BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 35

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. Health Care is not for sale
2. Why doesn’t the police pay for its crimes?
3. Yo soy 132 Barcelona


1. HEALTHCARE IS NOT FOR SALE!!

November 29th saw the beginning of an undefinite protest in Sant Pau Hospital, one of the most important hospitals in Barcelona. One of the main entrance halls to the hospital was occupied against the situation of Health Care in general, and specially in this hospital itself: Budget cuts affecting employees’ and users’ rights, job loss, and a decrease in the quality of the service are the main reasons. It is inscribed in a strong struggle against the budget and social cuts in the Health care system in the whole country, which had caused already dozens of hospital and health care centers last year [map of health care centers  occupied last winter ] and promises a new load this winter.

Madrid has started to fight back also with protests against  the closure of Princesa Hospital, an undefinite strike of a collective of doctors, a four-day strike of the Madrid Health Care and three demonstrations (with the slogan: White Tsunami “The public health care in not for sale, it’s to defend”), and several other actions across the country. On December 2nd there was a call for an action to embrace (surround) your hospital to protest against the budget cuts and the hidden privatization of the Health Care system.

Sant Pau is a semi-public hospital, which means that it has a private management which deals with the public incomes it receives. Besides, it has its own patrimony achieved by donations, which consists in several houses and funds and is managed by another entitity, the private foundation, managed by the brishopric of Barcelona, the city Hall and the Generalitat. One of the complaints is that workers of Sant Pau are treated as state workers but they are under the contract of the private foundation, whose resources are only used to be wasted in corrupt positions or just accumulated instead of using them when there is need.
Specifically, the Sant Pau Hospital has lost during the last year 84 beds which remain closed. This produces a saturation of the Emergency department, where many patients have to wait  in beds in the corridor after being treated. In addition, as the operating rooms don’t work anymore in the afternoons, the waiting list to get operated is getting longer and longer, as there are 713 operations less per year. The budget cuts affect also the farmacy service and the expendal materials (such as catethers, prothesics, and other material used during the treatment) and the external surgery hours, which provides a service of diagnosis and treatment when there is no need to stay in the hospital. The reduction of the radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy services also diminishes the diagnosis and treatment capacity of the hospital.

Besides all this, 4 workers lost their jobs although their contract was permanent, so it was illegal to lay them off. For 2013 the situation is going to be worse as the budget is reduced in € 200 million and that means a decrease of 15-20% of the activity, a new salary diminishal, and opens the possibility for a mass dimissal.
Since the 29th, several collectives had participated of the occupation with performances, debates, or conferences.  Just to name some, Sant Pau has received the workers on fight from Telefónica (NL#34,2 ), the artistic group Bio-lentos, the magazine Café amb llet (NL #18, 4 ), The Citizen Debt Audit Platform (NL#29,3 and NL#12,1). Several activities and actions are taking place every day supported by different platforms and the neighbours: two assemblies per day to organise the occupation, there is a cinema and even a race was organized on December 5th around the hospital, to make the protest more visible in the neighbourhood. The workers at the Sant Pau Hospital’s sit-in don’t only call for solidarity, but they also support other struggles such as that of Ester, the woman who lost an eye during the strike due to the use of rubber bullets by the Catalan police.

During this last week the call has spread to other centers: workers from several other big hospitals in the city and the rest of Catalonia have started occupying their own hospitals following the idea of Sant Pau, to fight “for the Health care we need and not to take only the one we can pay”.

LINKS

Articles

Videos 

Pictures

Twitter: @encierrosantpau #suportmutu @acampadabcnsalut #tancadastpau
#abrazasanidad #lasalutelnegocidelavida #TsunamiBlanco


2. WHY DOESN’T THE POLICE PAY FOR ITS CRIMES? 

Some news was outraging and worrying people last week: 4 Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) were pardoned after being sentenced for torturing an innocent Romanian guy, mistaken with a thief. Obviusly he was not confessing anything, so he got tortured.And it was not the first time: These policemen had been already pardoned once but the Catalan Supreme Court didn’t agree with this first amnisty.

This incredible second amnisty authorized by the the Spanish Council of Ministers has been considered an “affront to the judiciary” and an “act against the human dignity” in the manifesto signed by 200 judges, criticizing the “rude and deviant” use of the amnisty made by the spanish Government.

