Up to 300,000 people rallied in Madrid’s Puerta de Sol square last Saturday in a “March for Change” called by new radical party Podemos.
This was where the “Indignados” protest movement erupted in May 2011, ushering in three years of militant mass movements against austerity.
This time the focus was on elections. Podemos strategist Iñigo Errejon told the crowd, “Too many times we have protested without anybody listening.
“We’re here to celebrate that in 2015 the people will take back our sovereignty and take back our country.”
Podemos’ eyes are on the general election that will probably take place in December. Right wing prime minister Mariano Rajoy could delay it, and Podemos hopes to stop him.
Podemos now leads the polls, riding on a wave of anger against corruption and austerity. It grew out of the hopes generated by collective struggles. Its leadership poses elections as a solution to the frustrations of those struggles.
But it will take a deepening of these movements to make those hopes a reality.