Dan Hancox writes:
On the eve of the general strike across southern Europe in November 2012, I joined a few thousand members of the CCOO, Spain’s largest trade union, for a march through Madrid. They set out on the stroke of midnight, intending to shut down any place of business still open; it was made clear to the owners of restaurants and bars that they weren’t to open the next morning. Carrying whistles, horns, flags and spray paint, the marchers paid special attention to banks – they used glue to put ATMs out of action – and the ruling Partido Popular headquarters. They sang songs against the Troika and the PP, telling the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, where he could stick his labour reform laws. A boisterous river of red flowed along the Gran Via and Paseo del Prado. The Spanish right prudently stayed indoors. It was the second general strike of 2012, the first time there had been two in a single year since the 1980s, and following the Indignados moment of 2011, the feeling was that the Spanish left was once again engaging in what its predecessors in the 1930s called ‘revolutionary gymnastics’.