Monday, July 16, 2012

Spain: massive spontaneous protests continue for 6th day

Virtually all public servants (who are like three million people) and many other angry citizens have starred the sixth day of protests across the state, with special focus in Madrid, where the large spontaneous illegal demonstrations have cut traffic lanes, marched to Congress[es] and been sometimes attacked by their "colleagues" of riot police only to be tolerated the next day.

There are quite many interesting things about these protests, notably that the unions and the left political movements are really going behind what the citizens themselves are spontaneously organizing using Twitter and social networks.

Jaca mutiny 1930
I mentioned on Friday that there was some growing unrest inside the police forces, including the militarized Guardia Civil. Today it has been known[es] that also circles of the armed forces are unhappy about how the cuts are being done (against their salaries and perks and not against the real waste). This kind of discontent in the military against a right-wing government has no precedent since the Jaca mutiny of 1930, which preluded the advent of the Second Republic a few months later.

It is difficult to think that the Spanish Army, a stronghold of chauvinism and conservatism, and specially an institution that is much disliked by the citizenry since time immemorial (at least since the pointless imperialist invasion of Northern Morocco a century ago), can lead anything. But it is nevertheless good to know that they are not a solid bloc backing the lackey government of Rajoy.

A more interesting move is a popular call to occupy Congress[es] on September 25. Although it's very possible that at the current rhythm of growing antagonism between a government that has lost all legitimacy few months after being elected and the people betrayed by them, something like a popular occupation of Congress or even the Government may happen well before September.

Tahrir is the word that comes to mind with all it implies (and let's not forget that it's Arabic for Freedom).

Some videos of some of the latest protests:



  1. I have been following events both in Spain and Greece ... I hope that the situation can be eased for the people as soon as possible. But I believe that the IMF and the ECB will not allow for this. Capitalism as we are seeing to one degree or another is in the hands of criminals that have combined with corrupt officials throughout Europe to bring us all to this. Now these self same people want the workers to pay back something we have not purchased, but are told we owe the banks billions Hmmmm it all sounds like a very big confidence trick.

    1. I am of the opinion that Spain is more like Ireland, while Italy would be more like Greece.

      Spain's debt was very low before the 2008 crash and was still below that of France or Germany until a few weeks ago, before the Bankia bail out. As in Ireland, the bad nationalization of the toxic banks is multiplying the debt problems. Both Ireland and Spain had the opportunity of being like Iceland (rejecting to bail out the banks 100% and only guarantee small depositors) but their governments chose to support the banks against the people at any cost.

      Instead the problems of Greece and Italy are strictly about the state's snowballing debt, coming from long ago.

      The main thing that Spain and Greece seem to have in common is that in both cases spontaneous popular reaction in the streets has been quite impressive. In the Greek case this is somewhat logical because Greece holds the most consolidated true left of Europe (even if atomized it was quite impressive, able to rage for days and confront elite police, never mind the thousands of social centers and such) but in the Spanish case, the sociology is not at all lefty with some honorable exceptions. Actually (with all the caveats of atomization of left-wing votes), the conservatives just rolled over in two successive elections, collecting 11 million votes.

      ... "it all sounds like a very big confidence trick".

      It is indeed: it's like the Goldman Sachs bailout (and the other TBTF in the USA): why can't they just fall and why has the state to be dismantled for the banks to collect those colorful coupons and electronic annotations they call "money"?

      Why can't the "investors" get their haircut or head-shave or whatever: it's their risks, right? Why all the imposed measures are directed against the citizens and not a single one against the wealthy or the political class, including the king? Why not to save from the Afghanistan deployment? Why does the European Central Bank (our central bank) print money to pay the bill, or at least part of it? Why can the ECB loan to banksters at 1% while states get their loans from those same banksters at usurary rates?

      Obviously because all is nothing but a pretext for class war from top to bottom, including some German imperialist bloodsucking (the DM-style Eurozone has clearly favored Germany, specially since the 2008 crisis hit).


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