General strikes and the struggle against austerity in Spain

Submitted by Django on May 13, 2010

Details here of the next round of strike action and demonstrations in Greece against the austerity measures.

Meanwhile the CCOO and UGT unions made some noises this week about calling a general strike over the austerity measures in Spain, with threats of one on the 2nd of June. There are conflicting reports in English about whether they've now been ruled out - see here and here.

Are any posters or readers based in Spain able to shed some light on the situation over there, what the level of militancy is etc?

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I only represent myself so take my opinion only as the one of a particular but i think in Spain we are far from something like what it's happening in Greece. The unions here are bureaucratic devices, almost businesses. They don't get funding through the members but from unions elections, state subsidies. They have a TOTAL dependance from the state. Besides, as long as the workers notice that they don't get better delegation being members because when the collective agreement signed by the union that came out of the elections is implemented, it affects every worker in the same way, they don't find any good reason to become a member. Even more, unions get loads of extra money through courses for the unemployed, subsidied by the state. Basically they are service companies.

Ps: CNT doesn´t take part in the elections but the people they represent is definitely a tiny minority of the workers.

fingers malone

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To be honest I´d be very surprised if there was a general strike. I could imagine a public sector strike though. You see demos about workers not being paid on almost a daily basis (acually once I saw two on the same day) Public sector workers are resented by a lot of people as they are considered to have it easy so I don´t know how much support they have. There is more militancy but things are also unbelivably shit. I could be wrong, hope so as I could really do with a general strike. I agree with Valeriano that the big unions have a closer relationship with the state than they do in the UK.

I´ll write something if anything interesting looks like happening.

fingers malone

To be honest I´d be very surprised if there was a general strike. I could imagine a public sector strike though. You see demos about workers not being paid on almost a daily basis (acually once I saw two on the same day) Public sector workers are resented by a lot of people as they are considered to have it easy so I don´t know how much support they have. There is more militancy but things are also unbelivably shit. I could be wrong, hope so as I could really do with a general strike. I agree with Valeriano that the big unions have a closer relationship with the state than they do in the UK.

I´ll write something if anything interesting looks like happening.

thanks very much for the information, and yes please do let us know if anything happens

fingers malone

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Public sector strike is on- 2nd of June.

A lot of public services, post office etc. are semi-privatised, (not as much as in the UK though) and I don´t know how much this will affect the strike. I don´t know if workers in semi-privatised sectors are in the same unions or under the same convenios (industry wide agreements.)
In Spain the core public sector workers are "funcionarios" which is a special type of position where you get the job through competitive exams, which people spend literally years preparing for, then you have a lot of job security. The funcionarios are threatened with a 5% cut in pay.

Will try and find out more before the strike,
Salud

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My commentary. Agree with everything fingers say but i'd add that the 5% is the average cut: it can go as far as a 15%, that is, for the three types of positions in the public service, the better paid (usually the higher skilled through a university degree and a public exam) will get a higher cut and the low skilled a lower one. In wages, all of them, that are not very high you can figure out what that will mean. It doesn't affect only the civil servants but any worker that works for the administration, even if they are not public servants. They are usually workers with decent contracts that can't be layed off cheaply.

Problems: here you can cut the rage in the air with a knife, that's for sure BUT the main unions reputation in Spain is not bad, is more than bad. The last 20 years any time there was a Lay Off Plan, usually the workers less affected were the ones that were members of the union. Likewise, there have been a number of short strikes (24 hours, the most) whose result was usually that the union saved hardly his face before the public opinion but the conditions remained the same in the better case and worse in most cases, although not as bad as it could be foreseen. Basically many people don't want to be used as cannon fodder by the unions. In my branch (i work in the public sector) more people would be willing to start a longer and harder strike but they don't want to lose a day's pay for nothing but for the unions to show off.

So it's a pretty complicated situation in which several things are mixed: middle-class wannabe Weltanshauung - isolated individuals ideology has been quite succesful here -, corrupt unions, deep fear, an atmosphere of a far right slowly growing, utter ignorance of social mechanisms and oblivion of class war traditons.

Is that sayng nothing will happen? No way, people are getting more and more desperate and riots can be foresee in the near future. But apart from what i have stated before there is a very strong mechanism of social control: mortgages. Loads, i mean loads, of people are here tied to their houses and therefore to the banks.

Rats

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Public sector workers are resented by a lot of people

Better get to breaking down this barrier comrades!

fingers malone

Public sector strike is on- 2nd of June.

A lot of public services, post office etc. are semi-privatised, (not as much as in the UK though) and I don´t know how much this will affect the strike. I don´t know if workers in semi-privatised sectors are in the same unions or under the same convenios (industry wide agreements.)
In Spain the core public sector workers are "funcionarios" which is a special type of position where you get the job through competitive exams, which people spend literally years preparing for, then you have a lot of job security. The funcionarios are threatened with a 5% cut in pay.

Will try and find out more before the strike,
Salud

Unions've put off the strike until the 8th. Government has lost 8 or 9 points in voting intention the next day of the cuts announcement. Unions, graciously, give him 6 days more of time to make up the cuts. I've just read a thread on the public sector strike in the CNT forum. Even there there is resentment against the strike. There's gonna be hard to change the cliché about "lazy bastard privileged public servants".

fingers malone

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I should have updated before but I forgot... public sector only strike is on in Spain for the 8th of June, general strike isn´t happening at the moment but could be called later.
I would just like everyone to notice that I appear to be 100% right in my earlier posting prediction. Now I´m actively organising against a general strike so as not to be proved wrong.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yesterday in my work place there was an assembly. About 20% of the workers took part. It was not very promising but at least all of us agreed to strike. I know for a fact that more people who weren't in the assembly are willing to strike as well. I'd say about 60 % of the workers have already decide to strike in my place. Not being too optimistic i'd say that in my area around 60 or 70 % will follow the strike call. As i tried to bring in the larger frame of the problems we are facing in the assembly the answers i got from my co-workers were that they agreed we have to expect bigger and more threatening meassures but i think the attitude is (still) totally defensive. 20 years or constant defeat and de-mobilization have made their job pretty well. The main unions are pretty shocked as well and reluctant to bring things much further. Maybe the next labour conditions reform is the trigger we need for the private sector to move. We'll see.

BTW, CGT the faction that split up from CNT in the early 80's has joined the strike call of 8th june.

Steven.

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks for the information - please keep us updated

Alf

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

At the Manchester Class Struggle Forum I said a few words about our international leaflet in response to the austerity attacks across Europe. It is certainly being distributed in Spain - would you be interested in helping us with this, Valeriano (and others)? It is available as a PDF in Spanish here:
http://es.internationalism.org/files/es/Hojaint.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I had a big argument with another squatter in my building about the strike, who was really antagonistic to the funcionarios, so I asked around and EVERYONE I spoke to yesterday was resentful and antagonistic to the funcionarios´ strike. The arguments, summarised:

- They have a cheek striking against the pay cut, when a lot of people don´t have a single person in their house bringing home a wage (the most common argument)
- They have secure jobs, nobody else does, what more do they want?
- They are just on strike because they are losing money, they should strike to protest about unemployment, then I would support them
- The government doesn´t have the money to pay them (for fuck´s sake- so pull the army out of Afghanistan, I said)
- They are lazy and never do any work
- They shouldn´t resist the pay cut, they live off money taken from other workers (this one shocked me)

I know it´s common for people to resent "well paid" strikers (and people often overestimate how much other people get paid anyway) but I´ve never heard people express it to that degree on the left (I was at a benefit party for a struggle)

So- how do you argue against this? Arguments please. And also- why do people feel this way? And does anyone think they´ve got a point?

Sarcasm mode on

fingers malone

I had a big argument with another squatter in my building about the strike, who was really antagonistic to the funcionarios, so I asked around and EVERYONE I spoke to yesterday was resentful and antagonistic to the funcionarios´ strike. The arguments, summarised:

- They have a cheek striking against the pay cut, when a lot of people don´t have a single person in their house bringing home a wage (the most common argument)

So nice, apparently it's the public servants fault if that happens

- They have secure jobs, nobody else does, what more do they want?

Sure, if i am fucked up everybody else should as well

- They are just on strike because they are losing money, they should strike to protest about unemployment, then I would support them

Of course, who the fuck do they think they are? How they dare to strike cos of a 7 % cut? Besides they should strike for me that is unemployed, why should i support them being privileged as they are?

- The government doesn´t have the money to pay them (for fuck´s sake- so pull the army out of Afghanistan, I said)

And the government doesn't have the money cos in an admirable sign of true solidarity they bailed out the banks with 150 000 million euros and keep taxes low for the rich to "encourage" investment

- They are lazy and never do any work

How do they dare? Here in the private sector all of us are the most efficient and hard-working people

- They shouldn´t resist the pay cut, they live off money taken from other workers (this one shocked me)

Plain truth; public servants doesn't pay taxes only "entrepreneurs" do

I know it´s common for people to resent "well paid" strikers (and people often overestimate how much other people get paid anyway) but I´ve never heard people express it to that degree on the left (I was at a benefit party for a struggle)

So- how do you argue against this? Arguments please. And also- why do people feel this way? And does anyone think they´ve got a point?

Sarcasm mode off

I couldn't care less if the strike is popular or not, i'll strike all the same. The kind of bullshit malone describes i have read it in far right papers and seen it in them tv's always. To know that in the so called left millieus works the same way is no other than another sign of the decomposition of the left in spain. That such resentment an envy prey on these groupings is pathetic.

You ask what to say malone? Tell em that they'll be next, that when financial capital finish with the public sector they'll have to pay for EVERY FUCKING SINGLE THING, schools, hospitals (in Madrid the local government is even trying to finish with the figure of duty solicitors, maybe in a short time if you have no money and have problems with the law, you are fucked up twice), tell em that the money saved is going to go s-a-n-t-a-n-d-e-r and b-b-v-a, who are getting money of the government and of the CEB at a low interst rate to buy the debt the government issue at a higher interest rate. The money is going to go there and not to their pathetic pockets. And if nothing works simply tell them to FUCK OFF! They don't deserve less.

We are going backwards at light speed. Poor cannot fight nor the banks neither the government or the bosses, therefore we, usual scapegoats, are to blame.

Men (...) take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Alf

At the Manchester Class Struggle Forum I said a few words about our international leaflet in response to the austerity attacks across Europe. It is certainly being distributed in Spain - would you be interested in helping us with this, Valeriano (and others)? It is available as a PDF in Spanish here:
http://es.internationalism.org/files/es/Hojaint.

The link doesn't work, alf.

miles

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

hi Valaeriano, I think alf left off the .pdf bit at the end, try this one

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Valeriano. The quote from Machiavelli- I think you´ve hit the nail on the head there, people are looking for someone to hate WITHIN THEIR OWN CLASS and if it´s not the funcionarios it´s the immigrants.

The pay cut isn´t only affecting workers with job security, the public sector workers on fixed contracts are getting the pay cut as well. And a lot of public sector workers are on crap money, precarious contracts and so on. Anyway, the argument that you are entitled to strike if you are facing dire poverty but not otherwise is crap.

Yes sure, a lot of strikes are really unpopular (the bus drivers for example) and it´s totally irrelevant whether it´s popular or not, you should strike if you have a good chance of winning.

"Tell em that they'll be next, that when financial capital finish with the public sector they'll have to pay for EVERY FUCKING SINGLE THING, schools, hospitals.." That´s exactly the kind of thing I was after.

Some of you had a debate about this relating to Ireland, I read some of it, so I imagine it is an argument which people will be having all over the place, not just here, about public sector cuts and the crisis. So if people can contribute with how this is being played out in your country I think it would be helpful.

Somebody help me, how do you use the quote thingy?

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi malone

If you want to quote, at the bottom right of the post you wanna deal with there is the word "quote", just press it and the whole post will be quoted.

You are right: it is the immigrants that have it worst. Nevertheless it's not only them that are being targeted neither the puiblic servants. Recently i am starting to hear from right wing people that the women should stay at home in order to let their husbands get their jobs. Considering how things are going maybe in the future we hear it too coming from so-called left wing people. The kind of answers we are getting recently only show the unbeliavable progress of chauvinism, machoism, masoquism and xenophobia in the spaniards' heads. Despair is turning this country more and more authoritarian and right wing.

Alf

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Did you open up the leaflet? What is your opinion?

Alf

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's a also a specific leaflet for Spain

http://fr.internationalism.org/icconline/2010/plan_d_austerite_du_gouvernement_zapatero_la_pire_attaque_contre_les_travailleurs.html

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes i opened the leaflet in spanish and the other one in french.

The one in spanish don't say any specific thing about Spain but about Greece. Nothing much interesting. Besidest here is a problem with the language:proletariat, worker's fight specialists, calls to internationalism and against separation...all of those things are true but the most part of the precarized young workers in here, which are the ones that are more able to radicalize the conflict, are the ones that haven't got a clue what the leaflet is talking about. They don't understand this language anymore. I'm not saying that this is not gonna change but for the momment and in the near future, it's not gonna happen. Maybe the ones that have written it haven't got much contact with young workers.

In the second, the french one, to call the public servants not to have a separate struggle and maintain open assemblys to all the workers is obviously the minimum that should be done, but it reveals a lack of knowledge of the situation in the public sector: there are lots of different contracts and levels. If you have read what malone and i have said the fight is still totally defensive and have just started. In the internal assembly hardly a 10-20 % of the public servants took part. I wouldn't say it's isolated cos i still don't know. We'll see in the future, for now i hope we have success in terms of numbers tomorrow. Nothing else can be expected yet.

I'm not gonna be optimistic, you know. We've all been expecting the end of capitalism with each crisis before. Let's be cold headed and constant for once. This gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooong fight.

Edit: I've changed in the second paragraph "least" for "minimum". I think it wasn't clear what i wanted to say: i meant that setting up and maintaining open assemblys to all workers would be, if possible right now, an obvious and great step forward.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Something that i didn't know: CNT-Andalucía has joined the call for tomorrow's strike too:

http://andalucia.cnt.es/content/8-de-junio-huelga-del-sector-p%C3%BAblico

baboon

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The French unions have been doing it for ages but the BBC reports this morning that the Spanish unions have organised separate demonstrations at separate times in Madrid today. They have also organised separate demonstrations in workers' centres througout Spain.
This is the beginning of a long and hard struggle but the Spanish unions have today shown their capacity to divide the workers.

baboon

The French unions have been doing it for ages but the BBC reports this morning that the Spanish unions have organised separate demonstrations at separate times in Madrid today. They have also organised separate demonstrations in workers' centres througout Spain.
This is the beginning of a long and hard struggle but the Spanish unions have today shown their capacity to divide the workers.

The spanish unions have been doin it for ages too. Anyway, waiting for broader reports i'd dare to say that the strike, at least in my region, has failed: it hasn't got to 50 % which is a faliure. Different reasons spring to mind:

- The strike has been improvised. The main unions UGT and CCOO, who didn't want to strike, waited for the last moment to call it, once the cuts were already approved. Only in the last moment, and only some of the local sections, the minoritary unions joined. Besides the main unions reputation is null right now, they are seen as maffias that trade with workers rights. Rightfully so but that shouldn't justify no one not to strike when the state is attacking you all the same.

- There is a law of minimum services for "essential services": that is that the state reserves to itself the privilege to assure a minimum of workers working on the public sector during a strike. The law that regulates it is a 1977 law which hasn't been abolished. If Franco died in 1975 and the constitution was approved in 1978 that means that this is a francoist law, a law that has allowed the local government in Madrid to imppose MORE THAN A THIRD of minimum services in the region, which means that in case of a total success the strike would have never reached more than 66 % of the workers. I think you don't have minimum services in Britain. I don't know elsewhere in Europe.

- My fellow workers are to blame too: too much apathy, too much fear and too much greed. The refusal to accept losing a day's loan it's gonna cost us much more in the future. People are always moaning but always expect another one to fight for them.

I'll bring you more info whenever i got it.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree, I don´t know details yet about the whole city but the court was working normally, although some council buildings were closed, in the university most people were on strike but that´s the university, people from other pickets in various sectors were telling us that a lot of people crossed the picket line.

The demo wasn´t divided into separate unions but it was only medium sized, I´ve seen bigger. I agree with Valeriano that this is a defensive strike and it´s not Greece Mark II by any means. I´m writing something about the pickets I went to, I´ll post it up soon.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok here´s my strike report...

I went to the university first thing this morning and there were maybe 50 people picketing but actually physically blocking the gate there were about 15 of us, so we could only block one gate, so people who wanted to cross the picket line could and did. If we´d had another 15 people or if the rest had been prepared to picket more actively we could have been much more effective. Even though there was another gate round the back, some people were physically trying to claw their way through the picket line, I´ve never seen such up-for-it scabs in a teachers´ strike.

So after a while some of us, teachers and students, went in to the university to close it down and we went in with a drum and megaphone (was pretty exciting actually) and went round looking for classes, but every occupied room we found they were doing exams not classes, and we piled in and tried to talk them into walking out but they weren´t having any of it and were really pissed off with us and in the end we didn´t stop them doing their exams. In fact we did this for hours as we went on to two different university buildings and went in interrupting the exams and then didn´t actually stop the exams, this tactic for me was a little bit confusing really.

We went to the court, which as I said was working normally, as there were field workers in court today because they occupied a building for a protest, something to do with fruit (I´m sorry, but I asked five people what it was about, and that´s all I understood) and then went to the demo. The demo was unitario but not that big. The posties were singing "Bankers to the bonfire" that was the best bit really. There were various unions, Comisiones, UGT, CGT, SAT, a public sector unon which I can´t remember the name of and I also saw a few placards from the police union! There might have been other unions there, that´s what I saw, I had to go early.

For clarification, I don´t work in the university, or in the public sector at all, I was there as my friend works there and asked me to come and help with the picketing, so I don´t know much about the strategies, level of militancy etc. I´m talking to people who do work in the public sector to try to get a useful overview.

Ed

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, cheers mate.. keep us posted!

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the newspapers in Seville only 11% of the public sector workers were on strike.

There is a labour reform that´s trying to make it easier to sack people, in Spain there´s more protection against dismissal, if it´s proved to be "without due cause" then the employer has to give you a payment based on number of years worked, the government is trying to reduce it drastically. The proportion of people on short term contracts is supposed to be even higher here than in the UK so those people aren´t covered by it. Then an awful lot of people work off the books. The newspapers were saying that the public sector strike was a failed rehearsal for a general strike against the labour reform.

About servicios minimos- no we don´t have that in the UK. Some people who were trying to cross the picket line were telling us that they were servicios minimos but they were lying.

Tomorrow the posties are on strike in Seville, I´ll go to the picket and report.

medwards

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey Fingers, thanks for the heads up on this thead:

I was in Barcelona for the 8th. Some background stuff as I understood it at the time that might be worth talking about:
75% of people struck in Catalonia. Really big demos, but no pickets as far as I saw other than what I did. Labour reform is going to remove a lot of job protection in the public sector, for your squatter buddies you should point out that if they think the labour market is bad right now just wait until half the public sector gets laid off.

Where is everyone? Fingers: Seville? Vall: ?

