Django

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on June 10, 2012

No, it's as in set-piece battle: the stakes are massively high, with large scale mobilisations on both sides.

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 10, 2012

Thanks for the clarification.

Amazing photographs here: http://periodismohumano.com/economia/la-batalla-del-pozo-santiago.html

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 10, 2012

edit: Jesus, can't do this photo business.

Fixed. You have to right click the photo and choose 'Copy Image URL' - juan conatz

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 10, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 10, 2012

Thanks Juan

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

Entdinglichung

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 11, 2012

the strike was called by UGT and CCOO, which are the main unions in the coal mines in the Spanish State

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

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

Joseph Kay

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 11, 2012

fingers malone

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.

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?

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

Joseph Kay

fingers malone

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.

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?

There's a banner that says
"We're not 15-M
We're not pacifists
We're miners
And up till now we've been asking nicely"

but now I can't find the photo anywhere!

Joseph Kay

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 11, 2012

fingers malone

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:

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

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.

no1

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on June 11, 2012

Bristol insurrectionists could learn a thing or two:

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 11, 2012

the arcos olimpicos photo!

Joseph Kay

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 12, 2012

more rocket porn

Django

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on June 12, 2012

no1

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on June 12, 2012

Can anyone explain the point of the fireworks/rockets thing? I mean, I doubt they are actually aiming for cops, or are they?

Joseph Kay

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 12, 2012

It looks pretty fun. Maybe keeps the cops at distance (don't want to baton charge up a steep hill into fireworks)?

no1

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on June 12, 2012

Maybe it's also a miners' thing - in Bolivia they usually take dynamite to demos :

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 12, 2012

no1

Can anyone explain the point of the fireworks/rockets thing? I mean, I doubt they are actually aiming for cops, or are they?

yes they are!

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 12, 2012

Steven.

no1

Can anyone explain the point of the fireworks/rockets thing? I mean, I doubt they are actually aiming for cops, or are they?

yes they are!

for example:

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 12, 2012

Night time march in Leon

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 12, 2012

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 12, 2012

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

[youtube]TeQYf2uqCqw[/youtube]

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

What's up with the photos? Some of them are disappearing.

Juan Conatz

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

They've come back now!

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

"love in times of struggle"

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012


the night time march in Leon again

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 13, 2012

Where is that last photo from?

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

"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.

grupo_ruptura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on June 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 13, 2012

Ok fair enough about the photo, it was on twitter saying it was from Asturias

grupo_ruptura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on June 13, 2012

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.

no1

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on June 13, 2012

fingers malone

"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.

Also, Durruti was from Leon.

wojtek

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on June 14, 2012

These photographs are beautiful!

Solidarity from ex-miners.

Although many British newspapers have quite rightly given extensive coverage to the financial crisis in Spain (Spanish bailout deal emerges, 9 June), there appears to be an almost total blackout of news about the response of the workers' movement in Spain to the austerity measures being pursued by the government. Most significantly, any reader of the British press could be excused for being unaware of the indefinite strike by Spanish coalminers that began on 31 May and is already escalating to the point of near civil war in some areas of Asturias and León. The announcement by the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy of drastic cuts in subsidies to the mining industry, which will threaten the livelihoods of around 8,000 miners and endanger another 30,000 jobs, is being met by miners and their communities with a determined and united resistance. The response of the government is classically neoliberal and has no doubt brought tears of joy to Christine Lagarde and the other free-market warriors of the IMF. For those of us in the UK who remember the miners' strike of 1984-85, it is also depressingly predictable, with the Guardia Civil out on the streets in force firing teargas and rubber bullets at miners and their supporters. British miners and those who supported the NUM owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Spanish trade unions and particularly the miners for their solidarity and financial support during 1984-85. It is now time to stand with them.

John Cuningham Acting secretary, Spanish Miners' Solidarity Committee, and ex-miner, Dinnington Colliery, South Yorkshire, Carrie Hedderwick Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures, Ian Isaac Executive committee, South Wales NUM, 1982-87, and ex-miner, St John's Colliery, Steve Brunt Ex-miner, Arkwright Colliery, Doncaster

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/10/time-to-stand-with-spanish-miners

Anatta

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on June 14, 2012

Joseph Kay

more rocket porn

... and a new sub-genre is born

Auto

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on June 14, 2012

'If our children go hungry, yours will shed blood'.

Joseph Kay

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 14, 2012

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 14, 2012

grupo_ruptura

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

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

Ramona

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on June 15, 2012

[youtube]Gsm4J8kyW8Y[/youtube]

Jenre

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jenre on June 15, 2012

Joseph Kay

I like it, but did they not miss an obvious one with 'Coal of Duty'?

MT

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on June 15, 2012

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.

Between Your Teeth

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Between Your Teeth on June 15, 2012

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.

What is happening in Asturias and Leon is kind of huge. It seems there were going to be cuts in subsidy to coal in a progressive way until 2018 but with the crisis our Government decided to do it faster and there has been huge cuts for this year. So the miners went to strike, I think they have been on strike for... I'm not sure but I would say two weeks. The strike is general so all miners are on strike.

Here you can find more info, it's in spanish but you can read it ;) and you have photos and videos:

http://www.publico.es/espana/436723/los-mineros-vuelven-a-cortar-vias-y-preparan-una-marcha-esta-noche

You told me you want to send a letter or money... I will ask in CCOO how you can do it ok? Thank you very much for your solidarity :) Working class is the best!!!!

The gist of the report in the link from "Publico" is that...

