15. maj – Ignacio Escolar om konsekvenserne af det spanske valg

Demonstranter på Puerta del Sol, Madrid

Juan Cano i Madrid opsummerer sin egen oplevelse af den sidste uges “spanske revolution”:

I think that one aspect that is usually overlook is what is really happening in there. There are no leaders, no person in charge, everything gets done by agreement between everyone implicated. Tents have been built to protect people from rain and overexposition to the sun and different committees have formed to deal with cleaning, food supply, communication and legal problems. Everything they have was donated by the people.It started as youth movement, with 50 young people camping in the place, but as the police cleared the camp a global conscience emerged and since that night (from Monday to Tuesday) Puerta del Sol has never been empty for a moment. Each day it attracts more and more people, from different backgrounds, age and ideologies, and it has spread across Spain and Europe.

To be there is incredible. You can see punks talking with retired people, anarchists debating with conservatives. Everyone is getting involved because it is not a movement against democracy, it’s a pro-democracy movement. In a democracy you have different opinions and all of them are welcome.

Even with such a variety there is a sense of community. Violence is prohibited as well as any political sign or flag. We are all together in this and we are all persons, we don’t fight for our ideology and we don’t represent any political party or movement. We are there as citizens who want a fair system and reject any corruption.

Maybe you don’t agree with the ideas of this revolution, but what was achieved in the plaza is worth seeing. A real community as you have never seen, a place for all the ideas. This is a small version of what we want for our country and, being a little ambitious, for the world.

Ignacio Escolar, forhenværende chefredaktør for det venstreorienterede dagblad Público,  mangeårig fortaler for fri kultur, Creative Commons-licenser og åbenhed på Internettet samt som musiker forfatter til en prisbelønnet opfordring til at piratkopiere hans sange, analyserer hele situationen i  The Guardian. Socialistpartiet har indkasseret en syngende lussing fra vælgerne, fordi de har svigtet deres eget bagland, skriver han blandt andet:

Why such a huge defeat for the socialists? One thing that’s clear is that people haven’t voted simply on the basis of regional or municipal issues, and Prime Minister Zapatero’s announcement that he would step down before the next elections seems to have had little effect. Behind the socialists’ defeat lies Spain’s dire unemployment, their denial of the financial crisis at its outset, and, without a doubt, the events of the month of May.

Not the events of this May, though – not the sit-in in Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square a week ago which has quickly turned into the national protest movement popularly known as 15-M, nor the arduous election campaign itself. I’m referring to May 2010, when Zapatero, having just slashed public spending in order to prevent the markets from derailing Spanish bonds, promised the country that he would carry on, “no matter what it costs, and no matter what it costs me”. The cuts probably staved off a bailout, but that month unquestionably marked the beginning of his end.

Om de demonstrationer, som har rystet Spaniens politiske liv, og som Escolar selv har kunnet studere på første hånd, hedder det:

Meanwhile, at the protests in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, everything is being debated. Absolutely everything. The madrileños who have turned out are realists – and that’s why they’re asking for the impossible. People are discussing how to renounce nuclear power, abolish bullfighting, implement a secular state. Anyone who has turned out at these gatherings – and seen how all kinds of different people, megaphone in hand, are putting forward ideas about how to improve the world – will have seen that something truly exceptional is happening in Madrid.

Nevertheless, beyond the Puerta del Sol there’s the rest of Spanish society. And if we want the momentum which the “Spanish revolution” has generated to continue and have a real impact, we need to distinguish the short term from the long term, broad goals from specific ones. Firstly, we need to establish which principles we all (or nearly all) agree on; in doing so we can begin to create a clear framework in which democracy can improve, rather than a specific electoral programme.

I propose that we reform our electoral law, by introducing a system of open lists for voting in members of our Congress, and by making parliament reflect the reality of electoral results according to the “criteria of proportional representation”, as demanded by the constitution. We need a freedom of information law, too. Spain is one of only five countries in the EU which still lacks this, and it is fundamental if we are to control how public money is spent and stop its misuse. The PSOE featured the proposal in their 2004-2008 electoral programme, but, like so many other promises, it came to nothing.