OK I was at an information picket at one of UAB's (universidad autonoma de barcelona) outlying campuses. The person I was staying with works there as a teacher. We split up into three groups and were able to block most traffic entering. Probably 1/3 to 1/4 of the participants were students in solidarity so no matter who you were you got a good lecture from someone in your line of work. Later in the morning many many more students a couple of whom pitched in, most just hung out. I nearly got run over. We managed to screw up traffic around the university and out to the highway which was the main objective in solidarity with the strike.

Wrapped up around midday to attend the demo in Barcelona proper. Lots of curiousity about whether Renfe struck or not, I think spirits dampening a bit when the consensus was that they had not. I think this was misreported as I saw TV news coverage of what looked like minimum service trains. The demo in Barcelona was way bigger than anything I've ever been to but I live in a hick town in Canada (I'm friends with EdmontonWobbly and Bryan). Went to a squat to try and get in on a protest in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners but arrived late. Checked email and news, initial reports of the demos had the cops claiming 30K, with the news claiming 75-150K. Went to the CGT evening march, ran into a union organizer with a public sector union in Albany, NY.

My assessment is that walking around all day isn't going to do shit to stop austerity, but there's definitely potential once the union bureaucrats get scraped off. There was a general assembly the day before the UAB action with all the unions with the bureaucrats trying to just force through a decision to do nothing and CGT/affiliates arguing for a more significant action and planned actions for the rest of the week. The majority of rank-and-file in the mainstream unions were in favour of these proposals. (I wasn't there, this was reported to me by a CGT sympathizer)

news coverage (I'm eating a cookie at around 9:30)

my blog post about the day
It's a vacation blog so there is a lot of other random thoughts and shit interspersed.

Steven.

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey, thanks for these update everyone. Malone apologies for not replying to your message, but these types of reports are great and very interesting so cheers again.

medwards

Where is everyone? Fingers: Seville? Vall: ?

I'm in Z-a-r-a-g-o-z-a, mate. I haven't updated anyting else cos there isn't much to report. I was in the demo the 8th evening. It was massive as well, not as big as the barna one but big enough for my city (about 700 000 inhabitants)

Big unions are discussing now with the bosses and the government wether they are gonna smuggle the austerity measures while keeping us quiet or are they gonna call to a general strike (Jesus, with all these strikes i'm gonna go bankrupt!)

The situation here to set up an effective resistance is quite difficult maybe some day that i have more time i post my view on the subject.

Malone: didn't know you where from Sevilla. I love it man! I'm planning to travel south this summer.

medwards

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

shiiit I was in Zaragoza the week before the 8th. Beautiful city man.

Yeah, everything seems real quiet now with a wait-and-see approach which is pretty disappointing. I will be cycling to Girona tomorrow so I will not be in the loop anymore, but I hope to hear news (good or bad) from here :P

Joseph Kay

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the economist

the demands of the unions’ core membership will probably make a general strike inevitable. Either way, the left will be in disarray.

Mr Zapatero, his hand forced by the markets, is imposing austerity measures and labour reforms unwillingly. If union leaders do call a general strike, it may be with a similar lack of enthusiasm.

http://www.economist.com/node/16333399?story_id=16333399&fsrc=scn/tw/te/rss/pe

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hello, sorry I didn´t update before, I was in the countryside planting pumpkins.

Thursday was pretty lively, according to the papers there were seven different demos. The shipyard workers marched to the parliment and threw tomatoes, protesting about layoffs and unpaid wages (I think) I have a list of all the different things that happened but not on me, sorry.

I went to the posties´ strike on Thursday, about 800 people there and it struck me just how many unions there are, this was ONE sector in ONE city:
CSI-F (a public sector union), Sindicato Libre (only in the postal service), Comisiones, CGT, and CNT (one guy!) The UGT didn´t join the strike. People told me that there has been a "privatisation by a thousand cuts" in the post office, the garages where they repair the vans are privatised, the service that takes the post from the city to the villages is privatised, etc. There are 5000 less public sector workers in the post office than a few years ago.

I´m going to go home and write something properly tomorrow but I felt the strikes and demos on Thursday had a bit more bite to them than the actual big strike on Tuesday.

Right, off to get this dirt out from under my fingernails.... by the way, thanks for all your encouraging comments, it actually kept me writing. :)

Ed

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good stuff mate, it's always good to hear first hand how the class struggle is going in other countries.. so yeah, keep us posted with the great updates.

fingers malone

I went to the posties´ strike on Thursday, about 800 people there and it struck me just how many unions there are, this was ONE sector in ONE city:

Based on what I've seen I'm convinced Spain has minority unionism where multiple unions can have representation in a given workplace because the workers *choose* who they affiliate too. It leads to all kind of interesting arguments (like the one I cite from the university campus). (I also may have read about it but forgot... anyways)

Can anyone verify this? The UK is closed shop, one union right?

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sometimes in the UK you have more than one union in a workplace for different jobs, eg. in my FE college the teachers were in UCU and the admin staff, librarians etc. were in Unison, and you have to cross each other´s picket lines or risk serious disciplinary action, and they sent you a letter at home telling you that before strikes. At Tower Hamlets a couple of years ago the teachers refused en masse to cross the Unison picket line and I think it was a real step forward.
In local government workplaces you often have people in the T&G and people in the GMB and people in Unison in the same workplace, and from what people tell me it´s usually negative. I also remember the RMT and T&G fighting over who the tube cleaners ´belonged´ to in a not very helpful fashion.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I´m sorry about all the initials, didn´t think.

GMB- General, Municipal and Boilermakers
T&G Transport & General, now part of Unite
Unison- public sector. Are they part of Unite? Don´t remember. Used to be Nalgo & other unions.
UCU University & College Union, ie teachers not in schools. Used to be Natfe and another union.
RMT don´t know what it stands for but it involves trains.

And Tower Hamlets is in East London, it used to be the veg. gardens and settlements around the Tower of London.

slothjabber

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unison and Unite are two different union blocs.

RMT stands for Rail, Maritime and Transport.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

General strike´s on. Heard it on the radio this morning.

bootsy

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Have they announced a date?

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not yet, probably the autumn I imagine.
This will be the fifth one day general strike since 1975, the others were 1985, 1988, 1994 and 2002.
More info as soon as I get it.

fingers malone

Not yet, probably the autumn I imagine.
This will be the fifth one day general strike since 1975, the others were 1985, 1988, 1994 and 2002.
More info as soon as I get it.

More than likely the 29th september cos the european confederation of unions has called for a day of protests all around Europe.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yep, it´s the 29th of September.

Andros

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These are circumstances that are going to be continual in one form or another in the coming period.
The possible occurrence of two General strikes in Europe at the same time is something to take heart from, reinforce, and help develop the first strategic and tactical approaches, which break down the isolation of dealing with the austerity measures by the proletariat country by country and offer a unified response. From their side the world ruling class is working out their game plan at the G 20 in Toronto in the coming week. What we can’t afford to let happen is to allow differences in the relative control from the union- social democratic containment fields in various states become a stumbling block. The business union may be more prevalent in Spain than in Greece, but pales by comparison to those in Germany or Great Britain, however there are workers in all these countries that are looking for solutions outside of what once were the usual frameworks. The global ruling class during this crisis has forced the issue. It’s time for the working class to respond in kind.

Steven.

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cheers again for the update - I have changed the name of this thread to better reflect its content

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nice one, good idea.

Yesterday I saw a picket of the court just walking back from work, I went over and it was the SAT (sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores- they are the SOC field workers union, now trying to be a bigger union not just in the countryside.) They told me that the case is for an occupation that they did, but more than that they said that at the moment they have 300,000 E in pending fines. I asked around a bit and apparently they have been having loads and loads of legal problems and court cases recently.
The only person who was gone to prison recently in Spain for union activities is a guy in Asturias who went down for breaking a street light during a strike, and he went down for a few months. But what the state does in general here is they don´t jail so many people as in England but they give you massive, massive fines, which you have to pay pretty quickly or you do go to prison. So this takes up huge amounts of time and energy paying off the fines. Got to go but I´ve got other things to say, I´ll finish it soon.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi, sorry about that, I was kicked out of the internet cafe....
I wanted to say that it looks like the state is carrying out a strategy involving a repression of workers´ resistance if it doesn´t stay within the boundaries of being strictly legal and ineffective. Although they don´t seem to be actually sending people down they are often pressing charges that do involve a prison sentence and then in the end the person ends up with a massive fine instead. I was interested to see that the metal workers, when their convenio (agreeement for a sector) came up, did a pretty militant action involving blocking the main arterial roads with burning tyres, as far as I know they are in Comisiones and UGT. I was wondering if they got treated differently by the police/courts because they are in mainstream unions instead of radical ones. In fact I don´t even know if they ended up with any kind of charges or not. The shipyard workers who are also in the mainstream unions are blocking roads a lot at the moment.
I saw a new union for the trainspotters guide, CSI Centro Sindical de Izquierda or something similar, from Asturias, and their flag was covered in drawings of workers with catapults and burning tyres and so on, it wasn´t your usual union asthetic to put it mildly.

I was wondering if the direct action stuff that´s going on looks impressive to me just because I´m not used to it, maybe it´s pretty typical and ritualistic here. If anyone has an opinion about the direct action that´s going on, if it´s above or below what is normal, if it´s kind of sabre-rattling or if it´s for real, I´d be really interested to hear what people think.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CSI? That's Corriente Sindical de Izquierdas (left sindicalist current), malone. They are well known in Asturias. They are the main radical union in the shipyards, good and brave people. Most of em founded the union when they left CCOO, feeling upset and deceived by them. I didn't know they have members down south to be honest

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, no they weren´t down south, well I mean they were just down south for the day. They came down to support the people who were on trial.

I wish I had known who they were before, it would have been good to talk to them. I just asked what the initials stood for (and then remembered it wrong.)

fingers malone

Ah, no they weren´t down south, well I mean they were just down south for the day. They came down to support the people who were on trial.

I wish I had known who they were before, it would have been good to talk to them. I just asked what the initials stood for (and then remembered it wrong.)

All these updates are much appreciated!

incontrolado

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Next days 28, 29 and 30 of June. There are subway strike called in Madrid, by wage cuts of 5%.

Also the 29th is called a general strike in Basque Country, by CCOO, ELA, LAB, CGT, CNT and STEKK

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks a lot incontrolado.

¿Hay algien alli en Madrid o Euskadi leyendo la pagina que puede escribir sobre estas huelgas cuando pasan? Puedes mandarle a mi y lo traduzcará si es mas facil. Valeriano tambien habla muy bien inglés, a lo mejor tambien puede.

We need all the posters we can get on this thread I think.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have a friend in guipuzcoa. I'll try to get him to inform me.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cool, I´ll write to some people I know in Bilbao.

incontrolado

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Metro workers demonstration video

http://www.rtve.es/mediateca/videos/20100624/trabajadores-metro-ambulancias-se-concentran-a-puertas-asamblea-madrid/810635.shtml

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here´s the first bit of a text about the strike from incontrolado:

Close to one thousand workers in a general assembly have called a 24 hour strike for the 28th of June, respecting servicios minimos. But this strike will continue on the 29th and 30th and will be total (no trains will move for two days) if the service cuts announced by the local government of Madrid are approved, which include wage reductions throughout the public sector. The total strike will be an "illegal" move but it has been approved on the grounds that it is equally illegal for Madrid city council to suspend a collective agreement with the metro workers and reduce their wages by an average of 5%. ......
The strike is supported by UGT, Comisiones Obreras, Sindicato Libre del Metro, Solidaridad Obrera, Sindicato de Conductores (drivers) and Sindicato de Estaciones.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here´s the first bit of a text about the strike from incontrolado:

Close to one thousand workers in a general assembly have called a 24 hour strike for the 28th of June, respecting servicios minimos. But this strike will continue on the 29th and 30th and will be total (no trains will move for two days) if the service cuts announced by the local government of Madrid are approved, which include wage reductions throughout the public sector. The total strike will be an "illegal" move but it has been approved on the grounds that it is equally illegal for Madrid city council to suspend a collective agreement with the metro workers and reduce their wages by an average of 5%. ......
The strike is supported by UGT, Comisiones Obreras, Sindicato Libre del Metro, Solidaridad Obrera, Sindicato de Conductores (drivers) and Sindicato de Estaciones.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here´s the first bit of a text about the strike from incontrolado:

Close to one thousand workers in a general assembly have called a 24 hour strike for the 28th of June, respecting servicios minimos. But this strike will continue on the 29th and 30th and will be total (no trains will move for two days) if the service cuts announced by the local government of Madrid are approved, which include wage reductions throughout the public sector. The total strike will be an "illegal" move but it has been approved on the grounds that it is equally illegal for Madrid city council to suspend a collective agreement with the metro workers and reduce their wages by an average of 5%. ......
The strike is supported by UGT, Comisiones Obreras, Sindicato Libre del Metro, Solidaridad Obrera, Sindicato de Conductores (drivers) and Sindicato de Estaciones.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Great contribution. I'll post my mate's info too.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Solidaridad Obrera in Madrid

Mobilisation in defence of our agreement

We´re not going to let them steal our wages.

A large general assembly has decided to stand up to this band of shameless ones who want to take 5% of our wages. More than one thousand workers (328 in the morning and 694 in the evening) have voted, almost unanimously, for the strikes on the 28th, 29th and 30th of June. In the debates it has been made clear that we are not going to stay quiet while they attack us. The company and the local and central government have to understand that nothing will be as before if these attacks go ahead.

The Assembly has decided to carry out the strike on the 28th legally, complying with the servicios minimos, but if the Madrid council passes the decree breaking our collective agreement, signed exactly a year ago, we will also break the baraja (not in dictionary!) and the strike will be total, with a sit in in our local from that night on. (tr. I think that´s what it says)
We are not mucking about, or making a show, we are in this together for our collective agreement, for the bread of our families. And this time we will be watching the intermediaries to see if they are with us the workers as they should be, or with those who want to steal from our wages. From now on take note that all the metro workers are angry with this attempted theft and we want to see everybody on the same side of the barricade.
For now, we are going to go en masse in thursday 24th to protest outside the Madrid council in Vallecas where they will "legalise" the theft from our wages. We are going to shout that our wages belong to our families and we will defend them tooth and nail. We will not be alone, our brother unions will be there, but we should not be missing a single metro worker, there are no excuses for not going, and if you can bring your family, all the better. We will be going on strike on the 28th, 29th and 30th of June.
The best thing they can do is withdraw these measures. They don´t know who they are messing with. We go forward, comrades, unions and workers, like a pinecone and all for one.
Solidad Obrera 17th of June

I cut this just a bit.
Incontrolado, esto es buenisimo, si me mandas mas asi traduzco todo que puedo.

Steven.

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks for the translation.

For reference for other readers, the union solidad obrera is a split from one of the anarcho syndicalist unions, either cgt or cnt - cgt i believe.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, split from the CGT in 1990.

fingers malone

Yes, split from the CGT in 1990.

Any idea why?

thegonzokid

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, just found the answer on Wiki...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidaridad_Obrera_(union)

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

100% on strike.

The collective agreement of the metro is well defended.

28th of June, first day of the strike in defence of the collective agreement. The response to the strike has been bigger than ever: TOTAL. Not one scab, from neither the drivers nor in the stations or the offices: one hundred percent of the workers are on strike. Only a few intermediary managers, bosses and co-ordinators...
We also have to congratulate ourselves, for the total support for the strike amongst the auxiliaries and inspectors in Puesto Mando and a very high level in Campo de las Naciones and Cristalia. The only failure has been in Cavanilles where, in spite of everything, the support for the strike has been at the highest ever level.

Today our future is decided, the Madrid council approves the decree which destroys our collective agreement. Our responsibility is to carry out the strike properly, for everybody to be present at the demonstration at seven, so that the Countess of Murillo and the President of the Region see us from their offices. At nine we will meet for a general assembly in Plaza Castilla to decide how we are going to carry out the total strikes of the 29th and 30th if in the end they pass the decree breaking our collective agreement.

The company has been putting out reports saying that the strikes after the first of July are only called by Solidaridad Obrera, when the facts are that Solidaridad has legalised the indefinite strike with the unanimous support of all the unions in the strike commitee. This strike call is in place to be used if it is necessary and if the strike is approved by the assemblies which will take place on the 29th and 30th in Plaza Castilla.

Every day we recieve more support and solidarity from outside the dispute. Unions, collectives, associations of neighbours... have turned out to show their support, and have distributed thousands of leaflets on different metro lines, signed by "users in solidarity with the metro workers" in which they call for the general public to support the metro workers´ strike.

Madrid, 28th of June 2010
Solidaridad Obrera

http://solidaridadobrera.org/

Steven.

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

hi, thanks for translating that. Can I confirm a couple of things:
- when they say the strike was complete, does that mean complete, but excluding the 70% minimum service?
- also when they say it was complete with no scabs, does that only mean that no union members scabbed, or no workers at all?

incontrolado

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yesterday's demonstration Pictures

Steven.

hi, thanks for translating that. Can I confirm a couple of things:
- when they say the strike was complete, does that mean complete, but excluding the 70% minimum service?
- also when they say it was complete with no scabs, does that only mean that no union members scabbed, or no workers at all?

Don't know about the scabs but the completeness of the strike includes the fact that there are no "servicios mínimos", yes. Actually the blonde shite that rules Madrid was mad about it today on the news.

Well done, Madrid comrades. A breath of fresh air at last. I hope it's just the beginning.

incontrolado

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Strike in the Basque Country

incontrolado

Is that a friggin' shotgun? Or a rubber bullet gun?

jesuithitsquad

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And what's up with the uniforms?

Thanks a million for the updates!

jesuithitsquad

And what's up with the uniforms?

Thanks a million for the updates!

It's the Ertzaintza, literally the "people's guard", the (in this case, riot) police force of the basque country.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi, I´m sorry, I got sent loads of info yesterday but I couldn´t log on to libcom so I didn´t see it. I can´t translate it all right now but here´s a summary:

Tuesday´s reports:

The decision was made in the assembly to keep on with the strike after Monday and to make it a total strike ie. no servicios minimos

The workers decided that the only people who will work are the maintenance crews.

Only two trains left stations in the whole morning, support for the strike was very strong.

Pickets went into the stations to stop servicios minimos, only letting in maintenance workers.

In Estadio Olimpico station pickets stopped scabs from entering. In Muevos Ministerios pickets closed the personnel entrance, stopping the service from running.

In Cuatro caminos one scab got to work after the police constantly pushed aside the pickets.

Eventually the local government gave up as the strike was a massive success, and closed the metro stations.

Steven, to clarify: If I have it right, on Monday the strike was on but respecting servicios minimos (and there were extra buses and trains laid on) but Tuesday and today the strike is total with no servicios minimos.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The riot police were trying to open the line that goes from the airport to the centre of Madrid but they couldn´t. There has been a massive media response against the strike. The company say they are sending out "expedientes" against workers who didn´t carry out servicions minimos. They are trying to threaten reserve drivers into working.

There is a train strike on in Barcelona.

This internet cafe is almost impossible to use, when I finish work I will do a better job of this.

