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.
1. September 11th and independence vindication in Catalonia.
2. Eurovegas is not alone: Barcelona World is coming…
3. Self-organisation towards a clean energetic model.
4. Teachers call for strike: We won´t start!
1. SEPTEMBER 11TH AND INDEPENDENCE VINDICATION IN CATALONIA
In 1980 the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as the local Catalan government, after being abolished during the dictatorship. As a first mesure, September 11th was stablished as the National day, the Diada de Catalunya. Since, it is celebrated every year as a day of Catalan pride and it is the main day for demos and acts supporting the Catalan Independence claim.
On this September 11th a huge demo of a remarkably independist nature filled Barcelona of estelades, the independent Catalan flag. This demo was organized by the Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya (Catalan National Assembly
), an association of pro-independence activists throughout Catalonia consituted on March 10th 2012, with the goal of “educating and mobilizing the Catalan people; of becoming a strong social force capable of influencing politicians into organizing a referendum on independence, or unilaterally declaring independence”. With 1,000 coaches shipping ANC supporters from all parts of Catalunya, the demonstration has outnumbered the previous one, a great pro-independence demo on July 10th 2010 in which 1,3 million people took part. The official numbers according to the news talk of 1,5 million of people in Barcelona’s strees on September 11th, appearing in the foreign press.
The position of iaioflautas (a 15M senior activists colllective, see NL 2, 3
) about the demonstration is not to participate as a collective and, understanding the plurality of the 15M itself, the decision whether to participatie or not should rely on every individual member. The collective is for the self-determination of the peoples, and therefore of Catalunya, that could legitimaly use this right to appeal for the independence if the majority of Catalans decided so. But iaioflautas consider that the premises of this call are not the aproppiate ones.
Finally, there was also a more radical demo by pro-independence left wing and anarchist activists who do not agree with the ANC views and have a less institutional approach: While the ANC wants Catalonia to be a new independent state in Europe, the libertarian demo burnt two flags: the Spanish one and the European one, as a protest to the austerity measures and capitalist drive os the European Union. This demo was organized by the libertarian independentist group Negres Tempestes (Black Storms, http://negrestempestes.org/node/14 ), which was formed in 2006 to combat “the wrong stereotype that makes an important part of the organized people tend to think that an independentist wants the attainment of a state”.
Iaioflautas view on the DIADA event:
Assamblea Nacional Catalana, demo organisers
Libertarian demo organizers: Negres tempestes
Poster for the libertarian demo
Catalan independence rally brings Barcelona to a standstill :
07-10-2010: the previous big independence demo in Barcelona:
Documentary on the historic reasons and origin of the DIADA:
Twitter: #11s2012 @negrestempestes
2. EUROVEGAS IS NOT ALONE: BARCELONA WORLD IS COMING…
The platform Aturem Eurovegas (Stop Eurovegas –
) (NL 10, 5
) has a reason to celebrate: the project for creating Eurovegas has been definitely moved to Madrid. Yet the platform does not lose its reason to exist, as the fight goes on: they say “Eurovegas ni aquí ni enlloc” (Eurovegas neither here nor anywhere), as the issue is with Eurovegas itself, considered a social and legal attack, wherever the Government wants to build it. Moreover, the environmental damage of the Llobregat Delta area (NL 18, 5
) is not avoided for ever. The area is still threated by other kinds of speculation, so instead of the huge fund-rising concert planned before knowing this news, a vindicative march through the farmland and Delta del Llobregat will take place on Saturday September 15th to demand the preservation of this area.
Yet after the relief of getting rid of Eurovegas, news arrived to shock everyone: a new all-Catalan project is the Government’s plan B. Promoted by the Generalitat (Catalan Government), it is financed by the Caixa Bank (the infamous “Mordor” NL 14, 1
), who owns the land – and by the Valencian businnesman Enrique Bañuelos. We are talking about Barcelona World, a 4.5 billion euro Megaresort with 6 theme parks, hotels and more to be build in the Tarragona area (on the south coast of Catalonia):
The Catalan section of ecologist group Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in action
) has reasons to think that Barcelona World is an undercover Eurovegas, and not a “Familiar Tourism” project as the promoters say. 6 casinos are going to be built there, so the suspicion is that the real businnes will be gambling and speculation, and environnamental and social degradation its final result.
