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Barcelona's General Strike

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Thursday September 30, 2010 09:58author by Kevin Doyle - WSM - Personal Capacity Report this post to the editors

Major bank building occupied as strike bites

Barcelona was the scene of prolonged clashes between protesters and the police during most of yesterday.
Bank Occupied
Bank Occupied

Barcelona was the scene of prolonged clashes between protesters and the police during most of yesterday. As the general strike took hold – with transports, docks and distribution, and industry all at a standstill – a broad coalition of libertarian organisations, including the anarcho-syndicalist CNT, entered and occupied a key building a on Placa De Catalunya – the Bank de Espana de Credito.

At noon a large ‘manifestation’ left the occupied bank, including the anarcho-syndicalist CGT, and moved to the Universitat. Here a police car was set on fire. Following this there were running street battles throughout the afternoon. The police baton charged on a number of occasions and finally sealed off the occupied bank which by late in the afternoon had been cleared. A number of arrested were made.

The second main ‘manifestation’ of the day got under way well after 5 pm and was led by the CGT. It was about 3-4,000 in size and moved slowly and noisily from Jardinets De Gracia down towards Via Laietana. As it did, it briefly intercepted with a large group of protestors who were building barricades and setting fire to large dustbin wheelies. Police baton charges followed the march as it moved towards Avendia Catedral where a main confrontation occurred as the march ended. It was a dangerous situation with large number of people trapped on the one hand between the alley ways surrounding where the march convened and, on the other hand, by marauding and careering riot police vehicles which made a point of driving at speed at the protestors. Paving stones were ripped up and fires set before the riot police moved in on foot. More arrests were made and a number of protestors were corralled and beaten by gangs of riot police.

Overall yesterday’s the General Strike here has been a massive success. Large areas of Spain came to a complete halt and Barcelona itself was quiet with about 70% of businesses shut for the day. In a sharp contrast to the situation in Ireland workers went out to make the strike effective. Picketing was serious and effective and it was clear that workers were not sitting back at any time. But as the protests in Barcelona showed, the deepening crisis is bringing more and more people onto the streets. This current crisis had created huge anger and yesterday it very easy to see this.

see also
www.cnt.es
www.cgt.es

Strike Breaking Bus - halted
Strike Breaking Bus - halted

CGT section on the march
CGT section on the march

Say no more
Say no more

Fire
Fire

author by Andrewpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity with the general strike in the Spanish state
The WSM is one of 108 organisations internationally that signed a statement in support of yesterday's general strike in the Spanish state. Spain like Ireland is one of the countries where the capitalist crisis is hitting the working class hardest, unemployment has reached 20%, but in Spain unlike Ireland large sections of the working class are organising to resist the crisis. Spain has a long history of militant anarchist unions, this statement was prepared by one of them, the CGT, in opposition to the partnership approach taken by most of the unions. It's is preceeded by an analysis by Manu García, a member of another of the unions, the CNT, about the importance of yesterday's general strike.

Read on at http://www.wsm.ie/c/solidarity-general-strike-spanish-state

author by iosaf mac diarmadapublication date Thu Sep 30, 2010 14:11author address barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Myself and Dunk went to the CGT march which was a legal and lawful assembly, its route agreed as much as the concert to end it. The concert had only got through one song, (the internationalle) to the delight of the several thousand throng which numbered amongst it many children and some disabled. Several hundred metres away on the fringe of the square a small group of masked up kids who to my experienced eye were more Catalan seperatist than anarko-black-block had begun to stone vans of the Catalan police force. The police responded by driving around the block and then straight through our lawful and peaceful assembly. From each of the 5 vans, the usual dreary riot choreography began. 4 cops flank one rubber bullet shooter. Thus 5 rubber bullets were fired. They were fired at eye level. They were fired into the crowd. The crowd naturally stampeded. Thus the "problematic element" was completely mixed with legitimate public. Within a few hours by which time myself and Dunk had managed to negotiate the two hundred metres to my flat - my local neighbourhood kids, children of Dominican and Morrocan migrants were collecting stones because as is now the woefully predictable story - the Catalan police had funnelled the riot into our densely streeted "barrio" or neighbourhood. The City mayor had called an emergency press conference and then at 22h30 sent scab steet cleaners under guard of Barcelona's police force. This always happens. The Catalan police fk the place up and then by night fall the BCN police come in and place a 1km cordon around the central government buildings. So it was that the street was cleaned by scab labour accompanied by municipal police quaintly carrying their rubber bullet guns which by that stage didn't need to be fired.

That is the usual story in Barcelona.

