Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 is becoming 1968

With the Spanish national election tomorrow almost certain to throw up a government from the right-wing of politics, we can only brace ourselves for greater social unrest.

Mainly because of 20% unemployment and extreme budget cuts to vital public services, we are seeing increasing numbers of protests with increasing numbers of protesters.

Yesterday, one of Barcelona’s main boulevards (Diagonal) was occupied by about 10,000 students. The road I use to get to work (B-30) was also cut off by a different group of students from the Universidad Aut√≥noma de Barcelona (UAB).

Other student protests included throwing coins at the entrance to the stock exchange students and a short sit-in at the headquarters of the Santander bank branch at Plaza Catalunya.

Personally, I am very happy to witness students getting involved in public issues. (In the last 20 years in Australia, almost the only thing university students ever got animated about was the issue of student higher education fees.)

A Rajoy government will cause more people to get out in the streets and some of it will certainly get violent.

The institution called the extended family has been the glue holding society here together but this cannot stick tight for all seasons.

1968 was a high-point of student activism in the USA, France, and even Japan. Co-incidentally, it was the year I was born in.

It may prove better to have been born then. At least better than having children in this coming decade of discontent.

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