Thursday, March 29, 2012

Open the Gates and Seize the Day

Open the gates and seize the day
Don't be afraid and don't delay
Nothing can break us
No one can make us
Give our rights away
Arise and seize the day
-"Seize the Day" from The Newsies

Today all of Spain is planning to "seize the day" and strike against their prime minister (Mariano Rajoy)'s new budget cuts (which are going to affect workers' salaries and benefits). Yes, that's right, the whole country is on strike today. And that means that although these budget cuts have little to do with me personally (as far as I know anyway), I can't go to work. The buses are running at absolute minimum capacity, and I simply can't get there, even though the school technically has to be open. Supposedly only "absolutely necessary" staff have to be there, because some parents will send their kids to school anyway. However, as there's no possible way I could be construed as truly necessary, I don't have to go.

I'm interested to see what this strike is exactly going to entail. I'm sort of worried that some of the demonstrations might turn violent, but we'll see. I'm also curious to know whether it will be bigger than protests I've been to in the US, like the ones against Wisconsin's Governor Walker.

As far as my feelings on the issue, I'm both glad to be in a country where workers can stand up for their rights and at the same time annoyed that everything is going to be closed AGAIN today (everything was closed yesterday in Vigo because of the Reconquista festival, celebrating the city's citizens kicking out the French in 1809). We really need certain items like toilet paper and soap. Things are starting to get desperate around here. But that's life in Spain for ya! 

Luckily, after this weird week I get to go on vacation and relax for a while. Phew!

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