The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Spain:
Protests Continue

Mar 4, 2013

On February 23rd, once again thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in 16 Spanish cities to protest and denounce budget cuts which increasingly worsen public services.

In Madrid, four columns of protestors came together at Neptune Square, where the different “tides” as they are called mixed together: green for education, white for health and black for public administration. Besides banners showing cutting scissors, there were “envelopes,” a clear allusion to the famous payoff envelopes distributed to Popular Party leaders that have come to symbolize business’s corruption of politicians.

There is increased disgust with new revelations of corruption. Organizers, community groups, the movement of the indignant people 15-M (like Occupy in the U.S.) and political parties like Izquierda Unida (United Left), are denouncing budget cuts. As well, they advocate the struggle: “for true democracy” and “against the loss of legitimacy of institutions.”

In order for workers not to pay for the crisis, they have first of all to advance their own interests, not an abstract “democracy.” Democracy in Spain (as elsewhere) has always meant the defense of capitalist interests.

While companies throw thousands of workers onto the streets, the bosses receive subsidies, don’t pay taxes and benefit from tax amnesties. They place millions of dollars outside the country in tax shelters. This is true today under the Popular Party, as it was yesterday under the Socialist Party administration of Zapatero.

At this moment, Iberia Airlines workers have begun a strike movement to stop the layoff of 3,800. Many more Spanish workers need to organize to oppose budget cuts and layoffs. It would be a first step to get rid of the bourgeoisie’s gigantic theft of social wealth.