Twenty five thousand marched in Granada. In Seville they numbered fifty thousand. In Zaragoza seventy thousand took to the streets, while eighty thousand gathered in Valencia.
In Barcelona, four hundred and fifty thousand ‘Indignados’ flooded the streets of Catalunya’s capital city. In Madrid, five hundred thousand Indignados swarmed through the streets, before converging once again on their beloved Puerta Del Sol. By day’s end, more than a million people, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, marched in cities across the country, coming together to tear at the darkness that looms over them.
This is what democracy looks like.
On Sunday, the outraged returned to the streets of Spain. They returned to remind us all what the defiant energy of the downtrodden feels like; what the unwavering voice of dissent sounds like. This army of street kids and grandmothers, of workers and students, of anarchists and activists, returned to make it known that they are still here, they have not forgotten, and they are definitely not finished.
If it was ever a question of whether or not they had given up, it’s been answered. If notions lingered in the minds of the politicians these past few weeks that the people — turned backwards and forwards by Spain’s short but strange winter, a schizophrenic mix of unseasonable warmth and chill — might have fallen into lethargy or a tired acceptance of the hard times plotted out for them, those notions were erased on Sunday.
Newly elected Prime Minister Rajoy and his ‘Partido Popular’ might have thought they had escaped without wounds on 20th November, the default victors of a pantomime vote that offered the people a twisted play on democratic choice. In reality they were asked if they preferred to drown or to suffocate. This sham election was rejected by 10 million voters. They chose neither. They rejected the illusion. These new public officials might have mistaken the unwillingness of so many to legitimise their own suffering as a mandate to replenish the coffers of high finance; to force the people to bow down, as they do, in worship of the markets.
If such a mistake was made, this return of outrage on the streets corrected it.
What the Indignados did afford their fledgling government, was time. A few months to plot out a new course, to offer up a hopeful alternative, to lay new cards on the table and present ideas not designed to break the backs of the under classes. What their new leaders came to them with was an admission that they have nothing new to offer, and never intended to. In their eyes it’s business as usual; more of the same. Reforma Laboral that takes rights and wages away from the people; that affords corporations convenient new tools to rid themselves of older, poorly paid employees in order to replace them with desperate new blood that will work for even less; a fire-to-hire scheme as an answer to mass national unemployment, that amounts to little more than rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship.
On Sunday, the people kindly rejected their proposal.
The Spanish refuse to sit by and watch as the same measures that have left mothers giving up children they can’t feed in Greece, that have more and more signing on for the dole in the United Kingdom, and that have already put more than half of their own youth out of work, are forced upon them while executive pay is capped at 600,000 euros annually. They will not be locked into financial slavery and routinely humiliated. They have seen what these failed ideas have done to Greece. They will not have the same done to them. Not without a push back.
The sun is shining in Spain again, and the air gets warmer from one day to the next. The ruling classes don’t have to change this course of protecting profits at all costs; of recouping their losses by scavenging from those with the least, but if they don’t they should expect resistance. Summer is coming, and with nearly a quarter of the population out of work and angry, there’s ample opportunity for mass action. There is no hiding from it. Expect the acampadas to return — sooner rather than later.
The return of 15M and Los Indignados should be well observed by the Occupy movement also. The manifestations that grew from a few hundred in Puerta Del Sol to hundreds of thousands taking the streets and squares across Spain in 2011 laid out the blueprint and inspiration for the occupations that exploded across the western world. Now, as Occupy struggles with irrelevancy in cities like New York, Toronto and London, it is time to rediscover your focus, to draw inspiration from the outraged here in Spain, as you did before. March side by side with union members rather than be co-opted by their leadership. Resist the plans of special interests, and of the democratic wing on the bird to manipulate you into a mass lobby group; a tea party to call their own. Reject the subtle manipulations of billionaires looking to turn you into a violent mob, and ultimately, the engine powering an agenda that will only lead to deeper control for the elites and their puppets in office. To find your voice and your resolve again, look to Spain. Mira a EspaÃ±a.
This is what revolution looks like.
To read more articles by Bryan G. Taylor visit http://intercepttransmission.blogspot.com/Tags: Europe
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This post was written by Bryan G. Taylor