The city was invaded by German football fans yesterday. The sun was out, and they enjoyed it. In Calle Alcalà they saw a group of people gathered outside an elegant building, shouting slogans and brandishing giant masks.
One of them asked me what it was all about. I tried to be brief.
“There’s a big bank here that was bailed out and nationalised. This banks continues to foreclose on people every day, while millions of appartments are empty as a result of speculation. Today, the president of this bank receives a prize, here in the Madrid casino. The people outside want their houses back.”
I hope he takes this part of the story back with him to Germany.
The action went well. It had a clear goal and message. No doubt the suits and ties inside have heard it. “We have the solution! / The bankers in prison!”
Police were only two. They were in no hurry at all to intervene. As ninety-nine-percenters, I imagine they didn’t really mind to see people protesting against shameless bankers.
Not only Bankia has been under attack these days. Also Banesto, BBVA, La Caixa. It’s spreading everywhere.
Aside from the banks, there are hospitals and universities being occupied. The judges are occupying courts. El País has understood that something is going on in the country. El Mundo keeps filling its pages with the ‘separatist challenge’ of Catalonia day after day.
The hospital of ‘La Princesa’ has been occupied for two days. It comes as a reaction to the government’s plans to push through the complete privatisation of hospitals in Madrid, and to close this one down. Medical personnel has organised spontaneous assemblies to coordinate the protest.
“La Princesa is not for sale” is one of the slogans. And “We want to take care of everyone.” (Check Twitter @noalcierreHULP)
Students on strike have been blocking traffic today. And more news is coming in of actions in hospitals around Madrid. It’s too much to keep up with it. At the moment, we are four people and a cat at the revolutionary news desk. From abroad, we receive eye witness accounts of electoral fraud in Ukraine and subsequent popular protests. They say the story is completely ignored by the press. It turns out it isn’t true. Reuters, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune etc. are all over this story. It just seems that Google News filters it all out in Russia and Ukraine.
In Spain, people are now gearing up for the general strike on November 14. It has been called for by the unions, the big ones, but many people here in Spain don’t like the unions. So they started an initiative… Occupy the Strike!