1. The all-out indefinite strike by miners is going strong in Asturias and Leon (northern Spain). The strikers have blocked many main roads in the region with felled trees, burning tyres and trucks across carriageways. There have been clashes with the Guardia Civil (the more "robust"/aggressive police) who have been running around trying to clear routes. The unions will continue with the strike until the government responds with serious economic proposals to deal with the problem.

2. The unions, CCOO/SOMA-UGT/Uminsa are fighting the decision by the Conservative Govt to slash aid to the coal industry (sounds familiar). The original plan (agreed reluctantly with the unions) was to co-operate with an EU directive to end subsidies to coal industry in member states by 2018. The Spanish Tories have speeded this process dramatically claiming that the economic crisis means they can't afford to maintain subsidies until 2018. The unions claim there are other motives (sounds familiar, again) and that the govt. has a Thatcherite agenda.The unions point to the bail-outs given to Spanish banks (sounds familiar, again) and also to the huge impact the cuts will have in the region, particularly in this difficult economic context. There was to be a night time demonstration in Leon at 10pm with miners wearing helmets with lights and carrying miners lamps. The unions are encouraging all people in the region to support this demonstration as the industry genmerates a lot of good jobs and wealth in the area.

3. The regional govt PSOE (Labour) says it has reluctantly accepted pit closures in 2018 but cannot accept closures in 2012 .

also here's some more riot porn, world's most ineffective tear gassing, take that hillside.

[youtube]qq4TV6HWXc[/youtube]

edit: bah, can't make it work

grupo_ruptura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on June 18, 2012

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:

He trabajado 25 años en la mina, bajé a un pozo cuando tenía 18 años y me gustaría deciros que me asombran muchos comentarios que leo sobre la minería y las prejubilaciones, en éste grupo y en otros.Os doy mi parecer, para ver si puedo disipar varias dudas que veo que hay sobre éste sector.

1º La lucha que están llevando los compañeros en éstos momentos, no es para pedir dinero, sino para que se respete el acuerdo firmado el año pasado entre el Ministerio de Industria y los sindicatos mineros, la firma de éste acuerdo tenía unas ayudas asignadas hasta el año 2018.
Éste dinero lo dió La Comunidad Europea y no los Gobiernos Españoles, con ésto quiero decir que no lo puso ningún español para ayudarnos como piensa mucha de la gente que tanto nos critica.
En cuanto a éste dinero lo que yo me pregunto, como casi todas las familias mineras, es donde está la parte de los Fondos Mineros que supuestamente iría destinada a la creación de industrias alternativas al carbón en las cuencas mineras, después del cierre de las minas.Pues bien, cómo en muchos otros sectores,el dinero lo manejaron los políticos y los sindicatos. Con parte de éste dinero, os podría decir, por ejemplo, que el Señor Gabino de Lorenzo ( ex-alcalde de Oviedo) pagó las farolas de su ciudad, el nuevo Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos y otras muchas obras. La ex-alcaldesa de Gijón ( la Señora Felgeroso) lo invirtió en la Universidad Laboral y cómo el primero, también en otras obras.
En el Valle de Turón,perteneciente a la Cuenca del Caudal, donde yo vivo, con más de 600 muertos ( que sepamos, pues en la guerra civil se quemaron los archivos anteriores ) en las minas desde el año 1889 hasta el 2006 cuando se cerraron, hicieron un polideportivo que por cierto, se inauguró sin aseos y así siguen, una senda para pasear y poco mas.Todo nuestro entorno esta lleno de escombreras, que poco a poco se están intentando recuperar.Pero de reindustrialización, que es lo crea los puestos de trabajo estables para que siga habiendo vida, casi nada.

2º Veo con asombro que a mucha gente le parece mal ésta ayuda, no quisiera escribir ésto, pero hay ayudas a otros sectores como la ganadería, el campo, la pesca y muchas más que no voy a mencionar, yo personalmente me alegro, prefiero que las ayudas sean para los trabajadores que para los chorizos que nos roban todos los días.

3º Después de acabar la guerra civil en este país, parece que muchos de vosotros no sabéis que los mineros españoles estuvieron trabajando una hora gratis, al día y durante muchisimo tiempo, para levantar lo que el franquismo destruyó, cuando en nuestras casas no teníamos ni para comer.

4º En el año 1962 los mineros empezaron una huelga que se extendió por toda España, donde se consiguieron muchos de los derechos que tenemos todos los españoles hoy en día y que ahora están tratando de arrebatarnos. En ésta huelga hubo muchos palos, presos, hambre y destierros hacia otras provincias de España separándolos de sus familias y que empezaron a regresar en el año 1980.

5º Sobre las prejubilaciones, es mentira que los mineros se prejubilen con 40 años y habláis de euros con si fuese que nos tocó la primitiva, la realidad es otra, dentro de de las mensualidades que cobran los prejubilados está incluida la parte de sus pagas extraordinarias y van en función de las categorías laborales,no cobra lo mismo un picador,que un barrenista ó que un ayudante de barrenista etc., su cotización es al 50%, quiero decir con ésto que nosotros cada dos años, cotizamos a La Seguridad Social un año mas, por ejemplo yo que trabaje 25 años, he cotizado a La Seguridad Social 37 años y medio,¿ alguno de vosotros creéis que llegareis a pagar lo que nosotros aportamos a dicha Seguridad Social?.

6º.El carbón que traen de fuera según vosotros es más barato que el autóctono, lo pongo en duda pero voy a pensar que es verdad, ¿qué queréis vernos siendo unos esclavos como en éstos países? yo no quiero que ningún trabajador del mundo lo sea.
Esto que voy a escribir es un hecho real, he trabajado con compañeros Checos y Polacos, cuando llegaron a Asturias y empezaron a comprar en los comercios, estaban acojonados porque podían comprar la cantidad que quisieran y en sus países no podían hacerlo. La primera Navidad que pasaron con nosotros traían en cada mano una tableta de turrón.. nosotros les preguntábamos que por qué hacían eso y nos decían que en su país, no se podían permitir ni comprarlo ya que su salario solo llegaba para mal comer. Con ésto quiero decir que sino defendemos nuestros derechos nos pasará lo mismo.

