However, other protests, largely ignored by foreign media, are taking place in Spain at the same time. Here I will focus on one.
Since the Valencian Generalitat approved a decree, last January, cutting down salaries to 55,000 teachers and 140,000 other public servants in Valencia, Alicante and Castellón, peaceful public protests have been taking place in those provinces.
The cuts were made in an attempt to free resources to pay a 62.5 billion euro debt, attributed in a large part to corrupt deals between the centre-right ruling party Partido Popular ("People's" Party) officials, in power in the Generalitat for the last 16 years, and private sector "entrepreneurs" and the until recently apparently clean local financial institution Caja Mediterráneo. (See here, Spanish)
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy appointed Paula Sánchez de León national government representative before the Generalitat.
And although Sánchez de León has not been personally implicated in the corrupt deals, she was a close collaborator to the former president of the Generalitat, Francisco Camps, who was forced to resign and is on trial under corruption charges. (See here, Spanish)
High school and university students, teachers and public servants have been protesting the measures, demanding Sánchez de León's resignation and those deemed involved in corruption be punished. Until Wednesday 15 of February, the protests had been peaceful.
This is how record numbers of the Spanish National Police officers are treating Spanish kids:
Readers will note no stones are being thrown. No fires. This is what El País had to say:
"The student protest degenerated into an improvised and chaotic Prague Spring. While the youngsters defended in the street their freedom of expression (...) tens of patrols and hundreds of agents dispersed themselves, running after the kids, who -in the fourth day of protest- have not yet broken a glass, a shop front or a street light". (See here. Spanish. My translation)According El País, Antonio Moreno, head of the National Police in Valencia, is clear he is waging a war against the protesters: "En el anterior conflicto del 15-M también tuvimos que utilizar la fuerza cuando fuimos atacados" (my translation: in the previous conflict, against the 15-M, we also had to use force when attacked). Asked by journalists how many agents were deployed, Moreno refused to answer because he did not intend to "proporcionar esa información al enemigo" (my translation: he did not intend to give the enemy that information).
These statements may appear a ridiculous over-reaction by an armchair general fighting a unilateral war against an unarmed "army" of teenagers, their parents and middle-aged teachers. Arguably, that's a valid interpretation.
I, however, could find another interpretation: "general" Moreno is indeed fighting a war. A class war. He is fighting this "conflict" on behalf of the corrupt, the thieves, charlatans and snake-oil sellers of capitalism, and the "enemy" are those designated to pay for the fuck up Moreno's masters left behind: the Spanish people.
Carta abierta a la policía española:
Joder, que me dais asco y vergüenza. Sois más despreciables que la Merkel o Sarkosy: sois vosotros quienes traicionan a España, no ellos.
Antes que sea demasiado tarde, decidle "basta" al Gobierno de Rajoy, porque vais por el mismo camino que Grecia.
Portaos como hombres, como españoles, coño.