Spanish Miners’ Revolt, a report from IFA
MIning regions in Spain are engaged in a bitter fight to save their industry. They have drawn parallels with the miners’ strike in this country of 1984-5, knowing that if they lose the fight, the communities that depend on the mines will die with the loss of direct & indirect employment.
Last week they marched on Madrid, and the IFA secretariat sent this report.
The social & employment situation in Spain has got worse. The theme[?] of the miners is one more attack on the working class and people in general. The governments’ cuts are affecting many parts of society but always aimed at the working class and the most disadvantaged people: the unemployed, the young, pensioners, the disabled, public sector workers, etc. They want to take everything from us, but there is not even a single measure that would cost capitalists or the rich.
The mobilization of the miners is something very big, they’ve walked to the capital of the State from different mining towns across the country: Asturias, León, and Aragón. They walked for 15 days from town to town, city to city and in all places they received massive support from locals. They lived through highly emotional experiences because of the solidarity demonstrated in each of the regions.
In Asturias and León there are strong confrontations between the police and Civil Guards and the miners. The miners receive strong support from their communities, for example in Pola de Lena. There are constant blockades of roads and highways. The police & Civil Guards shoot rubber bullets and the miners respond with home-made rockets, sometimes weighted with golf balls. In some towns there has been face-to-face fighting.
At dawn yesterday [WHENEVER] the miners’ column entered the capital Madrid, it was very emotive and surprising in the amount of support and welcome from the citizens who shouted "Madrid obrero está con los mineros" (Madrid workers are with the miners). Thousands of people arched with them to the centre of the city, where some representatives expressed their gratitude and called for all workers in the country to rise against the government, which only defends the interests of the capitalists. The rally lasted until 4AM. At dawn, preparations were already being made for a new demonstration along the streets of the city.
500 coaches ("autobus") arrived from all the mining towns and once again the people of Madrid were with them. The demonstration marched to the Ministry of Industry to demand a meeting with the Minister, but they refused to talk. They are forcing a situation that could at any moment explode, since they refuse to listen to the voices of the people who shout in the street. And then they say that we are violent.
In that morning’s demonstration, there were some confrontations with the police. Some people were wounded and some people were arrested. In the afternoon there was another large demonstration in the streets of Madrid. This ended in confrontations in the city centre, with some 50 or 60 people wounded and unknown numbers arrests.
Despite all this, the Ministry still will not negotiate and on top of that, the government has announced stronger austerity measures against everyone. Not a single word has been said about taxing the immense fortunes of the rich, or that making the bankers pay for the crisis they caused, or cutting the many privileges of the Catholic Church.
It could not be more clear whom the government serves and what they want from the working class. It could not be more clear, the need to organise our lives in a different way. It could not be more clear the need for a Social Revolution that gives us control of our own lives. Let’s organise to fight against the State and the capitalists.
¡Viva la Anarquía!
Grupo Anarquista Tierra. Secretariado IFA.