“From Scotland to Spain, the problem is the same!” was one of many slogans being shouted from the streets of Edinburgh today (29th may) as around 200 - 300 people (most from Edinburgh’s sizeable Spanish community) organised to demonstrate in solidarity with revolutionary movements in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.
The completely peaceful march was tremendously lively in nature and gave locals in Edinburgh a wee taste of the electric atmosphere that is emanating from cities all over Spain. Above all it emphasised anger at the cuts and the lowering of living standards ordinary people are being condemned too under capitalism, and offered fundamental solidarity to those fighting cuts all over Europe.
The demonstration in Edinburgh occurred as the Spanish revolution was attacked in Barcelona where thousands of young people have been gathering to demand real democracy and justice. Riot Police moved in to violently remove the protesters using the excuse that they needed to “clean the square” in anticipation of FC Barcelona winning the champions league and the resulting celebrations. With youth unemployment reaching an unbearable 45% and the IMF threatening even greater cuts in public spending there is little to celebrate, despite how clean the square may be. Spain is being run like a business and in order to pay for the debts of the banks, the futures of a generation of young people must be sacrificed. In reality it is the Capitalists and their supporters controlling the Spanish state who have forced people onto the streets and it is they who are now violently trying to force them back off. However, faced with such a mass movement they have lost control of the situation and it will take more than police batons to silence the youth.
Another chant heard in Edinburgh today was “RBS and Santander, fight them here and fight them there!” recognising that the nature of the crisis is fundamentally global and capitalism must attack workers everywhere in order to survive. In Scotland workers are already beginning to feel the strain of the cuts (with much more to come) and the demonstration was warmly received by onlookers, themselves facing an uncertain future. Even the police are not safe from the cuts and some officers were clearly sympathetic to the protest, accepting (and wearing!) flowers from the protesters.
Supporters of Socialist Appeal and Militant Student attended the demonstration handing out the same leaflets that are being distributed by our comrades in Spain (corrientemarxista.org) calling for real democracy and not the dictatorship of the market. Indeed, it is the dictatorship of the “free” market that has demanded that workers all over the world save them from crisis by giving up their long fought for and hard earned living standards. It is the elected governments all over Europe that willingly sell out generations of young people and at the same time hand billions over to the banks. Real democracy means the right to decent job and a future, exactly what “democracy” under capitalism must take away. Only Socialism can remove the dictatorship of the markets and make democracy an everyday reality ensuring people come before profit.
Note: The action in Edinburgh was organised by Real Democracy Now! Scotland.
Source: Militant Student (Britain)