Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/681/12484
Spain:"Throwing a shoe at the system"
"The indignados don't take holidays", commented one newspaper. "Instead they came in their tens of thousands from all over Spain to turn the heat up on an already sweltering capital. Spanish daily El Pais remarked that the indignados (indignant ones) had retaken Puerta del Sol in Madrid and revived the spirit of the recent movement.
Singing, dancing and chanting "Madrenazu al sistema", throw a shoe at the system, (a reference to the Iraqi journalist who confronted George Bush), four marches converged on the Sol. The area was a sea of protesters; you literally had to go with the flow.
The mood was euphoric, a glimpse of the tenacity and power of this movement and a reminder that hatred and defiance of the system has not eased up. If determination to end the rule of the bankers and corrupt politicians was sufficient, capitalism would be hanging by a thread in Spain.
But for all the movement's merits, spontaneity and impact, it is still grappling with how to bring about the desired change. The destination is outlined but the travel plan is sketchy.
I travelled on a coach from Asturias. During a break Pedro, a Marxist, approached me. We discussed all manner of topics from the Spanish civil war, Liverpool city council and the current industrial battles in my home town, Southampton.
When the coach restarted spontaneous cheers erupted from the back and people started to chant my name! Pedro had translated our conversation and it had met with approval.
I was then asked to address the coach via the public address system and again it was punctuated with cheers in places. There was a real openness to new ideas, particularly those that outlined a clear coherent strategy to develop the movement.
Gavin Marsh, Madrid and Asturias
In The Socialist 3 August 2011:
Fighting the cuts
Opposing the far right
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and campaigns
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party feature