And somebody tell me how to translate expedientes.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It´s Catalonia, not just Barcelona.
Apparently they are not carrying out servicios minimos there either.

fingers malone

And somebody tell me how to translate expedientes.

"Le abrieron expediente" = disciplinary action was taken against him

Entdinglichung

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

some videos from Euskadi:

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJal7R6DtPk
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Q5bEUl8kI
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFqHvsf4H0w (CGT)
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfx8i-F-gsw

Steven.

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nice one, Barcelona and Madrid, fuck the law!

grupo_ruptura

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First of all, sorry about my english...

In the assemby of this morning the "Strike Committe" (formed by representants the five unions in Metro) has proposed, ans it has been voted by the assemblie, to go on with the strike this thursday and this friday, obeying the "servicios minimos" both days. The strike will be temporarily called of the weekend and the monday, as the Strike Comitte consider that its impact would be minimal. Some workers wanted to keep with the strike all the weekend as the Gay Pride Parade is going to take place (I think is one of the greatest in the world), but finally the proposal of the comiitte has been approbed by majority vote. The committe has presented its proposal as a way to give a break to the "people of Madrid", and to try to gain the "public opinion". Actually the tuesday was really a chaos, and the media coverage has been huge, with the main newspapers making real time coverage of the strike and the circulatory chaos (even the assembly of this morning has been televised on real time by the spanish CNN!!!)

This monday all the Metro workers are called to an assembly to decide what they are going to do the rest of the week.... There are two conditions:

-Keeping the collective agreement (no wage reductions)
-not disciplinary actions ("expedientes") and no fired, dismissed people

If these conditions are not fullfilled by monday, quite probably the strike will go on indefinitely... (and they will have to decide if they respect or not the minimum services)

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Will see how it goes. All my support for their decission. Servicios mínimos are gonna be the sticking point immediately and in years to come. Let's hope the strike to spread .

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can anyone in the Basque country give us an update on how the strike went there?

And thanks a lot and welcome to our new posters.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More news... 40 or 50 people occupied the headquarters of Formento del Trabajo in Barcelona (I think that´s an association of big employers & businesses) in support of the metro strike in Madrid.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More updates from Madrid.

Today and tomorrow the strike is on but with servicios minimos. At the weekend the strike will be temporarily suspended.

400 workers have been sent disciplinary proceedings for not complying with servicios minimos. On Monday the workers will decide whether to go for indefinite strike and whether or not to comply with servicios minimos, which will be a crucial moment for the strike. The workers had said earlier that they would respond if disciplinary action was taken.

Six trains had to be taken out of action after the mechanism which controls the doors had allegedly been sabotaged.

The newspapers are suggesting that the metro could be militarised which happened before during a strike in 76.

muchas gracias por todos los updates.

incontrolado

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Other video from Euskadi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULxzuayc0i4&feature=player_embedded

blackandred1936

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by incontrolado

incontrolado

Other video from Euskadi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULxzuayc0i4&feature=player_embedded

Jesus Christ... the first half of the video was just the police clubbing the old folks. What a bunch of arseholes!!

By the way, the police look like something out of a bad sci-fi dystopia movie.

Thanks for the updates from fingers and everyone else.

Salud

blackandred1936

incontrolado

Other video from Euskadi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULxzuayc0i4&feature=player_embedded

Jesus Christ... the first half of the video was just the police clubbing the old folks. What a bunch of arseholes!!

No kidding. I don't think there's a bad enough word in the english language to describe those pricks.

Good luck to the striking workers!!!!

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by incontrolado

incontrolado

Other video from Euskadi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULxzuayc0i4&feature=player_embedded

Hijos de puta

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cono...cuales policias fueron esas? Estatales?

jesuithitsquad

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's tough to watch. Be safe.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They are Ertzaintza, you only have those police in the Basque country. In Catalonia they also have an autonomous police force (and maybe Navarra?)

I think the worst bit of the video is when they are arresting one picket and the other cop is walking along beside him casually beating him on the legs when he can´t run away.

fingers malone

They are Ertzaintza, you only have those police in the Basque country.

Yes, they are the ertzaintza but unfortunately they are not the only police force there: the policía nacional and the guardia civil are present there as well.

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, I didn´t mean they were the only police in the Basque country, I meant you don´t have them outside the Basque country!

fort-da game

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

96 posts of news but what of the analysis?

What is the ratio between spectacular gestures of opposition (unions going through the motions) and genuine instances of contestation (in terms of numbers of participants and numbers of events occurring)? To what extent is the former collapsing into the latter? To what extent is the latter being recaptured by the former etc etc?

What is Libcom's line on all this? And when will it publish its statement on 'austerity'?

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Por la primera vez, estoy de acuerdo con Fort, quien pide un poco de analisis. Me gustaria escribir algo por el blog de El Libertario en Venezuela sobre eso...

fingers malone

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, I stuck strictly to news because this isn´t my country and I didn´t want to draw conclusions that could be wrong, for example the first six months I was here I always thought the direct actions, level of mobilisation etc that I saw was brilliant, it took a long time to realise that they can be mostly spectacular, or can be grassroots class struggle (or "genuine instances of contestation" if you prefer) but then be fucked up. Actually that is what I have seen the most: real class struggle, that is subsequently fucked up.

Also I live in Seville, which is the size of Reading and so what I see here may not be representative of the rest of Spain or may not be very relevant. I have thought a lot about what I have seen and participated in since I got here but I thought it was important to be accurate so I stuck to news and things I had participated in myself or could verify by looking up dates, facts etc. I thought it was better to stick to what I was sure about rather than give a misleading analysis that was wrong.

Anyway I am going to plant pumpkins again for the weekend so I can´t write anything till Monday, but I will try to translate any important news about the strike early on Monday.

If you think of specific things you want to know more about, that would help. Anyway don´t you know it´s forty degrees in Seville? You´re lucky I even switch on the fucking computer. It´s like having a toaster on your lap!

malone, the 40 degrees in Sevilla are of the hugest relevance. I think people up norf don't notice enough

fort-da game

96 posts of news but what of the analysis?

What is the ratio between spectacular gestures of opposition (unions going through the motions) and genuine instances of contestation (in terms of numbers of participants and numbers of events occurring)? To what extent is the former collapsing into the latter? To what extent is the latter being recaptured by the former etc etc?

What is Libcom's line on all this? And when will it publish its statement on 'austerity'?

You have analysis in the 1st page of this thread (even if they are not formal articles) that probably you haven't bothered to read .

About the basque country:

From what i have gathered the unitary strikes did count with the nationalist unions (ELA-STV and LAB) and CCOO. UGT was out. Even if CCOO joined the strike that was only to save face cos their reputation is seriously damaged everywhere: they weren't seen in the evening demos. If my info is right, CNT and CGT joined the strike as well. The following of the strikes was bigger in villages than in cities and it was mainly followed in the industry sector than in services. No contradiction in the last sentence: in the basque country there are loads of industries in rural areas. The demos were massive from what in know even if i don't have figures.

"Unions going through the motions" it's not accurate here: CNT or Solidaridad Obrera are not state-funded unions or the like that participate in sindical elections.

What a "genuine instance of contestation" is, it's something that it's you who has to define it. For me refusing to fulfill the minimum services is INDEED a genuine act of contestation.

In general terms nothing massive is happening right now. Partially i tried to explain why in the first page. In case i got the time i'll try to expose it in an article. That's IF i got the time. Seeing that more spaniards are joining they can contact me whenever they want something to be translated. It'd be a pleasure.

A los españoles que entren en el hilo: poneos en contacto conmigo si quereis que algo se traduzca. Os ayudaré en lo que pueda.

jesuithitsquad

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is Libcom's line on all this?

what's yours? you and garco are looking more and more like trolls as each day passes.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hopefully we´ll get the news from the assembly soon to see if the strike continues, here is something from the third of July, from Madrid:

In the general assembly of the 3th of June, the third day of the strike and the second of all-out strike action, the great majority decided to take the foot off the accelerator to give an opportunity for negotiation; but above all to give a break to those workers who rely on the metro.

Two days of ALL OUT strike in the Madrid metro should be enough to show the "responsible" politicians who unleashed this conflict, that the will of the metro workers to defend their collective agreement is firm and strong.

Following the agreements of the assembly, Thursday and Friday we have gone back to providing the abusive servicios minimos which impede the right to strike and make our response unnoticed in the city. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday we will not be on strike. And on Monday we have an important general assembly in Plaza Castilla.

The management of the Metro and their bosses in the local government have had time to present present proposals to have a negotiated solution to the conflict. However it appears that they are not trying, it seems they have misunderstood the decision to call a pause. On Thursday, at the request of the strike commitee, there was the first meeting at which, due to a deliberate confusion on the part of the managers over legitimacy and it was hardly possible to discuss anything. They were also in a hurry to go to lunch and so stopped the meeting after less than one hour without warning. On Friday we met again without moving forward. Since the beginning of the meeting, the management promised to provide documentation referring to the budget for 2010 for labour costs, but this was reduced to a single piece of paper handed in to the union locals at 6pm. In the meeting, the management demanded, as a condition of negotiations, that the strikes from the 5th be called off, and that they were prepared to hold negotiations on Monday night or Tuesday morning. The management are on holiday at the weekend obviously.

If they think the metro workers are defeated they are wrong. Big mistake. We will spell out our conditions clearly and straightforwardly for them to take to the assembly on Monday morning:

1. That the current collective agreement be respected

2. That no disciplinary proceedings are taken against anybody.

It doesn´t look like they will respect either of these conditions. Referring to disciplinary proceedings, our comrades from the postal service are arriving non-stop at the houses of metro workers with carrying burofaxes (tr. telegrams?) (We should look into the amount of money wasted on this, they can deliver them to people at their workplace free.) Hundreds of disciplinary notices have arrived which are being contested by the union locals. The local of Solidaridad Obrera for example is open from 9am to 9pm including the weekends and the number of comrades coming in is impressive. The will to struggle seems even stronger than as seen in the assemblies this week.

We are recieving support from thousands of workers from all over the world, from unions, social and political groups and from individual passengers. In our web pages you can see a small part of these messages.

MORE UNITED THAN EVER, THE WORKERS DECIDE AND WE CARRY OUT WHAT WE DECIDE. EVERYBODY TO THE ASSEMBLY IN PLAZA CASTILLA!

Madrid 3 of July 2010

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well we got the criticism from Fort, what do the rest of you think? If people want more analysis then we need more Spanish posters on the thread. I´m not going to analyse things I don´t have enough grounding in. Two of us can translate so that shouldn´t be a problem. If you want me to go and look for analysis then give me some specifics to work with: what is most interesting for you all out there? Are the news reports easy to follow or should I explain more background who the different unions are etc?

Anyway here is my twopence worth of analysis for today.

Refusing to carry out servicios minimos is definitely a contestive contestable contestation or whatever as the workers are obliged by law to provide servicios minimos and as we have seen 400 people have got disciplinary proceedings open against them so far because of it.

One thing that is noticable to me in general is that so many workplace struggles I have seen or been involved in here use very militant tactics, and big mobilisations, but the objective is to force the management to do something they are obliged to do anyway. There was a huge struggle for months in a town near here (Utrera) because the owner of a factory hadn´t paid the workers for months and they were obliged to keep working, without pay or with small fractions of their wages paid, and the mobilisations were impressive but the point I am making is that people are having to put up a massive fight, with some personal risks involved and a lot of effort, to get nothing more than their wages paid. Similarly the metro workers are striking over a pay cut in contravention of their collective agreement. So bear in mind that these are highly militant struggles, but defensive struggles.

fingers malone

One thing that is noticable to me in general is that so many workplace struggles I have seen or been involved in here use very militant tactics, and big mobilisations, but the objective is to force the management to do something they are obliged to do anyway. There was a huge struggle for months in a town near here (Utrera) because the owner of a factory hadn´t paid the workers for months and they were obliged to keep working, without pay or with small fractions of their wages paid, and the mobilisations were impressive but the point I am making is that people are having to put up a massive fight, with some personal risks involved and a lot of effort, to get nothing more than their wages paid. Similarly the metro workers are striking over a pay cut in contravention of their collective agreement. So bear in mind that these are highly militant struggles, but defensive struggles.

You wanted an analysis, FDG?

This one above is absolutely correct. That's the way things have gone and are going here.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The strike is suspended for a week for negotiations. According to the mainstream media they might be negotiating a pay cut but a lower one.

Rob Ray

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is Libcom's line on all this?

It's a website, not a political party.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Very minor thing to report I suppose but I went to our squat this morning and it has been covered in fascist graffiti- "Los Españoles primero" a Democracia Nacional slogan, and loads of swastikas and so on and they´ve written "Jews" on the door. The main reason this is worrying is that they have tried to burn the place down three times in the past but the worst they managed to do was burn one room.

For clarification I mean "our squat" the social centre not "our squat" my house just in case any of my friends are reading this and think I nearly had my house burned down three times but didn´t tell anyone.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fucking 'ell! keep the updates and let me know if i can help

Rob Ray

What is Libcom's line on all this?

It's a website, not a political party.

He was being clever you see.

Anyway, have the workers voted on whether the strike will go on yet? I read somewhere that they were supposed to meet yesterday to decide. How is the union trying to control the struggle? Any clarifications would be appreciated as the Western press is covering this story only minimally and my knowledge of Spanish is only very basic.

Boris Badenov

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nevermind, I just found out that the strike was voted down.

Madrid metro workers vote against renewal of strike

(AFP) – 1 day ago

MADRID — Metro employees in Madrid decided Monday not to renew a strike that caused chaos in the Spanish capital last week, in order to negotiate with the management, a spokesman for the strike committee said.

He said the employees are to vote again on July 12 on whether to renew the walkout depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

The 7,500 workers are protesting a wage cut of around 5.0 percent by the right-wing regional government, in line with similar measures on public employees' pay adopted last month by Spain's Socialist government.

A four-day metro strike last week caused massive transport disruption throughout the city.

About two million passengers a day normally take the underground rail system.

Trade unions plan a 24-hour general strike on September 29 against public spending cuts and reform of Spain's labour laws.

Vlad336

Nevermind, I just found out that the strike was voted down.

Madrid metro workers vote against renewal of strike

(AFP) – 1 day ago

MADRID — Metro employees in Madrid decided Monday not to renew a strike that caused chaos in the Spanish capital last week, in order to negotiate with the management, a spokesman for the strike committee said.

He said the employees are to vote again on July 12 on whether to renew the walkout depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

The 7,500 workers are protesting a wage cut of around 5.0 percent by the right-wing regional government, in line with similar measures on public employees' pay adopted last month by Spain's Socialist government.

A four-day metro strike last week caused massive transport disruption throughout the city.

About two million passengers a day normally take the underground rail system.

Trade unions plan a 24-hour general strike on September 29 against public spending cuts and reform of Spain's labour laws.

We'll see. Anyway, When the strike didn't spread, what can you expect?

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Incontrolado says that the strikers seem to be in quite low spirits.

Does anybody know what happened about the train strike in Barcelona?

Boris Badenov

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano

We'll see. Anyway, When the strike didn't spread, what can you expect?

I wasn't expecting more tbh; you're definitely right in that an isolated strike, especially one that is bound to draw much more hostility by virtue of the vital nature of the subway system, is bound to peter out.

Vlad336

Valeriano

We'll see. Anyway, When the strike didn't spread, what can you expect?

I wasn't expecting more tbh; you're definitely right in that an isolated strike, especially one that is bound to draw much more hostility by virtue of the vital nature of the subway system, is bound to peter out.

that seems premature - it could go back on if they don't come to an agreement presumably

Steven.

Vlad336

Valeriano

We'll see. Anyway, When the strike didn't spread, what can you expect?

I wasn't expecting more tbh; you're definitely right in that an isolated strike, especially one that is bound to draw much more hostility by virtue of the vital nature of the subway system, is bound to peter out.

that seems premature - it could go back on if they don't come to an agreement presumably

I certainly hope so; they vote again next week I think. But even if the strike is renewed where it goes from there depends on the level of solidarity their struggle receives. The government know this obviously which is why they're trying to use a bit of divide and conquer, claiming, as the mayor of Madrid put it (IIRC), that to go on strike over a 5% cut when thousands of Spanish workers don't have a job to begin with, is outrageous.

fingers malone

Does anybody know what happened about the train strike in Barcelona?

A side question to this...I remember last fall when I was at one of the main train stations in Barcelona I saw some official posters hanging about with the CGT insignia. What's the story behind this, do they have a contract with them...curious?

grupo_ruptura

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CGT has quite people in Renfe (Spanish Trains) and Solidaridad Obrera the same for Metro in Madrid.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, I was in Seville train station once queuing up to buy a ticket, and suddenly they went on strike (it was really good) and just judging by counting flags there were as many people in the CGT as in the two big unions. The CGT are the biggest of the radical unions as far as I know.

Yesterday 250 shipyard workers in Seville blocked roads near the port for three hours with burning tyres protesting because there isn´t "activity" in the shipyard and they haven´t been paid since April. As far as I can make out they haven´t been exactly laid off, but they aren´t building ships and they aren´t being paid.

One thing- I found out about this and other actions in the shipyard from reading the paper, if it wasn´t reported in the news I wouldn´t know, and I even work really near the port. Which leads me to say that these certain groups of workers, the shipyard workers, also the miners of Boledin and some others, seem to be carrying out angry struggles but in isolation. I don´t get the impression that they are connecting very much with other workers. Maybe these workers are used to a certain strength and militancy, due to being important in the local economy and having a strong sense of unity, and are used to relying on that and winning? Because I think it´s worrying if that´s the case, as they are not going to win in isolation.

The shipyards are historically important in Andalucia with a very militant tradition (not just in Andalucia, Asturias as well) but bit by bit they are being closed down as now the ships are built in Korea.

Boris Badenov

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anybody know something about the situation in Portugal btw?

Portuguese railway workers were the spearhead of the day of action called by unions against government spending cuts to reduce the country's debt.

The Portuguese national rail company, CP, said urban transport around the second city of Porto had been worst affected by the strike. A spokeswoman said 80 per cent of trains around the capital Lisbon had been able to run.

Unions said that the general strike would also affect the steel industry and electrical and chemical industries. Demonstrations have been called in several Portuguese cities.

Portugal's socialist government ordered one round of spending cuts in February in a bid to cut the national debt. It presented new measures in May which include higher taxes, lower welfare payments and a hiring freeze in the public sector.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/General+strikes+Greece+Portugal/3250585/story.html#ixzz0t6wPA4vb

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don´t know much but in Spain there is a certain anxiety about being "the next Greece" not in terms of general popular uprising but in terms of going bankrupt, and Portugal is considered to be closer to bankruptcy than Spain.
One of our squatters was in Lisbon doing work experience and he said the wages were way worse than here but that the rents were about the same and that the people were practically slaves. He said he came home because no way was he working for 450E a month.
When I was there there were some protests about pay cuts but I didn´t see much.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For those who read spanish, these are threads on the strike in a-las-barricadas:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=46984&start=60

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=47109&start=30

And the call for a strike 30, 31 of july and 1st august in RENFE, the spanish railway company:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=45749&start=60

In the 2nd link there is a message of solidarity from the workers of the buenos aires underground system. They warn the strikers that probably the government will try to regiment the underground sector considering it a vital service and hence suppressing the rigfht to strike. Here more and more you can hear voices against the figure of "collective agreement".

