An emailer made this comment to us in regards to our coverage of the Spanish protests on Wednesday, and it’s important: While we may call the protests in Spain “austerity protests” they’re better characterised as being anti-corruption protests.
It’s not the cuts, per se (though they don’t help, when unemployment is already where it is), it’s the feeling that people have no power over government, that the government favours elites, and that the country is losing sovereignty that drive people mad.
This is what should terrify the Eurozone as a whole, and Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, who has to make the call to ask for aid.
A piece in Spanish newspaper El Pais should be particularly ominous as it shows the motivations of protesters who are professionals angry with the government, who defy the stereotype of the young “indignados” seen clashing with cops in most videos.
The two sisters, with her friend Silvia Llopis , 36, are particularly indignant with Rajoy. “How have you been able to tell the good citizens stay at home?” exclaims Montse. “I am a good citizen, pay my taxes in a while, and I come to manifest because I feel like it, because I care about my country. Who is this man who is believed to judge me? I do not want to attack the Congress, I believe in democracy and national sovereignty, and also my right to peacefully express myself as I am doing. ” “A good politician,” says her sister, “should take to the streets and see what happens, instead of smoking a cigar while his country is sinking.” The three have been concerned, and with some trepidation, because of what happened on the 25th. “Sure it imposes. Tension is palpable. Afraid But do not get anything. Here we have to say we want things to change. I want a good life for my son.”
“The system is broken,” says Isabel Martinez, lawyer for 38 years. “Vote every four years is not a way to participate. Voted in closed lists, we can not choose our representatives and election promises never put into practice,” he laments. Martinez also believes that “the government helps banks, not people.” “For all this and much more I’m here. The idea was not to attack the Congress, but express her protest near him. That’s just the argument given by the Government to criminalise protest” complaint.
We don’t doubt that a boost to economic growth would help things a lot, but the problems are clearly much deeper.
Meanwhile, more videos like the one below are coming out, and making people feel repulsed at the actions of cops.
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