Thursday, 28 July 2011

Resistance to austerity in Spain

Jesus Castillo, an activivst from the Andalucian Workers Union and the Spanish sister party of the SWP, En Lucha, spoke at the Marxism Festival at the begining of the month. Below is a summary of what he said.

Revolutionary organisation collapsed in Spain in the 1980s leaving a small and divided left. The Social Democrat government attack the working class, privatising sevices and cutting public sector workers' pay. This is designed to help the economic crisis but in fact it is deepening it. There is currently 50% youth unemployment and 20% of the poplulation live in poverty.

In June there was a public sector strike in Spain, following a general strike in September last year. The trade union bureaucrats did not want more strikes, they wanted 'social peace'.

Everyone was surprised at the size of the demonstrations on 15 May that were called by a small, reformist group on the internet. In February, 7 people demonstrated in Seville. On 15 May, 5000 people demonstrated. Everything has now changed. People want the rich to pay for the crisis. The movement in Spain has been inspired by the revolts in France and Greece and the student movements in Britain and Italy. More than 100 squares were occupied.

Then at the beginning of June the movement moved from the squares to neighbourhood assemblies, organising protests and stopping evictions. People then began calling for another general strike.

The presidential elections are coming up and it looks like the right will get elected. If this happens, the movement for a general strike will get stronger. Some people are starting to talk about a Spanish revolution because no-one trusts the politicians any more.

We need to co-ordinate our fights internationally; this is the key for the future.

People in Spain have realised that they are not living in a democracy. One million people marched in Spain and it was not even mentioned in the rest of the European press. They might be able to ignore a wave, but not a tsunami, so lets organise a revolutionary tsunami.

You can watch Jesus Castillo's speech here.

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