#BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 17

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.

INDEX

  • United we sue: crowdfunding parato
  • Rescuing Spain… Money is not for free!!!
  • Burn down immigrant internment centers! – Hip Hop against CIEs
  • On spanish banks bailout day, the catalan social forum shows that “yes, there are proposals for change”
  • Now, more than ever #WereAllGreeks

 

1) UNITED WE SUE: CROWDFUNDING PARATO
During the May 12M-15M celebrations in Barcelona, at one of the General Assemblies there was the announcement that a platform of 15M-related groups was getting ready to sue Rodrigo Rato, former IMF president and recently resigned head of Bankia. The reason was, in their own words, to seek justice and send out a clear message: Impunity is over.


We will rescue ourselves with the money stolen by bankers, speculators and politicians.
One by one, drop by drop, Rato by Rato.
We do not owe, we will not pay.
They owe. They will pay.
We demand prison and seizure of assets for a value equivalent to the amount obtained with the irregular placement of shares 400,000 investors have been misled,  many of them with savings in this bank. Seized money has now  mysteriously disappeared, dragging the country to an imminent bailout.


Nobody expected what would be happening during the next few weeks: a massive cooperation of  citizens shattered all records. In just 23 days all the necessary information was gathered for an action that no ordinary citizen would have been able to put forward alone. 50 shareholders have offered as plaintiffs. Dozens of inside witnesses have offered evidence. The process was set out, the legal team was ready (link: legal campaign http://bit.ly/legalparato). All they needed now was the money to start the legal actions. And here comes the most amazing funding process in Spain.

A crowdfunding site was set up in Goteo http://www.goteo.org/project/crowdfundparato (see NL #15 ) As usual, the project would have 40 days to reach the 15,000€ minimum to start the first phase, ideally 16,042€. Within an hour, 11,000 people wanting to co-produce a lawsuit against Rato and his accomplices made Goteo’s site crash. New servers where pulled into the project to stand the speed of sponsors signing in, yet most of June 6th it was impossible to load the page. Even so, within  24 hours the money for the lawsuit had been raised and exceeded. The #15MpaRato team had to urge people to STOP paying, as they do NOT need any more money for this stage.

The result? This Thursday June 14th, 2012, the Citizen Platform @15MpaRato* will deliver its lawsuit against Rodrigo Rato and Bankia’s Board of Directors at the time of its Stock Market launch.

There will be an open press conference which can be followed by livestream on 15MpaRato’s web page or bambuser account and Twitter at @15MpaRato.
Members of @15MpaRato, of the legal team hired by @15MpaRato an some of the plaintiff shareholders  will inform about the process. There is a long year of work ahead, but the message is clear:Impunity is over.

Finally, quoting 15MpaRato, In the war of those above against the ones below, fear has changed sides.

*15MpaRato is formed by Citizen Debt Audit Platform (PACD), Xnet, PlanDeRescateCiudadano (Citizen  Bailout Plan), Iaioflautas  (elder activists), PAH (Platform of Affected  by Mortgages), OpEuribor, TomaTuBanco (TakeYourBank), #CierraBankia  (#CloseBankia), Democracy 4.0, RedesDRY (Real Democracy Now Network) and Madrilonia, among other groups.

LINKS:

 

2) RESCUING SPAIN… MONEY IS NOT FOR FREE!

Rumours about Spain’s bailout had been hammering away all week long, and now here we are. The IMF’s report says Spain needs between 25.000.000 and 40.000.000 € …and more. The same report is also very critical with the Spanish governments’ management of the financial entities during the last years.

The fact that the European funds will enter Spain through the FROB (“Fondo de reestructuración ordenada bancaria”: Bank Restructuring Fund) doesn’t really make any difference: the money for the banks will not be free for our society, as the debt will be a debt of the government, this is the population, not of the banks.

Currently, financial intervention mechanisms are already taking place all around Europe, where local politicians only guarantee the application of the big economic principles that support the financial elite’s interest. From 2008 until now the bank system in Spain has received 168.000.000 euro, which evidently oonly manages to keep the banks’ dead body artificially alive, in a zombie condition.

In Barcelona, hundreds of citizens met last Sunday, June 9th for an assembly and then, at 8pm, perfomed a very large and noisy potbanging Cacerolada which continued through the evening, protesting loudly against the bank bailout in Spain. After an hour of noise, it became a demonstration which made its way to Sant Jaume Square to protest by the Catalan Government. More and more people passing by as the Cacerolada marched up the Ramblas joined the protest, until after over 2 hours of non-stop potbanging people started leaving, chanting “We are leaving now, we shall come back”.

People are asking for the immediate resignation of the government, accused of lying repeatedly before – losing its legitimacy – and of continuously making fun of the people with public declarations such as: “this is a financial support that has nothing to do with a rescue” or “this is going to help families and enterprises, the path to the recovery and the employment”.

Obviously people cannot believe it, they know perfectly what is going on in Greece and which is the destiny of rescued citizens: less civil rights and budget cuts in health care, education, jobs, and pensions, driving quickly most of the population to a miserable life.

