Spain was hit with a massive General Strike today that shut down shopping centers, roads and transportation hubs. Barricades of burning tires were erected in Barcelona, hundreds of airline flights were canceled across the nation, and an estimated 91% of all employees at large businesses stayed home or took the streets, according to El Pais.
Spain’s General Strike could not have come at a more significant moment from the perspective of the global people’s movement. As ROAR magazine points out, Spain’s General Strike was initially called for by the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union but it was ultimately a success because the call was taken up and powered by the youthful militancy of the indignados whose encampments across Spain in May, 2011 inspired #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. It was the tactical breakthrough of seizing a public square and holding horizontal, consensus-based assemblies that launched Occupy. And now, as the Occupy movement prepares for its own much anticipated General Strike on May 1, the indignados are again showing us the way.
Spain’s spectacular, large-scale and successful General Strike will have a profound influence on our own tactical thinking as our Spring offensive gathers momentum.
As ROAR magazine explains, this is a fight to the finish between the old world and the new: “with financial markets pushing the people to the brink of despair, popular support for radical action is rapidly being ramped up. Now that the indignados are preparing for a spring of discontent, culminating into a global day of action on May 12, a powerful sign is being given to those in power: as their system crumbles, our movement grows ever stronger.”
Have a look at the pictures from today’s strike at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/mar/29/spanish-general-stri… and http://www.demotix.com/news/1129700/general-strike-begins-barcelona then discuss below what we can learn from all this.