IMO that's one of the main reasons the state-funded unions are preparing the strike at the end of september: to abolish "collective agreement", appart of being another step to the reintroduction of slavery, will make the unions superfluous and redundant.

Beware brit comrades they are going for all.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Madrid CNT

From SOV (Sindicato for General Trades) CNT Madrid

Today at 12 due to wages not being paid in Viajes Marsans (Marsans Travel) there was a picket outside their headquarters in Portico. It´s not the first time since the conflict started but it´s this time it wasn´t in silence: there were whistles, shouts of "we want to be paid" and once inside the building, "to the third floor!" The third floor is where the management team is. Quickly the third floor filled with workers shouting "we want to be paid" "Farran must come out!" "You´ll pay for this" "Anyone who doesn´t jump up and down is Farran" and people were jumping up and down and hitting the walls.... impressive. We took action united and decisively.

Ivan Losada, current director of Viajes Marsans came out of his office and faced with an improvised assembly asked to meet with a few representatives to give an explanation. The response was a clamour "NO the explanations to everybody" and the management had to give their explanations in front of all the workers. It was clearly transmitted to the management that they have to pay the wages, that they have to present the ERE urgente that they have prepared (tr. an ERE is when a company want to make layoffs, they first have to do an ERE, ok the next line I don´t understand "que tienen que presentar las cartas de permiso renumerado que amenazan con lanzar") the response was that tomorrow there will be a meeting with the comitteeand they will give more explanations.
Finally the thirty workers went up to the sixth floor of the the building and today actions will continue.
Comrades, the tension has risen to the maximum.
We never would have thought that direct action by the workers, without intermediaries, would happen in the travel agency. But at last it has happened! The mobilisations continue, when and where they can. Cheers to everybody and especially to the comrades who went in to confront the director.
Long live the struggle of the workers of Marsans, without paid union beaurocrats and without government subsidies!

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

yesterday there was another reunion between the madrid underground strike comitte and the management:

http://www.solidaridadobrera.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1937:3o-reunion-comite-de-huelga-empresaconsorcio-8710&catid=15:trabajadores-en-general-de-metro&Itemid=261

There was no agreement reached but the unions states that the management got clear that the strikers were not to accept:

a) that the temporary contracts weren't turn into permanent ones
b) the reduction on the invalidity benefits
c) the change of the contribution percentage

Tomorrow morning there is another reunion where the management want to reach a 7.896.899 euros costs reduction. This is an amount that as far as i understand the union accepts: the question seems where to cut. In a reunion on last tuesday the strike comitte only accepted reductions in the upper scale workers wages:

http://www.solidaridadobrera.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1932:reunion-comite-de-huelga-empresaconsorcio-06-07-2010&catid=15:trabajadores-en-general-de-metro&Itemid=261

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ERE is what you correctly explained, malone. cartas de permiso renumerado i think is that you are forced during a period to work part-time and then the state subsidies pay you part of the wages.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Things are nicely heating up anyway :p

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don´t talk to me about heat..... all the little pumpkin plants on the balcony have died today of heat, and I know how they feel. :(

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

P.S thanks for the translation help!

incontrolado

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CNT demo against labor "reforms"

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That looks fantastic- how many people?

fingers malone

That looks fantastic- how many people?

And considering the heat it's fookin massive :lol:

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Somebody do a massive wildcat walkout quick before the jokes about the weather between me and Valeriano take over the thread...

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As well as translating the news I thought I´d try to write some overviews, I´m sorry they are only about Andalucia, because I never go anywhere else...

Tell me if this is useful, if it is I will keep going.

Class struggle in the countryside.
The jornaleros in the south are traditionally one of the most revolutionary groups in Spain but in the sixties literally millions of people left the land, and from Andalucia emigrated to Barcelona or to France or Germany, or to the cities in Andalucia, so they don´t have anything like the strength they used to have. But it is still a sector with a high level of class struggle.

About 10 per cent of the population of Andalucia work in agriculture according to the figures. A lot of people who have other jobs work in agriculture now and then, picking olives or going to northern Europe to pick fruit. Most of the production is large latifundios, there are hardly any little farms. The big landowners are often the same upper class families as before the civil war eg. the Duquesa de Alba who is I think the biggest landowner in Andalucia and is always getting sicophantic coverage in the press. At harvest time people get around 50E a day normally. There is a special unemployment benefit for jornaleros which is about 300 E a month but there is a lot of corruption attached to this benefit, as the employer has to sign to say that a person worked a certain number of days a year as a jornalero, so it gives power to the employers. Typically a lot of jornaleros collected the benefit and then worked off the books in construction in Malaga, but now thousands of people have been laid off in construction. In the last ten years or so large numbers of people have come to work as harvesters from the Magreb, Sub-saharan Africa and eastern Europe. Some of them have special contracts "from the country of origen" which are special contracts which often stipulate that they have to return at the end of the harvest. Others come independantly. There is a certain division of labour according to crops, the olives are still mostly picked by Spanish people but the strawberries are mostly picked by immigrant women. Recently a lot of immigrants were starting to move from fieldwork to construction which pays better but with the crisis they have lost their jobs and are now competing with Spanish building workers who have also gone back to field work because unemployment in the construction sector is so bad.

A lot of immigrant field workers have joined the union SAT which made a big push to organise amongst immigrants. The SAT (Sindicato Andaluz del Trabajadores) which started in the seventies as the SOC (Field Workers Union) is the main union working in the countryside here. They often take direct action eg. occupying bank headquarters, government buildings, blocking roads, blocking the high speed train etc. Because of this they have 400 people up awaiting trial at the moment. I´m not in the SAT but they seem to me a decent fighting union.

Organising for the jornaleros is very difficult as there is a vast pool of people who know how to do this work, and general unemployment is very high (20%.) By observation they seem to be the most militant sector here. But wages are going down at the moment and less people are being taken on this year. A newspaper report said that for one crop (I´m sorry I forgot which one) last year they employed 12 000 people on contracts in the country of origen, and this year only 5000, all North African women. The newspaper said that more Spanish people had been taken on and less immigrants.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I forgot to say, a jornalero is a day labourer in the countryside.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Everything you have written is correct, malone.

On the other hand, according to Europa Press the metro de madrid assembly have decided today to go on with the 24 hours strikes from wednesday up until friday BUT respecting the servicios mínimos. The information is a bit contradictory as the agency states that the management includes tuesday as strike day.

http://noticias.lainformacion.com/espana/los-trabajadores-de-metro-deciden-ir-a-huelga-el-miercoles-y-viernes-respetando-los-servicios-minimos_PqKtYKzVjqbAYckgNVfVI4/

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There´s something on the solidaridad obrera page about the negotiations but it´s too difficult for me to translate.

fingers malone

There´s something on the solidaridad obrera page about the negotiations but it´s too difficult for me to translate.

I've seen it but it's from the precedent meeting not the one that took place today in the morning. I think they haven't updated the page still.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Totally changing the subject just while we wait for news from Madrid.... in other cities how big a deal is the abortion thing? Here the church is obviously spending millions on posters, stickers etc. But the real popular support for their campaign is way lower than it looks, at one point they covered the city with propaganda but most people don´t support them.
To explain the background, the government is changing the law and decriminalising abortion, and making it easier to get. There has been a massive very well funded protest against it. I´m not sure what has happened just recently but all the "right to life" flags have gone back up again.
Well I was interested to notice recently that you only see the right to life flags in central Seville and the middle class neighbourhoods. Where I work you see them all the time but in the whole of the north east of the city where I live you never see a single one. I asked friends and apparently a lot of working class people, who maybe are believers and also not very interested in politics, feel very strongly that the church can just fuck off. The freedom from having the church stick it´s nose in their business is very strongly valued (for obvious historical reasons.)
The biggest controversy was at Easter time when some of the cofradías (these are the associations that look after and carry the big statues of Jesus and Mary in the Easter parades, it´s a very big thing in Seville) said that they would put a white ribbon on the float to protest against the abortion reform. Well a lot of cofradias rejected it and in some the costaleros refused to carry the statues,the best one was where they had to get new costaleros, and they got it wrong and bashed the statue into the door of the church!
So.. I know it´s still illegal in almost the whole of Latin America, what about other Catholic countries? Poland? Is the situation globally getting worse or better?

miles

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This was part of a post I did on the world cup thread in Libcommunity:

In fact, much more interesting than the game is the news that Spanish politicians and leaders are calling for the country to "unite, just like the national team" - i.e. presumably overcome their regionalist divisions in order to 'tackle' the dire state of the economy. (spanish socialist party MP on the BBC - 'yes we have 20% unemployment, it's very hard and deep but we have to unite like this team to beat the crisis'....)

fingers malone, I noticed you responded to it - can you say any more?

Obviously the whole world cup thing must be dominating the news at the moment, but I'm wondering if there have been other comments like the Socialist MP, i.e. pointing towards the beginnings of a 'national unity' campaign by the bourgeoisie..?

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh nooooo, you want me to talk about the national question....
Ok the big thing at the moment I think is the statut of Catalonia, that was approved by a referendum in 2006 and then recently a court ruled against some elements of it. I think the controversial things were that it referred to Catalonia as a nation and also an issue of language. There was a demo in Barcelona a few days ago with apparently more than a million people protesting in favour of the statut.
I´m sure that the politicians are trying to use the world cup victory in that way but I haven´t read a newspaper for days to be honest. I´m looking on the net to see if I can find anything useful to say.
I hate talking about the national question, can´t I just stick to jokes about Paul the octopus?

miles

This was part of a post I did on the world cup thread in Libcommunity:

In fact, much more interesting than the game is the news that Spanish politicians and leaders are calling for the country to "unite, just like the national team" - i.e. presumably overcome their regionalist divisions in order to 'tackle' the dire state of the economy. (spanish socialist party MP on the BBC - 'yes we have 20% unemployment, it's very hard and deep but we have to unite like this team to beat the crisis'....)

fingers malone, I noticed you responded to it - can you say any more?

Obviously the whole world cup thing must be dominating the news at the moment, but I'm wondering if there have been other comments like the Socialist MP, i.e. pointing towards the beginnings of a 'national unity' campaign by the bourgeoisie..?

Bufffffff!!!! That's a very, very complicated issue. Actually both the national and the abortion one. I'll try to answer both malone's and mile's:

Miles

Yes, spain's winning the world cup as someone could expect is being used as a way of sentimental blackmail to play the nationalist card on the crisis, against the class-social fragmentation that they are seeing in the near future. You must remember that on september there is a call for a general strike and quite likely the social situation it's gonna be much worse then. Since sunday the nationalist propaganda it's being suffocating: here all the major papers are wether right wing or far right wing. There was an event that has been fully hushed up: during spain's celebration two of the main players (puyol and xavi) waved a "senyera" (catalunyas flag) on the pitch. This more than likely was a way of the two to show their support to the barcelona demo against the cuts in the estatut (catalunya laws) or at least to remind the spectators that wether spaniard or not they are still catalans. Now some media is trying to tackle an obvious nuisance for the country's unity but still find it difficult to do: in the end the two men are highly responsible to bring the cup home. It was a brilliant move from them that i applaude. That's the thing in short. I'll open a thread on national issue in spain cos is a very difficult subject and one that is penetrated by many lines of social and economical conflicts.

Malone

Abortion in spain was decriminalized not legalized, that is, in certain cases it's not an offence. In others both can go to jail, the physician and the woman. The government wanted to change the law to legalize it up until 14 weeks (now it's only possible in the first 12 weeks) Besides the law would allow a 16 years old girl to abort without the parents permission. There are more things but these two were the main ones that turned the church and the right mad and have fuelled loads of right wing demos. The same happened with the gay marriage law.

Catholic beliefs in Andalucía are pretty raucous but the influence of the church in the south proletariat private life's, i'd say is ridiculous if not unexistent. It's a thing of habits and rituals but actually more pagan and rural than any other thing i'd say. Let me tell you a funny anecdote: in 1936 when the war started anarchists and communists went to one church of sevilla to burn the church itself and the virgin statue. Well, as the statue was burning the arsonits yelled at her "pretty, pretty!!" lol

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for that, nice one.

incontrolado and grupo ruptura come back- we miss you! If I don´t have anything to translate I have to think stuff up myself!

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW miles, don't believe bbc, the economist or financial times about spanish economy: how byased they are is beyond any reasonable point and only try to play the game of the City's sharks to shatter spain's treasury bonus. As the german government they only want to reintroduce slavery here with the gracious cooperation of that cunt aznar. Better use another sources to track our bankruptcy.

miles

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano,

thanks for the information above. I agree with you that starting a new thread on the national situation would be worthwhile (if not an easy task..)

what do you mean about the BBC? Are they any more biased than any other news organisation?

revolut

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, today the workers of the Madrid Underground have gone on a 24-hour strike (but with 'servicios minimos). They'll go to strike next Friday too, and the 19th July will be the next meeting of the workers, according to the SO union.

akai

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi gang!

We had a translation of the news about the demo against austerity measures in Madrid here:

http://cia.bzzz.net/cnt_demonstrates_in_madrid_against_labour_reform_and_government_cutbacks

There are probably a couple of other pieces of news from Spain on the English part of our site related to concrete workplaces.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This was sent to me by a relative and was sent to her by a metro de madrid worker

Para quien aún no sepa que lo pretendido por la Comunidad es ilegal y que el conflicto en Metro no es económico sino una vulneración del Derecho Laboral y Constitucional (artículo 37 de la Constitución):

http://usuariossolidarios.wordpress.com/

http://laverdaddelconflictoenmetro.soy.es/

http://www.cincodias.com/articulo/opinion/conflicto-Metro-Madrid/20100705cdscdiopi_3/cdsopi/

http://es.paperblog.com/madrid-metro-y-los-madrilenos-198532

Para quien dude de la voluntad de los trabajadores por alcanzar un acuerdo:

* 17 Junio: quedan convocados los paros en asamblea para los días 28,29 y 30 (con servicios mínimos el 28)
* 24 Junio: concentración en la Asamblea de Madrid; ante la carga policial varios compañeros salen heridos y magullados (¿medios?)
* 28 Junio: huelga con servicios mínimos; la Comunidad aprueba la ley; manifestación en Sol; Asamblea para confirmar paros sin servicios mínimos; la Comunidad, desde el día 17, no da señales de vida.
* 29 y 30 Junio: Metro sin servicio. Criminalizados, se transmite que el conflicto es económico. Ningún medio indaga sobre el verdadero origen del conflicto.
* 1 y 2 de Julio: huelga con servicios mínimos.
* 3 de Julio hasta 12 de Julio: servicio normal
* Ante la inoperancia de la Comunidad (ya sabemos lo malo que es el calor para la capacidad de raciocinio), se renuevan los paros los días 14 y 16 de Julio (de momento).

¿Cuántas reuniones mantuvo la empresa antes del 28? 0

¿Cuántas desde el 1 de Julio hasta el día 12? 4 (verdadero indicador de su ca-pa-ci-dad de trabajo….)

De lo poco acordado, todo han sido concesiones en el campo de la masa salarial; del resto de conceptos no se habla (por parte de la empresa, claro)

De una empresa que gestiona 1200 millones de euros, recortar 8 millones ¿sólo es posible de los salarios? Es un insulto a la inteligencia y un ejercicio de mala voluntad.

Como ejemplo, información de uno de los capítulos que se niegan a tocar: publicidad.

http://www.publico.es/espana/327352/metro/madrid/dispara/gasto/publicidad

Servicios mínimos abusivos

De forma sistemática se establecen –según gerencias- entre el 50 y el 90% del servicio. Sin palabras. Máxime cuando hay indicaciones donde esos servicios deberían quedar: hora punta de mañana y tarde (6 a 9; 17:30 a 20:30) al 40%; resto de horarios sin servicio. Muy interesante para aquellas personas “confundidas” con lo que son unos servicios mínimos reales.

Aviso para cualquier trabajador no funcionario de España

¿Se puede afirmar que lo pretendido en Metro de Madrid – a saber, vulneración de la legislación vigente respecto a los convenios colectivos- está sirviendo de laboratorio para calibrar la respuesta ante la posible modificación de la legislación laboral respecto a la vigencia de los convenios? SI.

En castellano: conviene saber que en España las relaciones empleado-empleador se rigen por convenios (propios, sectoriales, provinciales) donde se recogen las condiciones (económicas, vacaciones, etc) que afectan a cualquier trabajador (sea una tienda como una gran empresa).

De prosperar la vulneración de la ley POR PARTE DE UNA ADMINISTRACIÓN, ¿quién impedirá a un empresario privado desvincularse y modificar las condiciones de cualquier trabajador? ¿Por qué no ha trascendido el verdadero alcance de lo aquí pretendido?

They rightly claim various things:

- That before the strike without servicios mínimos started the administration had 0 (zero) meetings with the workers while after the strike started and in only 12 days they had 4 meetings with them

- They the administration is willing to talk only about the ammount for every wage not about the fact they are violating the law when they ignore the collective agreement.

- That this tour de force in metro is a laboratory experiment aimed at weighing up if ALL the workers will accept a salary reduction violating the collective agreements (in fact the madrid government is conservative but has received total support from the social-democrats)

- So they warn that all spanish workers are next.

miles

Valeriano,

what do you mean about the BBC? Are they any more biased than any other news organisation?

To be honest i think that most of the brit media is pretty anti-spanish, starting with the tabloids going through the "serious" papers and mags and i reckon that bbc probably follows the same path

baboon

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think that the BBC is the voice of British imperialism and this is all the more so for the nuances and greater depth expressed in its World Service.

Alf

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some relevant articles from the Spanish section of the ICC, all in Spanish I'm afraid:

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2896 - football used as a nationalist opium

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2892 - 'solidarity with the Madrid metro workers strike', with a letter of solidarity from (I guess) passengers

also two articles reflecting on the civil servants' 'day of action', one by the section and another from a new student collective that I haven't heard about before;

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2891

Los compañeros del grupo Colectivo Revolucionario de Estudiantes Espartaquistas que han iniciado su andadura con la publicación El Estudiante Proletario (Sevilla) nos envían la siguiente toma de posición sobre la "huelga de funcionarios del 8 de junio". Compartiendo en lo esencial su visión -más allá de las inevitables cuestiones a ser clarificadas en un ulterior debate- publicamos con entusiasmo su documento que expresa cómo va madurando en minorías proletarias la conciencia de clase y cómo se alzan voces que llaman a una lucha obrera autónoma contra la explotación y los crecientes ataques del capitalismo.

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2894

Also...a debate with another group called Alternativa Proletaria about the forthcoming September general strike
http://es.internationalism.org/node/2893

Seems to be a lot happening in Spain, many debates, new groups appearing, huge discontent...doubt whether the nationalist euphoria about the World Cup will last that long.