On the other hand we have another “manifesto”: the letter that the Mossos’ union wrote about this case, defending the model attitude of the 4 torturers, who are living a “human drama” since the accusation and the sentence and saying that the sentence is based on the word of one person (the victim) against the word of for policemen. It seems that they do not know the recording of the 4 mossos torturing the guy or that they forgot the medical reports of the injuries he had.

Another fact is undermining the credibility of the Mossos these days: for the eight time in the last 5 years, an eye has been lost during the last big demo en Barcelona on November 14th. The girl, Ester, was talking to some friends after leaving the demo when a Police charge started in a quiet area. She felt an indescribable pain on the left side of her face, then everywhere, then she was blind and here eye was gone.

In her touching interview with 15Mbcntv she talks about her accident, but also about the spreading repression, and the unbearable social and work situation nowadays. She also seems to be very disappointed about the total unconcern that the “institutional” side showed on her tragedy.

One week after the interview this unconcern has an explanation: the infamous Felip Puig makes his declarations about the “Mossos’ Actuation on the November 14th strike” at the Catalan Parlament: after declaring that the police never attacked people, but just reacted to the violence of the demontrators and their vandalic actions he added that “not one single rubber bullet has been shot by the Mossos that day”. He admitted that the police overacted when beating the 13-year-old in Tarragona, but as there is an open investigation at this moment, in the meantime the mossos who took part in the “unlucky” episode are still working, even if not as riot police. These declarations caused many reactions: He has been called “liar” and “psychopath” by many antirepression platforms, but also by common people and recently even the chief of the riot police opened and investigation based on the videos showing rubber bullets and police shooting that day.
A lawsuit has been presented by Esther against the Riot Police Force who shot – a still unidentified person – and the chief of that command. Since, by today -December 14th, one month later- there have been four different official versions, each one debunked by new evidence, often brought by citizen videos.

We can find a possible reply to the question we put in our title: “Why doesn’t the police pay for its crimes?”  The answer is: Power is “exonerating itself”, protecting the criminals who are serfs and products of power itself.

We have also found proof that encouraging citizens to film and photograph the police in cases of brutallity is finally being useful. It is no longer possible to hide evidence from us. We are our own media.

LINKS

Videos

Articles

Twitter: @rereguarda #EsterParla @ojo_contuojo #PuigGameOver @stopbalesdegoma #animsEsther #BrimoDissolucio


3. YO SOY 132 BARCELONA

Yo Soy 132 (I am 132) is an ongoing Mexican protest movement centered around the democratization of the country and its media. On May 11th 2012, Peña Nieto held a campaign event at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City. Most of the attendees questioned and strongly expressed their opposition to the candidate. After the event, prominent media outlets and PRI politicians dismissed the attendees’ reaction, saying that they had been “smuggled in” by contending parties, and were not really students. In response, 131 students who had attended the event posted a video on YouTube showing their student IDs and expressing discontent with the media reporting of the event. People began to show solidarity with the students by tweeting “I’m the 132nd student”, and so the name “yo soy 132″ was coined

The #Yosoy132 Barcelona movement was born soon after,  when the Pompeu Fabra University organized a lecture by Arnulfo Valdivia Machuca, campaign coordinator of Enrique Peña Nieto, on May 29th. The lecturer, realizing that attendees carried the logo of #yosoy132 fled from the University and the conference was canceled. At this point the students used the podium to read a manifesto and explain the principles of the movement born in Mexico and now spreading all around the world, promoted by the local Mexican communities: #Yosoy132 is Nonpartisan, Pacific, Student based, Lay, Plural, Social, Political, Humanist, Autonomous, Permanent and Anti-neoliberal.

After this event the people there got organized to march on June 5th from Plaça Catalunya to Sant Jaume. The movement adopted the name #Yosoy132Barcelona and organized marches, rallies, flash mobs, performances, publications, videos and call outs, all of these actions in support to the #Yosoy132 movement in Mexico.

Since the movement is permanent, #Yosoy132Barcelona keeps live by actively supporting the #Yosoy132 Mexico actions in Catalonia. Besides making the Mexican movement visible in Barcelona, they propose local actions that may have an impact on the political life of Mexico, such as linkage with other international groups like the 15M, among others.

LINKS

Videos

Articles

Twitter: @Yosoy132BCN #Yosoy132 · E-mail: yosoy132bcn@gmail.com

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