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Massive Miners Support in Madrid

Trev | 11.07.2012 10:53 | Birmingham | Sheffield

This article is a summary of the Spanish Miners struggle and the latest march and demonstrations in Madrid today, Wednesday 11th July, 11.50am.

Massive Miners Support in Madrid

Well over 150,000 people in Madrid saluted the striking miners “black march” that triumphantly entered the city on Tuesday night after marching halfway across Spain.

The miners marched with headlamps on their helmets lighting their way and were met by the masses with enthusiasm and support.

Chants of “Long live the struggle of the working class!” and other chants/songs and flags of socialists, Anarchists, communists and Marxists dominated the city. Many supporters had travelled across Spain to greet them as the Miners have captured the imagination of wide layers of Spanish youth, unemployed & workers who came out tuesday and will do today for a massive demonstration of working class solidarity.

Despite the huge crowds, no major TV station saw fit to turn up and witness the arrival of the miners. But an even bigger solidarity protest is expected in Madrid today, Wednesday 11th July.

Spanish miners are fighting against the decision of the right wing government to cut subsidies to coal mining by 63% this year. This means the destruction of 8,000 direct jobs and a further 20 or 30,000 indirect jobs which depend on them. For a month and a half miners have marched, organised a general strike of the mining valleys, set up barricades blocking highways and railway lines, clashed with the police and suffered brutal repression by the anti-riot units of the Civil Guards (the hated military style police force).

Miners defended their collieries against attacks from the police with occupation and retailiation, and in their clashes with the anti-riot unit of the Civil Guards (the GSR), the miners have had to develop methods of struggle and create their own weaponry. To protest and block the system groups of miners come down from the hills, quickly build barricades on main roads, set them on fire and retreat back into the woods, from where they wait for the Civil Guards to turn up and then throw flares and pyrotechnic rockets at them with home made rocket launchers. They also occupy and block major roads and motorway with similar tactics. The resistance reminds me of other resistance in the Welsh Mining valleys and elsewhere throughout history.

The striking miners have been marching from their communities since the end of June and everywhere they have stopped they were cheered by crowds of people.

As they neared Madrid the rallies to meet them grew into thousands. Everybody understands how the miners’ struggle against the removal of industry subsidies was “everybody’s struggle”, one moment of the capitalist offensive which must be resisted, and we must support all struggles.

As the government continues to support the banks at the expense of the people and is continuing to attack the miners and their communities, it has sent riot police to terrorise mining villages. So lets support the Miners resistance and defence of their communities.

The miners’ struggle comes after the anger shown in Spain’s city squares last year, the Occupy movement and a general strike. Their militant defiance is reigniting the worlds working and unemployed classes determination to fight austerity, lets build the fires of discontent. And we look forward to hearing the Spanish Miners at the Durham Miners Gala this saturday too.

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