Alf

Some relevant articles from the Spanish section of the ICC, all in Spanish I'm afraid:

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2896 - football used as a nationalist opium

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2892 - 'solidarity with the Madrid metro workers strike', with a letter of solidarity from (I guess) passengers

also two articles reflecting on the civil servants' 'day of action', one by the section and another from a new student collective that I haven't heard about before;

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2891

Los compañeros del grupo Colectivo Revolucionario de Estudiantes Espartaquistas que han iniciado su andadura con la publicación El Estudiante Proletario (Sevilla) nos envían la siguiente toma de posición sobre la "huelga de funcionarios del 8 de junio". Compartiendo en lo esencial su visión -más allá de las inevitables cuestiones a ser clarificadas en un ulterior debate- publicamos con entusiasmo su documento que expresa cómo va madurando en minorías proletarias la conciencia de clase y cómo se alzan voces que llaman a una lucha obrera autónoma contra la explotación y los crecientes ataques del capitalismo.

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2894

Also...a debate with another group called Alternativa Proletaria about the forthcoming September general strike
http://es.internationalism.org/node/2893

Seems to be a lot happening in Spain, many debates, new groups appearing, huge discontent...doubt whether the nationalist euphoria about the World Cup will last that long.

Good articles, correct points of view...No, neither i think that the nationalist crap will last long. We'll see if the open assemblies take place in the sort run. I'll do as much as i can.

revolut

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the Spanish media, the Strike Comittee has accepted the agreement proposed by the company. The strike would be stopped and the salaries of the workers will be reduced a 1%. All the unions have accepted the agreement, except Solidaridad Obrera. Anyway, it must be voted and approved by the General Meeting of the workers (I think next monday).

revolut

According to the Spanish media, the Strike Comittee has accepted the agreement proposed by the company. The strike would be stopped and the salaries of the workers will be reduced a 1%. All the unions have accepted the agreement, except Solidaridad Obrera. Anyway, it must be voted and approved by the General Meeting of the workers (I think next monday).

Apparently that's correct. The non-violation of the collective agreement has been always the pivotal point of the fight in SO eyes so neither a reduction of 1% is acceptable. We'll see.

revolut

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It seems that the workers have accepted the agreement and the Strike of the Madrid's Underground has been called off. Anyway, around a 26-30% of the workers voted for the proposal of Solidaridad Obrera union for continuing with the strike and the mobilizations.

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm sorry, this is a dog's breakfast of a translation but it was really difficult and I don't have a dictionary..... sorry.

On Saturday 17th of July the strike committee, the company and the “Consorcio” met and reached a pre-agreement, with the sole opposition of this union section. (ie Solidaridad Obrera) The pre-agreement in question contains breaches of our collective agreement:
It does not respect the “promedio annual” of 200 hours of training as laid out in clause 29 of the convenio: as the teams are understrength, with the reduction of overtime, it is not possible to send employees to training school.
It reduces the number of people in the team by not covering the “bajas vegetativas” which could occur throughout the year. Partial retirement and retirement at 64 will be covered, and all absences of drivers, chief of vestibulo and ticket clerks. All absences in all other categories and cases of voluntary absence, permanent disablility, felleciementos with no posibility of being covered by family as in clausula 34, will not be covered.
With this agreement, theoretically the imposition/negotiation of cuts in personnel costs remains open, as neither side have renounced the possibility of other formulas, although it is possible that, once the strikes have stopped, the company won’t bother to continue negotiating.
In the end our salaries will be reduced by 1% to the delight of the countess.
For this union section it is unacceptable that they have not abandoned the disciplinary proceedings now that the company have taken the conflict as finished demanding the calling off of the strike. Historically once the conflicts have finished the disciplinary proceedings are called off.
The agreement leaves open the judicial path regarding the legality of RDL 8/2010 and L/4/2010.

The workers’ assembly.

The preagreement states that the pact must be ratified by the workers’ assembly and that took place yesterday.
The workers voted 513 in favor of the proposal of the majority of the strike committee to accept the proposal against 238 in favour of our proposal:
No to the preagreement- open judicial proceedings.
Mobilisations starting in September bringing the conflict into the street.

The representatives of the union sections who signed the agreement didn’t have any problem with blatant lying and using tricks such as not allowing the withdrawal of proposals so as to divide the votes against their proposal. They won’t be as clear about the goodness of the agreement.
This union section will continue putting out information from the accounts, will continue denouncing the corrupt policies of the local government and will open judicial proceedings.

Tommy Ascaso

Valeriano Orobón Fernández

BTW miles, don't believe bbc, the economist or financial times about spanish economy: how byased they are is beyond any reasonable point and only try to play the game of the City's sharks to shatter spain's treasury bonus. As the german government they only want to reintroduce slavery here with the gracious cooperation of that cunt aznar. Better use another sources to track our bankruptcy.

That's exactly what the Spanish government have said about the Financial Times.

I very much doubt that the spanish government had said that FT and german government want to reintroduce slavery here but anyway, that both sources i named before work in the interest of the pound and the dollar and against the euro is quite clear. The weakest link in euro are the so-called pigs, bad-mouthing their economies through rating agencies makes possible to weaken the euro as sheltering currency and i have no doubt that is what is being made by FT and TE. That's in the long run, in the short one serves the moves of speculative capital that runs the City.

The german government has another interests: as we can no longer buy german commodities at the level we used to cos there is no more easy credit, now they want to make sure that we, the workers, give back what the spanish banks have borrowed, therefore the austerity measures. Considering that the german banks knew perfectly well the speculative nature of our boom and the corrupt nature of our politicians (the PSOE is a product of Willy Brandt, Callahan and Bruno Kreitsky, the socialist internationl financed, indoctrinated and built it in the 70's, it was a non-existing party before), they knew perfectly well the nuisances attached to the boom but it's quite difficult for the german banks and government to say to the germans: "look, we screw it up. We knew we were lending money to countries (the PIGS) whose institutions ar rotten and run by crooks, we knew what was very likely to happen it's just that, as long as it was working, we were making loads of money", they prefer to blame those "southern lazy bastards" to avoid their own responsability in the german's faces. The nationalist card it's being played everywhere, to me is quite obvious along with the usual argument: "everybody is skint but me".

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the metro de madrid strike:

Finally the strike has failed. While the cuts have been reduced to 1%, that proves that the collective agreement has been violated. The new agreement allows future redundancies, doesn't guarantee vacant posts to be covered and allows disciplinary actions to be taken against the workers.

In the last days the workers were threaten with the militarization of the service, that is, no scabs but soldiers and with the central government support.

In the voting 513 workers voted to stop the strike while 238 were for carrying it on.

CCOO have as usual manouvered to stop the strike and put the strikers that wanted to continue in minority.

http://www.solidaridadobrera.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1946:fin-del-convenio-200912-aviso-8310&catid=15:trabajadores-en-general-de-metro&Itemid=261

fingers malone

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I got sent this to translate last week but I didn't see it, sorry... What they don't say is WHY the workers are angry and setting fire to boats.

From europa press:
The shipyards of Huelva have returned to normal after the altercations of last Thursday. The workers set fire to a boat and various tyres and oilcans, which took four fire crews four hours to put out.
The first fire started outside the cabin of the boat and then several outbreaks were reported in “cubetas o palos” but the most dangerous moment was when several oilcans were set on fire, creating a massive column of smoke which could be seen from all over the city.
The workers will continue with mobilizations next week and will have an assembly every Tuesday in which they will initiate some kind of protest. The president of the works council said that “the situation is unsustainable and there is no light on the horizon for the shipyards of Huelva.”

Anyone know any more? There were some mobilisations in the shipyards in Seville just before I left but they only set fire to some tyres on the main road (lightweights!) The shipyards in Andalucia have been being run down steadily for years, so I assume it is job losses.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Strike of air traffic controllers will affect more than half a million travelers

One thousand eight hundred workers voted yesterday to strike, the busiest month for the airports and the month with the busiest impact on the tourism industry. The air traffic controllers are negotiating their collective agreement with the government. The strike cannot take place before the 14th of August as they are obliged to give ten days warning to Aena, the airport company. 98% of union members of USCA voted in favour of the strike, representing 95% of the workforce. Today they could decide to lengthen the strike action.

This is from El Publico.

Servicios minimos will be at at least 50%, it is impossible to have a meaningful strike without breaking the law it seems to me if servicios minimos are going to be set so high. So far it looks like the workers will follow them.

The comments on the webpage by readers are horrible, attacks on these workers for being overpaid, greedy and selfish and putting their own interests above the "national" interest, even people explicitly saying they want the "Reagan solution".

revolut

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It must be said that the 'Socialist' Government has been used the issue of the air controllers with a demagogic and populist discourse -blame these workers as irresponsable and almost as they were guilty of the economic crisis- while at the same time they're initiating the first step to privatizing some airports and control towers, and defending the use of military personnel for substituting the workers.

thegonzokid

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone going to be in Spain for the general strike??

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I will get back just in time for it. If anyone wants to come over we have a spare room in our squat, I can't promise it will be any good in terms of serious class struggle but probably will be pretty lively and exciting for a visit. Actually, yeah fuck it why don't you all come over for the strike? It will be about one million degrees centigrade but hey. PM me first to make sure that eighty new people haven't moved into my flat in the meantime.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bad news from Madrid.

Serious attack by the management.

The management of the Metro has broken off relations with the unions and is demanding 6,581,330 E in compensation.

I've translated the whole communique but I'm having a computer problem. more soon.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serious attack by the management.

The management of the Metro has broken off relations with the unions and is demanding 6,581,330 E in compensation from the five unions that called the recent strikes, and from the eleven members of the strike committee. The unions are SCMM, CCOO, UGT, Solidaridad Obrera and SLMS. They are also demanding that the strike of the 29th and 30th be considered illegal and abusive.

From Solidaridad Obrera we consider this demand to be the rupture of labour relations in the Metro, and think it is necessary to respond meaningfully to this new aggression from the management. For this reason we are meeting with the other unions with the aim of giving the most united and meaningful response possible.

We reiterate that THIS IS AN ATTACK WITHOUT PRECEDENT. We lament the tibieza of the other unions that see this attack as normal when it is the first time something like this has ever happened and it is trying to finish off organised unionism in the Metro.

The adjudication for this demand with be on the 30th of August. We believe that we need to prepare a mass general assembly for the beginning of September, as we will need to set in motion a new mobilisation. The agreements which don’t definitively close conflicts, as they should, this is what happens: a week later they reopen.

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wow, that's crazy. That is the bosses being plain vengeful. This would appear to vindicate SO in saying that they shouldn't have accepted cuts at all - the bosses seem to have taken that as a sign of weakness and gone on the attack

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vengeful it sure is. The article says this has never happened before, will other companies try this? Yet another fear factor when considering going on strike, it's horrible. Don't know if accepting some cuts has led to this attack- maybe in the current crisis the bosses are in general on the offensive. They seem to be pushing for quite far reaching things, to scrap existing convenios, unusual levels of repression. We don't know what would have happened if the strike had ended differently. I think it was interesting what a large minority didn't vote to accept the agreement, 30%.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Translated some of an interesting article in Soledaridad Obrera.

The most important thing to come out of the Metro strike isn’t the result, the agreement signed by the Strike committee, nor the fact that for the first time they have continued with the disciplinary proceedings after the strike ended. The real importance is what we have sown, the way of carrying out the strike, the general assemblies, the pickets, the participation of the youth, the hope of the veterans, the communication with passengers, the unitary strike committee, the example given to the rest of the working class. When its day comes this seed will give fruit.

We have carried on, like last year in the negotiation of the collective agreement, supporting the whole struggle in the general assembly, true pillar and motor of the struggle, with a unitary strike committee subordinate to the decisions of the assembly, and with all this we have carried out, for the first time in many years, a true strike, a total strike, abandoning those “servicios minimos” which are nothing more than antistrike.

When you strike, the state shows its true face. The criminalisation of the Metro workers has been bestial, disproportionate, only comparable to the lynching they are carrying out with the air traffic controllers.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fucking hell, start with the easy questions eh?

It was part of the general class defeat of the seventies but I can do a bit better than that, I will think a bit and then write something.

Salvoechea

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

70s assemblies failed, because they had to fail as they were a remnant of the 'fordist' era. In mid 70s in Spain started the oil crisis and it hit the country industry quite hard, making the governments (the last one of the dictature and the first ones of the democracy) to begin with a total re-structuration of the industry. In 1978, from a situation of a virtual full employment, there were around 800,000 unemployed.

Although a massive contestation movement begun in that years, it was focused in three sectors: the Basque Country, Madrid and Calalonia. In the first case it was the basque left that monopolized it leading to the modern separatist left (yes, plenty of their cadre came from the autonomous basque movement). In the second case, as well as the rest of Spain, the assemblies were put down by the trade unions, specially CCOO, and the PCE; those organisation had pacted a social peace with the government. The third case was an exception, because the assemblies merged into CNT, which began to be a problem to the State (which led to caso Scala* and to its political suicide into splits).

In those years it was PCE the best prepared party, with the best cadre, hegemonic in the universities, majoritary in unions and so on. However the socialists gained terrain very quicly, absorving the UGT part of the USO (social-chistians) and other smaller unions. In the political side, PSOE attracted after the pacts of Moncloa** a great deal of ex-communists. They were never politically conscious out of a mere anti-francoism. When the democracy arrived, they went into the party they considered to be the most probable to get the power. I was told that up to 30,000 cadres moved into psoe, but I cannot have the quote.

So, after three or four years of democracy the people got tired and the popular movements lost its strengh. The King sponsorized a failed coup d'etat in 1981 and became more popular thanks to the media and all the political parties. And finally one year later PSOE came into power, erasing the rest of the assemblies (by saying they needed to substitute the francoist structure; the whole left was mobilised to get new functionaries).

and let's not forget the heroine 'epidemy' that suffered spanish youth. Well, I think it was a part of the 'desencanto' (deception) with the state of things.

thats my summary :)

-----

** After the Portuguese revolution in 1974, the NATO didn't want a similiar situation in Europe. So they put pressure the first government of the new spain to arrived to a pact with the political parties, specially with PCE. And for its part PCE was threatened with the gosh of a new militar putsch. So, the government, the parties and unions signed a pact that guaranteed the social peace for a 6 year period (no general strikes, for example). Obviously the extreme left didn't signed it .

* the CNT was the biggest organisation that opposed Pactos de la Moncloa. It organised a big demo against it in Barcelona, in 1978. It certainly could have attracted all the people who didn't like the new state of things. however there was an infiltrate into the organisation who impel a group of anarchist to throw a few molotovs into a posh discotheque of the time. Inside the building there were 4 workers trapped as the doors were closed with chaines. Also the building was already burning in other side with a phosphore bomb (from the Army deposits)... After this all the anarchist that could say a word about this frame-up were arrested and a huge case was presented in press and TV accussing the anarchists of being terrorists and so on. The organisation lost a great deal of its credit with this case.

Salvoechea

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One important move in Barcelona of joint forces is this:
http://assembleadebarcelona.wordpress.com/

I see the 29S strike as the beginning of a new situation, as people is quite fed up of everything. The real problem is to cope with the poor image of CCOO and UGT. According to right-wing media they've lost 270,000 members in 2009.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the Moncloa Pacts the parties and unions who signed them agreed to enforce "social peace' and control the popular working class rebellion in exchange for better welfare, better housing etc. The unions and parties did their job and controlled strikes etc. but the bourgeoisie then reneged on this part of the agreement and most of the improvements in living conditions never materialised. So why did the workers let this happen?

As Salvoechea says the crisis of the 70s hit the Spanish economy really badly, a lot of manufacturing upped sticks and went to Brazil or Korea, Brazil was still under military dictatorship at that time and I think Korea was too. Mass unemployment meant that the employers had the advantage. Don't forget the extent of repression, a wave of repression started in 1969 and continued throughout the 70s. More people were killed by the police in the years just after Franco died than before. Striking workers were shot dead on picket lines almost weekly at one point. The working class were between austerity and repression and people were afraid, most people thought there would be some massive outbreak of violence, a new coup d'etat or similar.

Steven.

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks for your comments about the 70s, very informative. I have posted a link to them after the wildcat Spain book here:
http://libcom.org/history/wildcat-spain-encounters-democracy-1976-1978

Also, there is a more detailed article about the Scala provocation here:
http://libcom.org/history/scala-file-case-history-state-provocation-1978

Samotnaf

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks, fingers and Salvoechea for your replies to my "easy" question. And it's good to see that "Wildcat Spain..." text now up in the library here, though I haven't re-read it yet. But (there's always a "but")....

Salvoechea:

70s assemblies failed, because they had to fail as they were a remnant of the 'fordist' era.

No - nothing "has to" fail. In hindsight one can make it seem that everything "had to" happen. But the class struggle is not made in hindsight, and we cannot view history from the point of view of God who has determined that there was no choice about what happened. Beyond the false choices of voluntarism (which tends to ignore or minimise the real external factors that have to be struggled against and overcome, as if it's all solely a question of will), and determinism (which tends to minimise will, to say everything was or is inevitable) it's essential, as much in relation to looking at the past as in struggling against the present, to look at the choices, critiques, decisions and possibilities that were avoided.
"The objectivist speaks of the necessity of the given historical process...The objectivist, in proving the necessity of a given series of facts, always runs the risk of getting into the position of an apologist for those facts...The objectivist speaks of "insurmountable historical tendencies"..." (Korsch, "A Non-Dogmatic Marxism")
As you almost certainly know, capitalists repressed the "'fordist' era" because the industrial proletariat of the "West" were threatening their interests, even to the point of possibly threatening capital itself at times (and certainly capitalist social relations). They "had to" do this, but, iirc from the Wildcat Spain book (haven't read it for a long time) 'our side' didn't contest directly the unions and the leftist parties enough - the assemblies ran their own struggles without explicitly combatting the leftist enemies, which is one of the lessons that could be drawn (and which fingers does, kind of).

State-manipulated terrorism, brutal anti-working class violence, heroin, fear of unemployment, the capacity of various capitalists to move off to other countries more favourable for them, as mentioned by both of you, are still things that they will use in any future wave of class struggle. And, btw, you don't need to be a compulsive conspiracy theorist to see that the "military coup" mentioned by Salvoechea was very clearly allowed to happen as a method of uniting all opposition round the democratic bourgeoisie against its francoist past: this particular manipulation obviously can't be tried again, but they'll be checking out all the other worldwide State-backed manipulations that have succeeded in the past and be ready to apply a version of them to control any future explosion of class struggle.

In addition to these things, acceptance of the aestheticisation of everyday life (for example, in the form of the young working class trying to "make it" in the world of music or art), and the cultural conditioning/education that says that art is good, harmless and healthy and positive, became one of the means of intensifying social control and separation, particularly as it was hardly contested, even in the theory of revolutionaries.

