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(en) Spaine, alasba rricadas: From the "Cayetan" to the working class neighborhood: In defense of mutual support in times of pandemic (ca) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 28 May 2020 09:41:37 +0300

At the end of the third week of May 2020, a series of protests directed against the current government of the capital began in Calle Nuñez de Balboa, in the Goya neighborhood of the Salamanca district (one of the highest-income districts of the capital). PSOE and Podemos. Over the days, attempts have been made to spread these protests to other districts of Madrid and other cities in the state without a clear objective, beyond demonstrating "until the confinement lasts." ---- These demonstrations, far from his speech that they are of "apolitical citizens pissed off" by the restrictive policies of the government that try to make us believe, have a deep class background. They take to the streets to defend their class privileges and power, encouraged by the political parties that represent their interests. These mobilizations are frequented mostly by businessmen and people who live from the exploitation of private properties, which amounts to parasites that live on the work and money of others. You will never see them in any mobilization that has to do with a social or labor demand. Many are part of various economic lobbies, so the government legislates in their favor, and they benefit from anti-worker policies promoted by political and economic powers.

The government grants them carte blanche to do what they want, so the Government Delegation does not act accordingly against this type of mobilization. They hardly stop people, they do not ask for cards, they do not impose sanctions or demand that the security distance be kept due to the state of alarm. They know that they have impunity to do what they want, since any type of economic sanction will not have any impact on their income, and they act accordingly.

In addition, one of the most important things they have is with the support of the media, which cover them and whitewash their mobilizations, always with praise for their "peaceful and democratic" status. Meanwhile, the workers of the neighborhood have no choice but to keep quiet about their arbitrariness.

A very different situation is experienced in the working-class neighborhoods, those with the lowest income in the city of Madrid and those most affected by the pandemic of the COVID-19 virus and the health crisis due to the years of constant privatization and dismantling of the health. It is only necessary to see how the emergency centers and many primary and specialty care centers have remained closed, forcing hospitals to saturate.

Before the pandemic, there was already a large number of unemployed and at risk of social exclusion in the poorest neighborhoods of the capital. The last EPA of 2019 gave a percentage of unemployed of 10% of the population, which hides the high rate of precarious workers, the destruction of employment and those people who work mostly in black without hardly contributing to Social Security. Now hundreds of families are affected by temporary employment regulation (ERTE) records. The State socializes the losses of the employers and pays only 70% of the salary that the company should pay during the first six months and, of course, late and badly, suffocating hundreds of families. Many others will be affected by employment regulation records (ERE), losing their job.

The Social Services of the city of Madrid, far from being able to provide a quality service, already saturated until the arrival of the pandemic, cannot cope with the lack of public investment, and the constant outsourcing and privatizations that have suffered, as well as the health and other basic services.

The police action has been totally contrary to that developed in the Salamanca district. A multitude of situations of abuse of authority have been published on social networks and alternative media that have silenced the official media. We have had to witness special racist harassment against migrant workers. Sanctions in low-income neighborhoods have been much higher than in any high-income district of the capital.
The attitude of the media, unlike the treatment given to the "peaceful democrats" of the Salamanca District, has been one of constant criminalization and demonization against the population of the humble neighborhoods, especially against Vallekas, Carabanchel, Villaverde or Centro.

In social networks and the media, they bombard us with messages for and against the government, strengthening the hegemonic discourse that favors representative institutions, political powers and ultimately an economic power that will benefit from the next cuts. of labor and social rights.

This dominant discourse silences and hides the multitude of self-organization and mutual support initiatives being carried out by neighbors and various independent groups in the districts most criminalized by the media and most punished by the pandemic. These initiatives try to support the people most affected by the crisis and create a social fabric. Furthermore, they are filling the gaps that in theory should be addressed by State institutions and the Madrid City Council through Social Services. The creation and development of these networks are the ones that have stood out, for achieving improvements for the population in the periods in which the crises of the capitalist economic system have led to a greater offensive against workers' rights.

It is clear that the workers can expect absolutely nothing from the institutions or from those who hold political and economic power. The "revolt" of the "Cayetans" is an example of how the class struggle is sharpening and of a new offensive against workers' rights.
Solidarity is something intrinsic to the nature of the human being and its implementation is increasingly necessary. The collective and organized against privatization and individualism. The practice of self-organization and mutual support will make us break with the prevailing hegemonic discourse, and the capitalist economic system that suffocates and drowns us.

For anarchy

Earth Anarchist Group
Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI)

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