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Spanish peaceful protests against the system. Could it happen in the UK?

#1
Just to bring to your notice something that may be a flash in the pan or may be the start of something bigger, the first crack in the dam.
We have just had local elections over here in Spain and the incumbants have got it in the neck as was expected in the current financial situation.
However what was unexpected was that over the last week all Provincial capitals and Madrid have had sit-in camps of a large number of people protesting peacefully against the system that they see as a failure, not against any particular party. The main squares have been packed with the government unwilling to disperse the crowds, as they are peaceful and not wanting the adverse publicity, despite declaring the demonstrations illegal.

In the main they are made up of young people, with a fair leavening of all ages, and people have been living in tents, going to work and coming back to join in the party. No damage has been done, but also thanks to internet there has been a significant signal sent that a large number of people are unhappy with the situation and want a change. All we get on tv are the same parties spouting the same meaningless platitudes and indulging in Hollywood, rock star shows which end up in a round of infantile self-congratulatory hand-clapping.

I haven't seen this in the UK papers, at least online, so I thought I would give a heads-up. It isn't claimed to be anything like the arab protests but it does show that the same groundswell is under the surface. Could it happen in the UK? You never know, once John Bull loses patience and puts down his cup of tea, things could happen. At least we have the weather for it over here.
 
#2
Just to bring to your notice something that may be a flash in the pan or may be the start of something bigger, the first crack in the dam.
We have just had local elections over here in Spain and the incumbants have got it in the neck as was expected in the current financial situation.
However what was unexpected was that over the last week all Provincial capitals and Madrid have had sit-in camps of a large number of people protesting peacefully against the system that they see as a failure, not against any particular party. The main squares have been packed with the government unwilling to disperse the crowds, as they are peaceful and not wanting the adverse publicity, despite declaring the demonstrations illegal.

In the main they are made up of young people, with a fair leavening of all ages, and people have been living in tents, going to work and coming back to join in the party. No damage has been done, but also thanks to internet there has been a significant signal sent that a large number of people are unhappy with the situation and want a change. All we get on tv are the same parties spouting the same meaningless platitudes and indulging in Hollywood, rock star shows which end up in a round of infantile self-congratulatory hand-clapping.

I haven't seen this in the UK papers, at least online, so I thought I would give a heads-up. It isn't claimed to be anything like the arab protests but it does show that the same groundswell is under the surface. Could it happen in the UK? You never know, once John Bull loses patience and puts down his cup of tea, things could happen. At least we have the weather for it over here.
BBC News - In pictures: Spanish protests

What do they think the protests are going to do? The Arabs don't get to vote for their leaders so at least they have an aim. I'm not sure what the Spanish are hoping to acheive.
 
#3
With 45% unemployment amongst the young in Spain, maybe people have had enough.
If voting made a difference, they would ban voting.
Could it happen here I doubt it, too much lethergy[sp], and people aren't hungry.

CG
 
#5
So what do these protestors actually want the politicians to do?

I think a general "I'm pissed off" isn't going to get much of a result.

I wonder how long before the 1million plus "new" spanish citizens that the government created over the past few years are going to get the blame for the very high unemployment among the younger generation?
 
#6
BBC News - In pictures: Spanish protests

What do they think the protests are going to do? The Arabs don't get to vote for their leaders so at least they have an aim. I'm not sure what the Spanish are hoping to acheive.
It's more a case of simply saying they are fed up with what is on offer. The next step would be to have other systems proposed,though it hasn't got as far as that obviously. But it is an expression of frustration rather than an attempt to overthrow anything. The first step is to find out you have a voice. It may die a death or it may lie dormant or it may grow, the more we have the useless politicians and system that has let us down the bigger this can only get.
 
#8
It's more a case of simply saying they are fed up with what is on offer. The next step would be to have other systems proposed,though it hasn't got as far as that obviously. But it is an expression of frustration rather than an attempt to overthrow anything. The first step is to find out you have a voice. It may die a death or it may lie dormant or it may grow, the more we have the useless politicians and system that has let us down the bigger this can only get.
They do have a voice, they get to vote in elections.
Sitting in the town squares isn't going to do anything.
 
#9
hmm but if your choice is hobson's choice.
people are apt to get angry if they can't see a solution.
If political leaders brilliant answer is to work longer for less pay and pay more tax for less services. thats not terribly attractive option is it?
 
#10
Most people on this planet are hacked off with the current state of affairs. Those who have jobs are expected to do more work for less money. Housing is often prohibitively expensive, and the general cost of living (feels like) it's spiralling. The young reckon they're locked out of the economy, the middle aged are struggling (and worrying how they'll cope when they're old). Politicians have the Midas touch in reverse - everything they touch turns to shite, and they are fast losing all credibility. The information age makes it a lot harder to prop up a flawed system with institutional bullshit...
I've a feeling that more and more people are going to be looking at ways to achieve greater self sufficiency and generally spend less; consumerism in it's current form may be on the way out. I can also see European countries fragmenting; England/Scotland, Spain/Catalonia/Basque/Galicia, Italy, Belgium etc. and the EU itself undergoing some drastic changes. Our societies are going to become harder and less tolerant places over the next few years. Possibly this will not be a bad thing ultimately.
 
