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. 29M GENERAL STRIKE IN BARCELONA
Though the strike was on March 29th, the student strike had already started on the 28th, in the afternoon there were concentrations in several parts of Barcelona, and in the evening there was an artistic call to the strike with images projected on the wall of the most (in)famous shopping center: http://lasumablog.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/vaga.jpg
At 00:00 the first picket blockings started. By 3:00 am Barcelona and other cities were already showing signs of the strike: Many factories parallized, highways blocked with barricades, most of the main wholesale markets were closed and blocked, and the first detentions of picket groups started.
During the morning, groups of students blocked the metro station near their campus. By then helicopters were already over the city. Some TV channels went down on strike, as did some radio stations and webpages. As we announced last week, a cluster of independent media, Agència 29, was giving a global coverage instead of doing it under their independent names.
Many actions were taking place during the morning. While at some points in Barcelona there were small riots and detentions and the police were defending dustbins and shopping centers, the senior activists known as iaioflautas prepared a “gastronomic block” and shared food with people on the demonstrations:
At about 4:30 pm a demonstration was suposed to start. A dumpster was set on fire and the riot police went through a nearby, but non-problematic area with the vans, the street was full of people and they started to beat everyone in their way.
By 7 pm downtown was in chaos. Barricades on fire, ambulances, police and firefighters everywere.
Nobody cared about the riots, the people remained around.
This was the situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyetDRcQ3PE
Yet the main streets and Catalunya square were full of peacefull protesters, and two or more parallel demonstrations that went peacefully to other areas of the city. The police decided to evict the square with extreme violence, without checking who they attacked, and causing loads of pain and injuries. Nearby, another group of riot police started gassing protesters, wich had been unheard of in Spain!
The police used rubber bullets, smoke grenades, two helicopters. Tear gas too, which is forbidden. Firefighters stood on the side of protesters, asking police to stop and think what they are doing -see video below. Serious injuries by rubber bullets during the strike in Barcelona: a man lost an eye, another one is almost sure to lose his eyesight too and is still trying to recover it, and a third man had two broken ribs and a puncture in the lung. There were several people with head traumas and almost a week after there are at least 5 protesters still in hospital.
The situation was tense until the night, with more barricades and attacks to banks. Undercover police were causing trouble to create more riots and bocth undercover and plainclothes police were arresting and attacking people until the morning.
Of the 79 arrested protesters, 4 have been put into prison on remand and for another few there was a bail of 2000-3000€ each, which was achieved by “analogical crowdfunding”. The Catalan and Spanish governments are talking about using anti-terrorism laws against protesters caught in a riot, as an anti urban guerrilla plan, and are trying to legalize tear gas. They’ve bought one million euros in tear gas already… And it’s not even legal yet!
Mashup of independent media for the strike: http://agencia29.net/
Gastronomic barricade by the senior activists, iaioflautas: https://p.twimg.com/ApJ5jLrCQAAkhq_.jpg
Eviction of protesters in Catalunya square http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_bLULITkh4
Riot police hitting the legs of a guy in crutches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvKxZBDu80s
United under the gas http://youtu.be/mUwXFiXJ1_E
Firefighters yelling at the police to stop attacking citizens:
Serious injuries by rubber bullets during the strike in Barcelona:
- This man lost an eye: http://www.unfotografo.es/2012/huelga-general-barcelona-balas-de-goma Another one is almost sure to lose his eyesight too and is still trying to recover it.
- This man had two broken ribs and a puncture in the lung: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJuWHrgyTcM&feature=youtu.be
2. TWO CORRUPT POLITICIANS CONVICTED
Josep Maria Matas former president of the Balearic Islands and minister of the PP (Popular Party, the right wing party that won the latest elections) has been convicted for using illegaly public funds, disqualified from holding public office and fined for 11.625 €. Despite being sentenced to 6 years of jail, Josep Maria Matas is not in prison.
As in a bad movie, Josep Tous was arresteded just a few hours before being nominated general coordinator of Barcelona’s Council. The accusation is of being involved in a plot of irregular ITV (Technical Inspeccion of Vehicles)concessions. More politicians and businessmen have been investigated and arrested in this same plot. The three main political parties in opposition are demanding his cessation or dismissal as the second strongest man in Barcelona’s Council.
Although the two politicians we talked about are right wing, it is obvious that corruption does not take into account ideologies and many people from every side are involved, investigated in criminal plots, sometimes arrested, less often punished.
As a movement, the #15M are also investigating crooked politicians and other 1% representatives to make public their ways and connections. They seldom get punished nor return their money, but the people in Spain are becoming aware of where all the money has gone to and are asking justice to get working once and for all.
Collaborative map of corrupt politicians (Corruptódromo) http://wiki.nolesvotes.org/wiki/Corrupt%C3%B3dromo
In the news:
PSC, PP and ERC demand the cessation of Josep Tous as the “number 2” in Barcelona’s Council
Josep Tous’ appointment as the second man in Barcelona’s Council, suspended.
The crooked ITV plot http://www.lasemana.es/periodico/noticia.php?cod=29591
3. SELF-MANAGEMENT AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES IN THE OCCUPIED UNIVERSITY
On Monday 26th March an occupation started in the Faculty of Communication, in UAB (Autonomical University of Barcelona). This occupation was called by the students’ assembly, who organized two days of peaceful and informative demonstrations , which stopped normal teaching. In replacement of the syllabus, students had different kinds of alternative speeches and workshops that tried to promote the ability for critical reflection, in contrast with overcrowed teaching plans focused on a technical learning.
Some of these speeches were on Student movements in the 60’s, with May ’68 and Berkeley as clear points of interest; on Transparency, participation and other ways of protest; on alternative media from different pints of view, and several other interesting topics.
A streaming workshop also took place in the faculty, both from the technical point of view and the idea of livestreaming as a path to communicative descentralization. The main part of the course was on how to livestream with 3G mobile phones and laptops, as well as the main steps when editing these streams in a studio in order to build a logical narrative.
Students reacted positively to the workshop, which was also streamed live. They wondered why they weren’t learning anything similar to that in their current subjects, neither for their Journalism degree nor Audiovisual Communication.
Twitter: @Comunicaciouab, hashtag: #UABinsubmissa
Streaming workshop: http://bambuser.com/v/2503570
4. TERRASSA RESPON: A CITIZEN COLLECTIVE THAT SPREAD OUT ACTIONS AND INFORMATION FROM THE LOCAL TO THE WORLDWIDE.
The great alternative tradition of Terrassa is reflected in this group that brings together people from different regions of the world, built through a communication line an international diffusion.
The collective lives together in a common space where they develop their tasks, from the essential to the most innovative ones.
They have blogs where they spread the 20feb moroccan activity, another blog to publish local info, a livestream channel, and a team of writers and streamers.
Terrassa Respon is an excellent example to export where it is clear that a group of a few people joining together with common goals can create a seed to sprout high and far.
Bambuser channel: http://bambuser.com/channel/trsrespon