As for the general strike being a success?????
I suppose as many people didn't go to work yesterday of their own volition
than many people didn't go to work today because they have no jobs.

the farms were worked by migrants & at the end of the night the cops' riot was cleaned by scabs
the farms were worked by migrants & at the end of the night the cops' riot was cleaned by scabs

author by Dunkpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2010 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The bank had been occupied since Saturday the 25th, 4 days prior to yesterdays day of strike action, by the anti capitalist: Moviment del 25, mainly okupa. It has been derelict for 5 or 6 years, again another dead zone in a sick world. It was opened during the Merce festival, the cities big festival. It had assemblies, food distribution, spaces for organistaion for the big day 29S.

The bank was illegally evicted at 15:18h, people were arrested. People attempted to block the way of the mossos, but were pulled up and hit. There had previously been barracades set up, police barriers and rubbish containers. Earlier a radical group had been sent up to University square by heavy policing, and that led to a police car being burned out.

All in all, over the day, there were over 60 injuries, about half of which were police, and 40+ arrests. 80 rubbish containers were burned, and 1 police car burnt out.

Iosaf, another factor that might have affected numbers, as it did with some of my Latino friends who said they were going to come on the demo; BARCA were playing footy, the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE cup.

_______________________________________________________________

related infos

BANK OCCUPATION AND EVICTION

500 anticapitalists occupy the former headquarters of the Spanish Credit Bank at Plaça Catalunya, days before the general strike...
original spanish - http://www.kaosenlared.net/noticia/500-anticapitalistas...ena-p

translation - http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=e...ena-p

vid of the bank occupation - http://www.blip.tv/file/4166889/

Moviment del 25 - http://movimentdel25.org/

VID of assembly from the occupation (catalan and spanish)
Assemblea Oberta dins la Okupació del Banc de DesCrèdit Espanyol 26-9-2010
http://blip.tv/file/4171633/

(EL PERIODICO) La policía desalojó el edificio ocupado ilegalmente del Banco Español de Crédito de la plaza de Catalunya al constatar que era utilizado como base de operaciones
http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/2010093...shtml


29S - GENERAL STRIKE IN SPAIN

Timeline of events in Spain - http://www.diagonalperiodico.net/Minuto-a-minuto-de-la-....html

Timeline of events in Barcelona - http://29-s.net/-teletips-
vids: http://29-s.net/-videos- fotos: http://29-s.net/-galeries-de-fotos-

vid of the strikie from the Gracia radical independistas - streets blocked by fire at 9am
Vídeo de la vaga a Gràcia i a Barcelona http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvKWOwICsYY

TWITTER #29S tag - http://twitter.com/#search?q=%2329s

(DIAGONAL) report of Barcelonas troubles - http://www.diagonalperiodico.net/Cargas-y-enfrentamient....html


MAINSTREAM COVERAGE OF STRIKE
- (BBC VIDEO) Clashes break out as Spain strikes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11439079
- (LA VANGUARDIA) Los graves disturbios antisistema empañan una jornada de huelga en Catalunya que afectó más a la industria que a los servicios
http://www.lavanguardia.es/infoweb/noticias/20100929/54....html
- (LA VANGUARDIA) video - http://www.lavan...guardia.es/premium/publica/publica?C...&TEXT
- (EL PERIODICO) 700 antisistema convierten en un campo de batalla el centro de Barcelona
http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/economia/2010093...shtml


Spains papers front page shows fotos of CITY IN FLAMES
Spains papers front page shows fotos of CITY IN FLAMES

(EL PERIODICO) Day of struggle and fire
(EL PERIODICO) Day of struggle and fire

3 o clock, Mossos illegally evict the squatted bank and haul down the pirate flag
3 o clock, Mossos illegally evict the squatted bank and haul down the pirate flag

7pm Mossos open fire with rubber bullets. 60+ injuries during the day
7pm Mossos open fire with rubber bullets. 60+ injuries during the day


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author by dunkpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2010 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Day of Action for 29S, General strike in Spain (Videorevolucio )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvKWOwICsYY

Europe Fury: People rise up against EU cash machine with anti-austerity marches (RUSSIA TODAY)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW-k72409GY

Caption: Day of Action for 29S, General strike in Spain (Videorevolucio )


Caption: Europe Fury: People rise up against EU cash machine with anti-austerity marches (RUSSIA TODAY)


author by iosaf mac diarmadapublication date Thu Sep 30, 2010 20:48author address barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

The wanton violence yesterday in Barcelona during the General Strike is not something which surprised me but today as I went back to work and talked to "ordinary" (as in those with no or errant class conscienceness) I realised there are lessons to be learnt for us here & ye readers in Ireland.

