Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"The government wants to deny reality, and that is why we are here," said Javier Garcia, a spokesperson for the March for Dignity. (Photo: AP)

'Food, Dignity, and a Roof': Thousands March Against Austerity in Spanish Capital

Protesters are mobilizing for a general strike ahead of national elections

Sarah Lazare

A "March for Dignity" drew thousands to the Spanish capital on Saturday in the latest show of mass opposition to the government's harsh austerity policies that have slashed public goods—from education to public health to unemployment assistance.

As they marched through Madrid, protesters carried banners that read, "Food, jobs and a roof with dignity. Walking toward the general strike."

"We have mobilized here for the young people because in Extremadura youth unemployment is almost 60 percent," 28-year-old Antonio Laso, from southwestern Spain, told the Guardian.

"The government wants to deny reality, and that is why we are here," Javier Garcia, a spokesperson for the March for Dignity, told VICE News.

He said protesters are fighting for "the recovery of some public services related to education and health, to protest against the payment of the debt, which we consider unfair and illegal as it has not been contracted by the people's decision, and to position us against the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), a free commerce treaty between both economic areas that is going to bring more poverty to our country."

The rally, which follows a last year's March for Dignity, is part of escalating mobilizations aimed at building towards a general strike in October—ahead of the national elections.

The demonstration came one day before Andalusia's regional election on Sunday—which many say will be a test of popular support for the left-wing, anti-austerity Podemos party in the lead-up to the general election.

This region is stricken by poverty and joblessness, with more than a third of all people unemployed—a rate higher than the national average of 25 percent.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Biden Admin. Sued for Letting Big Oil Harass 'Imperiled' Polar Bears

"We're hopeful the court will overturn this dangerous rule that puts polar bears in the crosshairs."

Jessica Corbett ·


Indian Civil Society Groups to Biden: Force J&J to Share Vaccine Recipe With the World

"His administration has the moral, legal, and if necessary, financial power to lift intellectual property barriers and persuade J&J to license its vaccine."

Jake Johnson ·


Dems Call Fossil Fuel CEOs, Lobbyists to Testify About Climate Disinformation

"Oil and gas executives have lied to the American people for decades about their industry's role in causing climate change. It's time they were held accountable."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Grim and Alarming' UN Report Details 'Catastrophic' Global Failure on Climate

"We are not going in the right direction," warns the head of the World Meteorological Organization.

Andrea Germanos ·


'Anti-China' Military Pact 'Threatens Peace and Stability' in Pacific, Groups Warn

"The announcement of the new Australia, Britain, and U.S. military alliance—AUKUS—represents a serious escalation of the new Cold War on China."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo