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Health Workers And People Unite In The Struggle For Primary Care

Madrid, Spain - Family physicians and primary level pediatricians in the region of Madrid are preparing to go on strike on Monday, November 21. The health workers are fighting against problems that have burdened primary care services for a long time, including overload of work. “All the time we are being told that primary care is the base of the health system. But the base is falling down, and no one seems to care”, says Elena Polentinos Castro, primary health care physician and member of the Society for Family and Community Medicine (semFYC). The industrial action will take place only a week after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Madrid demanding a better health system. Earlier, in October, more than 50,000 did the same.

No To NATO In Madrid

I was one of hundreds who attended the NO to NATO peace summit June 26-27, 2022 and one of tens of thousands who marched for NO to NATO in Madrid, Spain a few days before the leaders of the 30 NATO countries arrived in the city for their latest NATO Summit to map out NATO’s future military actions. Two conferences, the Peace Summit and the Counter-Summit,  provided opportunities for Spaniards and international delegations to hear the impact of ever-increasing military budgets on NATO countries that give weaponry and personnel to the war mongering capabilities of NATO at the expense of health, education, housing and other true human security needs. 

Madrid As A Democracy Lab

By Bernardo Gutierrez for Open Democracy - During the occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid in 2011, the hackers at the core of Madrid's 15M developed a platform for anyone to make political proposals. Designed in free software, the Propongo platform allowed users to put forward ideas which could then be voted on. The operational arrangement was pretty simple: decentralized proposals, from the bottom up. The State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), where participatory budgets came to light in 1989, used part of the Propongo code and its philosophy for the Digital Cabinet, its star citizen participation project. In Spain, the political class turned its back on the Indignados. On the other side of Propongo, no one was there. No local, regional or state government listened to the new music coming out of the squares – and even less to the proposals. Meanwhile, collective intelligence and networking in the squares were developing sophisticated mechanisms for participation and deliberation, both online and face-to-face. The powerful technopolitics made in Spain conquered the hearts of activists all over the world. And the hearts of some foreign academics and politicians too.

Podemos Madrid Mayor Halts Social Housing Evictions

By Sonya Dowsett for Reuters - The newly-elected left-wing mayor of Madrid on Tuesday overturned eviction orders for 70 families living in social housing and safeguarded more than 2,000 similar rental contracts. The move is the latest by the administration of Manuela Carmena, backed by anti-austerity party Podemos, to protect housing in a country where a property boom-and-bust has resulted in tens of thousands of families losing their homes. "There were 70 processes under way, but today those families have recovered their homes. Nobody is going to be thrown out on the street," Carmena said after meeting activists. Carmena took office in June after her Ahora Madrid ('Madrid Now') alliance of community activists formed a coalition with the opposition Socialists to end 24 years of centre-right People's Party (PP) rule in the capital.

Citizens Take Power In Spain’s Largest Cities

By Staff for Euro News. “We are servants of the people of Madrid”, said Carmena. “We are here because they have chosen us to represent them. We cannot forget it.We are at their service. Therefore I would insist and remember that we want to listen as well as govern”. Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the anti-austerity anti-corruption Podemos party was there to the witness the event. He can claim much of the credit for the changes taking place across the country. The victory for the left wing citizens’ alliance in the Spanish capital is the fall out from the dismal ruling right-wing Partido Popular results in the local and regional elections last month. Similar citizen-driven left-wing alliances are now also in power in Barcelona and Valencia. What amounts to a political revolution in Spain can be traced back to the ‘indignados’ protests against austerity measures introduced by the PP Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in 2011.
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