Spanish students, including children, took to the streets of Valencia to protest cutbacks in education spending as part of an austerity program to satisfy the European Union. Spain is one of the less prosperous countries of the EU, along with Portugal and Greece.
Every now and then, I will post raw footage of breaking news coverage of events which create in me a sense of outrage. I don’t claim to have evaluated thoroughly this crisis in Spain. My readers are intelligent and web savvy. (I will do more research and post what I find.)
A major Spanish newspaper, El País, published a slide show of the street demonstrations
A personal disclaimer: I was an exchange student in Spain (Madrid) in the 1970s, while “El Caudillo” Francisco Franco was still the dictator. Demonstrations such as the one in Valencia in this video would have been impossible back then during his Fascist rule. Fascist is the correct word, given his love for Hitler and Mussolini.
When Franco died, a certain amount of pent-up anger expressed itself in politics, followed by some electoral turmoil, as Spaniards sought to reclaim their long-denied freedom. I’ve followed Spanish news over the years, and have remained in contact with Spanish friends, and it seems to me that the Spanish people clearly recall their experiences under a totalitarian leader, and they are simply unwilling to accept policies which seem authoritarian to them. There is still a tension between those who desire order and tradition, and those who crave progress and prosperity. Whenever uniformed officers confront them on the streets, this historical memory of dictatorship reasserts itself.
Spain, Portugal and Greece are all under extreme economic pressure, and austerity measures are squeezing citizens of all three countries. Education cutbacks in Spain virtually guaranteed street rebellions, just as they did in London. Spaniards are tired of being forced to emigrate to wealthier countries in the Europe to earn a liveable wage.
For many who took to the streets of Valencia, the issue was, “No economic justice, no peace.”