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A million march for dignity in Madrid
Angel Morano, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain)
"De Norte a Sur, de Este a Oeste, la lucha sigue, cueste lo que cueste" (From North to South, East to West, the struggle continues no matter what the cost)
The above chant rang through the streets of Madrid as a deafening roar on 22 March (22M).
The city was shut down by an unprecedented human sea in the "marches for dignity".
Estimations of the attendance on the marches range from one to two million, in what was possibly the biggest demonstration in Spain since the fall of the Franco dictatorship.
Thousands arrived in Madrid from all corners of the country, in six columns, many of which had set out from their home towns on foot, up to a month prior to 22M.
The masses flooded the city, under the banner of "bread, jobs and housing for all - no payment of the debt, out with the governments of the Troika".
In the context of the crippling economic crisis and mass misery, and of the criminal failure of the leaders of the workers' movement to mobilise the necessary fightback, 22M represents the working class entering the stage to break the logjam and open up a new phase of struggle.
22M must be the spark that ignites a coordinated struggle to build a left and rank and file opposition to the 'pactism' of the main union leaders, extended throughout the entire union movement.
Following the mass explosion from below of 22M, a new general strike cannot be as those which have gone before, organised by the union leaders to let off steam and followed by demobilisation and defeat.
We need a new general strike, built from below with a political programme based on the demands of 22M, a political general strike.
This would be the first step in a sustained and escalating plan of action which can only end in the fall of the Rajoy government and a break with the capitalist regime established following the transition in 1978.
Finally, we must stress the impact of Izquierda Unida on the march, which was covered with a sea of its flags and filled with its activists.
If IU is to become the political force which can give the movement a voice and lead it to victory, it is crucial that it adopts a clear political programme for the socialist transformation of society, to break with the Troika and capitalism.
- See socialistworld.net for a fuller report and analysis
In The Socialist 2 April 2014:
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