Thanks to Jean Hudon, one stunning post from his amazing weekly compilation.
Date: 27 May 2011
Subject: Manifesto of the Spanish Revolution… An example that everyone should emulate
From: Sofia Aldunate (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am so overwhelmed by what is happening in Spain even though the official media is still talking about anything else but this in a desperate attempt to put a curtain of silence, that I am sending you this, so the English speaking people are aware of what is happening already with the hope of our world. The young people of the world making a call for unity, human rights, and all of the things that would make of this a much better world. I have read that people from other countries is thinking to support them. I hope they do, personally I think we should all support them…..
We are ordinary people. We are like you: people, who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends. People, who work hard every day to provide a better future for those around us.
Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.
This situation has become normal, a daily suffering, without hope. But if we join forces, we can change it. It’s time to change things, time to build a better society together. Therefore, we strongly argue that:
The priorities of any advanced society must be equality, progress, solidarity, freedom of culture, sustainability and development, welfare and people’s happiness.
These are inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development, and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.
The current status of our government and economic system does not take care of these rights, and in many ways is an obstacle to human progress.
Democracy belongs to the people (demos = people, krátos = government) which means that government is made of every one of us. However, in Spain most of the political class does not even listen to us. Politicians should be bringing our voice to the institutions, facilitating the political participation of citizens through direct channels that provide the greatest benefit to the wider society, not to get rich and prosper at our expense, attending only to the dictatorship of major economic powers and holding them in power through a bipartidism headed by the immovable acronym PP & PSOE.
Lust for power and its accumulation for only a few create inequality, tension and injustice, which leads to violence, which we reject. The obsolete and unnatural economic model fuels the social machinery in a growing spiral that consumes itself by enriching a few and sends into poverty the rest. Until the collapse.
The will and purpose of the current system is the accumulation of money, not regarding efficiency and the welfare of society. Wasting resources, destroying the planet, creating unemployment and unhappy consumers.
Citizens are the gears of a machine designed to enrich a minority which does not regard our needs. We are anonymous, but without us none of this would exist, because we move the world.
If as a society we learn to not entrust our future to an abstract economy, which never returns benefits for the most, we can eliminate the abuse that we are all suffering.
We need an ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.
For all of the above, I am outraged.
I think I can change it.
I think I can help.
I know that together we can. I think I can help.
I know that together we can.
Share this widely !!!
The Spanish are having their own Arab Spring (2 June 2011)
High unemployment and a belief that politicians focus more on profit than people sparked youth protests across Spain. Anger, irritation, annoyance and even rage are some of the most common adjectives used by protestors camping at Plaza del Sol in Madrid.The massive series of demonstrations that started on May 15 gathered people from all classes and ages. Mothers came with their children; professors and lawyers gave improvised speeches at every corner of the plaza, protesters started building tents and other facilities.The 15M movement or “Real Democracy Now – DYR” – started as a public outcry denouncing political corruption and unemployment that has soared to unprecedented levels. Some 25 per cent of the labour force can’t find a job and almost 50 per cent of young people are unemployed.
(…) A manifesto for change – The movement continued its protest the day after the elections and released a manifesto – in several different languages – stating their main goals and aspiration (…) The manifesto fails to make any concrete proposal to end the crisis – and it would be premature to consider this movement a revolution such as those taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria, and Bahrain. Luis, an active participant in the protest, said: “Our situation is very different than in the Arab world. They are fighting for freedom against cruel dictatorships. Their struggle has more merit that our campaign, and they are risking their lives … Also their goals seem to be different as well.”Nerea, Luis, Aurora and Mario have the same opinion about the movement and think that this mobilisation does not have the same goals of the Arab revolutions – and therefore they are not seeking to force the resignation of the president or any of his ministers. Mario argued that the goals are very clear: “We would like to see radical changes in our political model. For instance, we don’t want to have politicians that keep making decisions based on the stock market and we would like to change how judges and other officials are appointed.”