7º.Sobre los cortes de carretera contestaré a todos esos que tanto protestan porque los mineros les impiden acudir al trabajo o a estudiar y dicen que cuando tengan problemas en su empresa, irán a los centros de trabajo de otros a “fastidiar”. Os diré que siempre que algunos compañeros de otros sectores nos pidieron ayuda para defender sus puestos de trabajo, hemos parado 24 horas, apoyando aquí y fuera de aquí.
Cuando las huelgas de los mineros Ingleses, paramos de trabajar y se hizo una colecta para mandarles dinero para que pudieran alimentar a sus familias. ¿alguno duda que no vamos a unirnos a cualquier sector afectado?.Pero parece que ahora cuesta trabajo hasta pedir ayuda a los demás.Apoyarnos unos a otros es fundamental, pero lo que hacemos sin embargo es lo contrario y así los de arriba siempre jugaran con ventaja.
Si todos los trabajadores españoles estuviesen tan unidos como los mineros, los gobernantes de este país se lo pensarían mucho antes de hacernos recortes como los están haciendo, os lo puedo asegurar. Reflexionar sobre quien os impide ir a trabajar o a clase, con los despidos legales de hoy en día y los recortes en educación, los que os lo están impidiendo son nuestros políticos.
También me gustaría decirles a los que opinan que deberíamos ir a quejarnos a Madrid a las puertas del Ministerio y que “a los demás les dejemos tranquilos”, que sí que hemos ido, pero por la censura mediática que estamos teniendo puede ser que no se esté informando con transparencia.

Creo firmemente que el trabajador que defiende sus derechos no es un terrorista como nos llaman ahora por luchar por el bienestar de nuestras familias.

Os invito a todos a que salgáis de vuestras casas y defendáis lo vuestro. Quedándoos en casa, estáis permitiendo que poco a poco consigan meteros el hambre en vuestras vidas.
Quieren que nuestros hijos y los vuestros sean analfabetos como nosotros, que vimos las paredes de la escuela más por fuera que por dentro, un pueblo analfabeto es más fácil de dominar.
Manteneros informados, contrastar todo lo que veáis por la televisión, ahora tenéis Internet, móviles, para poder estar en contacto permanente, organizaros, de la forma que queráis, pacíficamente o directamente en las barricadas, pero organizaros!Marcar objetivos a conseguir en un plazo corto de tiempo, el gobierno va muy rápido cuando es su favor y lo sabéis.
Quitar la palabra “miedo” ó la frase “total para lo que va a servir” de vuestras mentes y tomar el control de vuestro futuro.

Si alguien no entiende algo de lo que escribí o me quiere hacer alguna pregunta más concreta, si puedo, se la contestare con mucho gusto.

Muchísimas gracias a todos y todas los que nos apoyáis desde otras provincias y desde otros países.

Un saludo.

Juan José Fernández. Asturias.

Auto

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on June 15, 2012

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.'

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 16, 2012

"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.

grupo_ruptura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on June 18, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 19, 2012

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.

Entdinglichung

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 19, 2012

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/

Les districts miniers des Asturies ont répondu avec un arrêt total des mines de charbon lors de la vingt-deuxième jour de grève dans cette région. Les protestations les plus dures ont eu lieu avec l’installation de barricades et de troncs d’arbre sur quatre routes, AS-112, AS-177, AS-253 et AS-254, et sur les lignes ferroviaires de FEVE à Caborana et à Laviana, ainsi qu’à Renfe dans le secteur de Ciaño et La Felguera. Pendant ce temps, la grève des mineurs appelée pour 24 heures dans 31 localités de León et de Palencia a également été largement suivi », avec un taux de 100% de grévistes, tout comme dans d’autres communautés touchées. Boulangeries, écoles, bars, bureaux et supermarchés dans les zones minières castillanes ont fermé en signe de solidarité avec les travailleurs du charbon.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 19, 2012

Thanks for that Ent.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 23, 2012

gave up with photos again

Ed

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on June 23, 2012

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..

:)

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 24, 2012

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?

[edit] Ed mate! I still can't fix the picture!

Admin edit: sorted! :)

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 24, 2012

There is a march of 80 miners leaving from Mieres (Asturias) to Madrid which is 284 miles.

lzbl

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by lzbl on June 24, 2012

[youtube]i5YlQW8V7fk[/youtube]

:D

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 30, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on June 30, 2012

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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 1, 2012

Spanish miners solidarity commitee
http://smscuk.blogspot.co.uk/

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 2, 2012

The road blocks are back on, 11 miners arrested.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 2, 2012

warning- there are no rockets in this video.

[youtube]W-SmqmUnjfs[/youtube]

Miners marching to Madrid, arriving in the city of Leon.

woooo

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by woooo on July 3, 2012

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....
http://coalactionscotland.org.uk/?p=3018#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! "

http://takebacktheland.org.uk/?page_id=21

"... 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! "

http://coalactionscotland.org.uk/?p=3061

plus bonus link
http://whobombedjudibari.com/index.htm

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

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.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on July 3, 2012

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

Caiman del Barrio

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on July 3, 2012

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvRfsu1l9M0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

"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."

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

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."

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

[youtube]vvRfsu1l9M0[/youtube]

cinera today

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

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."

