Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

The manifesto of the Indignados movement – those from Spain, adopted by the rest of Europe – is definitely worth reading. We can read there about equality, solidarity, the right to housing, employment, health care. Next, more fundamental, the Indignados demand political participation. So what happened that on the 15th of May in Madrid, the capital of a country ruled by socialists, thousands of people gathered to shout their protest?

Well, those who are educated, who want to have better prospects and live normally, have realised (thanks to the Internet) that they do not have such opportunities. Worse, those opportunities are taken over by other people who share money, power and position. This is a real twenty-first century socialism. They do not speak about exploitation, but about a lack of hope. The European protesters do have enough to eat, they have a roof over their heads, but they want to have an influence on their lives, rather than to reach out to social care or to their parents. And here lies the problem of the wear of the political class. The Indignados see that whoever is in power – the right or the left – privileged people have even more privileges while the young people live worse and worse. Therefore they reject the political elite.

On Saturday, on the streets of Warsaw, a few hundred young people protested in the name of the same manifesto. It did not seem very convincing because in this parade there was no such a determination as in Madrid or Tel Aviv. Big cities in Poland do not know what a real crisis is. Our real Indignados live in such towns as Pleszew, Ostrzeszow, Gryfice and are not organised yet. When they will come out on the streets, the Versailles may finish and Rome may begin. The one from last Saturday.

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