The group -supported by Aturem Eurovegas platform- asks the Generalitat to take its responsability and to be transparent about the project, showing it publicly.
It seems that Aturem Eurovegas will have soon a new target
Stop Eurovegas: an american under investigation company wants to build a casino in Barcelona NL 10, 5
Stop Eurovegas: a popular claim for a sustainable model agaist land speculation: NL 18, 5
Neither Eurovegas neither BarcelonaWorld are fruit of coincidence :
Catalonia Unveils Barcelona World Mega Resort Project
Spain: Barcelona World, Catalonia’s challenge to Eurovegas:
Madrid chosen for EuroVegas gambling resort:
3. SELF-ORGANISATION TOWARDS A CLEAN ENERGETIC MODEL
Due to the capitalist system failure in generating solutions to social, economic and environmental problems, alternatives are arising from civil society to counteract policies of social cuts, privatization of the public sector and abolition of civil rights. Such projects are working on self-management, self-organization, cooperativism… on the most diverse topics: culture, food, health, education, energy…
The latter case is that of SOM Energia (We ARE energy,
), a non-profit cooperative with the intention of changing the current energy model while working towards a 100% renewable energy model through citizen participation.
The project was born in 2010 from a group of people associated with the University of Girona, based on successful experiences of citizen participation in changing the energy model in other European countries.
In 2011 it became fully consolidated as a cooperative and began to market 100% certified renewable energy, while starting its first energy production projects (a 100kW photovoltaic roof in the city of Lleida).
Decisions are taken in the General Assembly, formed by all the partners, where each person has one vote, regardless of the capital contributed.
Most partners are from Catalonia (where the project was born), but there is an increasing number of partners from other parts of the Spanish state. Any person or company can become a member, although currently only individuals can draw power from the cooperative.
In addition, members can invest in the cooperative’s projects for the construction of different plants to obtain energy, either solar, wind power, biomass, biogas or small hydro-electric stations. This is the way to become electric power generators and run our homes with locally-generated, clean, sustainable electricity.
Interview with Marc Rosello, president SomEnergia:
4. TEACHERS CALL FOR STRIKE: WE WON’T START!
September 12th is the first schoolday in Catalonia. Teachers of the public schools will not begin the term normally, as a protest for the extreme austerity mesures taken on education (see nl.25, 1
). Informative activities as well as concentrations and demonstrations are going to happen in all the schools during the first two days, under the slogan We won’t start. After that, from September 19th’s strike for the Professional Learning, there’s the intention for a call for an undefinite strike structured into two days per week. By now the call is only for September 26th and 27th. Descentralized informing actions in the different schools and a concentration at 12h in Sant Jaume Square are the main actions for the 12th and 13th. Besides the claims for conditions of non-civil servant teachers, there is as well a claim for the decrease of the quality of the education and a call to solidarity of the rest teachers who are not directly affected by these mesures but will see their amount of work increased.
It is remarkable that this strike is being organized by the teachers themselves, without any Union. After asking the teachers what should they do to face the mesures imposed by the government, they’ve decided to launch this strike and they have created the Coordinadora Interzones (Interareas coordinator
), in order to gather all the information and join forces for a common fight. As a Union is needed to call for a strike, CGT agreed to do so.
The forecast for the number of teachers answering the call is different depending on the area and the school, but the interzones coordinator wants to see this first action just as a starting which will achieve the increasing support of more and more teachers.
Education strike, live
Twitter: #SOSprofes #12S2012 #nocomencem #docentsenlluita #12i13 @coordinterzones