“We are a guarantee that leftist policies are being carried out with us. Less than we would like, but we have shown, at the cost of our prestige, of receiving brutal attacks, that we are firm until the end. And that is essential, I don’t know. I could win them if we ask for forgiveness and with complexes. We have to beat them by showing that we are more. ” This is how Pablo Iglesias has claimed the vote for United We Can on May 4 in the elections of the Community of Madrid. The candidate, accompanied by the third vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, and the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, has given as an example of what the management of the central Executive offers to Madrid.
Pablo Iglesias seeks to wake up sleeping Madrid for the 4M elections
Unida Podemos has held its first act of the May 4 campaign in one of the most symbolic places for the party founded by Pablo Iglesias in 2014. The project was presented in Lavapiés. In the bookstores, premises and bars of this neighborhood in the center of Madrid, today the victim of a gentrification that expels residents and traditional businesses to open tourist apartments or franchises, the project was forged that seven years ago turned Spanish politics upside down. Not only. Also some later experiences, such as Ganemos (later Now Madrid) or, of course, Más Madrid. Since then, Lavapiés has always turned to this space, today split in two, and has voted mostly well for United We Can, or for Más Madrid. It will be one of the details to elucidate this 4M: who is Lavapiés with.
One of the main points of the life of Lavapiés is precisely the Nelson Mandela Square, where the first act of the, perhaps, last first-person campaign by Pablo Iglesias was held. The meeting was opened by the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, who spoke of her time in the neighborhood when she arrived in Madrid from Navarra and the evolution she has undergone. “Lavapiés combines the Madrid we want and the one they want to impose on us. A Madrid of speculation, where shops became Sportium, owned by Blackstone, where rental apartments became tourist apartments, as rental prices rose and many neighbors had to leave the neighborhood because they couldn’t pay them. ” In front of that neighborhood, Belarra has exposed the one that “saw the birth of the 15M, the solidarity networks of the neighbors to stop the racist raids, and the neighbors put the body to stop the evictions”.
The Minister of Social Rights thanked Pablo Iglesias for his step in leaving the central government to be a candidate in Madrid, although he recognized that not enough to end 25 years of rule by the right. “He has opened the gap that he has been able to, but between all of us we have to be able to widen the gap so that the Government of change can fit in,” he said. “They have stolen a lot from us,” Belarra said, “public transport. Healthcare, education. And the hope of believing that there is a possible alternative government.” And he concluded: “Pablo Iglesias has given us the hope that on May 4 a decent government, of change, of coalition, that takes care of its people, is possible.”
The penultimate to intervene has been the Vice President and Minister of Labor, who has presented her predecessor as the leader of United We Can in the Government, for which she has called for a large mobilization. “Campaign in all neighborhoods. Be mobilized. You have to guarantee that Unidos Podemos is strong to be able to change people’s lives. This is what Pablo Iglesias has done in the Government of Spain.” Díaz thanked Iglesias for having achieved that coalition with the PSOE: “We would not be able to change people’s lives, to have the social shield, without courage.” And he has warned: “If not, they are going to mobilize.”
“There are some who already tell us what the result will be,” Díaz ironized about the polls. “But the result is won by us,” he added. “Springs are always times of turbulence, of changes. But we always get ahead because the sun rises. I ask you to take this campaign seriously. It is not about winning elections, democracy is at stake and recovering the institutions for the people. “, he concluded, with a message also addressed to those who doubt within the progressive camp. Díaz has praised “not only the courage” of Iglesias, “but his conviction that Madrid can be won.” “We are not all the same. We need many votes to be able to change life” in Madrid.
Win to “do the opposite”
“We do not want to beat them to accept what they say, but to do the opposite,” said Iglesias, who has defended confronting the proposals of the PP and the policies that he has carried out in recent decades. “The next Government of the Community of Madrid is going to prioritize public education. Without nuances. How can it not be a priority?”, He said. Also in other matters: “We are going to say that in the face of private health, the priority can only be public. You have to invest 1,000 million more. Without nuances.” And it has settled, in a clear reference to Ángel Gabilondo, who has said that he does not want to touch taxes. “And of course a tax reform is necessary to match what the Constitution says. It cannot be that the only ones who make an effort are the small businessmen, the self-employed and the workers. We do not ask more than to respect the Constitution,” he concluded.
Iglesias has defended “the courage” of Yolanda Díaz to “build” with the ERTE “the social shield.” Or that of Belarra, to say in parliament that the Catholic Church has covered sexual scandals for many years. Or that of the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, with the only yes is yes, “whatever some men in robes say.” Or Alberto Garzón, Minister of Consumption, for putting an end to the advertising of the betting houses.
“We are a guarantee, that’s why they crush us,” Iglesias said. The United We Can candidate closed his speech with a classic allegation in his party. “We are very close. They told me that it could not be done, that it was finished. We are going to demonstrate on the 4th that we are going to govern in the Community of Madrid. Forward that we are closer every day, Forward that it can be done.”
The main candidates of United We Can who accompany Iglesias on the list also took part in the act: Isa Serra, number 2, Vanessa Lillo (IU) and the independents Alejandra Jacinto, Agustín Moreno and Serigne Mbayé. The leader of the manteros union has been one of the most applauded by an audience of around 300 people in which white and colored faces were distributed almost equally. Mbayé, who has demanded the vote of the “working class”, has given way precisely to the Minister of Labor, a novelty in the political history of Spain.
Alejandra Jacinto, a lawyer for the PAH, has made a heartfelt plea in defense of a neighborhood that she knows very well and in which she has participated a lot as a defender of the right to housing. Like Isa Serra, precisely convicted and awaiting an appeal to the Supreme Court, for the altercations that occurred in 2014 during an eviction in one of the streets of Lavapiés. “We are gambling to kick the Ayuso fanatic and prevent the Vox madmen from entering the Government, who feed on hatred and fear,” said Serra, to add: “They don’t want Pablo Iglesias because he is the one who is going to reverse the policies of the PP that have done so much damage “. The leader of Podemos has closed with another alleged in defense of United Podemos against other options of the progressive camp: “They do not revert doing the same as the PP, they revert with courage facing the PP and those who dictate them.”