Spanish trade unions are holding a general strike across the country today to protest new labor reforms, and by all accounts it has been a largely peaceful protest.
While for the most part conditions on the ground are relatively normal, photos from Madrid, Barcelona, and Pamplona indicated that some young protestors are escalating the angst, painting symbols supporting anarchy on walls, and causing small bouts of destruction.
Such events are reminiscent of similar protests in Syntagma Square, Greece, where groups of youthful protestors turned riotous despite generally calm strikes.
Two major points give us particular trepidation: the fact that these and similar protests closely resemble early protests in Greece a few years ago—when almost no one realistically considered the possibility of a Greek debt restructuring—and the sheer scale of Spanish youth unemployment.
As in Greece, young people have been seen as responsible for escalating peaceful political protests to violent riots. Spain’s unemployment data suggest that protests there could eventually be much larger—nearly half of young people are already unemployed and they face a tough future and a shrinking social safety net amid economic contraction and austerity measures.
via Business Insider.
For sixty years liberals and academics have been telling us to be more like Europe. This has been a mistake.
The only way for our youth (especially minority youth) is to improve our schools, reduce government waste, and grow the private sector so our newly educated children can get jobs. But our schools are current not providing the education needed in order to succeed. That needs to change.
In the meantime… we need the unions, religion, politicians, and community organizers to begin an honest dialog — toning down the language (e.g. denouncing the #KillZimmerman hashtag) and finding productive ways to work together instead of just yelling at each other.