Monday, February 2, 2009


It rained on the major demonstration called by the Izquierda Unida in Sevilla on Sunday but the deluge didn’t dampen the spirits.

Thousands took to the streets of the Andalucía capital in the march against unemployment. Whilst the demonstration was staged by the far left Izquierda Unida it went ahead without the support of the unions.

Party members were bussed in from all over Andalucía braving appalling conditions to make their way to Sevilla. The marchers rallied behind a banner proclaiming: "Frente a la crisis. En defensa del empleo".

The march was led by the IU’s co-ordinator general, Cayo Lara, the IU leader in Andalucía Diego Valderas, the mayor of Córdoba Rosa Aquilar along with other mayors, councillors and party supporters from the region with many from Cádiz. There were also banners held high by the former workers of companies that have closed in the economic crisis including Delphi in the Bahía de Cádiz.

The skies opened with a heavy deluge of rain as the march left the plaza de San Francisco. Fortunately they weren’t going far but then the sound system wouldn’t operate so Lara and Valderas spoke to the crowds through megaphones. I suspect such adversities add to the sense of occasion on such rallies.

Lara explained that the IU had only called the demonstration in Andalucía because the region was suffering most from unemployment. However he added that Sunday’s protest was just the preamble to a nationwide demonstration. He added that if the unions wished they could call a general strike – but that decision was for them to make.

For the event hundreds of coaches came to Sevilla from all over Andalucía although some were prevented from travelling by the weather. At first the IU said 8,000 were present but that was upgraded to15,000. As is the case with all such demonstrations the police have a different figure estimating between 4,000 and 5,000.

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