acampada barcelona. days of resistance.

by anekdotales

after the arab spring, its beginning to look as though we’re entering the european summer.  by this i don’t mean the rebellions in the arab world are anywhere near conclusion, however their effects are already being felt and lived across the world. in the last days of the municipal electoral campaigns across spain, a spontaneous political movement sprung up and continues strong up till today. similar to what happened in tahrir square in cairo,  individuals across the country squatted their central plazas in protest of elections they felt were false, and widespread political and economic corruption.  the economic bubble burst hard in spain, and today the population is suffering with the highest rate of unemployment and underemployment across the EU- at 20%. combine this with the recent budget cutbacks in social programs such as healthcare and education, and many find themselves pushed to their absolute limits.  the general population sees the political class completely  embroiled in scandals and political grandstanding, while the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.  the squatting of the plazas is not directed by nor has it been coopted by this political class or the country’s dominant unions. it has no set ideological line and their are no individual leaders or representatives.  the organics of this movement can losely be traced to the radical social movements from the “new” left onward. yet they are more characterized or defined by their plurality and determination to use consensus decision making structures and non violent direct action to change the current political paradigm, than by their affiliation with specific social movements.  there have been days with more than 5,ooo people partipating in a general assembly in plaza catalunya, barcelona, and others with more than 20,000 gathered in plaza del sol, madrid to show their solidarity in the face of a potential eviction.  last friday the police in barcelona brutally beat non-violent demonstrators in what the ministry of interior claimed was a “cleaning” of the plaza.  yet the violence backfired and when the police retreated, the plaza was re-squatted and the activities and workgroups continue there now.  the movement is now seeking to spread from the plazas to individual neighborhoods, and with new general assemblies popping up across the country it seems this movement could be gaining strength.



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eduardo galeano, author of The Open Veins of Latin America, reflecting on his experience in different plazas acampadas across spain.


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