In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people in Spain have held a series of protests against their government, calling for an end to ongoing austerity measures. It’s big news, and yet, if you’re like most Americans, you’re not even aware of the Spanish uprisings.
And while part of that can be chalked up to a tendency to gloss over international issues, it goes deeper than that. The mainstream media covers other foreign protest movements like the Arab Spring, but with something like Tahrir Square, they can also attach the slant that the Egyptian people were fighting for democracy, a very pro-American notion.
Spain, however, already has a democracy. It also has a failing economy caused by the banks, as well as a government that protects the interests of the elite over its general population.
Sound familiar? The Spanish’s people attempt to take back their country could just as well take place in the United States. Frankly, the corporate-controlled American media doesn’t want to give anyone any ideas.
Especially given the popularity of the movement in Spain. Anytime you can get tens of thousands of people to surround a Congressional building and shut down business as usual is a threat to the system. Of course, you’re bound to get a lot of people into the streets with a nearly 25% unemployment rate. And with the government instituting higher taxes and more cutbacks on social services and benefits, the people are similarly bound to reach a point where they will no longer stand for it.
Another thing the media doesn’t want you to know is that the movement is spreading. Currently, anti-austerity protests can be found in Greece and Portugal, too. Though the people are rallying against their respective governments, they have a shared struggle and justifiable rage that the countries’ richest individuals caused the financial problems, while the hardships and sacrifices are being thrust upon the working class.
Make no mistake: the powers that be see these protests as a legitimate threat. Why else, then, would they use the police to brutally beat and suppress the protesters? The videos that have emerged are frightening.
Warning: all of the below videos contain violence.
I imagine it’s hard to stay committed to non-violence while being struck repeatedly in the face with a club.
Of course, the American media does not want you to see these images, either. They don’t want you to see how a “civilized” government would brutalize its own people, much in the same way that the police impede journalists from capturing the oppression of protesters here in America.
The message from the police beatings is clear: do not voice dissent against the government. Despite these clear threats, the Spanish people have not been deterred, continuing to assemble en masse with tens of thousands taking to the streets again on Sunday.
Spanish unions are calling for a national strike in November if the government makes further cuts in the face of the overwhelming populous opposition. If the whole country effectively shuts down due to the power of the people, you can bet that’s another thing the American media won’t want you to see. Even if the American media won’t cover it – or perhaps because the American media won’t cover it – it’s certainly going to be a story worth following.