At this moment, New York City is celebrating a year of revolution, and it looks like an old-fashioned stand off with the NYPD, ‘Bloomberg’s private army’.
On the European side of the Atlantic things are gearing up in Spain. Last Saturday there was a massive demonstration in Madrid against the cutbacks. Firefighters, nurses, teachers, etc. All of them wore their own distinct colours as they marched through the city by the thousands.
The week before, Barcelona had witnessed an even more massive demonstration for Catalan independence. The number of people in the streets supposedly added up to seven figures.
This impressive separatist outcry comes just weeks after Catalonia had to be bailed out by Madrid. The region is practically bankrupt, so the money was most needed. But when the central government tried to force the Catalans to balance their budget as a condition for the bailout, the nationalist backlash against intervention from the central government was devastating.
Someone pointed out to me that this attitude of give-me-your-money-but-don’t-tell-me-what-to-do-with-it is strikingly similar to the way the southern European countries themselves respond to Brussels.
But let’s get one thing straight. It’s not the countries or the regions who are being bailed out where necessary. It’s their creditors. The money goes straight to the ailing banks, the debts are being taken over by the EU, and debt is an effective weapon of centralised political control.
Popular resistance against all this is growing. More than a hundred thousand people besieged parliament in Lisbon the day before last. And next week the Spanish will do the same in Madrid.
The call to besiege parliament starting on September 25 has continued to gain support over all the country. The platform ¡En Piè! that launched the call has responded to all the doubts about secrecy and lack of horizontally by ceding the organisation of the event to the appropriate working groups of the 15M.
At the beginning of the month, the General Assembly of Sol has repeated it will not endorse the siege. But I have a feeling Sol is becoming somewhat isolated. The entire 15M is buzzing with expectation in these final days leading up to the siege.
The call is very similar to last year’s #17S call to occupy Wall Street. It has similar revolutionary ambitions. Resignation of the government and the creation of a constituent assembly.
Many people still have doubts about it. I don’t really understand why. If you want to make revolution, you have to take the streets, the squares, the barricades. And you have to keep coming back for as long as necessary.
Authorities are nervous. During last Saturday’s demonstration police seized a banner announcing the siege. Like the rest of us, they don’t know what to expect. It could be epic, it could be long and exhausting, it could fall apart like cardboard.
Whatever happens, dear people, I will be there. So stay tuned, and… happy anniversary #OWS!