#11
Most people on this planet are hacked off with the current state of affairs.
Life is bad at the moment, but it'll get worse when there are the terrorist attacks in 2012 (olympics probably) and for the 9-11 anniversary.
Then we'll be pulled into another war and shit happens.
 
#12
Life is bad at the moment, but it'll get worse when there are the terrorist attacks in 2012 (olympics probably) and for the 9-11 anniversary.
Then we'll be pulled into another war and shit happens.
it will get worse... when the interest rate rises , as its 0.5% at the moment it can only go one way. more wars are a good thing, they stimulate the economy, and provide a focus for the young. Anything, just anything to get the money out of the banks and into circulation again, trouble is the banks have been told to hold onto more cash in reserve, to balance their books should they need to have it on hand.
 
#13
They do have a voice, they get to vote in elections.
Sitting in the town squares isn't going to do anything.
Pause for a moment's thought. Vote for the same clowns and system that have caused all this? Where is the voice in that? That is no choice whatsoever.

This is perhaps, only perhaps the glimmerings of something that may roll. If people get together and say 'hey I'm not the only one who thinks this way, there are a lot of us', then perhaps a new grouping can get created that will have a different agenda. Everything has to start somewhere, the fact that the squares are packed and there is media attention shows people that they are not alone and it might just be worth doing something or following this up.
 
#14
So what do these protestors actually want the politicians to do?
Much like ours, they haven't a clue. For some, it's blind idealism mixed with the human urge to "fight" for something. For others, it's a bit of excitement.

Nick Clegg is a prime example. Admired and adored by millions when he was stood at the sidelines, promising the world and sniping at every policy that came along. Despised by the same people when he took up office and was faced with making actual decisions about things like spending cuts.
 
#15
Pause for a moment's thought. Vote for the same clowns and system that have caused all this? Where is the voice in that? That is no choice whatsoever.

This is perhaps, only perhaps the glimmerings of something that may roll. If people get together and say 'hey I'm not the only one who thinks this way, there are a lot of us', then perhaps a new grouping can get created that will have a different agenda. Everything has to start somewhere, the fact that the squares are packed and there is media attention shows people that they are not alone and it might just be worth doing something or following this up.
Maybe we could have a revolution in October
 
#16
Pause for a moment's thought. Vote for the same clowns and system that have caused all this? Where is the voice in that? That is no choice whatsoever.

This is perhaps, only perhaps the glimmerings of something that may roll. If people get together and say 'hey I'm not the only one who thinks this way, there are a lot of us', then perhaps a new grouping can get created that will have a different agenda. Everything has to start somewhere, the fact that the squares are packed and there is media attention shows people that they are not alone and it might just be worth doing something or following this up.
What are you talking about? Spain, the last time I looked was a democracy, according to wiki over 80 different parties took part in the 2008 election, plenty of choice there. What do they (or you) think is going to happen? That they are going to come up with yet another political party that has to fit somewhere into the other 80? I agree with DeltaDog, they don't have a clue and have just jumped on a bandwagon.
I dare say alot of these "packed" squares have a large amount of doleys topping up their tan, its not as if they have got anything else to do.
 
#17
You still haven't got it have you?
Sure Spain is a democracy, but what does that mean? Same as the UK, constant swapping between the two main parties who are getting more and more alike, full of self-serving on-the-makers and life continues with no change no matter how often you vote.
People are saying they want something else, a change in how politics is done, it's an expression of what they say in bars and all over.
Sure they don't know what to do or how to go about it, but that they are expressing an opinion that is shared by others that this style of government is a failure. That's all that has happened, and that's all that may happen.
That's not to say they don't want democracy, but it opens the argument to what truly is democracy and how should it be expressed, right now it's a shambles.
 
#18
You still haven't got it have you?
Sure Spain is a democracy, but what does that mean? Same as the UK, constant swapping between the two main parties who are getting more and more alike, full of self-serving on-the-makers and life continues with no change no matter how often you vote.
People are saying they want something else, a change in how politics is done, it's an expression of what they say in bars and all over.
Sure they don't know what to do or how to go about it, but that they are expressing an opinion that is shared by others that this style of government is a failure. That's all that has happened, and that's all that may happen.
That's not to say they don't want democracy, but it opens the argument to what truly is democracy and how should it be expressed, right now it's a shambles.
Democracy? Basically you are free to vote for who you want and everyone (almost) gets a vote.
Here's a big hint to the Spaniards, if you don't want the two main parties, don't vote for them, this will change the politics in your country a lot faster than sitting in the sun all day. Hope that helps, no charge for my time.
 

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