Spain

Today hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities in a spontaneous outpouring of pain, grief and rage. The people of the Basque Country were to the fore in expressing their indignation at the massacre in Madrid. Ordinary working class people extended their hand in friendship and solidarity from one end of the country to another.

Marxists condemn the terrible slaughter that took place today in Madrid. Ordinary men, women and children were mercilessly butchered. But the reason for our opposition has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of the bourgeois politicians who are not averse to violence and bloodshed when it suits them. We oppose individual terrorism because it is counterproductive and always produces results that are diametrically opposed to those intended. This act will strengthen the right.

With great sadness we have just learned of the sudden death of comrade Angel Val Mendizabal at the age of 81. The father of a remarkable family of revolutionaries, Angel was a proletarian class fighter all his life.

The impressive mobilisation against the war has been non-stop since February. Millions of demonstrators have come out onto the streets again and again to show their absolute opposition to the imperialist slaughter in Iraq and to the servile support which the Spanish conservative government is giving to this war. The start of the war on March 20th brought about real social turmoil. Around 800,000 high school and university students took to the streets paralysing the cities of Spain. The students' movement had made their own the call of the Sindicato de Estudiantes to demonstrate on the day the war started. Since then, the situation has been one of ceaseless activity: demonstrations and

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The pressure that is piling up has increased after yesterday's student demos. This should help to convince the leaders of the unions to organise for the General Strike to force the resignation of the Government. The demonstrations called by the Students Union have been a great success, bringing on to the streets thousands of students. 30,000 in Madrid, 20,000 in Barcelona, 10,000 in Seville, etc are proof that the students will not stop until a real 24 hour general strike is called.

Today, March 26, the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Spanish School Student’s Union), together with other student organisations, organised another mobilisation against the war. We organised a student general strike in the high schools and universities and demonstrations in more than 70 different towns all over Spain. The turnout was hugely successful. A very high number of students (more than 90%) took part, both in the schools and the universities. A total of more than a million students took part in the demonstrations.

On Wednesday March 26, a million students marched through the streets of more than 70 cities in Spain against the imperialist war. This protests had been called by the Marxist-led Spanish Students Union (Sindicato de Estudiantes) and are part of a campaign to demand a general strike against the war.

The day of action called by the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Spanish School Student’s Union) on February 13, which involved school strikes and demonstrations was a resounding success, in spite of the total silence on the part of the press. There was a massive turnout with 90% of the secondary school students supporting the strike. These antiwar demonstrations made a big splash all across Spain. We organised more than 50 demonstrations. The most significant were Madrid with 20,000 demonstrating, Valencia with 15,000, Barcelona 10,000, Seville with more than 6,000, Majorca 3,000, Santiago de Compostela 1,500 and Guadalajara and Huelva with more than 1,200. The total number of

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For the last fifteen days a massive oil slick has been flooding 400 km of the Galician coast. The inaction of the Spanish and regional governments, both in the hands of the right wing PP, and their continuous lies regarding the accident, provoked yesterday, Sunday December 1, a demonstration of 200,000 people, despite the torrential rain. This is the tranlation of the leaflet distributed by the Galician Marxists of El Militante. The leaflet is also available in Galician (O capitalismo é o problema) and Spanish (...

On October 29, more than half a million students and education workers went out on the streets to show their opposition to the counter-reform of the education system which the Spanish right wing government wants to introduce.  Increasingly, more sections are participating in mobilisations against the government. Furthermore, wider layers of the youth are looking for revolutionary ideas able to provide an alternative to this system and to the trade union leaders who are not up to the task. The struggle against the PP has barely started.

On October 29, high school students and teachers, called by the teachers' unions CCOO and UGT and the Students Union and with the support of the parents' associations, went out on the streets. This was the largest mobilisation in the education sector since 1986-87 and had been called to protest against the new education reform imposed by the right wing PP government, the misnamed "Quality Law". The strike was followed by 90% of students and by 60% of the teachers, despite a campaign against on the part of the conservative teachers' unions, and there were also strikes in some universities.

On Saturday October 5, more than 500,000 people demonstrated against the government's proposed bill to reduce the rights of the unemployed (known as the "decretazo"). This demonstration was the continuation of the struggle that began with the June 20 general strike against the attacks on labour and trade union rights in Spain.

Stop attacks against democratic rights

The outlawing of Batasuna has meant a qualitative step in the curtailing of democratic rights and fundamental freedoms. As was shown in the streets of Bilbao on Saturday, September 15, the freedom of expression, demonstration, organisation and the right to strike, which are conquests of the working class and the youth, are under serious attack.

On Monday, August 26 an extraordinary session of the Spanish Parliament was called with the aim of promoting the outlawing of Batasuna. This decision was taken with 295 votes in favour from the Popular Party, the Socialist Party [PSOE], Coalición Canaria and Partido Andalucista. There were 10 votes against from the Basque Nationalist Party [PNV], Catalan Republican Left [ERC], Eusko Alkartasuna [EA] and Iniciativa per Catalunya and 29 abstentions from United Left [IU], Galician Nationalist Block [BNG], the [Catalan bourgeois nationalist] CiU and Chunta Aragonesista.

The general strike in Spain has been a resounding success and is an enormous source of inspiration for socialists all over the world. As Alan Woods predicted yesterday, the Spanish media today recorded the surprise of the trade union leaders at the massive following of the strikes and the unanimous opinion of the media owners and the government that the strike had been a failure. Another thing obscured the media coverage of the strike and gave an additional excuse to the mass media to hide the truth: ETA planted two bombs in Andalusia, one in Marbella and one in Fuengirola. This shows once again the reactionary character of individual terrorism. Marxists stand for the revolutionary

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After six years of the right-wing PP government of Aznar, the workers of Spain have said "Enough is enough!" Today, June 20, 2002, Spain was paralysed by a one-day general strike.

Shouting "Aznar cabrón, trabaja de peon!" ("Aznar bastard, work as labourer!), "el pueblo unido jamás será vencido!", ("the people united will never be defeated!") and "reforma agraria, ahora" ("land reform, now!")… Thousands of workers, men and women and young labourers showed with their voices the enormous strength of the working class when it moves. When the demonstration passed in front of the hotel where the European leaders are going to stay, the two-metre high fence was not enough to stop the people shouting "they hide behind the fence, the people do not hide!"

The CCOO and UGT trade unions have called a 24-hour, nationwide general strike for June 20. The aim is to protest against the counter-reforms to be introduced by the PP government, which will make it easier for bosses to fire workers and restrict unemployment benefits by forcing those who have been out of work for more than one year to accept any job, whether full time or part time, whether the pay is more or less than unemployment benefit, and whether it is located more or less than 30 km from their place of residence, etc. Furthermore, they also want to do away with the "PER", which is a special system of unemployment benefit used by day labourers in the regions of Andalucia and

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On February 4 the Spanish government announced the contents of the new so-called Quality Law for Education. A new law that the Spanish Students' Union has been denouncing since last year. The government has been trying to convince the population that they want to improve the education system. But after the campaign of privatisation in hospitals, industry and other areas they are not going to fool anyone. According to the right-wing Popular Party government this law will solve the problem of high drop-out and failure rates among students. These excuses hide the real reactionary measures of the Popular Party.