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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #223 - Yurgo and Enrique (Spanish CGT): "Unions and assembled in the same procession" (fr) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 24 Jan 2013 15:48:48 +0200

On 14 November 2012, an initiative organized AL Montpellier libertarian unit support struggles against austerity. Two militants of the Spanish CGT (anarcho-syndicalist) came to talk about their fight... and answered our questions. ---- Libertarian alternative: In view of the various austerity plans, which is now in your social situation in Spain? --- Enrique and Yurgo: There are more than five million unemployed people in Spain, there are three million people who have no income and are completely dependent on their families. It is dramatic. ---- There is a serious social problem. People are really in the shit done! In Catalonia, for example, there is one in four under the poverty line. Even in events called "alternative" (which include the CGT and the CNT, among others), there's a lot of people. For example, in those of 14 November, there were 100,000 people, which has never seen.

We know that the various austerity attacked harshly public in Spain, what are the social consequences and where is the public in Spain today?

Enrique and Yurgo: In education, there are serious problems. Before a class had more than 25 students, now it is 30 and it can even go up to 35. In health, the problems are more serious, there is less. There are more hours of work, operating rooms are closed, waiting lists are longer, there is less time for patient care. It can lead directly but also indirectly to death. At the moment some associations are preparing to report the situation to the UN to denounce violations of human rights.

We have heard of hospitals in Spain who lacked the means to pay for carers, but they have still continued to work in relays to turn. You are aware of this struggle?

Enrique and Yurgo: In health, there are struggles. This happens in different regions, there are constant struggles in hospitals. The government is stuck, it has less flexibility than the French government, for example. There troika behind. In Spain, it is necessary that the struggle is really huge so that it changes the game and put pressure on the government.

What about the housing situation in Spain?

Enrique and Yurgo: There are many struggles in relation to housing. Squats develop. Before it was rather young or social centers, but it widens, and there is a large movement against evictions. Once there is occupation, paying CGT supports the hardware, infrastructure, being present.

What was the importance of the Indignant movement-es (15 M), what does that mean and where is it today?

Enrique and Yurgo: What is different between Madrid and Barcelona. In Madrid, there were really people of various political groups who were trying to work together constructively. There was a certain openness to the political label. By cons, in Barcelona, ââit was very anti-union and anti-organization. It was not possible to display a political identity or association in a demonstration example. It does not mean that in communities around Barcelona, ââthere was a greater involvement of the CGT anyway.

M 15 is a movement that was born spontaneously, and mobilizes a very variable.

In fact that the 15 million gave it a great infrastructure neighborhood assemblies. Afterwards, the 15 million is very difficult to identify. Ideologically, it is a movement very close to anarchist ideas, but there are people from all streams inside.

Given that there is a lot of unemployment in Spain is that the unemployed are organized and how?

Enrique and Yurgo: When you lose your job, you do not necessarily identify as unemployed, which slows the struggles of the unemployed.

The latest crisis back in three years and now we see that now the beginning of the movement of the unemployed. It is small associations from right to left.

In the CGT it starts to organize. Until now unemployed CGT campaigned on specific topics, different trade unionism. In this way, the unemployed workers found their place in the union, but without a clean section. It is also due to the fact that the CGT there has never been a lot of unemployed, so the question was not posed in these terms.

Overall what is the state struggles in Spain, and is there a convergence of struggles among unions, political organizations and unorganized? There were such convergence in today's event on November 14, we saw the CGT, CNT, 15 M, neighborhood assemblies in the same procession. To work with the CNT is complicated because there are few places where both unions are present.

It is also difficult to work with unions that are supporting the UGT and CCOO.

During strikes metro in Barcelona October 31, sector in which the CGT majority, we managed to push the other unions to call a strike and also it worked. CGT is that the pace and in this sense we can say that there was collective work with other unions. For example in the rail is the same, and a majority of the CGT it is possible to work towards a convergence of various unions on the basis of trade unionism of struggle, the bases of the CGT.

In places where the CGT is a minority that is more difficult to work together with other unions (UGT and Commissiones Obreras). The issue is the weight that weighs to propose ways to combat allowing us to work together with the unions.

Interview by Marine, and Andrà Flo (AL Montpellier)
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