I remember already in 1990, before the Olympics, the corridor of the police station in the Ramblas in Barcelona looked like an art gallery - complete with framed kids' drawings, and nice sand-blasted plastered walls - to make the cops seem innocuous. The destruction of the overtly miserable Barrio Chino and its replacement with the hidden, covert, and more hierarchically controlled "pretty" misery of architecture, with the poor dispersed and/or kicked out, many of the buildings cleaned of their past, turning the city into a tourist attraction, loads of art galleries and antique shops...I imagine this kind of thing went on in lots of other Spanish cities (just as it does outside Spain) with a history of class struggle, as well. Nowadays the Ramblas is full of those horrible human statues, turning individuals into "interesting" objects for the cameras, aestheticised reification, which, however apparently "unimportant" are symptomatic and reinforcing, of a dominating ideology of "creativity" which helps encourage separation amongst the, particularly young, working class...

Will the next wave of class war subvert the art galleries, etc? A translation into French of this text is now very popular amongst many of the anti-capitalist anti-Statist milieu in France. I'd guess it would be relevant to Spain as well.

fingers malone

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just recieved this from Solidaridad Obrera in Madrid

Adjudication takes place without agreement reached.

The metro management demands compensation of six and a half million euros from the five unions and the eleven members of the strike committee.

An hour of adjudication took place, which the director of the metro didn’t attend, sending instead some very expensive lawyers, who never opened their mouths and didn’t offer any kind of conciliation.

The court hearing was attended by the five unions who have proceedings against them (SCMM, CCOO, UGT, Solidaridad Obrera and SLMS) and ten of the eleven members of the strike committee; (don’t understand) si bien por no portar poder notarial se dieron por no comparecientes formalmente as SCMM a CCOO.

TV cameras and the press were in attendance from the start. Most importantly for us there were a large group of workers who came to support the defendants. We want to say thanks for coming to many members of Soli, mainly from the Metro but also from the cleaning section (Urbaser) from the local council of Alcorcon, from the education section and from General Trades. And we’d also like to thank the comrades from the unions SAS health section, AST from Telefonica and from UPS Vallecas (against whom they have now applied the new labour reform with 18 dismissals.)

We also want to say that the pseudounion ultra “Manos limpios” (clean hands) has pressed criminal charges against various members of the strike committee, a bodge job of an application which doesn’t even get the day right when they charge that we didn’t comply with the servicios minimos (don’t understand) y no digamos ya en los apellidos de los demandados.

For Solidaridad Obrera the quantity of money they are trying to sue for is a very serious attack which is trying to finish off organised unionism in the Metro. Remember that the application is also trying to get the strike declared illegal or abusive for the days of 29 and 30th of June. This application has caused the breaking off of labour relations in the Metro since the 20th of August, since when there have not been any union- management meetings.

It is clear that the conflict wasn’t closed as it should have been when it was in our hands to demand it and this has shown our weakness to the management who now try to exploit it.

For this union section it is necessary to call a united general assembly to explain the situation, about this claim for compensation and about the disciplinary proceedings which are ongoing, and together to see what action we will take to defend ourselves.

SOLIDARIDAD OBRERA

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mines occupied and highways blocked in miners' strike in northern Spain.

500 miners are on indefinite strike in Leon and 300 in Asturias due to non-payment of wages. 14 people are occupying a mine in Leon and there have been other occupations. The miners have not been paid for over a month. The private companies are blaming low sales of coal. Workers have blocked the highways between Leon and Gijon and the highway which leads to Galicia, where they have been charged by the riot police. In Teruel, Aragon, the town hall has been occupied.

More news to come.

akai

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I will pass this news on to our miners. There will be a big miners' strike here this month. Surely they will be inspired by this action.

Speaking of strikes, the General Strike is coming. This is an English version of the latest call:
http://cia.bzzz.net/spain_cnt_calls_for_participation_in_the_general_strike_september_29

akai

I will pass this news on to our miners. There will be a big miners' strike here this month. Surely they will be inspired by this action.

Speaking of strikes, the General Strike is coming. This is an English version of the latest call:
http://cia.bzzz.net/spain_cnt_calls_for_participation_in_the_general_strike_september_29

Ya curious, is their any more info on this? Such as which unions/industries are going to participate? Maybe I missed it earlier in the thread.

Also, good luck to those the miners

incontrolado

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Battle between miners and riot police in San Román de Bembibre, Leon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeRbpyTsisY&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5Xtm2WAvNA&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR4VJczX_kc&feature=channel

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Sabot, as far as I know all the unions have joined the call for the general strike. How many people will actually be on strike we will see.

Alf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Salvoechea: earlier on you began your post by writing that "70s assemblies failed, because they had to fail as they were a remnant of the 'fordist' era".

I may have read you wrong, but I don't think you develop this argument in the rest of the post. And do you mean that assemblies are no longer a valid instrument of struggle?

IYou also wrote: "the assemblies were put down by the trade unions, specially CCOO, and the PCE; those organisation had pacted a social peace with the government". I am sure you are right there, and also when you seem to say that the assembly movement lost perspective and exhausted itself. But that also implies that the workers were defeated for two reasons: their own difficulty in knowing how to advance the struggle, and the deliberate obstacle posed by the state forces of order in their ranks - the unions and Stalinist party. The question of 'post Fordism' doesn't seem to enter into it, unless you are simply arguing that the subsequent break-up of industries helped to further fragment the working class.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Workers not being paid their wages is a very common problem in Spain, Legally you can't stop work as you have then left your job voluntarily, and you will be in a very bad position regards redundancy pay and so on. This forced workers to keep working, often for months and months, not knowing if the company is going to go bankrupt or in some cases if their employer is going to do a bunk. These companies are effectively forcing their workforce to give them a massive interest free loan to manage their cashflow problems with. Sometimes the owners know they are going to wind up the business and keep the workforce on to the last possible day, owing them months of wages.
Legally there is redress but it takes a long time.

Regarding the miners, I had a look on the net and Spain gets most of its energy from oil and gas, especially imported from Algeria. So the economy isn't very dependent on coal.

I know the police often go into a highway blockade and break heads, but do the workers run a big risk of getting criminal charges against them for these kinds of actions?

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting developments.
There was a union official on one of the youtube videos talking to the cameras about the motorway blockade. My Spanish is very rusty. Was he supporting the blockade, or keeping neutral or what? Any idea how much of this is initiated by the local unions in the mines? Do you know anything about how the local unions of the miners function? (are they a bit like some of the NUM in the 80s? - ie some of the local officials working alongside the miners, but getting facility time for meetings etc.?). Is this movement having any influence so far on any other movements in Spain? And the 14 miners who are occupying the mine - do you know if they're underground or on the surface barricading the entrance or what?
Always here with the easy questions - but the answers to them are important imo, if we're to get an idea about how such a movement could develop.

incontrolado

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano Orob…

12 years ago

In reply to by Samotnaf

Samotnaf

Interesting developments.
There was a union official on one of the youtube videos talking to the cameras about the motorway blockade. My Spanish is very rusty. Was he supporting the blockade, or keeping neutral or what? Any idea how much of this is initiated by the local unions in the mines? Do you know anything about how the local unions of the miners function? (are they a bit like some of the NUM in the 80s? - ie some of the local officials working alongside the miners, but getting facility time for meetings etc.?). Is this movement having any influence so far on any other movements in Spain? And the 14 miners who are occupying the mine - do you know if they're underground or on the surface barricading the entrance or what?
Always here with the easy questions - but the answers to them are important imo, if we're to get an idea about how such a movement could develop.

I don't know which youtube you are refering to. The action was apparently initiated by the local ccoo branch. The miners haven't received wages for the last two months. They are underground, in the 6th cellar. I don't know if the movement is having any influence so far.

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano Orobó:
I don't know which youtube you are refering to.
Sorry - this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeRbpyTsisY&feature=player_embedded

incontrolado

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

VIDEO OF THIS MORNING

http://www.antena3.com/noticias/economia/mineros-bierzo-cortan-senal-protesta_2010090900066.html

Samotnaf

Valeriano Orobó:
I don't know which youtube you are refering to.
Sorry - this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeRbpyTsisY&feature=player_embedded

Well, actually he and the journalist are justifying the action. While the official condemns the police charge at the same time he is warning that with such measures the conflict will only escalate and that it's better to keep moods cool.

The unions are gonna face a tough time in the future cos the reform threatens its very existence since collective agreement is spain's capital new target. I doubt that showing off and empty threats, the only thing they have done recently, will do in the near future.

The very problem with the reform is that is only aimed for capital's profitability in order to pay the debt. That means that not only unemployment is gonna skyrocket and consum sinking with it, the problem is that the dole is being brutally reduced. The reform too aims to easy the redundancies of 50-60 year old workers, the ones that use to have a better contract and bigger compensations in case of lay offs. If those people find themselves on the dole they are simply not gonna find a job. For many young people is the money that their better paid dads can lend them, what keeps them slightly above of the poverty line. If there is not such money anymore we'll have half the country sinking in utter poverty. Unless we do something about it we are heading to a third world like society.

revol68

Your point about heading to a third world country is interesting because watching those videos in Leon reminded me of scenes from Bolivia, when I was travelling through Leon about five years ago I didn't couldn't imagine such scenes being played out, which just shows how quickly things move.

Well actually it's not the first time that that happens in Leon or many other places in Spain. I've seen this happening in andalucía, basque country, asturias, galicia and many other places. I was refering to the fact that the distribution of wealth in spain in a few years is gonna be, taking your example, the one in bolivia.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When the shipyards were closed in Gijon and other areas in the north there were massive riots, Cadiz was similar.

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano Orobó - thanks for the translation.

Alf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We finally got round to an English version of the article on the metro workers strike mentioned earlier on. Also, the letter of solidarity was not by passengers but by a group of Madrid postal workers:

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/337/solidarity-madrid-metro-workers

We also published a text by a student collective on the strike: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2010/09/lessons-madrid-metro-struggle

The campaign against the metro workers was very intensive given that it was a very militant and indefinite strike, but similar arguments will be used against the tube workers here

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fingers malone:

When the shipyards were closed in Gijon and other areas in the north there were massive riots, Cadiz was similar.

Haven't read the whole of this thread, so not sure if you're referring to something mentioned here - but weren't these riots ages ago (ie last century)? - or when?

Samotnaf

fingers malone:

When the shipyards were closed in Gijon and other areas in the north there were massive riots, Cadiz was similar.

Haven't read the whole of this thread, so not sure if you're referring to something mentioned here - but weren't these riots ages ago (ie last century)? - or when?

Not quite, mate.

2009:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/economia/Enfrentamientos/Policia/prejubilados/Naval/Gijon/elpepueco/20090518elpepueco_4/Tes

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Obviously missed that.

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I confused the Gijon riot with things that happened in 1987 in Spain - see this, from "Modern Times":

Dockerworkers and students strikes in January. High school students in almost daily clashes with the cops in Madrid. Students in Mallorca block railway lines after 4-day boycott of classes in demand for free access to university. As in France, conflicts sometimes involve clashes between moderate students and combative youths. In March, railway and construction workers begin stoppages.
11/3: Steelworkers in Reinosa, N.Spain, faced with widespread redundancies, kidnap the outgoing chairman of the plant and hold him hostage. On the following day during fights with the cops involving most of the town, the Civil Guard are surrounded, stripped naked, beaten up and marched out of the town.
27/3: 370,000 transport and health workers join the students on strike.
1/4: Hotel, airline and shipworkers go on strike followed the next day by Madrid Metro workers.
8/4: Medical students, council workers and teachers block traffic during demonstrations in Madrid. In Leon 6,000 miners go on strike.
15/4: 24 hour strike by air, sea and rail workers over a pay claim.
A mass demonstration in Seville organised by the workers of the Sevilla, Puerta Real and Huelva shipyards protesting against the introduction of new technology is brutally put down by the cops.
20/4. Rioting in Guernica.
During April and May there are a series of clashes between dockworkers and cops in the Cadiz region- dockworkers there are facing big redundancies. Also there’s more rioting in Reinosa in May when a steelworker dies of injuries inflicted by the cops in April.
3/7: About 120 prisoners mutiny and seize 16 prison workers as hostages. The mutiny starts in Badaoz jail after 2 prisoners armed with pistols demand an escape van.

23 years later, and what's happening now has not developed further than 23 years ago. If nothing else, this shows that we (I include especially myself) should be wary of being over-hopeful that every sign of opposition means that we're on the brink of a turnaround in the class war.

MT

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just two links regarding Cadiz (2004):
http://www.red-star-research.org.uk/rpm/huelga%20reports01.html
http://www.red-star-research.org.uk/rpm/huelga%20reports02.html

Samotnaf

I confused the Gijon riot with things that happened in 1987 in Spain - see this, from "Modern Times":

Dockerworkers and students strikes in January. High school students in almost daily clashes with the cops in Madrid. Students in Mallorca block railway lines after 4-day boycott of classes in demand for free access to university. As in France, conflicts sometimes involve clashes between moderate students and combative youths. In March, railway and construction workers begin stoppages.
11/3: Steelworkers in Reinosa, N.Spain, faced with widespread redundancies, kidnap the outgoing chairman of the plant and hold him hostage. On the following day during fights with the cops involving most of the town, the Civil Guard are surrounded, stripped naked, beaten up and marched out of the town.
27/3: 370,000 transport and health workers join the students on strike.
1/4: Hotel, airline and shipworkers go on strike followed the next day by Madrid Metro workers.
8/4: Medical students, council workers and teachers block traffic during demonstrations in Madrid. In Leon 6,000 miners go on strike.
15/4: 24 hour strike by air, sea and rail workers over a pay claim.
A mass demonstration in Seville organised by the workers of the Sevilla, Puerta Real and Huelva shipyards protesting against the introduction of new technology is brutally put down by the cops.
20/4. Rioting in Guernica.
During April and May there are a series of clashes between dockworkers and cops in the Cadiz region- dockworkers there are facing big redundancies. Also there’s more rioting in Reinosa in May when a steelworker dies of injuries inflicted by the cops in April.
3/7: About 120 prisoners mutiny and seize 16 prison workers as hostages. The mutiny starts in Badaoz jail after 2 prisoners armed with pistols demand an escape van.

23 years later, and what's happening now has not developed further than 23 years ago. If nothing else, this shows that we (I include especially myself) should be wary of being over-hopeful that every sign of opposition means that we're on the brink of a turnaround in the class war.

I was in those student riots (betraying my age here, i was still in highschool tho lol) Nothing much relevant happened in my town back then tho, except that a savings bank in the campus was held up.

Of course the last fight is not round the corner but it's about time of striking back. Here people tho is scared as fuck.

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Everywhere people are scared as fuck - but things can only get worse - submission to fear is worse than confronting its material basis: I know, it's easier said than done, but better to die on our feet than die on our knees - and that, basically, is the only choice (sure the nuance is in the "basically": but let's face it, life without risk is no life at all).

Valeriano Orob…

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You don't have to tell me, i'm with you.

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.antena3.com/videos-online/noticias/economia/huelga-general/antidisturbios-ensanan-universitarios-sevilla_2010092900052.html

Sorry I´m not writing but I´ve been up since 4:30!
Tommorow, ok?

Alf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leaflet produced for today's general strike, signed by the ICC along with a student collective and a healthworkers' group (Colectivo Revolucionario Espartaquista Estudiantil: [email protected] and Red de Solidaridad de los trabajadores de AFEMA-Alicante: [email protected])


¡Trabajadores! Ante la pantomima del 29-S, ¡organicemos las luchas por nosotros mismos!

Which I guess means - 'Faced with the pantomime of 29 September, we need to organise the struggle ourselves'

http://es.internationalism.org/node/2960

Boris Badenov

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I saw some footage of workers confronting police in Madrid today on the news; there was a CNT banner visible in the crowd.

fingers malone

http://www.antena3.com/videos-online/noticias/economia/huelga-general/antidisturbios-ensanan-universitarios-sevilla_2010092900052.html

Sorry I´m not writing but I´ve been up since 4:30!
Tommorow, ok?

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

sabot

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]KoTBf9MrQHU[/youtube]

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok here we go...

My day started distressingly early at 4:30 but some pickets started at midnight, to block deliveries that come in at night like to the big wholesale markets. Carrefour supermarket at San Pablo- about 90 pickets. Only 30% of staff went in. Lot of cars turned up, saw number of pickets and turned away. Security guards pushing and shoving pickets to stop them talking to people crossing picket line.
Motorways blocked, at important access points to the city: highway to Malaga, highway to Huelva, some others. Industrial poligonos on the edge of the city: strike is very strong, pickets block access roads to poligonos so plants have to close.
In my building, two people went to work, but at the moment in my building only two people have jobs, so that´s a 100% scab rate. One person went because the management coerced her, and she is a single mum hotel cleaner, so everybody understands, the other guy went in because he is a tosser.
Went to university, lot of bars are open for breakfast, lot more than last general strike (2002). Buses running. At Uni more than a hundred pickets, SAT, UGT, Comisiones, students and assorted nogoodniks. Got into grounds, people pulled up fences, used the fences to block the gates by chaining them over the gates. All gates blocked except one, but riot police turned up in force kept this gate open (by hitting people). Some professors and students going in, pickets give full and frank expression of feelings about this. Police start escorting some teachers in to the building one by one. TV cameras run around filming it. Police start pushing people around. We make a sitdown cordon elbow to elbow with pickets standing right behind us. This works, quite difficult to get through. So police charge, beat pickets with batons, I´m sitting down, police jump over me batons whistle over my head, I get up, two police are beating one guy on the floor. Other people try to help, get beaten with batons. I´m afraid of batons, don´t get too close, later feel bad. Guy dragged out by hair and arrested. Police have no numbers, have taken them off in advance. Scabs start leaving university as no classes are on.
From university go in a march down calle Sierpes, main posh shopping street. "Encourage" shops to close, they close. Pass a multinational chain where I worked aged 17. Grab microphone, gabble encoherently about teenage exploitation, compulsory overtime and three pounds an hour as shop pulls down grills, nice moment. Then close down posh clothes shop, people shouting "the size 38 squeezes my fanny"!! (size 38 is maybe size 8 in England.) Go to Corte Ingles, few hundred people picketing, riot police keeping people away from doors. People try to go to a bar which has an ongoing labour despute, to have a big breakfast & then dine´n´dash, but owner takes one look at them & says "Pay in advance!" so no go. Lots of little demos roaming around or people picketing shops. Then on to big demo, big demo is big, fucking really big. Huge. Massive. Plaza Nueva full, spilling over into square next to it, road full all past Cathedral, full up to Archivo de Indias. Huge. Strike must be pretty successful as all these people obviously not at work. See contingent of baffled Japanese tourists trying to go through demo next to cathedral just as it starts moving, very funny.
End of demo, food & beer in park, then go to court to wait for arrested picket. About 200, mostly anarchists but a lot of strikers have come from all different unions, talk to some bus drivers, has a bus driver been arrested today on a picket line? No we´re here because some kid was arrested at the university today. Oh, thanks for coming that´s really nice, and they tell me all about their new precarious contracts. And say they went to London and they like the buses there a lot. I agree, that yes the London buses have no equals.
Go to bus station to use toilet, one ticket window open, "servicios minimos" about two forlorn travellers and a line of very stationary buses. So long distance transport strike is very good. Sit outside court for FIVE HOURS everybody totally exhausted, but chanting, banging on road sign with stones, clapping, making as much noise as possible. Dwindles mostly to friends and some pickets from the SAT who stick it out to the bitter end. Group of gypsy women waiting the same time for their relatives, one man is released, tells us he has seen our friend, talked to him, he hasn´t been beaten up, we say thanks, eventually second guy comes out, same, says they won´t give him food or water and they are treating him badly but he´s ok, then gypsy family applaud us and go home, shake fists in air and we applaud them, nice moment. Guy is finally released, we all stagger home.

