At the important assemblies taking place in the main cities in Spain there are growing concerns among the youth as to how to continue the struggle. The weight of some anarchist and autonomist currents makes it difficult to develop this discussion in clearer and more productive way. Basing themselves on the rejection of the main political parties and the trade union bureaucracy by the protestors, these currents encourage the rejection of all workers’ organisations and political groups. By doing so, they deny the right of the different political tendencies to campaign for their policies among the demonstrators, many of whom are already members of these groups. This also affects non-aligned activists who are prevented from grouping themselves with those who share similar views and who would like to defend and fight for their positions. The denial of the democratic right of expression to those organisations which support the struggle represents a step back for the development of the movement as a whole.
Two main strategies can be distinguished. On the one hand, the same groups that are opposed to the freedom of tendencies are trying to transform the camps into an end in themselves. The anarchists and autonomists’ main goal is to build the camps ‘here and now’ as an ‘autonomous space’, where those participating can resolve by their own means some of their everyday problems – even if only in a partial way. They are trying to build ‘a city within a city’, a parallel world to the existing one. This leads to a disregard for the political struggle against the government, the main political parties and the bosses, and, in turn, rejects the desire of the majority to formulate concrete demands. Moreover, by doing this, they impose an obstacle to the development of the movement by preventing it from linking up with workers in struggle – who don’t share this utopian and individualistic strategy. This tactic is in conflict with their stated aim of creating a ‘parallel society’, since isolation only assists the government in its attempts to evict the protesters from the squares.
On the other hand, there are political groups that believe that the movement has to attack the government and the main political parties, as part of the struggle to stop all the adjustment measures and put an end to reactionary institutions such as the monarchy. Their hope is to transform the world in a radical way, not to build a precarious ‘alternative world’. They want to take the struggle out of the squares – a desire that many participants have already expressed – that is, to transform the camps in centres of organisation and coordination in order to link up with other sectors in struggle. Without this the camps risk becoming symbolic and isolated protests – with little impact. For the comrades in Clase contra Clase the strategic task is to link up with organised workers, who, participating with their own methods of struggle, can move the current protest from the stage of occupying the streets to the stage of paralysing the country.
by Santiago Lupe, Clase contra Clase, first published here on May 26, 2011
Zaragoza: The “workers’ committee” talks to the bus workers on strike, GM, and the Union workers
In Zaragoza the 15M held a massive mobilization of 5,000 people. The companeros from CcC, along with the Left Students’ Union, various parts of the CGT unions (which included Telepizza) and other young workers, were calling for and organizing for mobilizations in institutions, universities, and companies. That was one of the resolutions from the Youth Workers and Students Conference, which we were a driving force in organizing on 7M (May 7th), and which served as a means to form class relations, such as strengthen the youth organization, surround the struggles with solidarity, and join the fight against government cuts and the bureaucracy looking to negotiate deals.
During the last week the mobilization grew to more than 10,000 people in the Pilar Plaza, where there was a big demonstration of people banging pots and pans to challenge the new ban on the encampments. Since the first day they have been trying to unite the “indignados” (“indignant” protestors) with the sector of workers in struggle. In the first assembly on Tuesday the 17th 200 people attended and Javier Anadon, TUZSA (Urban Busses) Business Committee President, spoke. They voted unanimously that the manifestation in support of TUZSA on Wednesday the 18th would end in an assembly, which duplicated the attendance with the presence of many workers.
The companeros from CcC participated in the students’ committee and the workers’ committee, both of which participated in the striking bus workers’ picket to show their solidarity. In the students’ committee high school and university students have a strong presence, and they want to hold assemblies in institutes and faculties. In the workers’ committee there are young precarious workers, like those in Telepizza and the contracted workers at City Hall, teachers and industrial workers from various unions and those who aren’t unionized. This week they’re going on “expeditions” to GM (the main business in Aragon, with 8,000 workers) and the major unions’ head offices to demand a general strike and to speak with the workers, encouraging them to join the strike and surpass their betraying leaders.
Terrassa: Important worker-student participation
Terrassa city is one of the many cities in the State of Spain and Catalunya that have joined the protestors who are camping in the city plazas to demonstrate against the economic, social and political system. Through the use of social media a rally was called on the 18th to show solidarity with the other camping protestors. The rally was very successful with over 500 people attending. Those who attended included workers who are in struggles, such as the health workers and students who have been fighting against the budget cuts for a long time as well as immigrants and the unemployed. Everyone participated in a general assembly, where a consensus was reached to continue camping in the plaza for another day
In the following days the protestors have been organizing in committees and subcommittees (communication, activities, infrastructure, organization, coordination…). There are also debates organized around different issues, such as the environment, foreclosures, health, education, and immigration.
The encampment is taking place in a symbolic place: (Raval de Montserrant), which is a plaza in front of the city hall and is now called the People’s Plaza. Over 2,000 people participated this weekend. But possible the most important event was the high school students’ manifestation on the 25th, when over 1,000 students came out to the plaza and headed towards the Mutua hospital to show their support for the health workers’ rally.
Next Sunday a general assembly will be held to decide on the future of the encampment.
by Clase contra Clase, first published here on May 26, 2011