Building Blocks of Protest

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Some 500,000 people demonstrated in the streets of Barcelona against a Europe of capital and war.

This demonstration shows that the movement is not at all dead, but alive and growing. People from Barcelona and the rest of Spain and Europe showed their strength, and their capacity to draw in more and more people from different backgrounds to participate in this rally. The demonstrations in Barcelona were the biggest ever, and have become a turning point in the struggle following on from Genoa and Seattle.

In the demonstrations were three blocks. The first one integrated many different organisations, from the revolutionary left such as En Lucha [member of the International Socialist Tendency] to the more reformist wing of Attac in the 'Campaign Against a Europe of Capital and War'. The second one, the 'Catalan Platform', was formed by the radical left wing nationalist organisations from around Spain such as Batasuna in Euskal Herria or Endavant here in Catalonia. The last one was formed by the traditional left of the big unions and reformist parties such as the social democrats from Catalunya, PSC or EuiA, a coalition inside the PCE, the Spanish Communist Party. The demonstration was so huge that this last block could not actually move around the route of the rally because they couldn't move forward! These three blocks show and prove that unity in action, even if not in a perfect way, is the way to go for coming demonstrations.

The great success of the campaign, and the 500,000 people who came to Barcelona, was a surprise for many of the people and organisations here, such as ours, En Lucha. The vision of a mass demonstration brought even more strength to the red block that we set up for the rally. We had a block of 400-500 people that had a great impact.

We were supported by Globalise Resistance and some comrades from the SWP in Britain. We were one of the most lively groups all through the demonstration, shouting slogans, and screaming that another world is not just possible but necessary. Our slogans included 'Globalització és privatització' ('Globalisation is privatisation'), 'A-anti-anticapitalista', or the most shouted one, 'One solution--revolution!'

The next challenge to the anti-capitalist movement around the world and for En Lucha here in Spain must be to be able to pass from this important but symbolic victory in the streets to a real fight against neoliberalism. We must also connect with the working class to involve them in the anti-capitalist movement.

The next important EU summit in Spain will be in Seville in June. We must start to work in committees in every workplace, in every neighbourhood, in every university and everywhere else. See you soon in Seville--the fight is not over (la lucha continua).

Manel Ros
Barcelona