The Arab Spring was sparked by the first protests that occurred in Tunisia on 18 December 2010 following Mohamed Bouazizi‘s self-immolation in protest of police corruption and ill treatment. With the success of the protests in Tunisia, a wave of unrest sparked by the Tunisian “Burning Man” struck Algeria, Jordan,Egypt, Syria and Yemen, then spread to other Arab countries.
Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on 14 January following the Tunisian revolution protests. In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarakresigned on 11 February 2011 after 18 days of massive protests, ending his 30-year presidency.
A major slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world has been “ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam” (“the people want to bring down the regime”) and they did it in Tunisia and Egypt with a sustained campaigns or “non-stop protest” involving strikes, demonstrations, marches, occupations…
All through the winter of 2010 the collective “Democracia Real Ya!” (DRY), in association with approximately 200 smaller organizations, had been preparing a huge demonstration for real democracy in Spain. The protest movement gained momentum on May 15 with a camping occupation in Madrid’s main square, the Puerta del Sol, spreading to squares in 57 other major and smaller cities in Spain, and then to Spanish embassies all around the world.
Spain was hit with a massive General Strike today that shut down shopping centers, roads and transportation hubs. Barricades of burning tires were erected in Barcelona, hundreds of airline flights were canceled across the nation, and an estimated 91% of all employees at large businesses stayed home or took the streets, according to El Pais.
Spain’s General Strike could not have come at a more significant moment from the perspective of the global people’s movement. As ROAR magazine points out, Spain’s General Strike was initially called for by the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union but it was ultimately a success because the call was taken up and powered by the youthful militancy of the indignados whose encampments across Spain in May, 2011 inspired #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. It was the tactical breakthrough of seizing a public square and holding horizontal, consensus-based assemblies that launched Occupy. And now, as the Occupy movement prepares for its own much anticipated General Strike on May 1, the indignados are again showing us the way.
Movement-Space-Movement cycle: Linkages between Zapatista-WaterWar-Seattle-WSF-ESF-[JSC-ALTERSUMMIT] and Arab Spring/ 15M /OCCUPY I
First post of a series of key documents that trace back the efforts have been made for the creation of a Globally Networked -preferably in a p2p distributed way- and reinvented Labour Movement, what we call on this blog Social Network Unionism.
Below video is the interview with Marco Berlinguer, who have played a key role in coordination and faciliation of the Labour & Globalisation network in Belem and afterwards. Peter Waterman’s critical response in L&G email list with several attachments gives a good snapshot of the process under taken at the time.
In the eve of a global strikes being planned, as the first time in human history, and there is a growing globally self-organised grassroots movements, it can be helpful to revisit these important documents.
[WSF-Labor and Globalization] Will Alt. Glob Labour Network Take Off in Belem?
Will an Alternative Global Labour Network Take Off and Take Shape at the World Social Forum, Belem, 2009?
This is a contribution to discussion that has been taking place atvarious Social Forums and related events over the last year or two. Much of this has been within the ‘Labour and Globalisation’ (L&G) network. It has been something of a haphazard process since the network has no fixed abode, far less an office or officers, and its rather attractive list, http://openesf.net/projects/labour-and-globalization/summary, has been regretably under-utilised and was affected, late-2008, by some infantile disorder (of a digital kind). I expressed my confusion at that moment (Waterman 2008a). The problem has now been corrected.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a model for a new economic paradigm, in which value is first created by communities.
In Zuccotti Park, protesters created an ‘ethical economy’ based on the group’s shared values [GALLO/GETTY]
Chiang Mai, Thailand – Last week I discussed the value crisis of contemporary capitalism: the broken feedback loop between the productive publics who create exponentially increasing use value, and those who capture this value through social media – but do not return these income streams to the value “produsers”.
In other words, the current so-called “knowledge economy” is a sham and a pipe dream – because abundant goods do not fare well in a market economy. For the sake of the world’s workers, who live in an increasingly precarious situation, is there a way out of this conundrum? Can we restore the broken feedback loop?
Strangely enough, the answer may be found in the recent political movement that is Occupy, because along with “peer producing their political commons“, they also exemplified new business and value practices. These practices were, in fact, remarkably similar to the institutional ecology that is already practiced in producing free software and open hardware communities. This is not a coincidence. Continue reading →
The International Citizen Debt Audit Network – ICAN, has been born under the slogan “We don’t owe! We won’t pay!”, bringing together movements and networks in different European and North African countries, fighting austerity measures through the implementation of Citizen Debt Audits.
Barcelona, April 13th – The First Euro-Mediterranean Meeting of the newly formed International Network for Citizen Debt Audits, has been held this weekend in Brussels. Activists from twelve countries participated: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Egypt and Tunisia. The different regions are developing or initiating Citizen Debt Audits or campaigns against austerity and debt.
During the meeting different organizations, networks and social movements shared experiences, talking about the type of audits being conducted or promoted in each country, as well as what type of actions and social mobilizations strategies are developing in each territory (see appendix for a list of the different campaigns). Among them, the Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform, “We don’t owe, we won’t pay!”, was presented, which brings together organizations and social movements in the Spanish State and will conduct a citizen debt audit in the country.
Beyond the exchange of information on how each country is tackling the debt situation, the meeting set the foundations for a better communication and coordination of the international network. It also outlined a common calendar, which identifies important action dates against debt and austerity: May 1st Labor Day, Global May protests from May 12th to 15th (coinciding with the first anniversary of “15M/Indignados” movement in Spain) and May 16th to 19th protests, actions, rallies and blockades against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.