Nobody expects the Spanish revolution

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Since May 15, tens of thousands of young Spaniards calling themselves los indignados (the indignant) have been camping out in at least 80 city centres and towns, and are protesting daily," Socialist Alliance activist Liam Flenady told a June 7 Green Left Weekly forum.

“The movement goes under various names: ¡Democracia Real Ya! (Real Democracy Now!), 15-M and even The Spanish Revolution, and its initial call was: ‘Real democracy now. We are not merchandise in the hands of the politicians and bankers!’."

The talk, titled “Nobody Expects the Spanish Revolution”, explained the background to the upsurge is the economic crisis gripping Spain. Unemployment among youth is more than 40%. This is combined with harsh austerity measures being imposed by the Socialist Party government.

“In response to all of this, cyber-protest websites starting springing up more and more throughout the early months of 2011,” Flenady said. “People using social media drew inspiration from the Arab Spring and started calling for real action.

“Then, on May 15, young people turned out in their thousands across Spain in the order of 50,000 or more. The core was Madrid, followed by Barcelona, Granada and other cities and towns.”

“"May 16 saw people return to the plaza in Madrid and vow to stay until the local elections on May 22.”

Police attacked the crowds and attempted to evict them, in both Madrid and Barcelona. This merely resulted in a further upsurge in the movement, and a determination to stay on.

“People are still occupying the squares, the movement is broadening to the whole of Europe, and increasing organisation of the movement is taking place — its demands and it future goals.

“The 15-M movement, as with the Arab Spring, along with WikiLeaks, is a sign that we are entering a new worldwide era of political recommencement, after a few decades of decline.”

From GLW issue 883