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 3, 2012

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.

grupo_ruptura

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on July 4, 2012

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...

grupo_ruptura

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on July 4, 2012

A "funny" note:

These are miners launching firecrackers and stones to Police (actually, Guardia Civil) using Tennis rackets... (wait to 2:20 at least)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vvRfsu1l9M0#t=108s

This reminded me an old Spanish TV ad of NIKE (which, by the way was censured):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiXH9u64cTs

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 5, 2012

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 6, 2012

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.

Last night:
"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.

[youtube]_OPbV4ATCzU[/youtube]

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"

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 6, 2012

"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"

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 6, 2012

More reports mentioning Caborana, Pozu Santiago, but not really any info.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 6, 2012

Jesus. Police are dropping tear gas out of helicopters at Pozo Santiago.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 6, 2012

Ok, analysis.
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?

Alvaro

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alvaro on July 6, 2012

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.

Harrison

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on July 6, 2012

fingers malone

"The pickets are holed up in the mountains and resisting."

8-)

Harrison

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on July 6, 2012

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

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 7, 2012

@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.

bloqueunitario.org

plataformahayquepararleslospies

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 7, 2012

I've started translating some statements but I have to go out now.

grupo_ruptura

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on July 7, 2012

Hi,

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:

http://madrid.cnt.es/noticia/el-sindicato-metal-mineria-quimica-cnt-madrid-llama-secundar-protesta-mineros-11-7-12

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....

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 7, 2012

[youtube]cxeaNdncMN0[/youtube]

[youtube]NsGPY_YaZJc[/youtube]

[youtube]jz9GY4juUhs[/youtube]

[youtube]ER-M7SYfBv0[/youtube]

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 8, 2012

The less we work, the more we do (event on Steelworkers' and miners' strikes in Greece and Spain)

An evening of debate on new activist movements, traditional workers organizations, creation of jobs and the end of unlimited exploitation of resources. Case study: Steelworkers and miners strikes in Greece and Spain.

https://www.facebook.com/events/175699419228762/

Where: Vondelbunker, Amsterdam


When: 14th of July, Saturday, from 18'00 to 21'00

In October 2011, Greek Steelworks SA cut down workers' salaries by 40%, reduced working hours to 5 hours a day, and dismissed many of their employees. 400 workers responded by holding a strike, demanding a reversal of the lay offs, and restoration of their full salaries.

A few months later, Spanish miners undertook an indefinite strike in answer to the 63% budget cuts in subsidies to the mining sector. The cuts will effectively terminate the coal mining industry in Spain, putting between 8.000 and 12.000 jobs at risk, and paralysing the local economy in the mining regions.

The mountains and villages of these regions have since been turned into a battlefield between citizens and police. Miners are walking a “Black March” to Madrid, where they will arrive on the 11th of July, and stay until a solution is found to their plight.

The 15M movement has shown full support for the miners' struggle, acknowledging it as the voice of a united working class at the heart of industrial production, standing up against the aggressive neoliberal austerity measures implemented by a corporate and political elite. There is, however, an urgent need to reflect on the precarious position of these workers in relation to the future of the coal mining industry in Spain, that takes into account the fundamental dilemmas between growth and de-growth policies, i.e. between the necessity to create jobs, sustainability and the protection of the environment.

Take the Square-Zuid Holland and REinFORM invites activists, occupiers, unionists, workers and everyone interested to join us in support of the “Black Marches”. In the event “The less I work, the more I do”, we will share information about the recent miners' protests, reflect on the relation between labour and the exploitation of natural resources, and discuss how a common front may be realised between traditional workers' organisations and the new activist movements.

https://www.indymedia.nl/node/5938

-----

Las luchas mineras: ¿retrogradas o revolucionarias?
(alasbarricadas thread)

ElArtilleru

Hola a todos, gracias por la conversación; me ha parecido muy interesante, teniendo en cuenta que a los interlocutores no les queda cerca el conflicto. En cuanto a si las luchas son retrogradas o revolucionarias no sabría deciros, aunque a mi si me cae muy de cerca, llevo 11 años trabajando en minas y si me las cierran tendría que emigrar.

Lo que si puedo deciros es que los que podáis acercaros el miércoles 11 de julio a Madrid a apoyar la marcha minera no lo dudéis, somos muy pocos. Necesitamos que toda la peña que tenga ganas de plantarle cara a esta basura de gobierno lo haga. No lo dudéis...

Gracias y salud!

-----

Fifty years ago...

Spanish coal miners challenge Franco dictatorship, 1962
Guy Debord: The Asturian strike
Miners strikes in Asturias

Caiman del Barrio

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on July 7, 2012

fingers malone

Ok, analysis.
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?

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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 8, 2012

According to the Guardian a couple of weeks ago (though I've no idea how representative of CC.OO/UGT views this is):

Protesters have used rockets, stones, nuts and bolts in their running battles with police. Up to 60 roads have been blocked in a single day, as well as local train lines.
[…]
Trade unions have denounced the violence. "We are not responsible for these sort of actions, which are the exception and should not be repeated," said the local branch of the Workers Commissions.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

Caiman del Barrio

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?

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?

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

[youtube]56rbazX6_lo[/youtube]

Police kicking down doors and invading houses with guns in Cinera.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 8, 2012

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

Blimey, UHP!
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"

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

[youtube]4QwHSszMMck[/youtube]

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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 8, 2012

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 8, 2012

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."

