Spain

Hundreds of thousands marched in Madrid on 31 January, in a demonstration called by Podemos to mark the beginning of their campaign to win the general election this year in Spain. The huge march came just after Syriza’s victory in Greece and reflected the deep anger of millions of working people against capitalist austerity, as well as the hope that it can be ended.

On Sunday, November 9, over 2.3 million Catalans mobilised to vote in a “consultation” over their future status in Spain defying Rajoy’s government which had twice banned the vote. The vote was on two questions, the first asking if Catalonia should have a state of its own and then, if so, whether such a state should be independent. Of those who voted, 80% or 1.8 million said they wanted Catalonia to be an independent state (Yes-Yes), 10% voted for what is interpreted as a federal solution (Yes-No), and 4.5% voted against statehood.

PODEMOS has become the focal point of Spanish politics. There is no party in the establishment that is not panicking about the dangers of ‘populism’. The last words of the one of the biggest bosses in Spain, the recently deceased president of Santander Bank, Emilio Botin, to a selective group of journalists days before he passed away, expressed his concern about the rise of PODEMOS.

On September 19th, the right wing Popular Party government decided to abandon its unpopular plan for a reactionary reform of the abortion law. We publish here this article written in March by a member of Lucha de Clases (Class Struggle), the Spanish section of the IMT, explaining the motivations behind the proposal and outlining the reasons why Marxists opposed it.

Lucha de Clases (Class Struggle) is in favour of the Catalan people’s right to self-determination, a basic democratic right. Denying this right to the historic nations that make up Spain has always been a central policy of the regime set up in 1978, together with the re-establishment of the monarch who chosen by Franco and impunity for the crimes of Francoism.

Yesterday evening [Monday] hundreds of massive demonstrations and rallies took place in a semi-spontaneous manner across Spain to celebrate the abdication of King Juan Carlos and to call for a republic. The central slogan was the demand for a referendum for the people to decide whether they want a monarchy or a republic.

An impressive rally was held in Edinburgh on Monday only hours after King Juan Carlos announced his abdication thousands of miles away in Spain. The protest of upto 150 people was called to coincide with mass demonstrations in cities all across Spain and amongst Spanish communities abroad. Edinburgh has a very large community of young Spaniards and they now constitute one of the largest groups in the city. They have come in their thousands after being driven into economic exile by the failures of the capitalist economy in Spain to provide even a basic living and hope for the future.

The major student organizations and unions in Spain called a national university strike on the 26th and 27th of March. I joined the picket lines in the University of Alicante, in the Valencian region. The strike was called to fight the austerity policies of the current PP (right-wing) government that are destroying public education in Spain. Tuition fees have rocketed throughout the country, the number of scholarships has plummeted, classes are overcrowded, certain modules and even whole degrees are being scrapped…

Sunday March 22 was another milestone in the struggle against cuts and austerity in Spain. Hundreds of thousands, probably over a million marched in Madrid on Saturday 22, in the final stage of the Dignity Marches which have walked from all over the country to the capital over the last few weeks. Their demands "Bread, Jobs and Housing" cannot be contained within the limits of capitalism.

On Saturday, 22 March, Madrid will witness one of the main social and political mobilisations of the year, the March for Dignity. The aim is to gather hundreds of thousands of people in Madrid, from around the country in order to show opposition to the anti-working class and anti-social policies of the past few years. The demonstration will march under the slogans "Do not pay the public debt", for a "Basic income to all those without resources", "No more cuts", "Bread, Housing and Jobs for all" and "Down with the Troika Governments."

In the State of the Nation debate, Spanish president Rajoy announced that 2014 will be "the year of recovery." Before this bombastic statement, the government had frozen the meagre minimum wage (€ 645.3 per month), raised the price of transportation by 1.9% and consolidated the huge rise in electricity prices of recent years.

As we enter the second half of the ruling Popular Party term of office, we witness a change of mood in the working class and other layers of society: one which is more resolute, firm and militant. A certain element of fatalism and helplessness permeated the year 2013 thanks to the inability of the mass movement to defeat the reactionary policies of the PP. This is now being overcome.

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and parents marched yesterday, October 24, in over 70 cities and towns in Spain against cuts and counter-reforms and in defence of high quality and free state education as part of a one day strike of the whole education system.

This morning, a last minute decision by the European Court of Human Rights stopped, temporarily, the eviction of 43 people who have been occupying an empty block of flats in Salt, Girona, known as #BlocSalt. Over 700 people, organised by the anti-eviction movement PAH, had gathered overnight to resist the court order, including a large contingent of firefighters in uniform. This case highlights one of the most scandalous features of the housing crisis in Spain.

On Sunday May 15 2011, 150,000 people marched in about 40 cities throughout Spain under the banner of Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now). The main slogan of the demonstrations was “We are not commodities in the hands of bankers and politicians”. In this article, which was originally published in 2011, Alan Woods explains the significance of this movement and outlines the position of Marxists towards it.

"España entera es un escrache". Así empezaba un artículo en la web de Público.

El PP y los medios de comunicación de la burguesía han arremetido visceralmente contra la propuesta de la Plataforma de Afectados por las Hipotecas (PAH) de señalar  a los cargos públicos que apoyan las medidas que favorecen los desahucios. Las demandas de la PAH, sin embargo, son apoyadas por la mayoría de la población. Ada Colau, portavoz estatal de la PAH, estigmatizada por los medios más reaccionarios, explicaba correctamente cómo "se envía la policía contra ciudadanos honrados..., pero no contra los corruptos ni bancos que acosan a los más

...

February 20th and 21st saw Spain’s Congress (Parliament) debating the “State of the Nation”. While the debate was going on an opinion poll showed that of 80% the people do not feel they are represented by the Congress.  A growing wave of discontent is being translated into struggle. Spain is like a pressure cooker without a safety valve, facing a crisis of the regime which can only be solved through the eruption of the masses onto the scene.