[Marxism] Spain's Indignados one year on -- more relevant than ever

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Sun May 20 00:46:45 MDT 2012

In the week before the first anniversary of the *indignado*("the outraged")
protests and camps that broke out across Spain on May 15 last year, the
Spanish media was full of opinionated wishful thinking about the state of
what became known as the 15-M movement.

This wasn't just the usual malice of the right-wing media, which can always
be relied upon to play up the inevitable roughness of some indignado
actions -- like call-outs where only a handful respond and end up
outnumbered by police and TV crews.

Dick Nichols, Barcelona

The commentators all agreed that 15-M, which mobilised anger at austerity
and a corrupt political system, was (or "had been") important. But along
with the often reluctant recognition of its impact went some weird and
ignorant caricatures, born of desires to have it self-destruct or morph
into a different kind of beast.

Philosopher German Cano picked the tone of the commentators in the May 14 *El
Pais*: "Not social-democratic enough, not revolutionary enough, not liberal
enough, the movement always looks like a kid who just can't to do the right
The huge turnout to 15-M's "Happy First Birthday" demonstrations on May 12
was in part a response to the drivel of the commentariat.

The "15-M is dead, dying or wrong" messages helped spur people onto the
streets. One demonstrator told *Green Left Weekly*: "I really didn't have
time to come, but they make my blood boil."

The result was another huge turnout -- 150,000 in Madrid, more than 300,000
in Barcelona, tens of thousands in the other regional capitals and
thousands in another 60-plus cities and towns where demonstrations took


"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is humanity's
original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made,
through disobedience and through rebellion." -- Oscar Wilde, Soul of Man
Under Socialism

"The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
dummy?" -- Jarvis Cocker

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