The ‘Arab Spring’ Turns to Summer in Greece and Spain

The ‘Arab Spring’ Turns to Summer in Greece and Spain

By Concha Mateos


Madrid- June 29, 2011


They say ´No´, we say ´Yes´.

Greece had to decide. But, what Greece? The Parliament, the lawmakers, the government, the street, Syntagma Square… what Greece?

The corporate media language uses to talk about Greece as if it has a single will, a unique and uniform one. But it doesn’t exist.

The ones who are invited to vote today (June 29th) in Parliament are the ones who have been pressed by the financial power. The free Greece voted months ago, has been voting, and is voting every day in the streets and at Syntagma Square saying:

“Your Plan A is not the only one possible”.

But that Greece is today forbidden to be consider in the Greek Parliament: all the approach roads to the building are blocked by the police.

European and International Monetary Fund officials put that austerity package (Plan A) as a necessary step. Greece (Parliament) has to say ´Yes` or `Yes´. Those are the options according to FMI. The indignad@s (the Outraged) hold: Yes, there is a Plan B, beyond the financial greed of the corporations.

The Spanish mainstream media have taken one month in reporting 15M movement’s proposals. One month describing our camps, our marches, our assemblies, our anger, our look, our attire. One month talking about who we are, but nothing about what we think. (Perhaps they think that we cannot think).

The 15M Movement’s agenda has finally burst into the media agenda in spite of the hard resistance the media have put on. Why have they finally reported the Plan B that we represent? Because their polls are confirming that important percentages of the populations agree with “the Outraged´s” demands. Between 75 and 80 per cent of the population, according to even the most conservative press support us.

Because the protests are being supported by more and more people.

Because the revolt is not only a Spanish revolt is involves Iceland, Greece, France, Arab countries as well. It is a global and deep sense of discomfort growing up and prevailing against the capitalist empire.

And especially because Spanish parliament has started feeling the 15M breaths on the back of its neck. Politicians have started pronouncing the 15M name in their debates at parliament and they have agreed they will have to call 15M spokespersons to consider their suggestions.

That has not happened yet and it does not mean even that 15M will accept it if it happens.

Hördur Torfason, one of the leaders of the Icelandic revolution –they caused the government fall in January 2009, visited Spain last 19J to cooperate with 15M. He said:

“Don’t talk with politicians, they always use your words to change the meaning and mislead the people.”

Torfason started the protest with 50 friends sitting in front of the Parliament one afternoon. They returned the day after and every day thereafter for five months. In January 2009 the government fell in Iceland: all the members resigned together.

So, yes, mainstream media are facing up to the 15M proposals now in Spain, but it doesn’t mean good news for 15M movement. Most of the mainstream media are covering the 15M list of demands trying desperately to take apart the 15M´s arguments. They are very busy.

Anyway, the debate has conquered new territory. That is one essential step in whatever social movement route to reach structural changes:

1. Identify and name the problem: the reasons and the persons responsible.
2. Draw up the experts´ and academics´ argument: craft the solutions.
3. Inject the debate into the public sphere.
4. Bring about the structural (legal, economic, cultural…) change.

The movement is merely the tool to manage all that.

This is the Plan A for Greece required by FMI and the international lenders, the same that has been imposed on Portugal or Spain. Always the same doctrine: more taxes, mass terminations, increase the levels of unemployment -150,000 publics jobs will be cut, reduce the sources of the public budget privatizing public power and transportation companies: $70 billion…

Once again the same program they tried a year ago. They called it “the rescue plan”. It didn’t work. But they come back with the same prescription. The economy has gone on contracting but now they are going to strangle it completely.

They have not let the people know Plan B, but we will in a next article.
That is the mainstream media general trap: mountains of “news” to hide the alternative, the Plan B. Perhaps they have cooled the red numbers of the economy by the moment, but they have sowed the misery for the future, the anger for more protests. The streets are burning.

Another world is possible. We say `Yes´.



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