Now more than ever, people are called to shout “we will not pay your debt” and to act consequently. The Debt Audit (see  NL12 ) has very clear ideas about this: the debt is not legitim; the debt causes the loss of the country’s sovereignty. The payment of the debt is the Gordian knot  that ties up all the regressive measures regarding employment, public services, social welfare and productivity.

All around Spain more demos and protest activities are on their way. We already have calls for protesting against the rescue on 16th of June.

Not only the Spanish twitter activists or the citizen audit of the debt collectives, but also “The Economist” claims it: Merkel has to be stopped!

LINKS:

 

3) BURN DOWN IMMIGRANT INTERNMENT CENTERS! – HIP HOP AGAINST CIEs

On Saturday June 9th, the anti-racist collective Te Kedas Donde Kieras (TKDK) [Stay wherever you want] presented Our idea of poetry,  a CD with 11 hip hop songs against discrimination and internment  centers for immigrants. There was a live concert under the motto Burn down the CIEs, with activist hip hop and an open mike session where the kids in the ‘hood showed off their beat box skills.

The songs had been part of a live hip hop concert at a protest in front of the immigrant  Internment Center (CIE in Spanish) in Barcelona a year ago, one of the  many actions TKDK have been performing during the last three years  against racism and borders, against random arrests and deportations of  our sisters form other countries. TKDK organize demos and concentrations  at Barcelona’s CIE, organize talks,  attend radio shows, help relatives contact their people in detention…  and now they are part of the campaign in Barcelona to close the CIEs  (see NL # 6)

During 3 hours of live concert in the square, opposite the 15M-occupied building Edifici15o, lyrics like “No  borders, no fences, no nations, no prisons, no deportations” “Face it,  the system is racist, the basis is classist, most of the poor have brown  faces” (Test their logik: No one is illegal) “Another brother died, but who cares, he wasn’t European” (Karla: Mais um brother murreu) reminded us the reason why we have to end internment centers.

LINKS

 

4) ON SPANISH BANKS BAILOUT DAY, THE CATALAN SOCIAL FORUM SHOWS THAT “YES, THERE ARE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE”

On Saturday, June 9th, the Catalan Social Forum (FSCat) held its third edition. Under the slogan “Let us make another world possible. Everyone is the key”, 15 proposals were presented (from more than 140 organisations), all of which had a common idea: “Yes there are proposals for change”. At midday Joaquim Sempere-Carrera, professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona, opened the event, speaking on Austerity and how to turn crisis into opportunity to generate alternatives. On this matter, Sempere clearly differenciated between imposed austerity and that with which citizens must bear for other kind of reasons -such as energy and environmental concerns- but that “we must manage in a fairer way” in his own words.

Other speakers and experts took the stage throughout the morning to explain different issues and alternatives to the current system, and making them understandable to all, thanks to experts such as Raimundo Viejo, professor of political science at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, or Ivan Lacroix, of the Degrowth Commission. By the end of the morning, campaigns such as “STOP Eurovegas” (with Eva Yus of SOS Delta) and “Solidarity Economy” (with Jordi Jané Garcia of the Solidarity Economic Network) were explained. Towards the end of the morning session Pepe Beunza, first Spanish conscientious objector, spoke of “Cutting military expenses. Demilitarizating education and hidden business”. After a yummy lunch, cooked by the Kitchen Commission, and a hip-hop performance, Catalunya square got crowded.

Soon afterwards the economist and human rights activist Arcadi Oliveres’ talk took place. Oliveras branded as unacceptable whatever has been done these last 4 years globally to rescue banks. He also stated that Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and failure was the beginning of the global crisis. And reminded us that Luis de Guindos was director of Lehman Brothers’ subsidiary bank in Spain and Portugal in those days “so he was rewarded being appointed Ministry of Economy”. Arcadi also reported the injection of liquidity into the banking system that quantifies in “4 trillion 600,000 million $, which according to the UN would eradicate hunger in the world for 92 years”. For Oliveres, Iceland is the example to follow “allowing bank failures and taking legal action against bankers, and it should be done immediately.”

At least, as Martí Olivella, pacifist and non-violent activist since the end of Franco’s dictartoship, said to a citizen journalist of the #PeopleWitness project: “There are proposals of the system to maintain the privilege of the 1%. The FSCat proposals are already articulating citizen social movements, in favor of the 99%. Yes, there are proposals for change”.

LINKS:

 

5) NOW, MORE THAN EVER #WEREALLGREEKS

The Citizen Debt Audit work group  (see NL12 ) organized last Thursday, June 7th a meeting to support the Greek people and send a clear message about the debt: We don’t owe, we don’t pay!

The Greek community in Barcelona opened the event by reading a manifesto supporting Spain and talked about how they see the situation here.

The second turn was for “Economía Crítica Taifa” (Taifa Critical Economy). A person from this group explained in detail how the crisis situation was reached and how it’s being used to change the laws to enslave the population.

The last intervention was for the guest, Yorgos Mitralias, founder of the Campaign for the Public Debt’s Audit and the Comitee Against the Debt-CADTM in Greece. He talked about the current political situation in his country and said that Syriza is the only hope they have right now.

After these words, everyone ate food made by the Kitchen Comitee based on greek recipes as the Greek community  fetched their instruments and started to play some typical Greek music.

LINKS:

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