First my personal background (skip it if you wish to the point of how the lumpen mass understood the riots & brutality of yesterday which I shall kindly highlight with _'_ lines)

I've lived a decade in Barcelona now and I learnt long ago that although it's a wonderful idea to let workmates & employers & clients hear me speak Catalan. & Even though it's essential to let them know that I'm just as tolerant & liberal as they think themselves to be & it goes without saying that I ought never miss a chance to admire their peculiar Catalan social history of struggle which chose anarchism & anarchosyndicalism over marxism - - - despite all that -----
I should never let either employer or client know exactly what I believe politically or what I do about socially.

As it happened with only a 25% minimal service provided on local and regional transport systems after lengthy wrangling between the two mainstream centre left trade unions CCOO & UGT with the Spanish state & its Catalan subsidiary- it would have been impossible for me to go my place of work, Sept. 29th, the day of the general strike. I was to work that day, as I did work today, in a small city about 60km away up the relentlessly slow valleys and foothills of the Pyrennes. As far from Dublin as I suppose to Edenderry or three times Maynooth for the mathematically minded.

So............... I had a decent excuse to strike, an escuse which though I had not given & indeed to be techincal, had I chosen to cite the Spanish state's constitution on general strikes, an excuse I would not have been obliged to give. After all collective notice had been given (& sickeningly negotiated for months) that the workforce in its entirety (regardless or not of individual trade union membership) would protest increases in VAT (now applied & noticed for weeks) and prosperity loans to banks. I didn't have to be a signed up member of a union it seems for that small piece of information I am not going to work during the 24 hour period of the 29th of September to have a bit of moral value on the working man level and legal level at the unfair dismissal tribunal stakes. All the same my workmates showed no intention of striking, dropping chalk, joining advisory pickets or finding their way to celebratory concerts.

Today I went to work as usual &....................

_'_ . _'_ . _'_ . _'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ ._'_ . _'_ . _'_ .

My first stop of call today in the world of rural community Catalonia one day after the general strike of the Spanish state was in a small food supermarket which is run by a co-operative of farmers. It is indeed an admirable example of non-heirarchial business success in the age of global Tesco/Walmart capitalism. The slightly myopic Catalan shopkeeper manager always enjoys a short chat with me in the Catalan language taking delight I think in the notion that not only a foreigner but an "Anglo-Saxon" I never correct him on that can speak his lingo. I asked him did he enjoy the strike. He peered at me & as he did i realised that not only was he myopic but he probably has tunnel vision as well because one eye was wandering around trying to focus on some phantom image behind my left shoulder.

Oh we didn't open in the morning just tried to some stock-taking and cleaning up inside. In the afternoon we opened for business but we were scared because of the t-r-o-u-b-l-e .

Oh.................................................... t-r-o-u-b-l-e
Now ask yourself what t-r-o-u-b-l-e could be so scary in a small provincial town 60km from the big city.


Next I went to work and my boss told me how they'd be given the phone number of the Catalan police yesterday which they were to use the moment t-r-o-u-b-l-e arrived flying down the street and no doubt smashing the windows, petrol bombing the gaff & generally doing an utterly battleship Potemkin gig on the place.

hmmmmmmmmm........................................ I thought to wonder what the t-r-o-u-b-l-e was

Oh well my boss explained, some anti-system okupe types who he basically considers to be a front for organised recreational drug trafficking along the lines that ETA are nothing more than an extortionist mafia (no breath taken nor distinction thought) had occuped all the banks in central Barcelona (rather than one long abandoned former bank building) and then the police had no choice but to kick them out (and it almost came to pass that the airforce and holy father in Rome were called upon to lend moral and tactical support) whereupon bestial reds, "rojos", blackguards and let's not mince words here "Al Qaeda" had run amok. Yes. Al Qaeda, ETA, okupes, antisystemists & trade unionists not only ransacked central Barcelona but were fanning out in a perimeter of 60km to torch the business concerns of the petty bourgoise.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Yesterday I was standing on the steps of the cathedral next to the musicians of the CGT with a clear view of the square below and the actions of the Catalan police as I have described in my last comment.

I know what I saw & I know that most if not all Indymedia Ireland readers accept the by now widespread reporting of that brutality.

But throughout yesterday, established radio, established TV & then the established newspapers of today profited on years of implanted prejudice.

Their lumpen readers had no idea why the abandoned bank building had been symbolically occupied nor by whom. Their lumpen readers had no idea why a general strike was held nor lest I waste my spite - should have been called months ago.

