Sunday, March 21, 2004

A letter from Valencia: "Democracy is coming back to Spain"

personal > corrspondence
My good friend Carmen, wrote to me from Valencia, in response to my previous post about the elections in Spain. She mostly concurs with my points. I'm presenting her comments below, with some very minor editing. This is probably a not atypical example of the attitude of the millions of young voters to the left of the Socialists, who this time bothered to vote..:

"…we are SO SO SO pissed off, you cannot imagine how much.

Last Saturday I spent four hours in front of the PP office in Valencia, yelling, making noise... I felt so furious. The worst part, as you comment in your post, was our government's reaction to the attacks. Obviously, every single person in this country was in shock by the attacks. It was the worst bloodbath Spain has seen in a very long time... Most of them were young people: students, workers... It's impossible not to cry... Even if you are not in Madrid.

Those who have said that terrorism won in our elections don't have any idea of what's going on.
1. As you said, the attacks mobilized new people to vote; it did not change the minds of that many PP voters at all. Different surveys agreed that more than 60% of Spanish people wanted a change in government, however a significant percentage among them was not about to vote.
2. This group of voters decided to vote finally for a couple of reasons:
- mainly, because the PP government was lying to the population about who were the terrorists, and they were manipulating the information (you would not believe what they did!). And it was not their first time: Prestige, the general strike, arms in Iraq... We were just tired of their lies, how they treated us...It was too much.
- and, of course, because we did not want to participate in an illegal war. We did not want Iraqis to be killed in our name. This has happened already. We knew that we would pay for it. As we did. We know what terrorism is, we are against it. But we do understand how Islamic terrorism is produced. We know that a part of it is pure fanaticism, but another part is created by desperation, oppression, Western pressure from countries such as the US. And now Spain.

That's the big difference with American citizens. We are killed by terrorists and we blame our government, for having policies against human rights that produce hate and desperation. We blame the terrorists responsible as well, and will try to stop them. But we try to understand what motivates them.
Because of our foreign policy, we are not innocent. Even if we disagree...
We didn't support our government's acts. So we simply changed our government. Is it so difficult to understand?
I have the feeling that what we have done will have important consequences for other countries... Let's see.

We are so excited... You can breathe a different air; democracy is coming back to Spain. And it feels so great!!!!!"

Also check out this report from yet another young woman who was participating in the same demonstration as Carmen on Saturday 13/3...

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