Spanish Youth Capture Spirit of Tahrir !

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Labour Fight

Spanish Youth Capture Spirit of Tahrir !

Labour Fight- John William

Over the last few days, ahead of Sunday’s local elections in Spain, there have been massive occupations of town and city squares across the country, which in Madrid has prevented a recent PSOE election rally from taking place, despite the efforts of the police!

The PSOE, the ‘Socialist’ Party, has been in power for two terms, using a major recession to foist austerity measures on the workers and poor. With youth unemployment at 40 % and joblessness overall at 20 %, the response from the government has been to cut public sector pay, freeze pensions and abolish child benefits. A public spending cuts package passed in a tight vote in parliament last year coming hot on the heels of a taxpayer bail-out of the Cajasur bank, a major Spanish lender. There have been general strikes and protests by the unions but these have been used by the leaderships as mere protest actions to let off steam and win concessions rather than to take on the government and the system itself.

Young people have shown their anger and that they are unwilling to be lead by bureaucrats who take an age to organise action and then try to stop it developing. They have come out in their thousands in evening mass meetings in opposition to the attacks being carried out by the capitalists’ government and to the two main parties standing in the local elections, the PSOE and opposition PP, who also represent a neo-liberal programme. The young people have clearly been inspired by the recent Middle East uprisings as shown by banners evoking Egypt’s Tahrir Square.

Workers and trade unionists are showing support for the protests. They will be inspired in the same way as British workers were by last year’s movement against attacks on education. Labour Fight salutes the Spanish young people, the students, the unemployed and workers, trade unionists and pensioners who are coming onto the streets ! We take inspiration from them. As in Britain, what is needed is for the movement to develop beyond the spontaneous street protests and occupations, to fuse with the most advanced elements of the workers’ movement to fight for a clear programme of stoppages, occupations and demonstrations to make blows at the capitalist system itself.

John Williams


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