As 1 million people turn out for the Stanley Cup parade in Boston, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Europe to decry proposed austerity measures:
Anti-austerity rallies have been held across Europe – in Spain thousands marched to protest against high unemployment and their government’s handling of the economic crisis.
It was the first major demonstration since the end of the so called Indignant campaign in which Madrid’s central square was occupied by activists for several weeks.
A protest movement called “The Indignant” is leading the way in Spain:
More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets in cities across Spain on Sunday, accusing politicians and bankers of implementing economic policies that led to the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone.
In Spain’s capital, Madrid, protesters converged near the parliament building where 500 police were deployed to maintain security. The police estimated that between 35,000 and 45,000 people joined the demonstrations with no reports of violence.
“I’m here because this is a con,” Juanjo Montiel, a 26 year old who works in information technology, told the news agency Reuters. …
Since its founding in May, the protest movement has fanned out across Spain with protesters on Sunday reading a manifesto calling for a general strike and for a revolution.
“The capitalist system does not work, it only benefits a few and harms the majority,” a young female protester told the news agency dpa. …
“The banks and the governments that caused this situation must know that we do not agree with the measures and the budget cuts, that we intend to be heard,” the “indignant” movement said when calling for nationwide protests.
With the official unemployment rate in Spain exceeding 20%, the rage felt by ordinary citizens is quite understandable. Their situation is in many ways similar to our own; after years of reckless profiteering by the banks and other corporations, ordinary citizens are now faced with the prospect of slashing social services to bail out the very entities that caused the crisis in the first place. There are, of course, crucial differences between them and us – perhaps the most notable being that people in Spain are actually turning out en masse to protest the latest proposed austerity measures.
But beyond that, the situation across Europe is different in that they actually have meaningful social services at risk of being lost. Universal health care, free or reduced college education and comprehensive unemployment benefits are the norm throughout the EU, meaning that normal citizens actually have a lot to lose if the proposed measures are implemented.
Read more of this post