airports, public transportation, and factories face major disruption, as spanish unions reject austerity measures that reward bankster fraud and enslave taxpayers to pay for the newly-rich’s thievery.
from the guardian uk:
Spain’s first general strike for 18 months has been well-supported, as citizens protest against the government’s labour reforms and austerity plans.
Protests began early, with demonstrators clashing with police in several cities as they tried to disrupt buses and prevent lorries arriving at, or leaving, wholesale markets. Over 50 people were arrested, and a small number treated for injuries.
Unions say they were pleased with the turnout today. Transport links have been badly affected, with hundreds of flights cancelled, and trains and buses delayed.
Mariano Rajoy’s government, though, refused to bow to pressure. Ministers insisted that the labour reforms are essential.
This evening, peaceful marches took place in Madrid and Valencia, with hundreds of thousands of people massing in Madrid’s central square.
However, there have been many examples of violence in Barcelona, including reports of tear gas and rubber bullets being used, and of a Starbucks being set alight.
Giles Tremlett, our correspondent in Madrid, tells me that it is impossible to say at this stage how ‘successful’ the Spanish general strike is. But two key indicators suggest there is more support than at a similar event 18 months ago.
The first is that electricity consumption is down by more than 20% – proof that things are slowing down around the country.
The other is that unions say more people have stopped work this morning than in September 2010, when the socialist administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had to cope with a similar strike.
Zapatero himself considered that strike a crucial moment in the dramatic fall in popular support for his socialists, who were ousted at a general election a year later.
SPAIN: SHUT IT DOWN, from scission
I am not about to say that a general strike called by an anarchist union is Spain is going to shut the country down. I am saying that it should.
As Green Left put it so well,
Since its November 20 election triumph, the administration of Spanish Popular Party PP Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has launched such a blitzkrieg of neoliberal policies, less democratic rights, state centralism and conservative social values that at times it seems as if the country has gone back 40 years in four weeks.
The extent of the right wing push is frightening.
You are probably all somewhat familiar with the new labor “reform” laws which are designed to break organized labor and organized workers. It also pretty much destroys the social savings system while sending workers onto the unemployment lines. The public sector is the particular target of Treasurer Cristobal Montoro.
The environment is not exempt either. Miguel Arias Canete, minister for agriculture, food supply and the environment, has foreshadowed a new National Water Plan. The last plan was an ecological disaster in the making that was defeated by mass mobilisations in 2002. A new coastal law that will “balance” coastal environment and development will legalise the tens of thousands of illegal buildings that have tuned kilometres of Spains coastline into an unending Surfer’s Paradise.
The minister for energy and tourism, Jose Manuel Soria, has decided to keep Spain’s ageing nuclear plants running past their use-by dates, and to build a new nuclear waste dump. It is a sign of the desperation for jobs here that the mayor of the chosen site described the news as “like winning the lottery”.
Then there is the judiciary where the Supreme Court issued a guilty verdict against crusading judge Blathaser Gazon. Gazon has been looking into the fascist Franco dictatorship. These investigations, begun when descendants of victims could get no answers from government or the courts, were making the heirs of the Franco dictatorship nervous. Would they end up in disgrace like their Argentinian, Chilean and Uruguayan counterparts? Meanwhile, right wing judges charged with corruption are being found innocent of corruption and influence peddling.
When ever the right is on the attack, women are sure to be a target. Attorney-general Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, former mayor of Madrid and supposed PP “wet”, is seeking to reform the PSOE’s 2010 abortion law to include the “rights of the conceived” and the obligation on minors to seek parental permission before undergoing abortion. On the eve of International Women’s Day, Ruiz-Gallardon described abortion as “violence against women”.
Meanwhile, the government, led by a Defense Minister who is a former arms trader, is rushing to instal the US missile shield in the port of Rota.It goes on and on. Nothing is sacred here. Well, the rich are sacred and capitalism is sacred.
three pictures show who the enemy-behind-the-throne is, and they well know it in barcelona!