#BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 15

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 – CROWDFUNDING -A NEW VERSION OF THE TIP JAR!

One of the problems found in activism is that we have great ideas and no money to produce them. In Spain, and specially in Barcelona, we have found that crowdfunding is really working well. Initially thought for artists, activists have realized it is just another way of making projects come true, with a “99% funding system” for anything from books to docummentaries to the 5-day workshop of creative activism “How to end evil” we talked about on Newsletter #8.

The system is easy:

  • You set up an account at a crowdfunding platform -the most popular ones in Spain are http://www.verkami.com/ and http://www.goteo.net but there are other ones too- and describe your project.
  • You quote the amount of money you’d need to make it true, and the several ways people can help, with different rewards according to how much they contribute. For instance, with RT #15M book you could pay 5€ and be mentioned as a supporter in the acknowledgements, or 15€ and get a copy of the book if/when published, or 25€ and get a copy of another book too, and so on.
  • You will have a blog associated to your project, so your sponsors and anyone interested can follow up your progress during this period and during production.
  • When sponsors sign up to contribute they are not charged yet. They will only have to pay if the project gets enough funding to go through
  • The project’s funding goal must be reached in less than 40 days. Once the time has expired there are two scenarios:
  1. The project is successfully funded. The sponsors’ cards will be charged when the project reaches its funding deadline.
  2. The project is not successfully funded. The sponsors’ contribution is canceled, their cards are never charged and no money changes hands.

The proposed projects are reviewed before being accepted and set up online. You can find out a lot more on the process at Verkami’s FAQ (English) http://www.verkami.com/page/faq and Goteo’s FAQ (English) http://www.goteo.org/faq?lang=en

This system has been successful in quite a few 15M-related projects:

By the way, there are at least these three 15M-related projects open right now -you might be interested in helping out!

LINKS:
• Verkami’s FAQ http://www.verkami.com/page/faq [EN]
• Goteo’s FAQ http://www.goteo.org/faq?lang=en [EN]
• Newsletter #5 – http://bit.ly/GMAp4u [EN]
• Newsletter #8 –http://bit.ly/Ie1Frb [EN]
• Newsletter #12 – http://bit.ly/JUw0dc [EN]

2- A “CHARITY MARATHON” TO END POVERTY… JUST ANOTHER TRICK ON THE WALL

Saturday 27th was the “charity day” on catalan channel TV3: a program called “Marató de la pobreza” (poverty marathon) was set to mobilize citizens to donate money, thus supporting social entities that work against social margination and poverty. Under the motto “que nadie quede fuera de juego” (nobody must be left out of the game) this initiative liked to have a bearing on children’s poverty and new social emergencies stemmed from crisis.

Yet this initiative has been criticized in a very strong way.

The official advertising spot shows 4 chairs for 5 people saying that in Catalonia 1 out of 5 people risks to become “out of the game” without job, without housing or without food, stressing on the help this “charity marathon” will give. Another video appeared immediately on you tube, called “La Marató de TV3: #sobrencadires” (the TV3 Marathon: too much chairs), that has been watched by over 128.740 people in less than a week, expressing a very simple and thoughtful idea: charity is not the answer, it just cleans somebody’s conscience and humiliates people without really helping. Because poverty has responsables. More than this: capitalism itself needs poverty to exist. Collecting the money lost by tax evasion could obtain the income of this marathon multiplied by 9.000.

Another important criticism has been that among the collaborators you can find several of those responsable for citizens’ poverty and the current crisis: a bank (“la Caixa”, recently nick-named Mordor) and multinationals (Danone for example).

Following the accusation of being hypocrites and opportunists, this “charity marathon” received a counter-marathon as a reply: people were called to participate on the same day by meeting in Barcelona, in front of the headquarters of “la Caixa Bank” – Mordor – for a day of debates and performances.

Another anti-marathon event took place the same day: a pacific concentration at Palau Sant Jordi, where a supportive football game sponsored by the marathon was being played.

The critical side with his protest told us in a very clear way that a charity program like this names the Crisis as the responsable, and not as a simple effect of an obsolete and disastrous system of the current situation our society is living in. It is just a tricky way to hide the fact that, in order to end poverty, it is necessary to end with his causes.