Jason Cortez

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nice one for reporting this stuff. Hope your neighbour has recovered from the ordeal.

Valeriano Orob…

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nice summary. I'll make mine when i have the time. Not that much to tell tho.

Salvoechea

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll make a short summary about Barcelona.

By the way, the biggest anarchist demos I've seen in my live: CNT-AIT attracted 2000 people, and the CGT block was of 8000-10000, amazing. And also riots all around the town center. This has been the day squatters discovered class struggle. :) I'm very satisfied about all day. In fact all the organisations in the left of CCOO and UGT have ended quite reinforced.

There were autonomous pickets (= anarchists + squatters + punks + catalan left independentists + communists + trots + individuals) all around barcelona. Mine one was based in Sants and attracted more than 200 people (500 when we arrived to Plaça Catalunya). It was a real demo, instead of a picket. We were closing all shops we found open. We suffered 3 arrested people.

In whole there are 43 people arrested.

In all Spain, CNT and CGT numbers are amazing (biggest in 20 years):

Madrid: 4000 with CNT / 7000 with CGT in a 15000 demo (it was called by a numer of organisations)
Zaragoza: 500 with CNT

etc:
you can read it here:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/?q=node/15213

akai

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is a good summary of CNT demos on the KRAS page:
www.aitrus.info

incontrolado

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Barcelona:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J-qRZQZ4ys&feature=player_embedded

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I got this information mostly from the Diario de Sevilla.

The city buses, airport, high speed trains, local trains tram & metro were all running servicios minimos. Schools, hospitals & courts were also running. Most people working for the council and city government went to work. Most shops opened, although a lot of shops closed in the barrios.

Like the rest of Spain things went much better in the factories, in the industrial poligonos hardly any factories were running, Renault factory didn´t produce one single part, the Mercasevilla (where the fresh food supplies come in at night) was successfully blocked by huge pickets of more than a thousand people and the lorries were turned away and there were a lot of blockades early in the morning, the SE- 30 was blocked in a couple of places and three highways were blocked with burning barricades. Two pickets got arrested for blockading the A-92. The long distance buses were hardly running at all due to pickets, the paper says the strike was most effective in Plaza de Armas, but I went in the other bus station and it was dead as a dodo too. The University of Seville was 80% on strike. (hah!) A lot of shops opened, closed when people came to picket them, then opened again when the pickets had gone. 90% of taxis didn´t run.

Looks like in the whole country the most successful strikes were in industry especially the car factories which were almost 100% closed, http://www.antena3.com/videos-online/noticias/economia/huelga-general/tension-fabricas-automoviles_2010092900097.html construction I think was fairly good, transport varies a lot from city to city, public sector was shit, most people went to work, bars and shops were nearly all open and so were banks. The proportion of people on strike was highest in the Basque country and Asturias, Barcelona had the best rioting by far. More than 50 arrests across the whole country.

http://www.antena3.com/videos-online/noticias/economia/huelga-general/incidentes-huelga-general_2010092900157.html

I suppose you couldn´t say it was a success, but at least it didn´t feel like a washout.

Val & Jason, thanks, the guy who was arrested is ok, but they are throwing the book at him :(
and another guy was arrested for ´coercion´ ie for intimidation on the picket line.

There is a rumour going round that someone was hit by a scab lorry in Madrid or Barcelona and is in a coma, does anyone know anything about this?

Salvoechea

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I read about 2 pickets hit by lorries.

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

An explanation about this (someone wrote in Alasbarricadas):

Sobre los disturbios en Barcelona:

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

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

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

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

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

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

===

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

sabot

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

That´s great about joint CNT-CGT demos.

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by Caiman del Barrio

Caiman del Barrio

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

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

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

Caiman del Barrio

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

akai

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

thegonzokid

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

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

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai said:

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

To which fingers malone replied:

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

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

Samotnaf

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

which french cnt?

Dannny

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fingers malone

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Samotnaf

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgrafitti:

Samotnaf wrote:

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

which french cnt?

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

Joseph Kay

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

radicalgraffiti

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

i find all these organisation with the same initals confusing

Joseph Kay

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

fingers malone

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

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

And?

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Being in UCU wasn´t like that.

Still want some opinions re. my question above.

Samotnaf

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fingers malone wrote:

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

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

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

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

fingers malone

a fucking virgin

oxymoron

georgestapleton

fingers malone

a fucking virgin

oxymoron

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

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

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

fingers malone

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salvoechea

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salvoechea

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

About the riots in Barcelona (29-S)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fantastic reports, gracias compas. Something I´d like to know- what´s happening with the people who got arrested? I´ve heard there were more than a hundred arrests in total. In my city- the guy arrested in the university is up for atentao al autoridad, the two pickets arrested for blocking the motorway I don´t know. If there is anything we can do, some concerts to pay fines for example, please let me know.

Martin O Neill

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Regarding the significance of the strike, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (Affiliates in UK, GMB, TGWU etc, affiliates in Spain, UGT, CC.OO etc) are claiming

"A general strike by 70% of all workers occurred across Spain"

Samotnaf

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fantastic reports

I'd echo that, Salvoechea.

It's interesting that as things start to move that the separations between the different groups (eg in your description of the divisions between the different squatters and the reversal of these divisions) begins to break down. That started happening a lot in Greece in 2008, and I think it's a very important factor in the development of a revolutionary movement (in Greece, this fluidity began to congeal as the more general movement itself began to retreat).

Daniel Denevert, a French situ, said in 1977 something which, although can be used ideologically to encourage a mad kind of individualism, can also be used practically to connect to people against both 'radical' collectivism and 'radical' individualism: "Everything is said about the spectacle except what it always and fundamentally is: the colonisation of the point of view of the individual by the point of view of the collectivity". I don't want to derail this thread by going into an abstract critique of organisations, but I was wondering if you, or people you know in Spain, have started to open out more to other individuals in groups other than your own and started to develop projects not specifically related to your organisations? Obviously I'm not asking for details about such projects, but simply - is this happening?

Samotnaf

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Forgot to mention this:

Regarding the significance of the strike, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (Affiliates in UK, GMB, TGWU etc, affiliates in Spain, UGT, CC.OO etc) are claiming

"A general strike by 70% of all workers occurred across Spain"

This stupid exaggeration is typical of the unions, wanting to boost the image of their power. It's the kind of thing that will very easily lead to demoralisation by those who follow them, and believe in this image. Expect a lot of exaggerated claims in the future - in Spain, in France (an unlimited general strike has just last night been announced by most of the unions starting next Tuesday, 12th October: see http://libcom.org/news/developing-struggles-france-28092010).

Valeriano Orobón Fernández

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

I agree, everyone I asked here said the same thing: compared to the last one it´s "flojito" (weak) but it´s a lot better than I expected.

Valeriano Orobón Fernández

The transport sector was as paralized as the industrial one. This is imo very important because a) transport has been gaining more and more weight in spain's labour market in the last years, there are already many people employed there and b) most of these workers are what we called "fake self-employed", that is that the company doesn't pay them social security but however they use em as if they were wage-earners. This is a group usually very divided, with no collective agreement and unprotected and the strike was massive among them.

This is very interesting, you´re talking about lorry drivers I guess? That ´fake self employed´ sector is an important one and a tricky one. Lorry drivers had a big part in breaking some big strikes when I was a kid, ´News International´ a newspaper printworkers´ strike was one.
In my city the picket of Mercasevilla, that big wholesale market you mention, was one of the really big and successful ones, and started at midnight so it was a good start to the day!

Do you know why the public sector turnout was very low? I was pretty surprised about that.

Martin O Neill

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What do people think should be the next step in the struggles against austerity in Britain, France and Spain?

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good question there Martin, but I´m going to make some tea first....

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The kettle is in the flat upstairs :cry:

Ok first of all in Spain there are a huge number of people on precarious contracts, the average for most new contacts is eighty days. My neighbour who is a hotel cleaner has been working in the same hotel chain for years on precarious contracts, and her and the other precarious cleaners went to work and crossed a picket line, and she said it was because she doesn´t have the permanent contract. She also said the general strike is only to protect the rights of permanent workers (which isn´t really true, but she wants to justify herself). So we need methods of organising which are meaningful to precarious workers. Some of the radical unions have done some work on this, there have been some strikes in call centres and so on.

I also think we need to break out of our small circles and work together more.

The groups of militant workers who you see in the videos, the astilleros, the miners etc, they carry out their militant struggles, block highways and so on, but it´s very isolated. And a lot of people (wrongly) see them as well paid and only looking out for themselves. So we need to connect struggles. On this note I think what happened in Barcelona was excellent.

People here blame themselves less than in the UK for being poor, they don´t have that ´anyone can make it if they try´ bullshit so much, but the trouble is they are very resigned. It´s shit, we get treated like shit, it´s always the poor that pay, that´s the way it is and it´ll always be that way, there´s nothing we can do.

I´m going to come back to this when I´ve thought of something a bit more meaningful to say.

By the way, we just had a huge-flying-insect-in-flat episode and I chased it out with a broom and it was a LOCUST. wtf? Are there locusts in Spain? Do locusts fly around on their own? I thought they lived in swarms. Is this the beginning of some kind of apocalypse?

fingers malone

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way, can the posters from Madrid tell us about how the day went there?

Samotnaf

11 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What do people think should be the next step in the struggles against austerity in Britain, France and Spain?

Firstly ( and you might not have meant to imply this at all but...) it shouldn't just be a question of a struggle against austerity, even if that could well be a catalyst for a more general struggle. On the simple level of argument, from the point of view of capitalist economics austerity makes reasonable sense; from the point of view that says capital is prepared to destroy everything except itself, except the reign of the economy, the attacks are just one aspect of the misery we must oppose. And unless you're a Leninist politician that believes you have to hide the whole of the truth as you see it in order to win people over, then the struggle against austerity has to be placed within the general anti-capitalist perspective. Austerity, so far, is not the reason why, for example, schoolkids are struggling against the things that concern them.

I think the fact that the Barcelona squatters overcame their differences is an example of something of what "the next step" should be. In fact, I'd be interested, and hopefully others would be as well, to know some important aspects of what the process was in overcoming these separations, Salvoechea. I doubt it could have happened without some discussion about what was superficial and what was significant about their differences, or did it?

With the intensification of the workers' struggle, the might of the enemy also increases and besets the workers with renewed doubts and fears as to which road is best. And every doubt brings on splits, contradictions, and fractional battles within the labor movement. It is futile to bewail these conflicts and splits as harmful in dividing and weakening the working class. The working class is not weak because it is split up—it is split up because it is weak. Because the enemy is powerful and the old methods of warfare prove unavailing, the working class must seek new methods. Its task will not become clear as the result of enlightenment from above; it must discover its tasks through hard work, through thought and conflict of opinions. It must find its own way; therefore, the internal struggle. It must relinquish old ideas and illusions and adopt new ones, and because this is difficult, therefore the magnitude and severity of the splits.

-Pannekoek 1936

1936 is a very significant year - if "the next step" is not the goosestep, or its 2010 equivalent - "the silence of the slippers", then the"next step" has to be experiment based on correcting past mistakes and making new ones - all the old certainties, comforting familiarities and dogmas (e.g., the fetishism of political organisation) have to be subjected to thorough critique if we sincerely want to contribute to a revolution.

fingers talks of connecting to precarious workers on crap contracts - sure, but do it; during the miners strike, people talked endlessly about making such connections, but in practice the connections were few and far between.

Got to rush now - i'm going out. I know I've been rather over-general here (not that being specific is the best thing to be on the internet) and perhaps not very clear, but I'm in a hurry so for the moment I'll have to leave it at that.

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I´ve read that two people are being held on remand after the strike- anyone know any more about them?

fingers malone

Valeriano Orobón Fernández

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

I agree, everyone I asked here said the same thing: compared to the last one it´s "flojito" (weak) but it´s a lot better than I expected.

Valeriano Orobón Fernández

The transport sector was as paralized as the industrial one. This is imo very important because a) transport has been gaining more and more weight in spain's labour market in the last years, there are already many people employed there and b) most of these workers are what we called "fake self-employed", that is that the company doesn't pay them social security but however they use em as if they were wage-earners. This is a group usually very divided, with no collective agreement and unprotected and the strike was massive among them.

This is very interesting, you´re talking about lorry drivers I guess? That ´fake self employed´ sector is an important one and a tricky one. Lorry drivers had a big part in breaking some big strikes when I was a kid, ´News International´ a newspaper printworkers´ strike was one.
In my city the picket of Mercasevilla, that big wholesale market you mention, was one of the really big and successful ones, and started at midnight so it was a good start to the day!

Do you know why the public sector turnout was very low? I was pretty surprised about that.

Sorry for the delay.

Two factors are crucial imo.

In spain public sector white collar workers are feeling less and less concerned about the private sector workers' problems. Many see themselves not only as part of the state but even as part of the government too and use to support government's point of view.

The one's that are not like that are a minnority right now. The public sector parts that used to be much more combative have been already privaticized: shipbuilding, railroad, the mail in the near future, steel industries, etc.

Besides june's public sector strike was ridiculously bad planned by the unions and the people that struck back then was less than willing to do it now.

Funnily enough recently news broke that said that the constitutional court have warned the govt. that probably the public sector reform that included the breaking of the approved collective agreement is more than likely inconstitutional.

http://www.lne.es/asturias/2010/10/09/funcionarios-confian-constitucional-anule-recorte-sueldos/978235.html

Samotnaf

fingers talks of connecting to precarious workers on crap contracts - sure, but do it; during the miners strike, people talked endlessly about making such connections, but in practice the connections were few and far between.

That's easy to say and incredibly complicated to do in practice at least from my experience as precarious. Partners were always reluctant cos they saw that job as temporary and didn't want to run into trouble not having anything better. In case you could shape some kind of solidarity and union in the workplace, your partners always finished their contracts before being able to do anything. In the worst of the cases quite often you ended up fighting the management alone and being the only dick that was fired.

That was end of the 90's and beginning of the 20's, don't know if the sensation is the same today but i don't see that changing for the most part unless the the idea that this-is-not-temporary-and-all-your-life-is-gonna-be-like-that spreads.

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Translated from La Haine

-Today the Mossos d´Esquadra (autonomous Catalan police) arrested Josep Garganté, president of Comité de Descanso de Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB) for acts committed during the general strike.
The charges are riot and public order. The CGT member also had charges laid against him by TV3 for allegedly breaking a video camera. -

Anyone know more in general about arrests, repression, etc after the strike? I think it´s important as I feel that the level of repression was going up before the general strike as well, and everyone said there were a lot more police out on the street for this strike than there have been for the others, I´m wondering if this is a ´pre-emptive´ repression before things get much worse for people and they are trying to scare people off struggle in advance.

furbina

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The arrested that was kept in preventive prison due to "risk of scape because of mexican nationality" was released last thursday 7th oct.

The trials for the accused will probably begin in a year or more, the judicial system in spain is with an overload of work apparently, due to lack of personel, so things go slow...

after the strike, media has gone to the jugular of the "antisistemas" (the profile for the media is a young student or squatter with anarchist or some sort of radical ideas that acted on the demos and riots), during 4 days or so constantly in tv and newspapers, in the catalan TV at least, they concentrated a lot about the "violence in the streets", "Barcelona's image", "is our law being too soft on this people" and so on. In the weekend most read newspaper el periodico, was dedicated to the mistery of who are the antisistemas, with a picture of someone holding a fence for a barricade in the front page.
Pretty lame, from my perspective but obviously the perfect pretext to avoid the main issue after the day of the strike.
Apparently Confederation of market?¿ (comercio) of catalonia wants to make a formal denounce to all the arrested and accuse them of being organised, because they want somebody to pay for the damages made in the shops in the day of the strike.
http://www.adn.es/local/barcelona/20101007/NWS-0123-Querella-antisistema-comercios.html
And the city council wants to add up aswell apparently...

So media repression I would say has been quite brutal against the strikers on the past days.
I'd say is mediatically quite pased now.

here there are some well edited videos that try to resume the whole journey of the 29-s

http://okupemlesones.blip.tv/file/4214717/

the latest is this one

http://okupemlesones.blip.tv/file/4245420/

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks a lot that´s really helpful.

Comercio is something like retailers in English I think.

[quote=fingers malone]Translated from La Haine

-Today the Mossos d´Esquadra (autonomous Catalan police) arrested Josep Garganté, president of Comité de Descanso de Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB) for acts committed during the general strike.
The charges are riot and public order. The CGT member also had charges laid against him by TV3 for allegedly breaking a video camera. -

The Comission of Descanso (rest/break) is the one of the famous struggle to achieve 2 days of holiday a week for the bus drivers of Barcelona (which they achieved in the end), and he has been quite known since this struggle.
He has been arrested just stepping out of his work journey apparently.

http://comitedescansos.blogspot.com/2008/01/tmb-la-lluita-pels-2-dies-video-de.html

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There´s going to be a talk at the Anarchist Bookfair in London about austerity and resistance in Spain and Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Greece at 11am on Saturday. We´re also going to show a film about the squatting grannies of San Bernardo in Seville which I have been talking about on the thread about rent strikes in Warsaw. It´s a great video about a pretty interesting struggle which is going through the courts at the moment.

fingers malone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Thursday the police carried out co-ordinated arrests in seven cities for incidents in the general strike. Arrests were made and arrest warrants issued in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, Malaga and Cordoba.
I don't know numbers or details but in my city they have issued 18 arrest warrants for ONE picket line, with the charge of "Atentado al autoridad" agression against authority.

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi, Malone

When they carry these arrests out the aim is to intimidate people. After being charged they'll be probably already out waiting for the date of the trial. And now everything'll depend of the judge's will to accept what is usually presented as "evidences" if there are any.

fingers malone

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Madrid metro update: looks like the charges against the drivers for not carrying out minimum services have been dropped, which is good news, there´s an article on the Soli page saying it´s not quite that simple but I can´t understand it.

I´m trying to gather information about all the arrests post general strike but I´m having a lot of trouble getting the info. So if you can help me please pm me.

fingers malone

Madrid metro update: looks like the charges against the drivers for not carrying out minimum services have been dropped, which is good news, there´s an article on the Soli page saying it´s not quite that simple but I can´t understand it.

I´m trying to gather information about all the arrests post general strike but I´m having a lot of trouble getting the info. So if you can help me please pm me.

Same happens to me quite difficult to gather info about the arrests. Fantastic news that the charges have apparently been dropped! even if as usual ccoo is carrying the negotiations in the shade.

fingers malone

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

General strike in Portugal today

Info from El Pais.
The strike is called by the two biggest unions in Portugal, the first time they have called a strike together in 22 years. Looks like the strike is going pretty well, very strong in transport and the public sector. The airports are pretty much at a strandstill. The strike is against the socialist govt´s austerity measures which include a 5% cut in public sector wages, cuts to social services and a rise in VAT.