Their lumpen readers are so brainwashed that to this hour - I have now been treated to no less than 6 definitive and authorative version of what really happened yesterday & why the Catalan police had to do what they did - break the law.



General Strikes will not solve anything or even serve to bring the working classes together as long as the media which prepares and post mortems them supports the Prosperity plans of the rich
(aka as the austerity plans of the poor)

You know if we use the words "general strike" in Eire then Al Qaeda will be out in force torching the P&T's.
You know if we use the words "general strike" in Eire then Al Qaeda will be out in force torching the P&T's.

author by BCN riots 2010 vidpublication date Sun Oct 17, 2010 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BCN29S encenent la ràbia - Barcelona igniting anger

the definative vid of the 29S, from Barcelona vid / tv collective - okupem les ones (we are occupying the waves) - http://www.okupemlesones.org/

http://blip.tv/file/4214717

BCN29S encenent la ràbia - Barcelona igniting anger / BCN riots 2010 vid/
BCN29S encenent la ràbia - Barcelona igniting anger / BCN riots 2010 vid/


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author by Strike in Spainpublication date Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps it will be another day of rage in Spain, as strikes have been again called for in 3 provinces of the Spanish state. In the main square of Barcelona this morning there was a large gathering of angry people and many many riot vans in the surrounding streets, aswell as many undercover cops dressed up with their walkie talkie earpieces in place. Although its cold in Barcelona today, by this evening, things might have heated up a lot more...

Updates:

http://29-s.net/ - portal for the last general strike

27-G. A LA "VAGA" GENERAL - 27-J(anuary). TO THE GENERAL "STRIKE" (Indymedia Barcelona feature)
http://barcelona.indymedia.org/feature/display/412843/i...x.php

Transmissió en directe jornada vaga 27-G a les ràdios lliures de Catalunya - LIve radio transmissions from the free radio networks of Catalunya
http://barcelona.indymedia.org/newswire/display/413410/...x.php
- CONTRABANDA FM (91.4) http://www.contrabanda.org + RADIO BRONKA (104.5) http://www.radiopica.net + RADIO PICA (96.6) http://www.radiobronka.info + RADIO RSK (107.1) http://www.rsk.cat + RADIO LINIA IV (103.9) http://www.radiolinea4.net

Articles and infos:

La CGT de Catalunya convoca Vaga General el dijous 27 de Gener - CGT Catalonia announce General Strike for Thursday January 27
http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/spip.php?article4899

LA CNT DE CATALUNYA SE SUMA A LA JORNADA DE LLUITA DEL 27 DE GENER - Catalan CNT JOINS THE FIGHT OF THE DAY 27 JANUARY
http://barcelona.cnt.es/pivot/entry.php?id=756

::: Huelga general 27-E. La policía obstaculiza labor de los piquetes informativos :::
http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=50898

27-E: Seguimiento HUELGA GENERAL y jornada de lucha contra la reforma de las pensiones
http://www.kaosenlared.net/noticia/27-seguimiento-huelg...iones

27-E, Huelga contra la reforma de pensiones
http://www.diagonalperiodico.net/-27-E-Huelga-contra-la....html

27J - Vaga / Huelga / Strike in Spain
27J - Vaga / Huelga / Strike in Spain

27J - All to the streets: Vaga / Huelga / Strike in Spain
27J - All to the streets: Vaga / Huelga / Strike in Spain

author by CGT statementpublication date Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

:: Strike on Jan-27 ::

Dear colleagues,

We, at CGT-CELLS union section inform you that a General Strike day has been called for January the 27th in the following regions: Catalunya, Basque Country, Nafarroa, Galiza and Balearic Islands.

The organisers in Catalunya are the following unions: CGT, CNT, COS and Solidaritat Obrera.

On last Wednesday (Jan-19) we officially handed CELLS the documentation regarding the strike, so that any person at CELLS willing to go on strike can do so being fully covered with all legal protection given by the Constitutional Right to go on Strike.

We think that the current socio-political situation justifies a General Strike, given the attitude of the Government regarding social and labour rights as well as the latest developments of the negotiations on the reform of retirement wages (which is scheduled to be approved on Jan-28). For all this, we don’t understand why the largest unions (CCOO and UGT) stepped back from their initial announcement and decided not to call for strike.

However, we are aware that in Catalunya the call for strike (as it is now) lacks of sufficient social backing and therefore, the CGT-CELLS union section is not explicitly calling to strike on the 27th of January.