LINKS:
• TV3’s charity official website: http://www.tv3.cat/maratopobresa [CAT]
• TV3 official commercial spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbuus3BuoDA [CAT]
• Supportive Football game commercial spot: http://www.tv3.cat/3alacarta/#/videos/4078890 [CAT]
• Counter-Marathon video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4hyHHLtjf4 [CAT]
• FaceBook event against the marathon Football game: https://www.facebook.com/events/256690054437981/ [ES]
• A review over the concept of charity, by Zizek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdezVlHLWHE [EN]
• The economist Arcadi Olivera went both to the marathon and to the counter-marathon, video of the interview at TV3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JUGNtSL0ZNY [CAT]

• Articles on this issue:

• Twitter HT: #maratopobresa #maratojusticia

3 – RESCUING THE PEOPLE: WORK IN PROGRESS

The “Plan de rescate ciudadano” (Citizens’ rescue plan) was born from the 5 key themes that were processed during the 12M15M talks and think tanks.

This plan has 5 clear objectives – as we can read on its web site:

  • Rescue people, not banks
  • Quality and free public Education and Health care
  • No more work precariety and rejection of the recent labour reform
  • A guaranteed decent housing for everyone
  • Trasparency, network democracy and citizen freedom

“So, we know what we want. Now we are telling you how it is possible to do it, all of us together”.
The intention of this plan is to link, support and strengthen all the collectives that are already successfully working on the achievement of those objectives.

The Citizen Debt Audit is working on declaring the illegitimacy of the debt, pointing at those responsable of the so-named crisis that push the governments into policies of cuts and auterity. At the same time, ethic banks are proposed as an alternative to the former bank system.

PARS (Platform of afected by public health system cuts) and Juventud Sin Futuro (Youth without Future) are working to bring back the high quality and free education and health care that the Spanish constitution guarantees, which a criminal action of the Spanish government is denying.

The collectives Inflexió (Inflection) and Universidad Nómada (Nomadic University) are working on stopping the work precariety and to reject the labour reform, asking for a fiscal reform, a universal minimum income, and trying to build a new productive model where life and market are not longer synonymous.

At this very moment the PAH (Affected by the Mortgage Platform) is doing a great job, stopping evictions and negotiating assignments in payment. It is possible to support them by helping in those actions and working on a new law to guarantee a decent housing for everyone.

We are living in a reality where democratic rights are seriously in danger.
It is urgent to reinvent the old relationship beetwen civil society and government. It is necessary to build an active participation within democracy. This is possible through digital tools, and it is already happening in places like Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sol, in the state of Puerto Alegre. It is extremely important to link and to strengthen it by supporting all the collectives working to guarantee trasparency, network democracy and citizen freedom as Redes Dry (Real democracy now network) and X-net.

LINKS:
• Citizens’ RescuePlan website: http://www.planderescateciudadano.net/ [ES]
• Debt Audit website: http://www.auditoria15m.org/ [ES]
• Newsletter article on this collective http://bit.ly/JUw0dc [EN]
• PARS blog: http://afectadasporlosrecortessanitarios.wordpress.com/ [ES]
• Newsletter article about this collective http://bit.ly/HUD1fE [EN]
• Juventud Sin Futuro website: http://www.juventudsinfuturo.net/ [ES]
• Inflexió blog: http://inflexio.wordpress.com/ [ES]
• Universidad Nomada website: http://www.universidadnomada.net/ [ES]
• PAH blog: http://afectadosporlahipoteca.wordpress.com/ [ES]
• World map of open data initiatives: http://www.ogov.eu/mapa-mundial-de-iniciativas-de-open-data/ [ES]
• Redes Dry website: http://barcelona.democraciarealya.es/2012/05/20/redesdry/?lang=es [ES]
• X-Net website: http://whois–x.net/ [ES]
• Article on this issue: http://madrilonia.org/2012/05/plan-de-rescate-ciudadano/ [ES]

4 – MAY 22nd, EDUCATION STRIKE’S BACK!

Due to the austerity measures, more than 3 thousand million euro have been cut from the education budget. Moreover, an increase of about the 66% in university fees is programmed for next year, and the FP (vocational training) will go up to 360€ per year. All education levels have therefore called for a strike on May 22nd, from childcare to university.

According to reports by the main education unions in the country, around 80% of the public colleges and schools went on strike. This 80% crashes with almost the 20% which the education minister Wert stated on his official report of May 22th.

The demonstration started at midday in Barcelona, at University Square. It gathered 180,000 people of all sorts, besides the university students: parents, children, babies, university professors and students marching together during almost 3 hours. At the end, a Global Education Assembly started in wich some decitions were taken and shared among the different levels of education.

  • Secondary school decided a calendar of demonstrations from now on, protesting against the firing of teachers, the increase of the students ratio and the increase of working hours, focused on the educational institutions. There was a proposal about starting the next course on strike from the beginning, which is still being discussed.
  • Some universities are deciding whithin several options: a popular legislative initiative, going on indefinite strike, not marking the exams so the beginning of next semester would be compromised, not paying the next semester or starting it on strike, and some rectorships have already been occupied.

