Friday, 30 March 2012

General Strike and Day of Protest

Yesterday, Thursday 29th was the (one) day of the national General Strike in Spain. I had been doubting whether to go to work or not, but having done it I'm in no doubt now that it was worthwhile. The right to strike is enshrined in the Spanish constitution of 1978. At work an email was sent round informing everyone of their rights. I'm not too clear about how many people at Vector Software Factory took part, as I wasn't there to see, but I know of several nearby others who did. Most people who didn't and said they wouldn't, went to work to avoid losing a day's pay. I didn't hear anyone speak in favour of the legislation.

After lunch we went to join the protest march. There were so many people that we could hardly make any progress along the venue (Paseo del Prado) and so we took a shortcut up some side streets to the calle de Alcalá, and from there via the calle Preciados over to the opposite side of the Puerta del Sol, to try to hear the speeches. The picture shows me in front of the Education Ministry.

Photo of Alan in the middle of the crowd

I think that the employment measures are not much different to what the situation is in other European countries but the way they've introduced them and the motivation behind them is something that I couldn't not protest about. I'm sure it won't make the government change it's mind, not that it has much choice in the matter as it obeys forces beyond this country's frontiers or its citizens, but at least I took part in the protest. Today (after the strike) the government's about to announce the most draconian budget. with the UK getting deeper into recession and decay it isn't much of a model to follow, but that's what they're doing.

Saturday, 24 March 2012