Spain

Campus battles and NUS conference 2014

For a report of the conference published on 11 April, see here.

The weakness of the labour movement after the defeat of the public sector pensions dispute has had its effect in the student movement too.

Student activism is stronger than before the student upsurge of 2010-11, but still sluggish. Nonetheless, the National Union of Students conference (8-10 April, Liverpool) comes after six months which have seen important struggles.

The National Union of Students conference comes after six months which have seen some important student struggles.

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Spanish pro-choice march

Thousands of Spaniards protested on 1 February against a draft law to restrict access to abortion. The law would limit abortion to cases of rape and instances where the health of the mother was at serious risk. The current law, brought in the Socialist government in 2010, gives women the right to abort up to the 14th week of pregnancy.

Thousands of Spaniards protested on 1 February against a draft law to restrict access to abortion.

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The Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution

D. A. Santillan has written a tragic, very significant book* to tell the “real role” of the F.A.I. (Anarchist Federation of Iberia), the “only influential mass organization that remained incorruptible in the face of new loves” and to place the blame for the victory of Franco where he thinks it really falls – at the door of the “democracies,” Russia and the Popular Front government of Spain.

A contemporary Trotskyist review of D. A. SANTILLAN, WHY WE LOST THE WAR (1940). Santillan was a central leader of the Anarchist movement during the Revolution-Civil War, 1936-39.

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The Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution

M. Wilson

A contemporary Trotskyist review of D. A. SANTILLAN, WHY WE LOST THE WAR (1940). Santillan was a central leader of the Anarchist movement during the Revolution-Civil War, 936-39.

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Spanish health workers say: Basta ya de recortes! Enough of the cuts!

The Spanish government has been using the economic crisis as an excuse to make healthcare profitable. Against the cuts and privatisation, healthcare workers and communities have been fighting back.

In December a two day strike in Madrid against the privatisation of healthcare saw most hospital services in the capital city closed. 3,000 protestors held hands and surrounded one of the main hospitals, La Princesa, opposing the proposals to turn 6 public hospitals, 27 public healthcare centres and 269 public health assistance centres into business companies.

The Spanish government has been using the economic crisis as an excuse to make healthcare profitable. Against the cuts and privatisation, healthcare workers and communities have been fighting back.

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Learn from Spanish health workers

In summer 2011 I was on holiday in Barcelona with my partner when I got a stomach bug. Unable to access a doctor, I decided to go into the local hospital.

Occupying hospitals to stop closure might seem far fetched to some but in Spain the occupation movement of hospitals is growing rapidly.

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Protests grow in Spain and Italy

Anti-austerity protests in Spain are continuing to grow, with many cities witnessing near-daily protests.

There were marches in 56 different cities on Sunday 7 October, mobilising tens of thousands of people. Around 60,000 people marched in Madrid.

Anti-austerity protests in Spain are continuing to grow, with many cities witnessing near-daily protests.

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Protests say “Rajoy out”

Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Madrid on 25 September and marched on Spain’s parliament building as MPs discussed its 2013 budget.

The demonstrations were called by a coordination originating in the “Indignados” movement, who set up protest camps in Spanish cities in 2011.

Many demonstrators were demanding new elections. The manifesto said: “Winning an election does not give the government the right to act as it wants, betraying the voters who elected it.

Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Madrid on 25 September and marched on Spain’s parliament building as MPs discussed its 2013 budget.

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Spanish doctors defy government over migrants

So far 870 Spanish doctors have signed a manifesto which states: “My loyalty to patients does not allow me to ignore my ethical and professional duty and abandon them”.

They are defying a government decree to refuse public health services to 150,000 migrants.

Six of Spain’s 17 regional governments — all those not run by the ruling right-wing Popular Party, and one that is — have also announced they will ignore the law and continue to provide free healthcare to migrants.

Spanish doctors are defying a government decree to refuse public health services to migrants.

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Spanish workers resist cuts

Despite the return to work by Spanish miners, resistance to the government’s austerity measures continues.

The decision by the Spanish miners’ unions to call off their strike came as a surprise to many observers (including the writer of these lines). Nevertheless, in the coalfields and in much of the rest of Spain, the situation can hardly be described as “normal”.

Despite the return to work by Spanish miners, resistance to the government’s austerity measures continues.

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Spain: a storm is brewing

As the Spanish government teeters on the brink of a bailout, the Spanish working class has responded with a spectacular burst of militancy that sets the tone for a fightback against Europe-wide austerity.

