Thousands marched in Madrid, protests continue in Croatia…

(eagainst) While most of the right-wing media, especially the tabloid ones, are welcoming cuts and tough austerity plans, trying to convince us that “the austerity measures are necessary in order to save the economy” (but in fact, to save the banker’s wealth), thousands of students (3,000 according to police sources, and 10,000  according to the organisers) were marching in Madrid yesterday condemning unemployment, the lack of opportunities and privatisation. Under the slogan “no home, no pensions”, “enough is enough”, “we will not shut up” and “we are not profitable, we are indispensable,” the students marched through the capital of Spain showing their anger towards the labour reform, which increases job insecurity. They also expressed their disapproval towards the delay of retirement age and increase of university fees by 30%as the Students Union has reported.

“I am 29 years old and studied sociology, but I have to work in a lottery, Monday through Saturday for 750 euros a month,” said one attendant according to Kaosenlared. Carmen Dominguez, Professor of Optometry at the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) is one of the many educators who also supported this initiative. “The solution to the crisis does not pass through welfare cuts and that is what governments have to understand,” she said.

The march was running peacefully, until the police intervened, attacking some demonstrators. At least one boy was injured and another arrested, according to Efe. Read more…

In Croatia

Anti-government protests continue for more than a month in a dozen towns across the country. According to Socialist Project:

The largest have been in the capital, Zagreb, which have gathered more than 10,000 people at a time. When the regularity of protests – every second day at the beginning and now twice a week – and the fluctuation of participants are taken into account, it is possible to estimate the total number of protesters at more than 50,000 in Zagreb only. Polls show a 70 per cent support from the population for the protests and the calls for government resignation.

The protests are not organized by the political parties or unions, the latter already fully discredited by their politics of “social dialogue”; they are simply lead by all who participate. The decisions are made directly at the protests, and all attempts of various aspirants and wannabe politicians to take over the leadership or act as spokespersons have been instantly disqualified and discredited by prompt reactions of the majority of protesters. Protests are organized as a march across the city centre directed at seats of various fractions of the political and economic elites ruling the country – political parties, the ruling coalition as well as the opposition, private and public media, Croatian Central Bank (Hrvatska Narodna Banka), corporations, trade unions and state and public institutions.

Although the protests nominally aim to overthrow the current government, already shaken by a number of corruption scandals, including the arrest of the former prime minister, the route walked by the protesters, slogans they shout and the banners they carry point to a higher degree of political articulation than a whimsical involvement in the charade that elections have been: the peoples’ demands to participate directly in decision making and to democratize the economic sphere; opposition to privatization processes – those carried out as well as those announced; struggles to protect the public interest; the relentless discrediting of all political parties and the present party system as a model of governance; and opposition to Croatian accession to European Union.



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