[Marxism] United Left national convention: ‘This is the Spanish SYRIZA!’ | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Sun Jan 6 02:37:54 MST 2013

By *Dick Nichols*, Madrid

January 4, 2013 – On the last day of the 10th federal convention of the 
Spain’s United Left (Izquierda Unida, IU), Juan Peña, young IU 
organisation secretary for the Castilian town of Valladolid, summed up 
his view of the impact of the /indignado/ (15M) movement on the IU, one 
of the oldest broad left formations in Europe: “15M brought IU good news 
and bad news. The good news was that our programmatic proposals hit the 
mark, shared by the people who poured into the streets. The bad news was 
that the people thought that these proposals were new, their own.”

Ever since the enormous and exceptional upsurge of protest that began in 
Spain on May 15, 2011, the 30,000-strong IU has been wrestling with this 
contradiction—the gap between the millions of people, including many 
members and supporters of the sociali-democratic Spanish Socialist 
Workers Party (PSOE), who share its positions but who don’t regard the 
IU as their political voice.

It’s not that the broad left coalition hasn’t made gains during the 
social and political crisis. Support in opinion polls has more than 
doubled to around 13% and the IU and its Catalan sister party, the 
United and Alternative Left (EUiA), have enjoyed big increases in 
regional elections in 2012 in Andalusia, Asturias, Galicia and Catalonia.

However, such gains account for a small part of the more than 6 million 
voters who have deserted the PSOE over the past four years. The basic 
picture is still one of serious erosion of the two-party system of the 
PSOE and the ruling right-wing People’s Party (PP), but with no force 
yet emerging as the core of a radical left challenge to bipartisan 
capitalist politics.

How to transform the enormous upsurge of protest in the Spanish state 
into a political and social movement strong enough to take power out of 
the hands of the PP government of Mariano Rajoy was the overarching 
issue for the 959 convention delegates who met from December 14-16, 
2012, in an outer suburb of Madrid. As the convention slogan said, 
“Transform: mobilisation into organisation, rebellion into alternative, 
alternative into power”.

Full article at http://links.org.au/node/3173

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