Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2012

Miners light up Madrid and show the way to struggle!

John Hird, CWI Spain

Thousands of coal miners arrived in Madrid on 10 July, completing another march on the capital as part of the struggle to defend their jobs.

They were greeted by thousands of workers and youth from Madrid who poured onto the streets to express their solidarity. Firefighters escorted the miners through Madrid, stripping off in front of the parliament to show their solidarity!

On the same day that the miners arrived, president Rajoy and the right-wing PP government announced a revised vicious cuts budget.

The miners of Asturias and other regions brought the class struggle to Rajoy's door and cut short his Euro Cup feel-good factor. Indeed, David Villa, Barcelona and Spanish footballer is tweeting his support for the miners and their struggle.

The arrival of the miners in Madrid has been like a catharsis for other groups of workers under attack, like firefighters, teachers and local government workers.

Even the mainstream newspaper El Pais admits that the idea of "lucha obrera" (workers' struggle) is taking hold. But generally the Spanish media continues to play a lamentable role.


The government press publishes lies and misinformation about the miners. According to ABC, the miners have salaries of 2,100 a month and the mines are so safe that women miners can go to work in high heels! They have also wasted the millions in subsidies they have received and, of course, the old chestnut, the miners are violent.

In fact, miners receive an average salary of between 1,000 and 1,500 a month for what is still a very dangerous job. The police get about 1,900. All industry is subsidised in Spain, including transport and agriculture. Why single out the miners whose industry has only received about 1% of the total paid out in subsidies?

Spanish banks recently got a 100 billion bailout - where is that money now?

The subsidies paid to the mining industry have been misspent by the private mining companies and local and regional governments. They should have been investing in improved infrastructure and job creation. No one can really account for where the money has gone.

As far as violence is concerned, what is more violent than the destruction of 8,000 direct mining jobs, another 30,000 indirectly and whole communities destroyed?

The miners are precisely being singled out for what they represent, including their history and tradition, as many Spanish workers instinctively understand.

Rajoy's only response to the demands of the miners has been to mobilise national police and the civil guard which is a provocation to the mining communities.

The politicians are living in denial. Esperanza Aguirre, the president of Madrid, denied the miners' march was large!

As the miners were demonstrating, Rajoy announced an increase in VAT of 3% and a reduction in unemployment pay to 50% of what unemployed workers have paid into the social security system. Rajoy said this should 'encourage' the unemployed to find work. But there are five million on the dole!

The battle lines are now clearer. The government is acting exclusively for big business.

Their only policy is to make the poor and working class pay for the capitalist crisis. But the Spanish miners have shone a light and shown the whole of the working class the way to struggle.

See for the full version of this article

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 25 July 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

On your marks.... Get set.... Fight back!

Outsourcing fails again. For publicly owned and run services!

13 trillion hidden from tax by super-rich

Not-guilty verdict in Ian Tomlinson case

Olympic Watch

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan - Workers struggle against bloody, corrupt regime

Spain's austerity government is facing revolt from below

Miners light up Madrid and show the way to struggle!

Socialist history

1972: dockers face down the Tory government

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Austerity Games highlights plight of young people

Save our jobs: We need a 24-hour general strike

Newcastle pride

Pre-emptive arrests: "straight out of 1984"

Stop NHS cuts & privatisation

Kick private profiteers out of the NHS

Virgin vultures swoop on vulnerable people's services

Leicester: Not one cut in the NHS

Kirkby campaigners get support

Olympic protest as South London Healthcare trust forced into administration

Socialist Party workplace news

Olympic victory for London bus workers

Solidarity with PCS members fighting to defend services

RMT demo in Portsmouth against Condor's 'sweatships'

Remploy strike a big success

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party review

TV review: "What have the Olympics done for me?"

Socialist Party appeal & news

Save our server!

Summer printing schedule

Socialist Party Summer Camp


Home   |   The Socialist 25 July 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleCatalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangleExemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

triangleMassacre in Barcelona

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Building a socialist international

triangleBuilding workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism


trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleWarts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

triangleMutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners




Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong



Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't



Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide



Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events



Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia



Germany: Election results in political earthquake



Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!



German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance



French Labour reform protests



Catalonia: Student strike called



Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis



Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state



Berlin hospital strike



Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?



Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice