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.
Spain’s unions are now threatening a general strike unless Prime Minister Rajoy holds a referendum on his deeply unpopular austerity budget. The budget, which involves €13 billion of additional cuts, was passed on Tuesday 25 September despite enormous protests in Madrid on which 35 people were arrested and 64 people injured. A survey in the El Pais newspaper showed that nearly 80% of people support the protests, with 90% expecting them to become more frequent.
Ignacio Toxo, the leader of the CCOO union (Spain’s largest), said that it was “up to the government” whether a general strike went ahead, and that Rajoy could avert it by holding a referendum.
In Italy, tens of thousands of students in every major city marched on Friday 6 October in the largest and most militant protest for nearly a year.
From Turin and Milan in the north to Naples and Palermo in the south,
university and high school students defiantly outfaced the ferocious thug squads of the state as they tried to prevent the students getting near to local or national government buildings.
“Away with the Castes”, protesters roared, referring to the putridly bloated, corrupt fabric of everyday life — political ,economic, social and cultural — that is contemporary bourgeois Italy, whose survival depends on the immiseration of millions of its youth.
The naked brutality of the cops’ reaction against defenceless children once more underlies the icy determination of those in power to meet every manifestation of dissent with evergrowing repression.
But further marches are planned this month.