The Arab Spring reaches Europe: let it reach the whole world!
Regarding democracy demonstrations in Spain (M-15), World without Wars and Violence would like to express its warm support to the people of Spain who are mobilised and organising themselves in search of a better future.
Since the first mobilisations on the 15th of May (15-M) initiated by the demands of ‘Real Democracy Now!’ Spain has seen hundreds of thousands of people go into the streets to denounce: the two-party system, political corruption, and the economic crisis and the subsequent government bailouts of banks with public money.
This has been accompanied by drastic cuts to public services and the highest number of unemployed people in Spanish history. This at a time when Spanish young people are more highly educated than ever but are unable to find work due to an almost 50% rate of youth unemployment.
Overnight camps, assemblies and numerous meetings in public squares, and the organisation of infrastructure to support the protests have led to comparisons to the events that took place in Tahrir Square, in Cairo only a few weeks ago, calling for the end of the reign of Hosni Mubarak. In the case of Spain they don’t seek to bring down a dictator but rather fight against a system.
Social networking through the internet, also echoing the Arab Spring, has resulted in protests and camps appearing in nearly 700 cities and towns of Spain and among Spanish residents living in cities all around the world.
Members of World without Wars in Spain have participated in the camps and contributed to the assemblies and commissions that have been set up to develop common proposals.
So we see that the proposals of World without Wars are very much in tune with the demands of the M-15 movement such as:
• The reduction of the military budget
• The closure of US bases in Spain
• The removal of Spanish troops from Afghanistan, an end to participation in NATO and the aggression against Libya
• The strict use of nonviolence as a strategy for social change
In our foundational document we say:
*“Discrimination, poverty, racism and other forms of violence, with their corresponding personal and social desperation and frustration are the origin of a violence of greater scope whose maximum expression is weapons of mass destruction.*
*For this reason dialogue, cooperation and coordination of high-impact, non-violent actions are necessary among all those individuals and organisations interested in a better world for all human beings. Everything that happens in any part of the world affects the whole world. In this social context, it makes it impossible to act in isolation. Today, in order to create consciousness it is necessary to carry our actions as far as we are able to within our possibilities, acting in the local environment, but with our look set to the progress of the whole of society.”*
So we congratulate the men and women of Spain who, having been subject to so much economic violence, are now taking to the streets to decide on the direction they want to go in. Moreover we wish to see this movement spread beyond Spain, and beyond Spanish communities and into all countries and all communities of the world. Certainly our members will support these processes wherever they can. Only this way can the cosmetic changes—the ones that politicians and military governments will try to impose on the people to make them stop—become real, fundamental changes that will lead humanity towards the Universal Human Nation: a land of equal opportunities, a land without armies and nuclear weapons, a land without passports and a land where violence in all its forms is rejected as a means to resolve conflict.
A movement towards this ideal is the only way out of the global and personal crisis that affects all 7 billion residents of the planet and which is exactly what the people of Spain are working towards.
This planet we live on has everything we need to meet all the needs of this diverse and wonderful human population. There is no need for people to live in poverty and misery, human beings have created this system that doesn’t work and human beings can create a better one that does work – don’t let people tell you differently.