Hello from Barcelona,
This is the weekly newsletter that will inform you about the activities of 15M movement in Barcelona, Catalonia and occasionally the main events in Spain. If you do not wish to receive it anymore, please say so.
- How much pressure can a bank support? Bankia receives massive attacks
- Judging justice
- Youth without a future: #sincasa #sincurro #sinmiedo (no home, no job, no fear)
- Step out of capitalism: resettling the villages
- Pre-Rio+20 conference in Barcelona: how to face “green economy” projects with a truly sustainable model
1) HOW MUCH PRESSURE CAN A BANK SUPPORT? BANKIA RECEIVES MASSIVE ATTACKS
During the last couple of weeks, actions against banks increased all around Spain. Bankia is one of the biggest banks responsible of the terrible financial situation Spain is in. Many actions were focused on Bankia, the greatest ones occurred this weekend.
Starting on Friday, the elder activists “Iaioflautas”, who operate now at a national level, occupied Bankia offices in 5 cities at the same time as a coordinated protest. In some cases, they even managed to talk with the office managers.
On Saturday, many cities in Spain demonstrated by potbanging in front of Bankia’s main offices. In Barcelona, the #OccupyMordor group decided to change the place for their protest for one day and march to the Bankia building, with a performance and constant potbanging. Aboout 150 people gathered to start making noise at Mordor, and to listen to talks on how Bankia has been a case of corruption we are all paying for now -literally! The group then marched towards Bankia, stopping to enter two malls explaining everyone what’s the problem and performing scenes of zombie slaves vs banksters. Finally, they all arrived to Bankia’s main office in Barcelona and did a longer performance, among potbanging and chanting against banksters.
On Sunday, four homes from a building in Madrid were occupied. This building belongs to Bankia and therefore should be part of the public housing, as the movement stated that “If Bankia is ours, we’re opening Bankia!”. 15M activists from several local asemblies reclaimed the homes and gave them to families evicted from their own flats. This occupation was in danger on Monday morning, as several Bankia workers and private segurity came to evict the families, but it got immediate support by neighbours from the street and even from that same building, and it is currently ongoing.
Activists in Madrid and Barcelona have decided to make June the month of actions against Bankia. Next week there will be more surprises…
Previous NL articles on this issue
- “Who owns Bankia” (NL 14) [EN]
Iaioflautas’ coordinated action:
- The Iaioflautas’ action, in an article in Al Jazeera: Demanding #QuerellapaRato [EN]
Saturday’s demonstration in Barcelona
- Live streaming:
- Potbanging at Mordor (La Caixa’s headquarters, the main bank in Barcelona, see NL 14)
- Manifesto against Bankia’s 23,5000€ rescue plan, performers and other talks during the action [ES/CA]
- A PAH member gives a talk on Bankia and evictions, a march into a department store to protest capitalism, and Bankia march and performance. [ES/CA]
- Poster: http://twitpic.com/9susrr
- Article and pics [ES]
- Selected videos [ES]
2) JUDGING JUSTICE
The Platform of the City of Justice is a collective of workers, coordinated with other workers’ plataforms, that want to show their disegreement with the Catalan goverment’s neoliberal politics, and its cuts in rights and freedom. Their actions are usually civil disobedience and active resistance, expressed in a peacefull and creative way
Due to recent events that show clearly who judges are really defending, such as budget cuts affecting the weaker ones or the criminalization of social fights, on May 30th the Platform called for an action at the “City of Justice”, the place where the courts are in Barcelona. Their aim was to point out that the Judiciary is not bringing any justice at all, but defending the financial and political powers against the people’s rights. “Judges must contribute to bringing justice to society, there is no democracy without social justice”
They started with a concentration and, as in Occupy Mordor, they were convincing all the cars to blow their horns and make noise to get noticed. Then, a performance started: It was showing how capitalism makes justice unavailable and how it tries to hinder solidarity within the people. It finished with a positive message: social fights can bring justice back, so that democracy and peace can exist. The performance finished by reading the manifesto.
Later on, there was a conference marathon about justice, getting the attention of all the neighbourhood which got involved in this community learning and sharing. The trial against the judiciary started: they stated several cases where either the judiciary or the police commited abuse of power, showing the impunity and the lack of justice. Then there were conferences on the relationship between poverty, justice and politics and the criminalisation of poverty and social justice. Most of the lecturers spoke about the judiciary as a system made by the powerful ones and, therefore, serving them and not the people. That is the reason why no banker or responsable of the crisis is being under trial, yet they charge the people with the costs of recession by cutting down social budgets and repressing protesters. By the end of the day, another action joined in at the same space: One hundred people were demonstrating against the arrest of seven more citizens for the May 29th strike. They’ve shared slogans and complicity with the strong believe that the addition of fights is the way
- Blog: http://justiciaxjusticia.blogspot.com.es
- email: email@example.com
3) YOUTH WITHOUT A FUTURE: #sincasa #sincurro #sinmiedo (no home, no job, no fear)
Juventud sin futuro (youth without a future) is a collective that was created a few weeks before 15M, but that is fully integrated in the dynamics of the movement. Faced with a high youth unemployment and unstable jobs which give no hope for the future, students of Madrid universities decided to organize themselves under the name Youth Without a Future.
