26/3 Reclaiming…

26 March Comments specific to this topic/week
Reclaiming Democracy, Taking Back the Urban
Reading: Merrifield, “We Must Demand a Rent Tax,” http://occupywallst.org/article/theory-thursday-why-we-must-demand-rent-tax-parasi/; and Henry George, Poverty and Progress [1879], Book VIII, Chapter II, “How Equal Rights to the Land May Be Asserted and Secured”; and Merrifield, The New Urban Question, “Afterword: The Parasitic Mode of Urbanization” ( will be supplied by author)

Andy mentions in the seminar this week’s column by Aditya Chakrabortty in the Guardian – on the privatisation of cleaning etc in Universities. This is article http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/24/cost-private-contracts-universities-documents-services-workers

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One thought on “26/3 Reclaiming…

  1. Dear all,

    let me share with you something that has been happening in Spain over the weekend – I think it relates quite well to all what we have been discussing these past weeks and also with the topic of this week.

    On Saturday morning, thousands of people rallied in Madrid, to protest against the absurd and unacceptable political/economic/social situation that we (common Spaniards) have been suffering since the credit crunch. People from across Spain marched to the capital in what has been termed ‘Marchas por la Dignidad’ (Marches for Dignity).

    http://marchasdeladignidad.org/mapa-territorios/

    http://austerityprotests.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/spains-marches-of-dignity-22m-2014-not-anti-politics/

    Once in Madrid, they were joined by thousands of other citizens in a peaceful demonstration across the city of Madrid. Unfortunately, some violent outbursts in front of Partido Popular headquarters triggered the deployment of some 1.600 police officers which ended up with 100 injured and 24 arrested demonstrators.

    http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2014/03/22/album/1395498879_380795.html#1395498879_380795_1395501203

    Sadly, the Government is more concerned with these figures – it has promised to severely punish the perpetrators of the attacks – than with the overwhelming disappointment that thousands of people have shown on the streets. The fact that some groups are calling for more violence in future demonstrations is not helping to re-focus the debate either.

    This morning, however, the big news was the death of Adolfo Suárez, the first Spanish President after Franco’s dictatorship and a key figure of the Transition period in the 1970s.

    http://elpais.com/tag/adolfo_suarez/a/

    I could not help but thinking that the man who had encarnated the promise of a democratic and peaceful future for Spain had given up his dream in the face of last night events and therefore, he had finally decided to leave us. Then, I wondered how many Spanish politicians would be able to keep up his legacy…not a single name has come to my mind yet.

    In any case, what happened in Madrid on Saturday is important. Because it is proving that people are more and more aware of the power of their own voices; not as angry citizens (Indignados) anymore but as active individuals that are able to get together for the sake of a shared interest: Dignity – or at least, this is my own wishful reading!

    Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

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