A clamour in favour of social change

Mar 18, 2015
Thousands of people (around 10,000), joined the demonstrations that the popular initiative Social Rights Charter of the Basque Country organised in Bilbao and Pamplona. The crowd came together to demand social change and to vindicate the fact that we have alternatives.

The demonstrations have been widely attended, fun and participative, bringing together the claims made by all the organisations and sectors supporting this initiative. In this way, behind the main banner with the slogan ‘Social change now, we have alternatives!’ eight blocks of people could be distinguished, each one with its own vindications and messages.

Mauve banner. The feminist movement has emphasised that we are building Euskal Herria from a feminist stance, vindicating that the change will either be feminist or there will be no change.

Blue banner. The organisations that work together for education, linguistic rights and culture have reported the attacks received by our education systems and they demand a Basque system that is decided on in Euskal Herria.

Light blue banner. Here the sectors including pensioners, health and functional diversity have joined together. They give warnings about the serious negative consequences of neoliberalism, calling for equal opportunities to face up to it.

Green banner. The platforms and groups who together to defend the Earth have warned about the importance of putting Nature at the centre of life, proposing steps in favour of a sustainable model that respects Nature’s rights.

Yellow banner. This banner brings together all the organisations that are fighting against social exclusion. They want to socialise two alternatives to fight against unemployment and poverty: sharing out employment and wealth.

Orange banner. Without any doubt young people are those who lose most from this unfair system. Therefore, and because they have a great deal to say, those in charge of the young people’s movements have asked for their vindications to be heard.

Multi-coloured banner. This banner brought together the agents related to sexual diversity and they want to make it clear that along the route to social revolution, another revolution is going to be started: the sexual revolution.

Red banner. This was the request made by the fighting Trade Unions and workers’ groups. It is obvious: if we want to change this situation from its very foundations it is essential to create decent, quality work for everyone, putting the workers, instead of the markets, at the heart of the system.

And behind all these banners were the thousands of people who have joined the marches. The demonstrations that marched through the streets of Bilbao and Pamplona had a spectacular finale. In the first place, representatives from the National Coordinator of the Social Rights Charter of the Basque Country gave a short speech, where they mentioned the importance of this initiative. Following this, someone representing the groups that walked behind each banner went onto the stages located at the end of the marches. Each person carried a piece from a spectacular jigsaw puzzle on which ‘Social change now!' could be read. Beyond the exemplary fight that each association is carrying out in its sector, the idea was to show that working together is essential if we want to change the foundations of this unfair social and economic model.


ELA would like to congratulate the thousands of people who took part in today’s marches. Before the start of the Bilbao demonstration, the general secretary Adolfo Muñoz underlined the fact that “we are convinced that the lever for social and political change in on the streets. This is the reason we have taken to the streets today and we will continue to take to the streets until we manage to obtain another social and economic model. Economic power has kidnapped political power; they do not need to take to the streets, they are given everything they want. We, on the other hand, have to mobilise our supporters to manage to obtain anything. Therefore, if we want to change the situation we have to take to the streets, there is no other alternative”.

We are suffering from an unfair system, a system that is becoming more and more unfair”, Muñoz insisted. “And those of us who are against this must organise the social conflict. This system wants a dormant society, a society that shows its indifference to injustice. Obviously, those of us who are here today are working against this, because we are convinced that there are alternatives and we are campaigning in favour of these. For all these reasons, we feel bound to congratulate all the people who have taken to the streets today”.