More news when I get it. Alguien en Portugal leyendo aqui, puedes mandarme textos y los traducco, pero mi portugues es bastanta peor que mi castellano, pero hago que puedo. Y buena suerte hoy!

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lo mismo digo; también yo podría traducir del portugués.

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On 27th january there is a call for a general strike in Euskadi, Galicia and Catalunya. CNT call for the strike in Euskadi, Navarra and Catalunya. In Galicia the call is supported by CIG and CUT. In Euskadi the strike is supported too by ELA, LAB, STEE-EILAS, EHNE and HIRU (all these unions orbit around abertzale left)...In the rest of the country, nothing (shame)

Steven.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for letting us know. Any idea how many workers might participate?

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nope, no idea and it would be a good barometer for the federations in other parts of the country to know about the feelings of the population. I've just known that in my city there is a call for a demo that very day (lame). I will go of course but this way of diffusing the efforts is fatal imo. I didn't tell you when it happened but in october i went for a joint meeting of different minoritary unions that came to my city; they were soc (country workers union, andalucía), so (solidaridad obrera), lab (abertzale left union), csi (left trades coordinating comittee, asturias) and a local coordinating comittee. CGT were invited but refused (maybe expecting to take advantage alone of future confrontations, dunno) Anyway, they assured us that they were working to put up joint actions in november and now i see that only in these regions that will take place. I don't like it. Even if those are the more industrialised regions i'm afraid it's gonna be a weak opposition to the sold-out unions.

Besides i think more propaganda or counter-information or whatever you like to call it is much needed here. I've just known it yesterday and through a forum, i haven't seen any poster in the streets. The same goes for the cnt: imo they should be launching a national campaign for a real serious strike and with the money they recently received in the trial on union patrimony expropiated after the civil war, they have the means; it's a lot what we are risking here. It's not unly that they want us to work until we are 67 if we want a meagre retirement, it's that they want us to pay contributions for 41 fucking years if we want to get it! It's gonna be imposible to achieve it having the shit part-time contracts everybody is getting nowadays.

redsdisease

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the update.

On this thread, it was claimed that the CGT was involved with the 27th callout. It's disappointing to hear that they aren't. It's even more disappointing and sort of bizarre that the CNT isn't involved, considering the venom they were spitting at the UGT and CCOO for their lack of enthusiasm over the one called for last september. Any idea why they aren't participating? Could it be that they don't feel like it makes sense for them to participate in a general strike if they're the only ones in the region?

Mark.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to this article in rojo y negro the CGT have joined the 27 January callout in the Basque country, Galicia and Catalunya. In other areas they are organising demos, some on different days. The CNT have joined the callout in Galicia. Solidaridad Obrera and CNT Catalunya (desfederados) have joined the callout in Catalunya. The decisions to support callouts are being made by local and regional unions rather than nationally. As these regions have various left nationalist unions with significant membership there's maybe a view that a general strike without backing from the CCOO and UGT will have more of a real effect there.

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As i said previously i'm no member of CNT. In the official site they claim to support general strike in Galicia too apart of what was said previously, nothing else: no state campaign, no strike in other places.

http://www.cnt.es/

Loads of information about local actions. No intention, apparently, of launching a state campaign.

Mark.

The decisions to support callouts are being made by local and regional unions rather than nationally. As these regions have various left nationalist unions with significant membership there's maybe a view that a general strike without backing from the CCOO and UGT will have more of a real effect there.

That's correct. But it's still a problem if the different local unions don't feel the need to launch a joint effort, cos the dispersion of efforts it's still a FUCKING HUGE PROBLEM. You are not gonna challenge CCOO and UGT on a regional basis, no way. The state as a whole is backing them for fucks shake!

Mark.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Valeriano - do you think this is because there are disagreements within the CNT about working with the other unions at all?

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's probably one of the reasons, yes. The federal type of organization is an obstacle too, but that's no excuse. Obviously we don't want to change it in a centralized one, so the federal one MUST be improved. If i were a member it would be unacceptable to me if i was told "we cannot do this because it depends on the agreement of all federations". And i think unfortunately routine plays a role here too. I just can't remember when the cnt launched a national campaign. I think they feel comfortable in local conflicts (where they are probably the best) and these kind of broader fights are probably already too "political" for them. I think they smell "reformists" and "communists" far too often.

Salvoechea

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't agree with you Valeriano. CNT by the way is suffering a big internal change of mind, in that respect. With the last changes towards a "syndicalist" union they have realised they should collaborate with other unions if they want to achieve something. In the last 30 years the only open relationship they had with other unions was insults (everyone was a reformist or an agent of the state).

The problem with this strike is that it is only in Galicia and the Basque Country where it is has been calle by majoritarian unions (CIG in Galicia, and ELA, LAB, Stee-Eilas, Hiru,etc in the Basque country). In Catalonia, CGT has called for a general strike without having any chance of stopping the production. They are like 1/10 of the size of CCOO in Catalonia. And the rest of the unions that call for the strike are abount 1000 members in all. CNT says: "fucking hell, now that we have some membership in some companies, are we going to risk their safety (they will be sacked for sure, if they strike) for this strike called without chances to win?" If you call for a general strike all your membership should follow it. If someone doesn't followed should be expelled from the union. That's how it works. Now, some CGT unions in catalonia says that they don't want the strike and they won't do anything for it. I haven't seen any poster in the streets of Barcelona one week before the strike. There's no information to workers in companies... and so on. Unfortunatelly this is a mock strike called for the social movements (to which CGT belongs).

Things in Basque country or Galicia will be very different to things in Catalonia. In Catalonia will have for sure, plenty of arrested, and probably important clashes with police. There won't be any mercy with pickets trying to close shops and companies, trying to stop transport. Anyway. Someone must do it, and that someone is us (given to CCOO and UGT are not going to call for any strike).

Salvoechea

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the rest of Spain, needless to say, there's no strike, because of the radical unions feel even weaker. In Catalonia, CCOO and UGT has more than 150,000 members each; CGT is around 15,000 and another 1,000 from the rest.

In the Basque country ELA is the biggest union, with about 100,000 members (population is lesser than Catalonia) and LAB about 40,000 (and the rest of the striking unions can add some thousands more; CCOO and UGT has around 40-60,000, each, and some more thousands in Navarre).

In Galicia CIG has around 60,000 members (CCOO and UGT 50,000 to 60,000 each), and CGT-CUT, CNT about 2-3,000 among the three....

However, in Spain there's the possibility that things can go for an unexpected way. in Murcia (with a right-wing govern) things are going wild among stateworkers.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hiya, here in Andalucia the CGT and the SAT are talking about doing ´something´ on the 27th January but I don´t think they are planning a strike, I think it´s more likely to be a demo or something. The SAT sometimes call regional strikes on their own but in a small area, not for the whole of Andalucia as far as I know.

Salvoechea

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.laconfederacion.es/index.php/articulos-de-opinion/402-temen-que-los-sucesos-de-murcia-se-propaguen-a-otros-lugares.html

Los recortes sociales llevados a cabo por el Gobierno murciano que preside el señor Valcárcel, han desencadenado una fuerte respuesta de la población que, en el mes de diciembre, llegó a marchar en manifestación espontánea hasta su domicilio particular donde arrojaron huevos y, según Valcárcel, golpearon a una hija suya. Sí fueron increpados y zarandeados algunos cargos del PP.
Pero la agresión sufrida el sábado pasado por el consejero de cultura, han disparado las alarmas. Valcárcel la relaciona con intereses partidistas y señala que los culpables están entre sus socios del PSOE; sin embargo tertulianos radiales y televisivos, comienzan a mostrarse alarmados, citan a grupos antisistemas y hablan de que en las redes sociales se están haciendo llamamientos “a la revolución”.En definitiva, temen que lo que surgió como un enfrentamiento por la poltrona, se convierta en algo más.
Todo apunta a que están inquietos ante la posibilidad de que Murcia se convierta en una especie de pequeña Túnez, y punta de lanza que propague el descontento generalizado a otras regiones del Estado; por tanto claman que Madrid actúe con mano dura ante lo sucedido. Saben que en esa Comunidad existen grupos de ciudadanos que empiezan a organizarse en plataformas para defenderse de los desmanes de banqueros, políticos y rateros de guante blanco que han esquilmado las arcas públicas.
Por esa razón el ministro de la Presidencia, el “socialista” Ramón Jáuregui, ha condenado la agresión contra el consejero diciendo que "nunca nada justifica que nadie agreda a nadie, y menos a un cargo público". Es decir, quienes no sean cargos públicos son ciudadanos de segunda y, en consecuencia, sujetos de la represión “democrática”. Más claro, agua.

In short:In Murcia state workers began a couple of months ago a serial of protests, meeting a great support from workers. It rose from 4000 ppl in the first demo to the 30,000 in the last one. A councilor (culture) of the regional government has been seriously beaten by someone. Some reports that the agressor is a leftist radical, or an angry worker. And, of course, all the political parties fears are about this situation being repeated in all Spain.

--

Another interesting case, has happened on a Catalan 'banlieu' of Salt (+50% immigrated population, most part from Maghreb), where the marginal youth has exploted by burning cars and attacking police. This has brought the complains of the right-wing nuts and the fascists parties who are asking for the expulsion from spain of those youths.

Salvoechea

I don't agree with you Valeriano. CNT by the way is suffering a big internal change of mind, in that respect. With the last changes towards a "syndicalist" union they have realised they should collaborate with other unions if they want to achieve something. In the last 30 years the only open relationship they had with other unions was insults (everyone was a reformist or an agent of the state).

The problem with this strike is that it is only in Galicia and the Basque Country where it is has been calle by majoritarian unions (CIG in Galicia, and ELA, LAB, Stee-Eilas, Hiru,etc in the Basque country). In Catalonia, CGT has called for a general strike without having any chance of stopping the production. They are like 1/10 of the size of CCOO in Catalonia. And the rest of the unions that call for the strike are abount 1000 members in all. CNT says: "fucking hell, now that we have some membership in some companies, are we going to risk their safety (they will be sacked for sure, if they strike) for this strike called without chances to win?" If you call for a general strike all your membership should follow it. If someone doesn't followed should be expelled from the union. That's how it works. Now, some CGT unions in catalonia says that they don't want the strike and they won't do anything for it. I haven't seen any poster in the streets of Barcelona one week before the strike. There's no information to workers in companies... and so on. Unfortunatelly this is a mock strike called for the social movements (to which CGT belongs).

Things in Basque country or Galicia will be very different to things in Catalonia. In Catalonia will have for sure, plenty of arrested, and probably important clashes with police. There won't be any mercy with pickets trying to close shops and companies, trying to stop transport. Anyway. Someone must do it, and that someone is us (given to CCOO and UGT are not going to call for any strike).

I'm very glad to hear that and i don't have any reason to doubt what salvoechea says (he's inside, i'm not) If you say that you all are willing to prepare a strike count with me, i'll help in my place as much as i can. Glad to hear as well the change in cnt's position. I too understand and support your decission of not leaving your members "con el culo al aire", as we say here (exposed) It's a wise position. However i still hope the different federations understand the need of a joint action (and good lawyers ;). Anyway, fantastic news!

Salvoechea

In short:In Murcia state workers began a couple of months ago a serial of protests, meeting a great support from workers. It rose from 4000 ppl in the first demo to the 30,000 in the last one. A councilor (culture) of the regional government has been seriously beaten by someone. Some reports that the agressor is a leftist radical, or an angry worker. And, of course, all the political parties fears are about this situation being repeated in all Spain.

--

Another interesting case, has happened on a Catalan 'banlieu' of Salt (+50% immigrated population, most part from Maghreb), where the marginal youth has exploted by burning cars and attacking police. This has brought the complains of the right-wing nuts and the fascists parties who are asking for the expulsion from spain of those youths.

On this: of course there's gonna be riots, late and quite crazy ones but riots anyway. However i very much doubt that the aggressor of that politico was a leftist. In fact today he was fred and more than likely in the future they will have to drop charges against him. I've seen on the net the suggestion that probably the actual target of the attack was a bigger shot, the region's president and the instigators, the real state maffias that have been operating in our coasts who are targeting the president for some dodgy unpaid debt. That seems to me more likely in this fucking mess of a country we live in.

Which of course it's not to say that people are not angry, they are big time.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There were 50 000 people on a demo against privatisation of local government in Andalucia yesterday, was pretty noisy.

Don´t think there´s going to be anything here on the 27th except some solidarity demos.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

(edit) the UGT and Comisiones didn´t attend, as they have made an agreement with the Junta. The biggest union block was CSI-F, a kind of quite right wing corporatist civil servants union. But the demo was pretty good I think, loads of hospital workers and so on.

Steven.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for these updates, I don't feel I can add much to the discussion but I have been reading them with interest!

Salvoechea

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In Barcelona, 3-4000 people marched in an anticapitalist demo against retirement pension cuts. At the end of the demo an old cinema was squatted (it had been squatted 3 days before, but it showed off for the demo). Police went into it and 420 people were inside when they entered.

http://www.kaosenlared.net/noticia/barcelona-puig-conseller-derecha-regionalista-desaloja-cines-identific

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ylamf-liVo&feature=player_embedded

In Valladolid a demo called by CNT, CGT and the Workers Bloc (mainly communists) was followed by 2000 people.

http://www.rojoynegro.info/2004/spip.php?article33027

About 1000 people at the Canary Islands

http://www.rojoynegro.info/2004/spip.php?article33026

And other numbers in Catalan towns:

300 in Reus
100 in Cornella and another 100 in Girona
100 in Lleida,. 100 in Terrassa...

Hasek

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know how is it going to be the 27th. For sure there is going to be less people than if done by the principal unions, CCOO and UGT. The general strike has had a low broadcasting, and the mass media is totally ignoring it. When it was done the 29th, we had three months of a total attack to the biggest unions for their passivity, for the demovilization of the workers. But when it is done by CGT, CNT and others it is totally dissappeared from the media. I think that there are going to be big demos in the Basque Country, and probably in Barcelona. Last general strike, the 29th, the Assemblea de Barcelona did its own demonstration, with the huge support of CNT, En Lluita, Revolta Global and others, and it amounted like 5.000 people. If the occupation remained, for sure it was going to have a big support, because it had a political intention, but now I don't know what to say. The police is doing a huge attack to revolutionaries and other kind of people who reject "social peace".

PD: By the way, hello to each other. Sorry for my bad english, but you have another guy from Spain for informing yourselves. See ya.

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How do i post a slideshow? anyone knows?

Steven.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What do you mean a slideshow? You could just post a link to it if it is on another website

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hello Hasek, which bit of Spain are you in?

There was a small protest this morning about the pension reform and to coincide with the general strikes in the north, but at the start of the protest we got given a legal notice saying that we weren´t allowed to carry out the protest. We carried on anyway, but there is a bigger demo planned for this evening, and that isn´t allowed either.

A few days ago the 18 people arrested in the general strike had to go to court for the first time, there was a big picket outside the court. I think some of the charges might be reduced (at the moment everybody is charged with agresion al autoridad, and some people with other charges as well) but it isn´t very clear at the moment.

And Seville got robbed last night in the semi finals.

Hasek

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am from Barcelona, the Rose of Fire! CGT has just said that there were like 10.000 people in the unitary demo of this evening where I was. There were some political parties, mostly trots and other leninist stuff, the unions that improved the strike, like CGT and CNT, and small groups of nationalists. It was a very low-followed general strike, most people did not have knowledge about it, but in the transports sector, like 50% according to CGT details had done the strike. Most students did not follow it because we are in exams season -I went anyway, but I am still thinking about the exam that I have tomorrow!-. The CNT demo started at 19:00. In the unitary one there were more people than in the one of the 24th, when we occuppied the abandoned cinemas of a central part of Barcelona and the cops kicked us out. If anyone has a doubt please tell me.

incontrolado

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Madrid:

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The pics with the cops fighting the people has to be puerta del sol and malasaña. I've read that they went there with the obvious intention to intimidate. On wednesday 26th i was in the demo in my town: some thousands what, considering how bad it was organised, it's ok but the mood was that of a funeral. Today ccoo and ugt have sold us once again: now it's gonna be 38.5 years to be paid if you want to get a retirement (before, 35), the retirement you are gonna get it's gonna be calculated on your last 25 years of work (before, 15). I hope next years Saint-Just comes out of his grave to help us and we can recreate nice 1793 again.

Valeriano Orob…

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On a nicer note: a ancient gaol turned into a squat in my place was brutally vacated the 20th. On the 23rd an illegal demo was called to protest aginst it. It was massively attended and the place was squatted again.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Madrid

Police charges near the Congreso.
The police have charged against a demonstration called by different social movements and base unions against the pension reform.
When the demonstration got to Puerta del Sol, the demonstrators started to shout "To the Congreso, to the Congreso" echoing a callout which had gone on all day via text messages, calling for a cacerolada (pots and pans demo) with the slogan "We won´t negotiate the pensions, I won´t sign this agreement." (tr: Comisiones and UGT signed an agreement about the raising of the pension age to 67 yesterday.)
Around the congreso, large numbers of police prevented people from carrying out their legitimate right to protest. After a few minutes of tension, the police began to harrass people, pushing them back to Puerta del Sol, where violent police charges were taking place. Some reports say two people have been arrested, some say four.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can´t see any of the photos on incontrolado´s post, only little red exes. :(

To expand on what Val is saying about the pension reform: in Spain you don´t really get means tested benefits much, the dole and so on mostly depends of what you have "cotizado" ie the contributions you have paid. However as so much work here is a) sporadic and b) wholly or partially off the books, it is difficult for people to cotizar as much as they need to to be able to get the dole. Now for the pensions it is the same, to qualify for your full pension you need to have 38.5 years cotizado, which is going to be really difficult to achieve for a lot of people.

You squatted a gaol?? That´s just showing off.

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can see the photos now, joder. Parece bastante fuerte.

How many people do you think were on the demo? It looks big.
What union is AST?

fingers malone

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2awYYoykAwY&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klJWa3_ORpc&feature=player_embedded

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/942287/0/manifestacion/pensiones/madrid/

From Incontrolado in Madrid

People are saying there were between 10000 and 20000 people. Taking part were some sections of Madrid CNT but not all of them, and also the CGT, Solidaridad Obrera, and a long list of base unions and social movements. You could say it is the biggest demo against the cuts and the crisis which hasn´t been called by Comisiones Obreras and the UGT.

Mark.

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Have there been any joint demos by the CNT, the CGT and SO in Madrid before?

fingers malone

You squatted a gaol?? That´s just showing off.

lol It's a 1928 deserted building...What is important is that the demo to squat it again was illegal, however it was massively attended and achieved its goal.

Dannny

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know if people have been following what's going on in Valencia. Protests of predominantly school children against cuts were violently attacked by police last week and since then there have been ongoing protests against police brutality that have met with similarly brutal responses. Parts of the university are under occupation at the moment.
Videos and Spanish reportage here:
http://www.publico.es/espana/423041/la-policia-vuelve-a-cargar-contra-los-estudiantes-en-valencia