Home > General Politics > This is the #SpanishRevolution

This is the #SpanishRevolution

Undoubtedly inspired by the Arab uprisings, but also largely in response to the dire economic outlook, Spain is witness to a popular protest, involving tens of thousands of people in plazas throughout the country, demonstrating against austerity measures, and condemning both major political parties; the ruling PSOE (the Socialists) and the opposition party PP (the Conservatives).

The event taking place in the Puerta del Sol is being dubbed by some the new European Spring, including those on solidarity demonstrations outside Spanish embassies (like in London, where I visited yesterday).

The “Real Democracy Now” movement have scorned both major parties, currently fighting elections, but have also requested people remove their own political colours for the weekend, so as not to distract from the intended message, and get bogged down with in-fighting (indeed at the London gathering, all leafleting has been barred, as well as flag-flying, drink and drug-taking).

Though the protest in Spain has been illegal since Saturday, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he may not enforce the ban that could provoke clashes. He added: “I have a great respect for the people protesting, which they are doing in a peaceful manner, and I understand it is driven by economic crisis and young people’s hopes for employment”.

Despite having emerged out of a recession in 2010, Spain has clocked up little growth since. Consumer confidence has stagnated and export sector growth has been the only thing stopping the economy from dipping under again. The unemployment rate in Spain is 21.9% – the highest in the industrialised world – and for under-25s that rate in February was 44.6% (affecting many of the 800,000 young people who are eligible to vote for the first time).

In the background sits Christopher Columbus

News coverage has been lacking also. The Third Estate blog recently tweeted: “Lack of coverage of #spanishrevolution has been shocking. Yesterday on sky they covered it for 1 min, before another 10 on superinjunctions.”

Television pundits and column writers in Spain were only last week lamenting over how much apathy there has been, given the economic circumstances. But all that has changed. And no doubt both big parties will feel the hit when the election results are counted. Though press attention has been left wanting, it is very telling that most information on these events have come through social networks. Another case study to prove the worth of Twitter and Facebook, existing alongside active protest movements.

Categories: General Politics
  1. Ivan
    May 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    That’s a peaceful fight against this financial Establishment. Citizens are called to election only one time every four years, but the Market does it every day trough stock exchange around the world. So around Europe, America and Asia policitans are not governing. Nowadays there are a lot of electronic Systems to get it! There are ways to have a Democracy 2.0!

    Please help us to get it supporting it. Freedom needs you!

    Best regards from Barcelona :-)

  2. May 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Firstly and most importantly, my solidarity, my best wishes and my love to the Spanish demonstrators, in Spain and outside the Spanish embassy in London.

    I feel there is a future Spanish president in the demonstrations somewhere.

    I do agree that demonstrations need stewarding and rules such as “No alcohol” and “No drugs” are excellent.

    But why “no flags”, “no party colours”? It seems to me that one can’t really have an apolitical, non-political revolution for ever before a certain contradiction occurs to people, most importantly the demonstrators themselves.

    Flying a national flag or showing your party colours is an act of freedom of expression and one simply can’t have a “real” democracy without freedom of expression.

    Political parties and groups will be in there, in the demonstrations, even if required to furl their flags and cover their colours. The parties will be trying to build support for their party in whatever way they are allowed to.

    We must assume that not very democratic or indeed undemocratic parties will be organising around the demonstrations so democratic parties need to do the same and indeed better.

    Peter Dow,
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Administrator, The For Freedom Forums

  3. May 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Anyone know of anybody tweeting in English on this who is in Spain?

    My Spanish isn’t up to much.

  4. May 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    “Spanish Revolution. #SpanishRevolution Las Palabras De Amor” (YouTube)

    The For Freedom Forums, Forums for robust political debate-

    The 2011 May Spanish protests, also referred to as the 15-M Movement, Spanish revolution or Indignados (Spanish for “Outraged”) are a series of demonstrations in Spain whose origin can be traced to social networks and the ¡Democracia Real Ya! (Real Democracy Now!) civilian digital platform, along with 200 other small associations.

    The video features photographs of the 2011 Spanish revolution protests and solidarity People of Europe Rise Up for Real Democracy protests in London, Edinburgh and Berlin.

    The music used is by Queen: “Las Palabras De Amor”.
    Music by Brian May, Sung by Freddie Mercury.

    This is a partisan video which promotes republican leadership of the Spanish revolution 2011.

    The video recalls and celebrates the inspiration of the Second Spanish Republic 1931-1939 cut short by the defeat to the forces of the Fascist General Franco, using recordings of the republican leader Dolores Ibárruri, “La Pasionaria”.

    Not my video this next one, but pretty good!
    “Spanish Revolution. Join the #SpanishRevolution” (YouTube)

  1. April 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

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