Doubts creep in – Political analysts and specialists agree that the movement had great initial success during the week before the elections, but doubt their success in the long term. Ignacio Molina, associate professor in the department of politics and international relations at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, believes that the movement is limited and focus their claims too narrowly on matters of political theory. “In other words, protesters are naive enough to think that changing the political model on institutional issues such as the republican form of government, participatory democracy or the proportional electoral system can help resolve the crisis and improve the life prospects of young people or the unemployed,” he said. However, other specialists such as Jaime Pastor, professor at the department of political science and administration in the National University of Distance Education (UNED), consider that political and economic reform should go hand in hand – but argues that the movement is now at a crucial state. “Protestors have at least established a series of basic goals. But now, after the election, it remains to be seen if they are able to keep the flame alive.”What seems to be clear is that the movement has, so far, succeeded in awakening the Spanish youth that were mired in a prolonged slumber. According to many participants, the movement will continue – regardless of election results.Mario mentioned that there was a plan to move the protest out of the plaza and that they were thinking to start working at a “grassroots” level, organising committees and assemblies across the city’s neighbourhoods. He added that people in France and London had already contacted members of the committees. CLIP
Spain — Viva la revolution! (29 May 2011)
Viva la revolution! Spain’s youth are staging boisterous but peaceful protests across the country that many call the Iberian version of the popular revolutions sweeping the Arab world.Plaza Catalunya, the centre of this marvelous city that pulses with life and fun, is packed with young demonstrators waving placards calling for revolution and end to capitalism and globalism, and blaring American 70’s rock songs. “The banks grow rich while the rest of the world lives on the edge” reads one poster. The Wall Street crash of 2008 caused by reckless American bankers has hit Europe full force. Who can blame these kids for being angry? Spain’s unemployment rate is 20 per cent — 4.9 million. For those under 25, it’s 44.3 per cent – mirroring parts of the restive Arab world. But so far, youth protests in Spain, as well as Britain, Italy, France have been tame. Greece is a different story. As it stumbles towards default on its unsustainable debt, the nation is racked by protests and strikes. Italy and Spain, who may also face bond crises, have joined the scolding Germans in condemning Greece for profligacy and spreading financial contagion. Spain just held municipal and regional elections. Prime Minister Jose Zapatero’s Socialist party, having had the ill luck of being in power when the financial tsunami hit, just got washed away. Incredibly, Barcelona, the cradle of Spanish Socialism, Communism and anarchism, overwhelmingly voted in the rightwing People’s Party, which has links to the Franco-era fascists. The ghost of George Orwell and the famed POUM 1930’s anarchist movement are turning in their graves. The rout of Spain’s left marks another step in Europe’s strong move to the right. CLIP
Police Disperse Anti-Crisis Protesters at Madrid City Hall (June 12, 2011) IS IT OVER… OR JUST BEGINNING?…
MADRID — Scuffles erupted between police and demonstrators outside Madrid’s city hall Saturday as the rightist mayor began a new term in office, in the latest of a wave of protests against the country’ economic crisis and soaring unemployment. (…) Protests over the economic crisis began in Madrid on May 15 and fanned out to city squares nationwide as word spread by Twitter and Facebook among demonstrators also known as “M-15”, “Spanish Revolution” and “Real Democracy Now”. Protesters installed in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square for the past month are scheduled on Sunday to dismantle their ramshackle encampment, which has become a symbol of the anti-establishment movement. The Spanish economy slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of the once-booming property market. It emerged with meagre growth in early 2010. The crisis sent the unemployment rate soaring to more than 21 percent in the first quarter of 2011, the highest in the industrialised world. Among young people it is over 40 percent.
A European Generation Takes to the Streets (June 12, 2011)
Any real revolution in Paris has to include the storming of the Bastille. Which explains why 200 young demonstrators are sitting in the shade of the trees at Place de la Bastille on this Thursday evening, wondering how to go about staging such a revolution. Their numbers had already swelled to more than 2,000 by the Sunday before, when they had occupied the entrance to the Bastille Opera and half the square. But then the police arrived with teargas and, since then, have kept strict watch over this symbolic site.The protestors are trying to create a movement to rival the protests in Madrid and Lisbon. They want tens of thousands of young people to march in the streets of Paris, calling for “démocratie réelle,” or real democracy. They believe that there is also potential for such large-scale protest in France, with youth unemployment at more than 20 percent, precarious working conditions and what feels like a constant state of crisis. “Until now, our problems were always seen as individual problems,” says Julien, a 22-year-old physics student who has joined a group called Actions. “You were told that if you couldn’t find a job, it was your own fault. Perhaps we are now experiencing a change taking place, and that we are joining forces to form a pan-European movement against this system.”
A Fundamental Change — There is a feeling that unites young people throughout Europe, namely the belief that they will not be able to attain the same level of prosperity as their parents did. They feel that they have no future. They are well-trained, and yet they are not finding any jobs. This feeling has been smoldering for years, affecting the generation of “crisis children,” who grew up in a world shaped by economic and other crises, but who never took to the streets to fight for their interests. But a fundamental change is taking place. On March 12, 200,000 people marched down the Avenida de Liberdade, or Avenue of Freedom, in Lisbon. It was the biggest demonstration in Portugal since the 1974 Carnation Revolution, a march of the lost generation. As in Cairo months ago, everything began on Facebook — with an appeal that Alexandre de Sousa Carvalho and some of his former fellow students at the University of Coimbra posted. They called upon the Geração à rasca (or “generation of junk”), to join together in protest. “We, the unemployed, the underpaid and the interns, are the best educated generation in the country’s history,” they wrote. “We are protesting so that those responsible for our precarious situation quickly change this untenable reality.” CLIP