Letter from Madrid

Solidarity demonstration with Gamonal in Zaragoza. Via publico.es

Solidarity demonstration with Gamonal in Zaragoza. Via publico.es

Dear people,

A merry new year to all. And from the looks of it, it’s going to be a good one, revolutionarily speaking. Ukraine is crazy. You will probably know that. I was stunned by the romantic pictures of fire battles in the snow, with demonstrators launching molotovs and riot police in roman legion style responding with flame throwers. It’s epic. The rebels even employed a self constructed catapult to launch fire bombs at police.

Why am I not in Kiev, you might ask, to write a rousing account of the events from the front line? Well, again, vanity. Revolution, in the classic sense of a complete overthrow of society, is a chimera. There are more important things in life.

And yet, I keep in touch, especially with Spain. Last week I received a letter from a comrade whom I met during the first days of the Spanish uprising in the Communications Commission of Acampada Sol. This is the translation. Spanish original down below.

«So… 15M is pretty dead. But certain neighbourhood assemblies remain active. What you do have now, is a myriad of small, well organized groups all over the place: working groups on housing (the Asamblea de Vivienda de Madrid unites them all), the citizen waves, Yo Si Sanidad Universal (people without medical insurance, assisted by doctors who practice civil disobedience), new occupations to house people who have been evicted (thirty odd buildings throughout the country), groups who organize themselves to attack the reform of the Citizen Security Law [aimed to punish people with stratosferic fines for demonstrating], feminist groups for free abortion (I don’t know if you know, but there is a law banning abortion being discussed in parliament now).

So even if there is no unity within 15M, there are still a lot of active ‘comandos‘ who take part in the mobilizations, which makes me a little more positive 😉

People are very much concentrated on the electoral front at the moment. There are many new initiatives: the X Party, Alternative from the Bottom, We Can (they presented themselves last Friday and they intend to ‘hack’ the United Left party), personally I collaborate with On Line (enred.cc), which isn’t a party, but we try to create a Democracy charter, a document meant to unite the struggles on the basis of what 15M stood for. Then there is Equo (ecologists), the CUP in Catalonia, an assembly based party which already holds three seats in the Catalan parliament. The political front is very much on the move with the European elections coming up. Though 15M is not tied to any party, many people are active in one of these groups.

Solidarity demo with Gamonal in Sol. Via giornalettismo.com

Solidarity demo with Gamonal in Sol. Via giornalettismo.com

Then there’s the struggle [against the construction of a boulevard in the neighbourhood] of Gamonal (Burgos), which has reactivated struggles in many cities around the state. But given the fact that the construction has already been stopped and the demonstrations weren’t that big, I suppose it will implode (in Madrid there have been arrests for three days in a row).

Moreover, on March 22, the Marches of Dignity will arrive in Madrid, an initiative of the SAT, a tenacious Andalusian trade union that occupies estates and raids supermarkets to get food for those who are in need. They can count on a lot of support, and all of us are waiting to see what will happen. Maybe it’s going to be big. Then we’ll see what happens in May. Another 15M anniversary? There are many people who want to hijack the European elections, there is an initiative that is very much on the move: the Troika Party, which aims to ridicule the elections and undermine the two-party system.

Ah, I don’t know if I told you. Together with fellow activists we created a press agency to cover all this, in particular the news that has to do with social movements. It may help you to get an idea of what’s going on in Spain, especially in Madrid. It’s called Diso Press, Agencia de Prensa y Difusión Social, http://disopress.com. All content is CC BY-NC-SA. So you can take whatever you want, whenever you want.»

Gamonal protests via rtve.es

Gamonal protests via rtve.es

*

“Pues… Lo que es el 15M, está bastante muerto. Pero algunas asambleas de barrio siguen trabajando. Lo que sí hay ahora es multitud de pequeños grupos muy bien organizados en todas partes: grupos de trabajo de vivienda (la Asamblea de Vivienda de Madrid los une a todos), de todas las mareas , de Yo Si Sanidad Universal (la gente que no tiene cobertura sanitaria mediante médicos que hacen desobediencia civil), nuevas ocupaciones para vivienda de desahuciados (van unos treinta edificios a nivel estatal), grupos que se organizan para atacar la reforma de la Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana, grupos feministas pro aborto libre ( no se si sabes que está ya en el parlamento la ley que pretende prohibir el aborto de los nazis que tenemos en el gobierno)…

Con lo que no hay unidad de 15M, pero hay un montón de “comandos” trabajando y que se suman a las movilizaciones que haya. Con lo que soy algo más positivo 😉

Ahora se mira mucho el frente electoral. Hay un montón de iniciativas nuevas: Partido X; Alternativas desde Abajo; Podemos (se presentó el viernes y pretende “hackear” Izquierda Unida); yo colaboro en En Red  (enred.cc), que no es un partido pero pretende crear la Carta por la democracia, un documento que pueda unir la lucha muy basado en lo que dijo el 15M; Equo (ecoligistas); las CUP en Cataluña, que tienen ya 3 escaños en el parlamento catalán y son asamblearias; Proces Constituent también en Catalunya… Es un frente que se está moviendo mucho ya que se acercan las elecciones europeas. Aunque el 15M es apartidista, mucha gente está dentro de alguno de estos grupos.

Y luego está la lucha de Gamonal (Burgos), que ha reactivado la lucha en muchas ciudades del estado, aunque como han parado las obras contra las que protestaban y las manifestaciones no han sido muy grandes supongo que se desinflará (en Madrid ha habido detenciones 3 días seguidos).

Además, el 22 de marzo llegan a Madrid las Marchas de la Dignidad, una iniciativa que monta el SAT, un sindicatos andaluz muy cañero que realiza ocupaciones de tierras e incursiones en los supermercados para conseguir comida para gente necesitada. Tienen mucho apoyo, y todo el mundo está esperando a ver qué pasa. Quizá sea grande. Y habrá que ver qué pasa en mayo. ¿Otro aniversario del 15M? Y mucha gente quiere hackear las elecciones europeas, hay una iniciativa que igual se mueve mucho: Troika Party, que quiere ridiculizarlas y quitar más poder al bipartidismo.

Ah, no sé si te dije. Yo y otros compañeros de activismo hemos creado una agencia de noticias y cubrimos todo esto, especialmente todo lo que tenga que ver con movimientos sociales. Quizá te sirva para hacerte una idea de cómo está la cosa por España, especialmente Madrid. Se llama Diso Press, Agencia de Prensa y Difusión Social, http://disopress.com. Los contenidos son CC BY SA No Comercial, así que coge lo que quieras cuando quieras.”

Gamonal protests throughout Spain. Via 15mpedia.cc

Gamonal protests throughout Spain. Via 15mpedia.cc

Advertisements