Western governments are stepping up their demands for public “austerity” hitting the middle and lower classes, even as extravagance remains the watchword for Wall Street and the rich. In Spain, a determined movement of “indignados” has emerged to challenge this political/economic dynamic, Pablo Ouziel reports.
Though the anti-austerity protests in Greece have grabbed most of the international attention, a similar movement – rejecting neo-liberal economics and challenging the traditional political elites – has emerged in the much larger nation of Spain, as Danny Schechter observed during a recent visit.
In protests from the Middle East to the American Midwest, people are confronting the question of whether societies should be organized for the benefit of the broad population or the wealthy elites. That question is being expressed perhaps most sharply in protests spreading across Europe, including Spain, reports Pablo Ouziel.
The popular protests across Spain gave voice to national indignation over the political/economic system, but the result of regional elections was only to shift power from the Socialists to the center-right Partido Popular. Spanish writer Pablo Ouziel says that outcome should prompt some self-reflection among radical groups that seized control of the uprising.
Angered by “free-market” policies that have created high unemployment and are now forcing government spending cuts, tens of thousands of Spaniards are occupying central squares in Madrid and other cities in a challenge to the country’s economic elites, as Pablo Ouziel describes in this guest essay.