A ‘citizen’s tide’ flooded Spain’s streets Saturday in another major protest. There were popular mobilizations in 50 cities with the main focus in the capital.
The reason for this renewed mass action by ordinary Spaniards was “the brutal cuts to social rights” that have been applied “using the crisis as a pretext,” according to organizers.
The ‘citizen’s tide’ brought together various protest movements, including the ‘white tide’ (public health services) ‘green tide’ (education), ‘orange tide’ (social services), ‘yellow tide’ (libraries), purple tide (women’s rights) and the 15-M, or indignados movement.
Carrying placards which condemned everything from cuts in the health sector to massive bailouts granted to Spain’s banking system, crowds banged drums and chanted, while dozens of riot police stood on the sidelines.
The march coincided with the anniversary of a failed coup attempt in 1981 by Civil Guard officers who stormed Parliament and held deputies hostage until the next day. Organizers dubbed this march a protest against today’s ‘financial coup’.
The fresh protests come amid a corruption scandal that poses a serious threat to the ruling Popular Party and further evidence that brutal austerity measures for the 99% and huge public hand-outs to the banks are crushing the economy and public finances.
Thanks to growth- and tax revenue-destroying spending cuts and a mega 40-billion-euro bank bail-out Spain’s deficit widened to 10.2% of gross domestic product in 2012, the highest in three years. The jobless rate in Spain will rise again this year to 27%, from 25% at the end of 2012, and the economy will contract again in 2013 by the same 1.4% as last year, the European Commission forecasts.