Entdinglichung

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on July 9, 2012

http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/espagne-un-village-en-guerre-civile/ & http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/insurrection-miniere-en-espagne/

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 9, 2012

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 9, 2012

[youtube]jkUTkep-eBw[/youtube]

Documentary on police brutality

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 10, 2012

El País: Miners’ black march arrives at gates of Madrid

On Monday the so-called “black march” of miners descended on the outskirts of the capital after a grueling advance of some 430 kilometers, often in searing heat. The northern column, which set out from Asturias, Palencia and León over two weeks ago, reached the suburb of Aravaca on Monday afternoon, where they were greeted by applause and cheers of support from residents.

“Long live the working class struggle,” cried one elderly local. “We’re going to bring Madrid to a standstill,” replied a euphoric miner, moved by the reception the protestors have received. Earlier in the day, while marching through Villalba, some 3,000 people poured onto the streets to greet the column.

The Aragon column, which started out from Zaragoza and Teruel, reached the satellite town of Alcobendas north of Madrid, where it was joined by labor union representatives for a rally in the main square before retiring to a nearby municipal sports center to patch up their weary bodies and rest.

Both columns are due to march in Madrid on Tuesday night in full mining gear, with their helmet lights and lamps ablaze, to protest proposed cuts to mining subsidies of 63 percent, which would effectively kill the sector in Spain. On Wednesday a march is planned from the Colón square to the Industry Ministry. Organizers hope some 25,000 people will turn out.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 10, 2012

Caiman del Barrio

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.

Here's an article that's critical of the role of the unions and the organisation of the march:

La mafia del carbón

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 10, 2012

[youtube]BtTXWJyVIpE[/youtube]

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 10, 2012

[youtube]KeetgH0-y70[/youtube]

[youtube]9_n0zkg5krQ[/youtube]

Noche Minera in Madrid - 150,000 on the streets according to twitter

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

please fix this, it's a great photo of gran via full of people
[edit] thanks.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

[youtube]4EnBCqCvGgM[/youtube]
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"

Auto

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on July 11, 2012

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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/jul/11/spanish-coal-miners-video

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

[youtube]KeetgH0-y70[/youtube]

bricolage

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bricolage on July 11, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

People being beaten up on the demo right now

Sorry don't know how to do facebook photos.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

jesus it looks terrible

Entdinglichung

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on July 11, 2012

http://www.kaosenlared.net/component/k2/item/24277-transmisi%C3%B3n-en-directo-multitudinaria-manifestaci%C3%B3n-en-madrid-en-solidaridad-con-los-mineros.html

Auto

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on July 11, 2012

Those photos are terrible... :( I guess the order has gone out not to let them take Sol at any cost.

Entdinglichung

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on July 11, 2012

http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2012/07/11/album/1342001960_243421.html#1342001960_243421_1342010503

wojtek

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on July 11, 2012

David Villa, footballer for Spain and Barcelona, wrote on twitter:

My admiration and solidarity to the miners. The 'black march' conquered Madrid and today the protests continue

Auto

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on July 11, 2012

More photos are coming in from the wire photographers of the clashes in Madrid, including one that shows an injured CNT member.

Entdinglichung

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on July 11, 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/11/eurozone-crisis-spain-austerity-bailout

Olvidio Gonzalez, 67, a retired miner from the northern Asturias region, was hit in leg by a rubber bullet Wednesday and fell to ground.

Rescue workers took him away on a stretcher. A huge, round, bloody welt marked the spot where bullet hit.

"We were walking peacefully to get to where the union leaders were speaking and they started to fire indiscriminately. There was no warning," Gonzalez said.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

http://www.cuartopoder.es/laespumadeldia/files/2012/06/mineros-madrid.jpg

Harrison

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on July 11, 2012

fuck thats awful

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

[youtube]mJ6jLGl5hbs[/youtube]

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."

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 11, 2012

[youtube]WlGPoJ7XnPE[/youtube]

[youtube]Gu1qbHDTZMU[/youtube]

[youtube]hdDOTIEUsZ4[/youtube]

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

thanks for that Mark.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 11, 2012

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:

[youtube]y4PlDGvJ5bk[/youtube]

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 11, 2012

I've got messages saying they were from about an hour ago.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 11, 2012

Taking refuge in Corte Inglés

[youtube]p5e5x68tGiY[/youtube]

[youtube]AcGhgbO907Q[/youtube]

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 12, 2012

More videos from the march yesterday from El País and ABC

The police charge in Sol

[youtube]3Ya554YaboE[/youtube]

Ed

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on July 12, 2012

Yo, just wanted to say, nice one everybody for keeping us updated.. this is all really amazing stuff!

Melnitz

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Melnitz on July 12, 2012

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?

sabot

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sabot on July 12, 2012

Ed

Yo, just wanted to say, nice one everybody for keeping us updated.. this is all really amazing stuff!

ditto!

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 13, 2012

Roarmag: Police crackdown as striking miners march on Madrid

Another video of the police losing it in the centre of Madrid yesterday
[youtube]R_NO7k5pJBM[/youtube]
.

Melnitz

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?

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

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!

Joseph Kay

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on July 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

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"

Joseph Kay

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on July 13, 2012

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).

Mark.

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 29, 2012

'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

The most enthusiastic applause came for two Asturian miners fresh up from Madrid. One was a member of the C.C.O.O. and the other was from the socialist U.G.T.. I spoke to both of them and told the UGT socialist that I had been a member of the CNT when I worked in Gibraltar and lived in La Linea. The lad from the UGT was the most approachable and was friendly towards the Spanish anarchists and the CNT. Both speakers spoke well, giving details of their dispute and fearing the demise of their mining communities in the Asturias and Leon. The dispute, which is small, has sparked public support in Spain and has been going for over 50-days with a march into Madrid, last week, and an occupation of some pits.

