Yesterday, members of the Andaluz Workers Union made two symbolic gestures by expropriating goods from supermarkets in Écija (Sevilla) and Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz) with the aim of distributing them to those most in need (Take a look at the video below). The idea was simply a protest, although some have twittered that the protest was in fact a riot, bordering on revolution. Personally, I wish it were true given the failed economic austerity measures being followed and the bankrupt political agenda being recklessly pursued by government. What surprises me is that we are not seeing anything like the looting that occurred in Britain last year - given the absence of hope and the presence of 6 million unemployed. I like to think that people have their threshold of tolerance. Spain has very clear history of what happens when voices are not listened to in times of crises: Back in the early 1930's the King was sent packing when he was seen as too distant from the needs of the population and a new progressive Republic was elected into power.
Yesterday the two major Union leaders (UGT and CCOO) warned of an Autumn of Discontent if the Government does not listen to what the people are saying, and so have requested the king to intervene by asking for a referendum on the continuation of such extreme austerity measures, before things get drastically worse.
Perhaps, yesterdays supermarket raids indicated that it may already be too late. What was it now that Santayana said about the repetition of history?