The Evolution Revolution has been brewing in Spain. Thanks to Davy.
“Spanish revolution” in full swing
Published: 25 July, 2011
Thousands of protesters are gathering in cities across Spain daily to show their discontent with the current economic situation. They claim the government has failed to tackle the recession and high unemployment rates in the eurozone.
A huge crowd gathered on Madrid’s Sol Square on Sunday, after many had marched for weeks from every corner of the country declaring it.
The cash in Spain is going mainly down the drain, say thousands of people who rallied across the country. The Spanish media and the protesters themselves are referring to this as the “Spanish revolution.”
“We are going to follow in the footsteps of the Latin American countries, like Paraguay, Mexico,” said protester Juana Lacuerda. “The government is controlled by the European Bank, IMF, WTO; they don’t care about the people.”
So the people decided it is time to voice their concerns loud and clear before they lose more than just the shirt off their back.
Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Euro zone. So while EU leaders have been meeting occasionally in comfortable quarters to talk about the future of the euro and the European union itself, people in the country have been demonstrating almost every week, demanding the government shape up, stop talking and do something about the situation.
This is not just about higher wages and better pension plans. With more than 40 percent of young people in Spain unemployed, simply getting a job is a priority for those who gathered in Madrid’s central square.
“The major part of the responsibility rests with the government. On the one hand, at the beginning of the crisis the government did not create the conditions to fight it. It reacted when it was very late. And on the other hand, once the government knows what to do, it is not doing its job properly,” Carlos J. Moreiro Gonzalez, a professor from the University of Carlos III, told RT.
“We want the people to wake up; otherwise we’ll just become slaves to the system. We want to be treated as humans,” said Lacuerda.
And they believe they can make a difference. Some even said they were considering continuing the march to Brussels to keep their protest in the public eye.
With Greece in shambles and neighboring Portugal trashed by the rating agencies, Spain is facing not just a financial, but a deepening social crisis. Members of the so-called ‘indignant marches’ say they want their dignity preserved. When their calls will be heard is another issue.
La lucha sigue: the struggle of the indignados continues
by Jérôme E. Roos, Roarmag.org, on July 27, 2011
The past three days in Madrid revealed a lot: the indignados are more organized than ever — and the authorities are growing increasingly fearful.
Puerta del Sol, Tuesday July 23-25th
“¡De norte a sur, de este a oeste, la lucha sigue, cueste lo que cueste!” From north to south, from east to west, the struggle goes on, whatever the cost — these words still ring through my head after three days of hearing them repeated over and over again by tens of thousands of determined protesters in Madrid.
This past weekend saw the largest mobilization of indignados in Spain since June 21. It turned out to be a decisive meeting for the future of the movement. Apart from the arrival of the marchas populares indignadas on Saturday and a major demonstration on Sunday, the 15-M movement held its very first Social Forum on Monday, bringing together indignants from all over Spain and Europe to discuss a series of unified demands and future actions.
Interestingly, the events revealed more than just the fact that the indignados are “still alive”, as some Spanish newspapers have put it. The reality is that they’re not just alive — they’re actually more organized than ever before. New ideas are rapidly being cooked up, and a number of spectacular actions are being planned for this fall. What’s more, the movement appears to be winning its PR battle against Spain’s and Europe’s political and economic elites.
The good-spirited nature of the indignados and their constructive approach to anti-systemic protest has won them international media exposure and the sympathy of a vast majority of Spaniards. Not surprisingly, this relative success at the level of “hearts and minds” seems to be making Spanish authorities increasingly fearful of the likely ramifications that the movement will have on the legitimacy of the country’s traditional political establishment.
As the combined crew of EuropeanRevolution.net, TakeTheSquare.net and ROARMAG.org, we were in Madrid all weekend — talking to protesters and organizers in Retiro, taking notes, videos and pictures during the march from Atocha, shouting slogans at Parliament, and chatting the night away at Sol. What follows is our report on the incredibly inspiring events of the past three days, and the direction we expect the movement to go in the medium-term future.
Saturday July 23rd: the marchas arrive in Madrid
They had been walking for over a month, along six different routes from all over Spain, many of them crossing 400 kilometers or more. Some joined at relatively nearby places like Segovia, but others walked all the way from faraway Barcelona, Valencia or Cádiz. To a radical historian, it must almost have looked like a modern-day reincarnation of the revolutionary columns that marched from Barcelona to Madrid in 1936, at the peak of the Spanish civil war.
As our comrade Oscar reminded us on his excellent blog, the now legendary Columna Durruti sought to liberate the pueblos on the way to the capital. Similarly, the marchas populares indignadas sought to spread the word about the 15-M movement and rally support in the countryside. Moreover, the marches served as a way to include and give a voice to the people who would otherwise be excluded as a result of their geographic location.