The NUM gave the Asturian miners £5,000, and the Durham Miners' Association gave another £5,000.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 13, 2012

Police attack on CNT block on Wednesday's march - photos

http://sovmadrid.cnt.es/noticia/fotos-carga-policial-contra-el-bloque-de-la-cnt-en-la-manifestación-de-apoyo-lxs-minerxs-d%C3%ADa

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

Joseph Kay

("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.

"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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 13, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

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.

Joseph Kay

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on July 13, 2012

fingers malone

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.

'if there's no justice for the people, there will be no peace for the government'

'unemployed marches arrive 21st of July in Madrid'

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 13, 2012

El País: Cabinet approves biggest austerity drive in democratic history

Public servants stormed the streets again on Friday to protest the “stickup” and the “aggression” perpetrated by the government of Mariano Rajoy, which on Friday approved new cost-cutting measures — including the elimination of civil servants’ extra Christmas payment and some of the “personal days” they can take — as part of a 65-billion-euro austerity drive.

The protestors blocked several major arteries in Madrid, and one of the unions, CSI-F, called a public sector strike for September. “We will not remain here with our arms folded while they take away our rights,” said one CSI-F member.

List of anti-cuts protests today --- video clip

El País: The Spanish revolt

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 13, 2012

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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 13, 2012

[youtube]DfjVcHNA28Y[/youtube]

[youtube]AHZVW_cOpvw[/youtube]

wojtek

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on July 13, 2012


11th July: Rayo Vallecano Ultras welcomes miners to Madrid

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 14, 2012

[youtube]mJ6jLGl5hbs[/youtube]

an old lady arrested in Madrid

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 14, 2012

[youtube]LnCuwl5r0MQ[/youtube]

[youtube]GR6Uc2aJ2i0[/youtube]

[youtube]GxfDud8eLAE[/youtube]

[youtube]GTwZOIs4NMk[/youtube]

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:

Policías, guardias civiles, bomberos, administrativos, jueces... Los funcionarios de toda España están convocando una macroacampada para protestar por los recortes que anunció el miércoles Rajoy y que aprobó ayer el consejo de ministros. Será como la del 15-M y a escasos metros de la Puerta del Sol.

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.

El secretario provincial de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) de Lugo, Jesús Castro, ha anunciado hoy que "probablemente" en el mes de octubre los sindicatos convocarán una huelga general contra las últimas medidas de ajuste anunciadas por el presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, y que serán aprobados hoy en Consejo de Ministros.

Castro vaticinó que este será un año "caliente" de movilizaciones, mientras participaba en una concentración de una treintena trabajadores de Correos.

"No hay otro camino, la negociación se rompió hace mucho tiempo, han impuesto sus criterios y la clase trabajadora tenemos que movilizarnos", argumentó.

Por su parte, el portavoz de CSIF, Alfonso Hortas, calculó que la caída del poder adquisitivo de los funcionarios desde el año 2009 ronda el 21 por ciento.

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'.

fingers malone

The CSI-F, jesus they are a really useless corporatist right wing union. Things must be getting serious.

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:

Juanatan

Creo que nunca me he sincerado como lo voy a hacer hoy en este foro.

Soy enfermo crónico. Mi tratamiento tiene un coste mensual de unos 1000 euros. Si el gobierno me obliga a pagar, me veré obligado a no medicarme y condenado a morir. Antes de que eso ocurra, lo digo bien claro: me llevaré por delante a todos los que pueda. Si alguien está en mi misma situación, y tiene ganas de organizar algo para el colectivo de enfermos crónicos afectados, que hable por aqui o me abra un privado.

He vivido una vida miserable de esclavo desde los 15 años trabajando para patrones a cambio de salarios de subsistencia, estoy acostumbrado a sufrir todo tipo de penurias, y nunca he temido a la muerte. Por mi enfermedad, y por mi situación personal, la muerte es para mí más una liberación que otra cosa. Por eso, ahora más que nunca, no tengo miedo a lo que me pueda pasar si lucho hasta EL FINAL con todas las consecuencias.

SALUD COMPAÑEROS, LOS QUE VAMOS A MORIR OS SALUDAMOS.

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 14, 2012

Mark.

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.

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 14, 2012

I think the videos are from the demos by the public sector workers, they are cutting their pay, pensions and cutting services.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 14, 2012

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.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 14, 2012

[/quote]

fingers malone

I think the videos are from the demos by the public sector workers, they are cutting their pay, pensions and cutting services.

This video makes it clearer

[youtube]UnTGk3-dJjA[/youtube]

[youtube]BXyxhdFwLmY[/youtube]

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23quesejodan

Auto

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on July 14, 2012

#quesejodan seems to have become the big hashtag to follow on Twitter if you can read Spanish.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 15, 2012

On Saturday, footballer David Villa visited the Candín mine in the town of Langreo (Asturias) –where four miners have been involved in a sit-in protest for the past four days– to pledge his support to the Spanish miners. Villa said he hoped the conflict would be "resolved as soon as possible".

The Barca player –who comes from a mining family– said that "the miners should be listened to" and that "their situation must be taken into account". Villa told journalists that he had been following the events closely, but had not been able to visit the coalfield areas –from where he comes– due to his team's training programme.

"I've always supported the cause and now even more so throughout the conflict. I hope it's over soon", he said. The Asturian striker added that he had spoken to the sit-in miners, who he said were in "high spirits, and determined to fight on" and would "not give up the battle for their rights". "Their determination shows how committed they are to the future of mining", he added.

http://www.marca.com/2012/07/14/en/football/barcelona/1342289619.html

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 15, 2012

Zona Crítica: Soy minero

Isaac Rosa

That it should be the miners, in these hypertechnologised times, who should be the ones to show the rest of the workers the way, gives pause for thought. That in the era of flexible enterprises, information society, global economy, virtual wealth and displaced and de-ideologised workers, it should have to be the old miners, with their tough tools, their calloused hands and their strong collective consciousness, to be the ones to come out into the light and start walking so that we follow them, ought to make us think about what has happened to workers in recent years, what it is we have done and what we have allowed to be done to us.