They demand the removal of the market labour reform that reduces the workers’ rights, the removal of the old-age pension reform and insist in the need of an education system that is not influenced by the market. They marched on April, 7th, 2011 and then later integrated as a group within the 15M movement.
On May 1st 2012, they created the “Precarious Bureau” to inform people about their labour rights, condemn precarious jobs, and help people create cooperatives.
Perhaps this youth does have a future after all.
- Website: http://www.juventudsinfuturo.net/ [ES]
- Twitter: @juventudSIN
4) STEP OUT OF CAPITALISM: RESETTLING THE VILLAGES
The starting point of the resettlement idea is that “we are the capitalism” as, even if we declare ourselves “anticapitalists”, as long as we keep living in the system, we are spending more energy perpetuating and nourishing capitalism than destroying it.
An ideological position against capitalism is not enough, according to the collectives who promote resettling villages.
Using a sea metaphore, the catalan “repoblació” (resettlement) network invites people to leave the Capital ship with their own small boats: the more people who do it, the smaller the ship’s probability is to survive. We are at a turning point, it is no longer possible to go back to the “well being” capitalistic status of before. All the fights against the budget cuts are not going to the heart of the problem: industrialism and its market. So the only way out to the current crisis is not to try to fix it, but to call ourselves out, creating new spaces of sustainable and respectful life, in harmony between environment and people, where it is still possible: out of the cities.
In this direction, many projects of resettlemnt are in progress. This kind of projects is obviously always in progress, as an eco-village is a live entity that has to be built and kept alive day after day.
Can Biarlu is a place next to Tarragona (a city 100km south of Barcelona) created in 2010 by a group of young people. In 2011 they restored the La Casanova farm and recuperated the fields from abandoned cultivations all around.
On May 25th, 26th and 27th the “Repoblació Rural” (Rural Resettlment) event took place. It has been three days of self-managment, open to anybody interested in this idea. Days of collective work, wholefood, workshops on practical and theoretical knowledge to be able to build and develop rural, self-managed and sustainable comunitary projects.
Through this kind of meetings the Repoblació network is looking forward to engaging people interested in starting, linking and building – in a permanent way – an alternative reality, far from the cities, in the countryside. Everyone is invited to follow this way.
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can Biarlu blog [CAT]
- Can Masdeu blog [EN]
- Can Paskual blog [CAT]
- Can Piella blog [CAT]
- La Datzira blog [CAT]
Documentary: A Farm for The Future [EN]
Article on this issue: How Ecovillages Can Grow Sustainable Local Economies [EN]
5) PRE-RIO+20 CONFERENCE IN BARCELONA: HOW TO FACE “GREEN ECONOMY” PROJECTS WITH A TRULY SUSTAINABLE MODEL
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development in Rio, known as Rio+20, has triggered all the alerts. Twenty years ago many results were reached in the same city, and so it is considered as one of the most important environmental congresses. But this time the concept of “green economy” has made most of the green groups all over the world react. The concept proposed wants to introduce natural resources into the economy by privatizing them and giving them an economical value as a solution against environmental crisis and destruction. Market laws should provide the structure: by assigning an economical value to the resources, they should be worth keeping.
While the official congress is taking place, civilians have organized the Summit of the People for the Social and Environmental Justice -known as Rio+99%- that will take place from June 15th to June 23th. This is not going to be a space for debate, they’re going to denounce and promote global protests, in Rio and in every other place, and plan future global actions against this so-called green economy. They propose to occupy peacefully the streets”Because the environment is not a commodity in the hands of politicians and bankers”. For the participants in Rio+99% the solution is not introducing nature as a value in capitalism -they claim this is only going to make things worse- but changing the model of growth, building a green and social alternative to the devastating capitalism.
With this aim, the Alliance “Green economy, Black future“, that joins several international green groups, made a call for an initial International Congress in Barcelona that took place this weekend, starting on June 1st. The focus during the Barcelona meetings was on going deeper into debate about the global environmental crisis and concepts such as green economy and alternatives, as well as enforcing commmon fights within the different groups of the alliance. There were several conferences and debates: “There is no solution using the same structure that caused the problem” said one of the lecturers. It seemed clear that one of the conclusions was to change the consumerism model from the grassroots.
This “pre-Rio+20″ closed on Sunday with a big assembly in order to get closer and coordinate with other groups on fight and to consensuate actions for June 20th. They intend to press the governments into reconsidering all the reforms that are going to be approved during the Conference in Rio.
- Twitter: @Alianza_EVFN HT: #hipocresiaverde #previasrio