Monday, 20 June 2011

From Manchester to Madrid & from Sevilla to Brussels young people protest the Pacto del Euro


Yesterday hundreds of thousands of protesters across Europe reaffirmed their rejection of conventional politics and half-baked democracy: with the cry of 'Que no, que no, que no nos representan!' ('You don't, you don't, you don't represent us!') It was not so big as the mourners at the funeral of Durruti in Barcelona in the Autumn of 1939, but yesterday's demonstrations in the major cities of Spain by the movement Real Democracy Now ('Democracia Real Ya') or 'Los indignados of the 15-M (15th May)' was described in today's El Pais as massive.

In all an estimated 200,000 people took part in Spain in the protest against the Pacto del Euro with support in other countries including a small demo of about 100 in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens called 'La Assemblea' near the monument to Queen Victoria. Barry Woodling of Northern Voices reported that the Manchester demo was very enthusiastic and determined. Besides Barcelona, which mustered 98,000, a vast protest in Madrid saw between 37,000 and 42,000 turn out onto the paseo Castellana on their way to the Square of Neptune. Valencia had a turn-out of some 25,000, Alicante 10,000 and Castellon 4,000. Another 16,000 took to the streets in Galcia and 5,000 in the Andalucian city of Sevilla and yet more were out in the cities and towns of the Basque region.

One of the slogans of the demostrators in Barcelona was 'Menos porrazos & mas abrazos' ('Less clubs [truncheons] & more hugs'). This was a response to the heavy-handed behaviour of the police in that Catalan Capital on an earlier demonstation in May this year. In Valencia, the mood was hostile to the corruption in the municipal affairs of that city with 'hundreds shouting insults against the President of the Generalitat (Valencian City Council), Francisco Camps, who is alleged to have taken presents in the Gurtel scheme' (see El Pais 20th, June 2011). The cry there was 'President a Picassent!' - Picassent is the name of the locality of a prison in Valencia or 'president a Fontcalent' [Fontcalent: name of a prison in Alicante]. Every city in Spain seems to have well known swindlers in office that the protestors can name and denounce on the streets.

Barry Woodling reported that up to 100 attended the Manchester demo yesterday including some Greek and Syrian protesters as well as a number of activists from UK Uncut, a handful of Trots from the SWP and the RCG. Another demo is planned to take place in Piccadilly Gardens next Saturday at 1pm. Because the Spaniards dominated the Manchester demo the Trots had little impact being out of their depth in the new politics which is hostile to party politics of the conventional kind even on the extreme Left. Especially when it comes from the extreme Left or Retro-Left.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The march against the Pacto del Euro was the fifth 'multitudinaria' [mass] march in Madrid since 2009. The estimates on size varied between 37,742 and 42,271. This compares with 9,726 on the demo against abortion in 2010; 17,228 on the general strike demo in September 2010 and 8,050 in the trade union demo on May 1st, this year.