Some will say that the miners’ leadership these days is entirely fitting: if the crisis and the anti-crisis policies mean a leap back in time for workers, a rough return to the 19th century, who better than the miners at the head of the demonstration, who so resoundingly incarnate those early days of the labour movement. But we are not faced with a matter of historical fittingness, but much more.

The moving scenes lived out in every village through which the miners have passed on their march toward Madrid, the welcome, the words of encouragement, the assistance received, the solidarity extended throughout the entire country, in the streets and on social networks, and finally the reception in the capital and the accompaniment in their protest by so many workers, ought to be a turning point, a point of inflection in the construction of collective resistances. The miners have broken something, they have awakened something that was asleep inside us, they have pushed us.

I know that there is no small component of sympathy that stays clear of the reasons for their protest. There is something of historic justice, of memory, of working class sentimentality if you will, in the affection that the miners receive these days, and I say affection deliberately, because at times it has more to do with affection than with an understanding of their demands. The figure of the miner with his helmet, his lamp and his blackened face has been strongly rooted in the working class imaginary for centuries, and hence the usual discourse, about those who are ‘privileged’, which some people in right-wing media try to use to cancel them out, does not work (for that reason, and because mining has always represented what is most tough and dangerous about the world of work, their fatigue, injuries, illnesses and accidents do not fit well with any privilege). For of all this, for their popular status as heroes of the working class (demonstrated, elsewhere, in so many episodes of heroic struggle indeed over centuries), it seems natural that the miners should meet with so much warmth while on their way through the villages. I do not think a march on foot, of let’s say, waiters, builders, journalists or civil servants, would get so much support, so much affection, so many welcomes, homages and approvals, however just their demands might be.

But beyond this emotional component, the moment in which this exit from the mines has come about is important. In a moment of economic terror such as this one, when we workers feel cornered, hopeless, and our resistance is limited to guessing where the next blow will come from, the appearance of the miners on the scene can be the little light at the end of the tunnel (the tunnel in which we workers wander lost, not the stereotypical tunnel of exit from the crisis where the only light in sight is that of the oncoming train up ahead), the signal we were waiting for. The miners are giving us a lesson that we ought not let pass us by, and which goes beyond their demands, just as these may be.

And they are. The miners in their struggle have right on their side, and I am not going to go on at length on why they are right, They are right for all the reasons you will have already heard and read about these days, but even if they did not have those motives, they would still have right on their side, because of an elementary question of historic justice. We owe them, them and the generations of miners who go before them, and that is enough to oblige us to respect their way of life and their territories, to offer them decent ways out and not begrudge them a sum of money that is small change compared to the financial bailouts. But I insist: what interests me today is not so much their particular struggle (which I support), but that lesson of dignity, solidarity and resistance that they give to all other workers. We have all felt called forth these days by the miners’ struggle, in two directions: because in their demand for a decent future there is a place for all of us who equally lack that future; and because the forcefulness of their struggle makes the poverty of our reaction to the attacks we have suffered all the more obvious.

Regarding the former, the miners’ demand extends to all of us. In the miners we see our past, our class consciousness that at some moment we lost or had taken away from us, the possibilities for collective struggle that today we cannot find. But above all, we see in them our future: in their cry not to be abandoned, not to disappear, not to see their villages and their lands devastated by unemployment and inactivity, a glimpse opens up of the future that awaits us all, converted into workers abandoned to our fate, headed for a long time of scarcity, of misery: at the mercy of a wind that leaves nothing standing; with millions of jobs under extinction, and the whole of Spain turned into a huge mining region threatened by desolation and a lack of a way out.

With regard to the latter, the classic toughness with which the miners resist, the violence with which they respond to violence, enjoins us to look for another word to name what the rest of us do, that which we often exaggerate in calling it resistance. Whilst we ‘set ablaze’ social networks, miners set real fire to barricades on the motorways. Whilst we call a strike every two years, with no great conviction and above all without continuity, the miners opt, inflexible, for an indefinite strike lasting weeks. Whilst we write posts and tweets denouncing the cutbacks (and I am the first to do so), they lock themselves into the pits, paralyse the traffic, put entire regions onto a war footing, and finally start walking along the highway. Whilst we paint ingenious posters and compose nice couplets to shout out at the demonstration, they go up against the Guardia Civil.  Whilst we retweet and hit thousands of ‘Likes’ to support the demands of those collectives that are being punished the most, they go from village to village giving and receiving hugs, sharing food and shelter. Whilst we await the next anniversary to go back and take the squares, they set down in the Puerta del Sol after having made the squares of all those towns they passed through their own.

The lesson is clear: faced with the all-out attack against workers, these are not times for hashtags, but for barricades. Faced with the ephemeral solidarity of the social network and inoffensive outrage, these are times for walking along together, for sharing lock-ins and marches, for meeting one another in the streets, for embracing each other as we had no longer embraced, as in these days the miners would embrace those who awaited them at the entrance to each village.

Because of all this, the government cannot allow the miners to win this contest: because if they triumph, they will be giving a bad example to the rest of the workers, because we might take note, to learn the lesson, to follow their example so as to be listened to, not trampled on, so as not to keep on losing: to struggle, to resist, to build networks of solidarity, to hold firm, to hang on until the last, to take to the street, and to take it back. Hence the immense police repression against the miners and their criminalisation in the media.