During the following days, the rectors of the Spanish universities (organism known by the name CRUE) wrote a letter to the the Education Minister José Ignacio Wert, calling him to an extraordinary meeting which considered just one point: the discussion of the Royal Decree-Law 14/2012 of April 20th. In response, minister Wert called all the rectors to an ordinary meeting which didn’t include this point in the schedule. It didn’t contain a question-and-answer session either, in order to avoid discussing the law. As a result, the rectors decided not to attend the meeting with the minister and explained the issue to the press.

LINKS:
• PUDUP, platform defending public university education in Catalonia: http://pudupcat.blogspot.com.es/ [ES]
• Platform defending public university education in Spain http://porlauniversidadpublica.org [ES]
• Letter of the rectors calling minister Wert to an extraordinary meeting: http://www.crue.org/opencms/opencms/handle404?exporturi=/export/sites/Crue/doc_portada/Mayo_2012/Firmas_Consejo_Universidades.pdf&%5d [ES]
• Letter answering the ordinary meeting call from minister José Ignacio Wert: http://www.crue.org/opencms/opencms/handle404?exporturi=%2Fexport%2Fsites%2FCrue%2Fdoc_portada%2FMayo_2012%2FComunicado_CRUE_Consejo_Universidades.pdf&] [ES]
• Increase of FP (vocational training) course fees: http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2012/05/20/actualidad/1337535300_843664.html [ES]

Articles on the education strike:

Some pictures of the demo in Barcelona

Twitter HT: #SOSEducación #SOSEducació

5 – #27M: ONE YEAR LOOKING FOR JUSTICE

May 27th 2011 at Catalunya Square there was a violent attempt of eviction which fortunatelly failed . The excuse the police used was the cleaning of the place were a camp was stablished since May 16th. Police took away computers and personal belongings, as well as documents and data. The images and recordings of police brutality against a massive and peaceful protest were spread around the world. Some of the people who were hurt during the police action took a collective legal action against Felip Puig, the Catalan Home Office ouncillor, in charge of security in Catalunya. But the Catalan justice concluded that the police’s action was “balanced” and filed the suit, rejecting it even though they had only watched 20% of the recordings presented as a proof. A silent demonstration with candels happened on March 7th as an answer to that court’s desition.

One year after the eviction, people joined again in Catalunya Square asking for justice. The manifesto claimed that in one year it is obvious that not only there are budget cuts, but also a lot of rights are being taken away: Lots of police resources are destinated to repress protesters while disattending security. Besides this, the police action is most of the time out of the law: they don’t show identification, they are using forbiden materials and weapons, and spreading pictures of protesters to identify them and criminalize the social movements.
With a white board in the background, people were appearing in front showing the messages that they had written themselves, messages condemning the police action and the impunity, messages asking for justice.

In the afternoon, two experts prepared a workshop on peaceful resistance. The aim was to let everyone know their rights when in front of the police and to give some advice about what to do during an arrest, identification, search and so on. The call claims “We’ve lost the fear and our best weapons are solidarity and mutual support”.
Later, at night, people concentrated again in Catalunya Square to watch some videos of that day and play an audio which is a recording of several conversations between riot police during the eviction.

The lawyers in charge of the cause appealed to an upper organism, the Provincial Court. After one year of looking for justice, everyone keeps waiting for an answer from the Judiciary.

LINKS:
• The Som27M call: http://som27m.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/un-any-despres/ [CAT&ES]
• Workshop of non-violent resistance: http://asamblearaval.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/manual-legal-activista/ [CAT]

May 27th 2011

Pictures March 7th, protesting for the lawsut being closed

• Audio: Riot Police joking and bragging during the eviction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKKW9o0BKTs [CAT]
• Amnesty Internationsl report on Catalan Police http://www.es.amnesty.org/nuestro-trabajo/informe-anual/ [ES]
• In the Spanish news http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/sociedad/amnistia-critica-abuso-fuerza-por-parte-los-mossos-desalojo-plaza-catalunya-27-m-1828261 [ES]
• The government of the US says the Catalan police -Mossos- have been involved in 52 cases of torture. Executive summary document [PDF] http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/186618.pdf [EN] (Check page 2: c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment)
• In the Spanish news http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20120524/54298272022/departamento-estado-ee-uu-involucra-mossos-52-casos-tortura.html [ES]
Twitter HT: #SOS27M, #27M, #27Msensepor

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