Nevertheless, considering the current situation and the huge risk of increased cuts on social rights, we call you to participate on the various actions that have been organised all around Catalunya to protest against the Government imposed neoliberal measures (cuts on salaries and wages, labour reform, social security reform, etc) and to defend the workers rights.

Main demonstration in Barcelona:
Saturday, 22nd of January, 5pm, Plaça de Sants ( L5 Plaça de Sants)

More info at:
http://sites.google.com/site/cgtcells/intro/retalladess...scuts

If you have any question or comment, you can address any of the CGT-CELLS members use the contacts below.

CGT-CELLS union section.
email: synchrotron.cgt@gmail.com
tel: +34 644 021202
web: http://sites.google.com/site/cgtcells

Statement from CGT (Confederación General del Trabajo) :: Strike on Jan-27 ::
Statement from CGT (Confederación General del Trabajo) :: Strike on Jan-27 ::

Related Link: http://sites.google.com/site/cgtcells/intro/vaga27-ghuelga27-estrikeonjan-27
author by Dunkpublication date Thu May 19, 2011 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The occupied bank was again entered last night as part of the #spanishrevolution which is underway at present. Placa catalunya and at least 46 other Spanish squares are now the focal points for a people who are fed up and want change.

reports here
Tahrir comes to Spain - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/99816
+ ongoing blog post - http://itsafunnyoldworld.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/tahri...pain/

author by vagapublication date Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Spain: The CNT calls for a nationwide general strike on March 29 2012

March 10 - The CNT, Spain's anarchist labor union, issued a statement yesterday announcing that they will be convoking a nation-wide general strike for March 29 against the labor reform passed on Thursday by the Parliament.

This coincides with strikes that have already been called for Galicia and the Basque Country. In these regions the call was made jointly between "minority" unions such as the CNT and CGT as well as regionally-important unions linked to nationalist movements. On the national scale, however, the CNT has called the strike on its own.

According to Spain's labor law, strikes are only official if called, or convoked, by a union or another official body. In the message announcing the strike call, the CNT said that they hope to give coverage to any workers' organizations that want to take action.

Spain's two main unions, the UGT and the CCOO, have also called for a strike on that day, but speak only of "amending" the labor reform. This is a continuation of their policy of social peace - in February they signed a major agreement with the employers' confederation in which they gave major concessions. Recognizing the growing disillusion that many workers are feeling towards these unions, the CNT is promoting a different form of unionism, one which is not based on professional bureaucrats and policies of social peace, but rather on the direct action and solidarity of workers.

This appears to be the first nation-wide general strike since the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorship to be called for by a union other than the CCOO or UGT, though it remains to be which unions, if any, will follow the CNT in calling for a general strike.

The CNT's statement was clear that, although the strike is only called for March 29, this should be seen only as one step in a growing mobilization which seeks not only to remove this labor reform in its entirety, but also to go on the offensive with the goal of social transformation.

libcom.org : http://libcom.org/news/spain-cnt-calls-nation-wide-gene...32012

There is a general strike planned for the 29th of March in Spain, in response to the planned labour 'reform' introduced by the Partido Popular government, which basically gives employers a free hand to sack workers -and use that threat- at little more than a whim. Not even the Partido Popular believes that this will create employment.

What is interesting to note, for the edificiation for those who had discerned an apparently apolitical character to the 15M popular mobilisations in Spain last year, by contrast with what later happened with the Occupy movement in the US where labour unions mobilised in defence of Occupy Wall Street, is that the general strike is being supported by the 15M movement, but from a critical standpoint, which seeks to call into question the role of the trade union leadership and the way in which the main unions have operated as a part of the State, geared toward downward convergence and entropy....

http://knaves.posterous.com/higher-stakes

The CNT calls a General Strike for March 29
http://cnt.es/en/news/cnt-calls-general-strike-march-29

CNT calls a General Strike for March 29
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/22257

Comunicado de Prensa. CGT Convoca Huelga General el 29 de Marzo.
http://cgtbarcelona.org/cgtvallesoriental/?p=1927

Times and places of protest on Thursday in Barcelona

12:00 - Plaça Catalunya / Portal de l'Àngel - Piquet unitari i central

16:30 - Jardinets de Gràcia - Manifestació anarcosindicalista (arribarà a les 18h a plaça Catalunya)

18:00 - Plaça Catalunya - Manifestació unitària anticapitalista

http://barcelona.indymedia.org/newswire/display/442646/...x.php

Spain: The CNT calls for a nationwide general strike on March 29 2012
Spain: The CNT calls for a nationwide general strike on March 29 2012

Spain: General strike against the cuts
Spain: General strike against the cuts

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