For the same reasons, we workers need the miners to win this contest: because their victory will clear the way for us, and on the other hand their defeat will make it more difficult for us to raise resistance. That is why today we are all miners, and we have to be there with them. For justice, for history, for memory, because they deserve it. But also for us, because if they fear for their future, ours is blacker than black, black coal.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 15, 2012

[youtube]gqO_xkXUPkc[/youtube]

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

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23acampadacongreso
http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23acampadafuncionarios

Edit: reports on twitter now of an impending police charge to clear the remaining protesters.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 16, 2012

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

Hundreds of Spanish firemen, police officers and nurses marched yelling through the streets Monday, denouncing as "robbery" the pay cuts enforced under Spain's latest fiscal emergency plan.

"Hands up, this is a robbery," cried protestors as they blocked a major thoroughfare in central Madrid in a demonstration organised through messages on social networking sites such as Twitter.
[…]
Thousands of people protested on the streets of Madrid on Friday after the government approved the measures, and again on Sunday evening, when they marched to the parliament where access was blocked by riot police.
[…]
Spain's two main unions, UGT and CCOO, have called for a day of demonstrations on Thursday.

CCOO leader Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said on Monday that a general strike later was "inevitable" if the government maintained the austerity plan.
[…]

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 18, 2012

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.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 18, 2012

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"

Caiman del Barrio

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on July 19, 2012

fingers malone

The government is importing coal from Colombia, the miners are blocking the coal trucks.

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...

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 19, 2012

Bien, te lo busco tio.

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 20, 2012

[youtube]E3inSDh2a7I[/youtube]

[youtube]3n_Elui7Elg[/youtube]

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 20, 2012

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.

[edit] just read on another site (el ventano) that the firemen are behind that grille because the police had shut them in there, blimey.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 20, 2012

[youtube]onvwBX4Kat4[/youtube]

police charges in Lavapies, alternative-ish barrio in central Madrid with big immigrant population

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 21, 2012

“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.”
from leonoticias.com
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?

Mark.

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 21, 2012

That report from leonoticias.com

http://www.leonoticias.com/frontend/leonoticias/El-Principio-Del-Fin-Del-Conflicto-Minero-vn102308-vst445

I can't make much sense of it either.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 25, 2012

Sorry for loads of facebook photos.
"Asturias olympics" picture

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 26, 2012

Miners are blocking the power station at Compostilla to stop lorries of imported coal.

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 27, 2012

If I've understood right seems that the minister Soria has refused any new negotiations and the road blocks of motorways are back on.

Mark.

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on July 29, 2012

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on July 29, 2012

fingers malone

[youtube]onvwBX4Kat4[/youtube]

police charges in Lavapies, alternative-ish barrio in central Madrid with big immigrant population

Context?

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on July 29, 2012

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.

Mark.

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 3, 2012

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

Machine translation:

Candido Gonzalez Carnero

Asturbulla, 03/08/2012

Trade unions call on the miners back to work and businesses, who return to "normal"

I think today is a sad day because they just consummated, once more, which both feared from the beginning. Unfortunately this time we are not wrong. Again, and are many throughout the story, the UGT and CCOO have betrayed the exemplary struggle the miners have made in recent months.

Everything seemed to indicate that it was not normal what was happening, it was understandable that after the support given in Madrid at the start of the miners, these two unions publicly announce a change of strategy in the fight and that, practically, from 11 July when it was more moral force for their support to intensify the fight, it is surrendered by providing a solution to the PP government to continue to implement, with more power, more cuts and other adjustments in this and in other industrial sectors.

At no time workers held a meeting, or when to start and to raise the demonstrations nor the time to complete them. Without this participation, CCOO and UGT have led the miners to strike for two months and closures of more than 60 days in the pits, when they could have used other resources, taking into account that the conflict could be a long process and hard.

The struggle of mining has been exemplary, no doubt, and neither the miners nor the society we value this as an undesirable final defeat, but as a betrayal of unions which, unfortunately, repeat quite often.

The trail left by the miners is the benchmark to continue against cuts and anti-crime policy that is bringing this government and its partners, against the lower classes.

But the conflict is not over, now comes the repression. The struggle of mining must have the necessary social support to more than 100 people involved in lawsuits as a result of the demonstrations.

This chronicle, " The coal mafia , "written during the miners' march to Madrid, can summarize quite well the situation of mining.

Candido Gonzalez Carnero is a member of CSI (Union Current of the Left)

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on August 3, 2012

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)

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 3, 2012

This from SMSC (British solidarity grouping, linked to old NUMmers maybe? Not sure...):

The Spanish miners’ unions CCOO/FITAG-UGT have announced a return to work today.

CCOO leader Felipe Lopez made it clear to the Rajoy government, however, that “we are not stopping the mobilisations. We are aware that we are in a different moment that requires a different strategy. Nobody can hide away from the permanent mobilisation. We are going to do what will hurt them (the government) most, where it hurts them most and in the moment that it will hurt them most, with the least price paid by the workers.”

The strike may have ended temporarily

The dispute clearly hasn’t.

And the vital need for solidarity most certainly hasn’t.

In line with that understanding, the SMSC has today transferred a further £10,000 to the joint CCOO/FITAG–UGT account.

£733 of this total has been sent In Memory of David Guy, the President of the Durham Miners’ Association who died last week.

This latest donation will be welcomed in Spain as the miners and their families have been effectively without any income since the end of May.

The fight goes on…SMSC will not be taking early retirement

See:

https://www.facebook.com/SpanishMinersSolidarityCommittee
http://smscuk.blogspot.co.uk/

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on August 3, 2012

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.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 8, 2012

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