I would like to see a referendum over the bailout of the banks. And how about we reform the laws governing the financing of political parties and people in public office, making their income and expenses more transparent.

Links: Spain’s impossible realists, On the Spanish Revolution

Spanien: Manifest for et ægte demokrati, nu

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Fra Democracia Real YA:

Manifesto (English)

We are ordinary people. We are like you: people, who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends. People, who work hard every day to provide a better future for those around us.

Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.

This situation has become normal, a daily suffering, without hope. But if we join forces, we can change it. It’s time to change things, time to build a better society together. Therefore, we strongly argue that:

  • The priorities of any advanced society must be equality, progress, solidarity, freedom of culture, sustainability and development, welfare and people’s happiness.
  • These are inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development, and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.
  • The current status of our government and economic system does not take care of these rights, and in many ways is an obstacle to human progress.
  • Democracy belongs to the people (demos = people, krátos = government) which means that government is made of every one of us. However, in Spain most of the political class does not even listen to us. Politicians should be bringing our voice to the institutions, facilitating the political participation of citizens through direct channels that provide the greatest benefit to the wider society, not to get rich and prosper at our expense, attending only to the dictatorship of major economic powers and holding them in power through a bipartidism headed by the immovable acronym PP & PSOE.
  • Lust for power and its accumulation in only a few; create inequality, tension and injustice, which leads to violence, which we reject. The obsolete and unnatural economic model fuels the social machinery in a growing spiral that consumes itself by enriching a few and sends into poverty the rest. Until the collapse.
  • The will and purpose of the current system is the accumulation of money, not regarding efficiency and the welfare of society. Wasting resources, destroying the planet, creating unemployment and unhappy consumers.
  • Citizens are the gears of a machine designed to enrich a minority which does not regard our needs. We are anonymous, but without us none of this would exist, because we move the world.
  • If as a society we learn to not trust our future to an abstract economy, which never returns benefits for the most, we can eliminate the abuse that we are all suffering.
  • We need an ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.

For all of the above, I am outraged.

I think I can change it.

I think I can help.

I know that together we can.
Go out in the streets with us. It’s your right.

Læs mere (spansk).

Oprør i Spanien – hvad er det, der foregår?

Videoen viser pladsen ved Puerta del Sol i Madrid for to dage siden, fredag den 20. maj.

Oprøret er tydeligt inspireret af de store demonstrationer i Tunesien og især Egypten, men situationen er helt anderledes, fordi Spanien er en helt anden slags land – rigere og allerede demokratisk og med et kapitalistisk/plutokratisk politisk system, der er integreret i EU og kan være meget vanskeligt at forandre. Miguel-Anxo Murado rammer ikke helt ved siden af, når han i The Guardian gør opmærksom på, at de igangværende demonstrationer udelukkende retter sig mod venstrefløjen i spansk politik – højrefløjen har demonstranterne opgivet forlængst:

Sunday when a rather obscure demonstration turned into a permanent rally, which is gaining momentum by the day and has gathered thousands already.Tellingly, they’re being described not in political but emotional terms. They’re the indignados, “the angry ones”. Angry at the banks, at the labour market, at the main political parties and most of all at the politicians, who they feel don’t represent them. What they actually want is less clear. They pride themselves on not having leaders or a specific political platform, an ideological fuzziness that has enabled them to attract a diverse constituency.

They have taken the politicians off guard, that’s for sure. Both the ruling Socialists and the conservative opposition, the People’s party, are in shock. Not at being criticised but at being bundled together as “the same thing”. In next year’s general election the socialists were counting on the fear the conservatives instil in many Spaniards. The conservatives were counting on the anger aroused by the socialist government, among many others. Now that anger seems to be directed at both parties and it is both that are afraid.

