Monday, 16 May 2011

Thousands march in Spain against cuts.... just one big english-speaking media reports.

Just about two months after Britain went to the streets on the March for the alternative, against the coalition cuts, gathering in London around 500,000 people on the 26th of March, and the 10,000 march of disable people for the same reason who took place in May, it was the turn of Spain.

Around 20,000 Spaniards went to the streets of Madrid, plus another 50 cities around the Spanish Kingdom, including around 10,000 in Barcelona, under the initiative"Democracia real, ya!" (Real Democracy, now!) a rally against the government cuts, the bankers and politicians, asking for a "solution of the economic crisis thinking in the people, not in the banks".  A movement that comes now that Spain has the highest unemployment rate of the European Union, 21.3 % of the population.

In an open letter from José Luis Sampedro Sáez, a Spanish writer, humanist, economist and member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, who has being advocated for an economy that is "more human, in solidarity, and capable of develop and dignify the people", he says that:

You have understood that is not enough to be upset, it is necessary to transform that upsetting feeling into resistance and give a step forward. A Historical movement needs action, movement, protest and pacific rebellion, The call for outrage shall not be stop in being a best-seller easily digested by the system and you are showing that with this initiative. [...] The official media is not going to support you and you will find many obstacles in your way, but what is at risk is your future.  The 15th of may shall be something more than an oasis in the desert, shall be the beginning of a strong fight until we achieve that, effectively, we are not "merchandise in hands of politicians and bankers any more". Let's say NO to the financial tyranny and its devastating consequences.

 And people listened to the call and went to the streets, a rally that was gather basically via social media over the internet, since it was little coverage in the Spanish media about the organizing of the event.

But was really outrageous was precisely the lack of covering of the event itself.  The Spanish media mentioned just little about it on the news, like if it was just a small march, and focusing on the arrests that the police performed and the number of policeman hurt during the rally. "24 arrested and 5 policeman injured in march against the system" it's the title on El Mundo. A few mentions in the international spanish-speaking media also were made.

Oddly enough, there was no mention at all in the British media about the event. We can argue that the British public has little interest in what is happening in Spain beyond the soccer matches, and it could be understandable, even when not desirable, that it didn't make to the front pages, but so far (16 of may, 8 pm) none of the mayor British media has mentioned the news at all!!  It just didn't happen for the english-speaking world. The only exception was the Washington Post article about it, so far the only mass media to report the event for the international public who doesn't speak Spanish.

And that is basically the reason of my post. In a world were the English language has become the lingua franca of the world, is really sad that the protests against the neo-liberal system around the world are silent.

But the march did happened, and #spanishrevolution became a world wide trending topic on twitter, even when the media is not covering.  But twitter gives just a glipse of what is happening, and we need to rely on the blogs of some Spanish participants to understand even a little of what was all about.

The march had lots of people, lots of messages, a big diversity of social profiles, groups and ideas. A big number of people outrage of a "democracy" that has become a parody of itself, a political party rule that doesn't represent the people and acts against them.

"They call it Democracy and it is not", says Juan Luis Sánchez.  In a small account of the march in Madrid, were it gives account that the march was a rally without the intervention of the political parties or even the unions, it was a march of the people, specially the young ones, like "Juventud sin miedo" (Youth without fear) an organization of youngsters that went to the march armed with books like The Quixote and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Similar accounts from Seville, Barcelona, Malaga, Oviedo, etc. are found, were people talk about the success of the marches, were complete families went out to the streets to protest. Shouting themes like "people, united, will never be defetead" and "we are not merchandise of politicians and bankers" people gathered in Plaza Cataluña in Barcelona, says Samuel Rodríguez. We are being robbed by the banks, not by the immigrants is the title of the Ovideo account by Javier Bauluz.




There has being an occupation at the Puerta del Sol (spanish for "Gate of the Sun", which oddly enough is not a gate, nor has any sun monument, but one of the main squares of Madrid, probably the equivalent of Trafalgar Square in London) and people are planning to stay indefinitely there to show that the movement was more than just one day.

People around Europe are showing that they are not happy, not happy at all by the government measures that only benefit the banks and the "macro-economy" leaving the social structure of the countries vulnerable and sometimes destroyed.  And more importantly, that there is an alternative, a solution that benefits the people and not the economic interests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we have to do samething.....

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