Four days ago took place in Madrid one of the most amazing gatherings ever to take place in the last decade in the country. It can be qualified with such an adjective simply because of the way it was organized, the way in which it grew and the proportions in took. This gives food for thought that something is really brewing in Spain, that the seed of discontent is present in the masses and that no symbol, sign nor acronym will dare claim to represent them.
Of course, the mass media will, as it always does when massive marches take place in Spain, cite the post-protest violence as the main news. Often though, this violence is permitted through delayed interventions or even sometimes directly provoked by members of the state security forces disguised as violent protestors (footage is available to anyone looking for it).
And then comes the always present tool of misinformation starting with the number of protestors (looking at the difference between the two and a half million people stated by organizers and 36,000 people stated by police, can only muster a chuckle from any reader; a more realistic figure of one and a half million at the height of the protest is the more realistic figure); the claims of the protestors, the composition of the protestors, and so on.
But coming back to the point of this article, these Dignity Marches were not organized by either of the two main trade unions, which, interestingly, were at the time of the Marches, sitting with the Right-wing government and Business-spokespeople reaching agreements, nor by the main opposition party, the Socialist PSOE. Neither were they organized by the much more leftist party Izquierda Unida (IU) or other more borderline trade unions like the CGT, neither of whom had no problems in joining in with the Dignity March once it was on the move and in Madrid on its last day. The starting point for this March was much more grassroots than this, it was started in Extremadura and Andalucia, the two poorest regions in Spain, and thus the most affected by poverty and unemployment, and it was streamlined by the SAT (Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores), a peasant trade union mostly known for occupying unused agricultural land of large owners (known as latifundios) and putting them into production. And then it quickly spread into other parts of Spain pulling the support of other grassroots organizations such as the PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por las Hipotecas), the Platform of People Affected by Bad Mortgages, which has been able to stop people getting kicked out of their homes.
The Dignity Marches were simply about dignity. The dignity to have a home, a job, access to quality education and health, all of which Spaniards have been robbed off in the recent years.
So these Dignity Marches, which will bring a lot of consequences still to government, the traditional and the not so traditional left, are not over. Something is brewing in Spain.