Murado fortsætter med at forklare, at demonstrationerne ikke skal forstås så meget som mod de økonomiske stramninger og kolossale gaver til bankverdenen i kølvandet på finanskrisen, men at det mere er et oprør mod et forbenet politisk system – et synspunkt, han efter min bedste opfattelse ikke har ret i. Han fortsætter dog med at observere:

The makeup of the protestors is not that mysterious if you take a walk in the square. Those who camp there are unmistakeably part of the anti-globalisation camp, focused in social causes (immigrants’ rights, world hunger), idealistic, often naive, and with a strong anti-capitalist bent. They’re actually very few.

What is new here is that at times they’re reinforced by a much wider and down-to-earth crowd. It’s comprised of pensioners, passersby and angry parents, but still mostly of university students. The People’s party knows these are not their potential voters. If they’re angry at the Socialists it is because they feel it has shifted to the right in the economy, which is true. The hardcore may be “post-democratic”, but the ensemble is certainly not “trans-ideological”.

I believe this is the key to understanding this protest. For all its far-reaching rhetoric, it addresses solely the left. It ultimately represents the frustration of those who see that it doesn’t matter which way you vote, the economic policies are dictated by the markets; hence the critique of “the system” and the demands of accountability and transparency. Most of the protesters seem to be the people who voted Socialist in 2008 only to prevent a win for the People’s party. They don’t want their vote to be taken for granted yet again.

Oversat til danske forhold kunne det måske svare til frustrationen hos de mennesker, der i 2011 kommer til at stemme på SF eller Socialdemokraterne for at holde Dansk Folkeparti fra fadet, blot for at se dem videreføre Dansk Folkepartis højreekstremistiske indvandrerpolitik (det lover de jo faktisk, at de vil gøre).

Ikke desto mindre er det  her, Murado tager fejl – formentlig på grund af hans eget ønske om at bagatellisere demonstrationerne. Han har ret i, at demonstrationerne udelukkende henvender sig til venstrefløjen i spansk politik, men det gør dem ikke til en ren protestbevægelse uden program. Hvad demonstrationerne i Egypten og Spanien har til fælles, er det elementære krav om værdighed, der ligger bag. I Egypten, at de kunne få et samfund, hvor regeringen ville respektere de mest basale menneskerettigheder.

I Spanien, at de 45% af ungdommen og næsten 20% af den samlede arbejdsstyrke, der er arbejdsløse, de millioner af akademikere, der hvert år sendes lukt ud i arbejdsløsheden og de endnu flere, der lever som overbeskæftigede og underbetalte mileuristas, kan leve et mere værdigt liv uden hele tiden at skulle se tilværelsen forsvinde under deres fødder.

Når den økonomiske krise oven i disse strukturelle problemer rammer frontalt ned i almindelige menneskers hverdag, mens landets politikere slipper uden straf fra korruptionsskandaler i milliardklassen og pengene fosser ud til bankerne i “genopretningspakker” – ja, så bliver folk vrede. Og det er den vrede, der nu viser sig i Spaniens gader, som eksemplificerer ved studenten herunder, der gør opmærksom på de anstrengte og usikre forhold, mange af landets studerende må leve under.

"Becaria precaria", Barcelona, 20. maj 2011

Democracia Real – Sevilla, fredag den 20. maj

Det igangværende oprør i Spanien har ikke kun ramt storbyer som Madrid og Barcelona. Denne video viser en folkemængde i Andalusiens hovedstad Sevilla, en by med knap en million indbyggere. Lignende demonstrationer finder sted i alle større byer i hele landet.

Og hvad handler oprøret om? Det handler blandt andet om, at man ikke vil acceptere, at staten vil spare sig ud af bankernes gældskrise. Man ønsker som i Island et opgør med tanken om, at regeringen kan lukke skoler og hospitaler og forære pengene til bankverdenen som “redningspakker”. Og man afviser tanken om, at en lille klike af stenrige politikere på begge sider af det politiske spektrum kan repræsentere en befolkning, der trods et højere uddannelsesniveau end nogen sinde før meget ofte er henvist til at leve for under 1.000 euro om måneden.