The right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy is imposing vicious cuts in welfare and social spending. This includes £50 billion of austerity measures: a VAT hike, cuts to unemployment benefit, a 7% cut in public sector wages and the privatisation of ports, airports and railways.

As the Spanish government teeters on the brink of a bailout, the Spanish working class has responded with a spectacular burst of militancy that sets the tone for a fightback against Europe-wide austerity.

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Spanish miners solidarity benefit in Newcastle

Date: 

24 August, 2012 - 18:30 to 25 August, 2012 - 00:00

Location: 

Tyneside Irish Centre 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Description: 

Benefit Gig with Dog Years (and other bands to confirm)

Miners in Northern Spain have been on all out strike since 29 May, against the threat to end thousands of careers in pits, and destroy communities. This is Spain's 'Miners Strike'.

As well as that metro cleaners in Newcastle are on the strike again against poverty pay, with terrible conditions. This benefit will raise money for both.

Facebook event

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The Spanish miners need your help!

The Spanish miners’ strike against a cut in the subsidy to the industry is now in its tenth week. Support in Spain and internationally is growing all the time.

When the miners’ march (the “Black March” or “Marcha Negra”) from the coalmining regions to Madrid reached the capital on 19 July they were greeted by thousands of supporters and well-wishers in a clear demonstration that their strike is now seen as the spearhead against the government’s austerity policies.

The Spanish miners’ strike against a cut in the subsidy to the industry is now in its tenth week.

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The Spanish miners' struggle - their fight is our fight (AWL London forum)

Date: 

25 July, 2012 - 18:00 to 20:00

Location: 

The Lucas Arms, 245a Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross

Description: 

Facebook event here.
Leaflet downloadable as PDF - click link at bottom.

A discussion of the Spanish miners' struggle, its history, its politics and building solidarity.

We have invited a speaker from the Spanish Miners' Solidarity Committee and hope to discuss the possibilities for setting up a Support Group in London.

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Solidarity with Spanish miners!

Up to 100 billion euros for bankers and nothing for the workers! Sounds familiar?

Yes it’s the turn of Spanish bankers to receive a massive handout from the Eurocrats in Brussels. It should come as a surprise to no-one that not a single euro will go towards helping the Spanish workers who now face the highest unemployment rates in Europe and vicious cuts in welfare and social spending.

Spanish miners are in the sixth week of an indefinite strike against the withdrawal of substantial subsidies to their industry.

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Spanish miners are striking for us all

After a serious of localised industrial actions, Spanish coal miners, in the main mining regions of Asturias and Castile and León, went on indefinite strike on 29 May. This is their response to the announcement by the right wing government of Mariano Rajoy that subsidies to the coal mining regions will be massively cut, in effect announcing his intention to close down the industry.

After a serious of localised industrial actions, Spanish coal miners, in the main mining regions of Asturias and Castile and León, went on indefinite strike on 29 May.

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The Spanish miners' labour war

On Monday 18 June tens of thousands of people marched through the northern Spanish towns of Léon and Langrero in solidarity with the month long miners’ strike.

The marches were organised for a one-day general strike in the Austurias region.

On Monday 18 June tens of thousands of people marched through the northern Spanish towns of Léon and Langrero in solidarity with the month long miners’ strike.

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Solidarity with Spanish miners!

Spanish coal miners, located mainly in the northern region of Asturias, went on indefinite strike against the austerity measures of Spanish prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the end of May.

In the same way that the British miners were once considered the vanguard of the labour movement, the Spanish miners are seen by many to be giving a lead to the rest of the Spanish trade union movement. Their strike could provide the spark to ignite the whole Iberian peninsula.

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Spain's bailout won't cure euro crisis

Spanish house prices are plummeting and cuts in social spending are accelerating the drop by wiping out jobs and incomes. The EU bailout will do nothing to stop this interlocking death-spiral.

The Spanish government announced on Saturday 9 June that it would seek a financial bailout from the European Union.

Previously, for months, it had said that it had everything under control and there was no question of a bailout.

Eurozone finance ministers quickly said they’d lend up to 100 billion euros to the Spanish government to enable it to patch up dodgy banks.

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Why Spain is spiralling

Spain is on the brink of an economic crash and bail-out because of the perversities of the eurozone banking system and the world financial markets.

The answer is to take high finance across Europe into public ownership, establish workers’ control over the sector, and run it as a public service for banking, pensions, and insurance. But the EU leaders will not do anything like that. The crisis will worsen.

