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Spain: class struggle the biggest show in town
Any glance at newspapers or TV news programmes anywhere in the Spanish state in the last days and weeks would leave no-one in doubt as to the change that has taken place in the situation here. In the run-up to the general strike on 29 September the class struggle has become the biggest show in town.
In the northern regions of Galicia and Asturias, thousands of miners have taken militant action against the government's proposal to throw the industry's entire workforce onto the scrapheap of mass unemployment, and have announced a series of strike days at the end of September.
The fires which blazed on their road and railway blockades, and graced the front pages of Spain's main daily newspapers stood out as a symbol of the new situation in a country where the working class is poised to decisively enter the stage of struggle. Even the Guardia Civil (police force) has joined the tide of protest, with thousands of its ranks taking to the streets in Madrid to demand better conditions!
The general strike on 29 September will represent the coming together of these isolated points of resistance into a single blow - a battering ram against the offensive of the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the international markets. But one general strike will not be sufficient to force the hand of the government and capitalism, determined to persevere with their agenda of attacks and austerity, in service to the international bondholders.
Zapatero's labour reform bill, which provoked the calling of the general strike, is set to be followed up by an attack on the pension system, the raising of the retirement age to 67 and the implementation of over €50 billion in public sector cuts.
Only a sustained programme of action, with a series of general strikes and coordinated actions can stop this onslaught in its tracks. At a general strike preparatory assembly in one of the barrios of Granada in Andalucia, a regional leader of the CC.OO (workers' commissions) warned of the inevitable necessity of further generalised action, calling for 'a general strike every month', until the government turns back.
The CWI in Spain calls for the formation of democratic assemblies and committees of action in workplaces, universities, schools and communities to develop the next steps for the struggle. Only a generalised movement to bring down the attacks, linked to the fight for an alternative, genuinely socialist economic plan can offer a way out to Spain's workers and youth, its unemployed millions and battered economy.
CWI members and supporters will intervene in the general strike in a number of the Spanish state's major cities.
In The Socialist 22 September 2010:
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis
Organising to save jobs and services
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party campaigns