Europe's 2013 protest season finally kicked off this week. On Saturday, three days after the umpteenth general strike paralyzed Greece, a "citizens' wave" of indignation washed over Spain with hundreds of thousands of protesters swarming onto the streets of Madrid and over 80 cities in yet another major popular outcry against the ongoing financial coup d’étât. In Madrid, clashes broke out and at least 40 were arrested after police sought to disperse protesters who had once more encircled Parliament.
Sitting in the living room of a friend's Mile End apartment just shy of 8:00pm of Thursday, I am called into the street by the deafening sound of clanging pots and pans.
On the residential street lined with Montreal's classic triplex townhouses, people of all ages are gathering with their cookware. Children clang at the doorstep of their friends calling to them to come out.
The now nightly "casseroles" are the latest form of popular outrage to premier Jean Charest's new special law that curbs freedom of assembly and association rights, in a bid to break three months of social unrest.
Related rabble.ca story:
Yesterday marked the beginning of the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Indignados movement in Spain, which helped to inspire Occupy Wall Street and like-minded efforts in many North American cities. Hundreds of thousands are participating in actions across Spain over the next few days, including some attempts at 're-occupation' of public squares, to mark the anniversary and to protest the Spanish government's austerity agenda.
This is the final installment of our three-part report on May Day in Spain. Part I looked at the political context in Spain, where austerity has been met with the Indignados movement that has inspired people worldwide. Part II provided an account of the massive May Day protests in Spain, in which an estimated one million people took part.
May 1 may have come and gone in Spain but the echoes of the mobilizations still remain.
Spain is not Greece, as everyone I meet here assures me.
However, the violent clashes in the streets of Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona over the introduction of labour reforms that would make it easier to fire workers still hang in the air here. April 29 saw demonstrations organized by the PSOE (the main left wing political party in Spain) in conjunction with trade unions. Forty thousand people were out on the streets of Madrid, and there were smaller but no less heartfelt demonstrations in at least 55 cities, towns and villages ranging from Avila to Zamora.
rabble.ca is a proud sponsor of the Canadian premiere of Indignados, at the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival.
Long a champion of the marginalized, Tony Gatlif (Latcho Drom, Exiles) fashions a sumptuously visual and typically musical docudrama from 94-year-old French Resistance veteran Stephane Hessel’s surprise anti-capitalist best-seller Indignez-vous! Gatlif melds real protest scenes with the plight of an unwanted African immigrant in France in this impassioned cri de coeur.
Zapatistas: 18 Years of Rebellion and Resistance - by Marcela Salas Cassani
"...Just consider the immense mobilization of the indignados and the Occupy movement that struggle for another possible world...There has never been a mobilization of this magnitude, and the mobilization began in the jungles of Chiapas..."