Spain is on the brink of an economic crash and bail-out because of the perversities of the eurozone banking system and the world financial markets.

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European news in brief

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union had its vote drop by 8% in provincial elections on 13 May in Germany’s most populous state, Nordrhein-Westfalen.

The SPD (equivalent of the Labour Party) gained 5%, and the SPD/Green coalition in Nordrhein-Westfalen now has a majority where before the election it was a minority government.

The maverick Pirate Party went up from 2% to 8%, and, maybe in part as a result, the leftish party Die Linke went down from 6% to 3%.

Electoral losses for Christian Democrats in Nordrhein-Westfalen; Spain nationalises bank.

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Spain pushes “pay for health care”

Spain’s new conservative government is planning to change Spain’s health service so that the sick will have to pay a fee for medical examinations, doctors’ visits and prescriptions.

Health care in Spain is currently free at the point of need, as in Britain’s NHS.

Spain’s new conservative government is planning to change Spain’s health service so that the sick will have to pay a fee for medical examinations, doctors’ visits and prescriptions.

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General strikes in Spain and Portugal

Spain’s two main union confederations, UGT and CCOO, called a one-day general strike on 29 March over issues similar to those sparking the strike wave in Italy.

In a country with 23% unemployment, the new conservative government wants to change the law to make it easier for employers to sack workers.

The executives of UGT and CCOO met jointly, for the first time in history, on 9 March, to decide to call the strike.

Spain’s two main union confederations have called a one-day general strike on 29 March; in Portugal, workers staged a general strike on 22 March.

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All change in Italy and Spain?

Italy’s billionaire “playboy” prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is coming under increasing pressure to step aside as his country slips ever-closer towards economic crisis.

Berlusconi’s opinion rating dropped to a record low of 22% after a rally on 6 November.

Italian left party Rifondazione called last week for immediate elections, to act as a referendum on the economic policy forced on the country by the EU and carried out by Berlusconi.

Italy has a debt of €1.9 trillion, 120% of its GDP.

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"Spain" by W. H. Auden,

The Spanish Revolution and Civil War broke out 75 years ago.

"The stars are dead. The animals will not look.
We are left alone with our day, and the time is short, and
History to the defeated
May say Alas but cannot help or pardon."

The Spanish Revolution and Civil War broke out 75 years ago, in July 1936. W H Auden, then a fellow traveller of the British Communist Party, served as an ambulance driver in the International Brigade. He published this call to arms in 1937. Later, after his politics changed, he rejected the poem.

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Europe for citizens, not for bankers!

Some say that the recent protests in Spain are similar to the upheavals in the Arab world.

Much of the agitation has come from the 15 May movement, a “movimiento de indignados”.

They advocate more participation by the ordinary people in government. They cite the pernicious influence of banks and major corporations. They have a slogan “No somos marionetas en manos de politicos y banqueros” — roughly, “We aren't puppets in the hands of politicians and bankers”.

Student demonstrations in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia have attracted many teenagers, especially migrants.

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Spanish "real democracy" movement and the unions

The Spanish 15-M movement, called after the starting point on 15 May, is at present passing through a crucial stage. The continuing protests are uncomfortable for Spanish capitalism as it struggles to project an image of bourgeois respectability to the international markets.

But the “Genuine Democracy Now” movement is uncomfortable not only for them. In the offices of the UGT and CCOO (Spain’s largest trade union federations), the movement is also making some nervous.

The Spanish "real democracy" movement is passing through a crucial stage.

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Spain: "Real democracy needs socialism"

The youth protests — going under the banner of “Real Democracy” — which began during May as a public outcry denouncing political corruption and unemployment have swept across Spain. In the last week of May French youth have also taken to the streets.

With no end to the economic crisis and with the government forging ahead with its cuts programme, this protest has the potential for this to be the start of something much bigger.

Youth protests against political corruption and unemployment have swept across Spain.

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Tahrir Square comes to Spain

"This is a protest they will never understand" said one youth, as he, along with around 2,000 other young people, camped out in Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, defying a ban on demonstrations in the days before municipal and regional elections on Sunday 22 May.

Bourgeois democracy in Spain is less brittle than the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, and can "deal with" movements such as these youth demonstrations even if it can’t understand them. But the inspiration from Tahrir Square is obvious.

Two thousand young people camped out in Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, defying a ban on demonstrations in the days before municipal and regional elections on 22 May.

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