Som aktivisten Pako Belmonte skriver på sin blog:

Si la precariedad, los sueldos miserables y la carestía de las necesidades primarias no hubieran empujado a los submileurizados a tener que poner en una pancarta “Me representaréis cuando cobréis 600 euros”, ahora no estaríamos indignados.

– frit oversat: Hvis de usle forhold, den elendige løn og manglen på de mest elementære fornødenheder ikke havde tilskyndet dem, der må klare sig for mindre end 1.000 euro om måneden til at skrive på et skilt: “I repræsenterer mig, den I selv tjener 600 euro om måneden”, havde vi ikke været så vrede.

Og denne vrede er efterhånden til at tage og føle på. Måtte den få vind i sejlene og brede sig til resten af Europa.

Mere om oprøret i Spanien

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Landets valgkommision har foreløbig forbudt de løbende demonstrationer, og de unge har reageret ved at udnævne  lørdag til “eftertænksomhedens dag”. Umiddelbart er der dog ingen tegn på, at besættelsen af Puerta del Sol i Madrid og (som på billederne herover) Plaza de Catalunya i Barcelona og utallige andre byer vil ophøre.

Protesterne har baggrund i en ungdomsarbejdsløshed på 45% og et arbejdsmarked, hvor mange akademikere ikke kan forvente at komme til at tjene mere end 1000 euro om måneden – nogensinde, i hele deres liv. Aktionerne er inspireret af revolutionerne i den arabiske verden og af det folkelige oprør i Island, der foreløbig har fået landet til at afvise den tåbelige ide om, at hele landet skulle hæfte for en privat banks fallit.

Dagbladet Arbejderen skriver endvidere:

I centrum af Madrid har hundredevis af unge oprettet en protestlejr. De er dybt utilfredse med at skulle betale for den økonomiske krise – blandt andet med en ungdomsarbejdsløshed på 45 procent.

– Vores bevægelse er under opbygning. Vi samler idéer og organiserer for at skabe social forandring, siver Juan Rubio, som er talsmand for protestbevægelsen.

De unge har bidt sig fast på den centrale plads Puerta del Sol i hovedstaden trods et forbud fra myndighederne. Her vil de blive indtil lokalvalget er overstået på søndag; »derefter kan ingen forudsige, hvad der sker«, lyder det i en pressemeddelelse fra demonstranterne i Madrid.

Samtidigt samles unge på samme grundlag i Barcelona, Granada og mange andre byer i Spanien.

De unge er vrede over, at de ikke kan svare på problemerne med krise, arbejdsløshed og boligmangel ved valget. Der er i realiteten kun to partier at stemme på, og det ene er værre end det andet. Det er socialdemokraterne, som har regeringsmagten. De ventes at gå tilbage ved valget. Socialdemokraterne kom til magten for fem år siden på grund af utilfredshed med det andet store parti, det højreorienterede Folkepartiet (PP)

»Hvis ikke vi får lov til at drømme, får I ikke lov til at sove«, lyder det på et skilt på pladsen i Madrid, hvor man er inspireret af både den folkelige protest mod krisen i Island og protestbølgen for frihed og demokrati på Tahrir-pladsen i Cairo.

»Vi ønsker et nyt samfund, som sætter livet foran økonomiske interesser. Vi vil kæmpe for det vi fortjener, og det skal være det hele og det skal være nu! Hvis du er enig i det, så slut op«, lyder appellen fra de unge på pladsen Puerta del Sol.

Dette rejser en del vigtige spørgsmål, såsom – hvornår vil vi her i landet få et tilsvarende folkeligt oprør mod den racisme og eksklusion af folk, som er “fremmede” eller “anderledes”, som drives af Dansk Folkeparti og accepteres af næsten hele det politiske liv? Det kan kun gå for langsomt.