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. The kitchen committee: feeding consciencies.
2. Beyond the “mystery” of @profeflautes: teachers for action and support, trying to build a better world.
3. @Iaioflautas strike again throughout Spain!
4. PAH, work in progress.
1) THE KITCHEN COMMITTEE. FEEDING CONSCIENCES
La Floresta, Barcelona. The residents of this village 10 km from Barcelona decided two months ago to occupy a piece of land next to the train station and create an urban garden for the villagers. In order to invite other residents to make use of this space, they decided to hold a popular lunch party. The Kitchen Committee went to cook a big ‘paella’ for everyone.
This popular food in a garden is an example of the work that is usually performed by this commission, which moves form one place to another to feed assemblies and cover actions whenever they are needed.
The Kitchen Committee (Comissio cuina) launched its activity at Catalunya Square in Barcelona, during the first days of the camp that emerged after the massive demonstration on May 15th 2011. Its intention was to respond to the food needs of the people who gathered at the square, seeking an encounter to start what is now the 15M movement.
From its beginnings in Catalunya Square until the present day, the Kitchen Committee has continued to work in many events of neighbourhood and town assemblies, marches, protests and demos, meetings of 15M groups, squatter settlements and so on, nourishing citizens among frying pans and pots.
The composition of this committee varyies from 7 to 30 members, and they are usually people that are already part of other asamblies (neighbourhoods, or working groups such as universities).
As Montse, one of its members, says “this commitee is very interesting as we move everywhere, and we know many groups. We realize that the problems the assemblies deal with are quite common and do not differ much from each other”. Because of this broad view of the movement, they have realised that the main need within the movement is the lack of coordination, that’s why they have decided to prepare a meal once a month to gather people “we decided to make a meal at Plaza Catalunya every second Saturday of the month, aiming to get together, meet, coordinate. July 14th will be the first attempt”.
Besides this work, the commission claims the importance of food in the period we are living in. Thats why they are preparing a book that teaches how to cook for the many people with few resources, because, as they say: “we need to stop thinking about gourmet food and other nonsense, and start thinking about people’s nourishment”.
- Comissio cuina website: http://comissiocuina.wordpress.com/ [CAT]
- Kitchen committee in action: May 12th 2012
- Streaming http://bambuser.com/v/2637553 [SP]
- Photos of KC in action http://bit.ly/MJDbum
- Photos of the Kitchen Committee in Mordor http://bit.ly/L4TVNQ
2) BEYOND THE “MYSTERY” OF @profeflautes: TEACHERS FOR ACTION AND SUPPORT, TRYING TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD
If you take a look at their bio in twitter, they have defined themselves as a group of teachers who are “radically heterogeneous, deeply libertarians and passionately convinced that they will see a better world”. They started off as a group of support to the general strike on March 29th, and since then they are giving support to actions and initiatives. So, heterogeneity is the foundational definition of @profeflautes, in ages (now from 16 to 65), gender, class and nationality. Their ideologies are also different, they share many convictions but they could also start with non ending arguments about Robespierre, God, Veganism or the definition of (r)evolution.
Aware that this kind of discussions, however much they may love them, are precisely what makes people so actionless, they try to go beyond heterogeneity without losing it by trying to ACT, PERFORM, DO or PROVOKE after or even without discussing anything else than the specific action itself. This means they try to make a real difference in the realm of reality, mostly in education, but also in everyday politics, everyday capitalism, love, friendship, authority, empowerment, by trying to avoid the thought that nothing can be done. Everyday they DO things that may seem individual acts, but which cause reactions as the Butterfly Effect.
And they do it in their own very small way, but by staying CONNECTED and SUPPORTING each other, building a network, supporting as well OTHER actions from other groups with which they share main thoughts, so that the network gets bigger. “We stay connected and together with a free mind, with respect to each other.” and this is what they feel as the most important thing they have learnt from the occupied square in #15M during this whole year: “it is possible to change reality if we are together, in the sense of helping and sharing ACTIONS that we believe in, and at the same time, being aware of our radical difference of opinions”.
Some actions they have attended in the area of education are the education strike on May 22nd (see NL #15 http://bit.ly/MRkxfK), supporting their students when they prepare actions against budget cuts in education, and a protest that took place on June 12th in Catalonia’s Education Department Headquarters, where a group of teachers chained themselves inside the building while outside the traffic was stopped during one hour, as a protest for the dismissal of 3 thousand substitute teachers as well as the precarious working conditions the Government wants to introduce.
@Profeflautes understand ACTION in its multiple meanings, from day-to-day life to education, fighting injustice as well (with a word, a tweet, a strike, a meeting, a gesture, anything) but mainly in trying to be always critic, responsible and respectful with what they DO. Revolution starts from inside.
- NL #15, 4: Education strike’s back http://bit.ly/MRkxfK [EN]
- Press articles about June 12th action: http://bit.ly/MJHohv [CAT]
- Live streamings for June 12th action: http://t.co/xujX434o [SP, CAT]
- Pictures for June 12th action:http://yfrog.com/j2yjfvaj
3) @IAIOFLAUTAS STRIKE AGAIN THROUGHOUT SPAIN!
Friday, June 22nd. The elder activists known as iaioflautas of all Spain coordinated a surprise action:
In Sabadell, Mataró (Catalan towns), Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Island), Castellón, Córdoba and Sevilla (southern cities of Spain), they read a manifesto inside Deutsche Bank offices.
In Barcelona, while only one iaioflauta also entered a Deutsche Bank office to make police think the action would be there, they entered the German consulate, talked to the consul and read their manifesto. Then they had an assembly outside and a demo walking to Catalunya Square, where they sung a traditional resistence song to show their support to the miners’ protest in Asturia and León (see our blog article http://bit.ly/MgMDp4 )
In Valencia they marched to the IES Vives high school, to support the student movement protesting against budget cuts and to support their request for the resignation of the government’s representative, Paula Sánchez de León. This school is a symbol of resistence since its teenage students had suffered a very strong police repression in February during their protests against the education cuts, which gave place to the Students Spring in Valencia and then in the whole of Spain (see NL #5, 1 http://bit.ly/LMZcH7) and the massive demos under the name of “Primavera Valenciana”.
The hashtag used for the iaioflauta actions last Friday was #EuropaDemocracia (TT for a few hours), as the request -which we can read in the manifesto- is for more democracy, for stopping financial dictatorship and for begining the rescue of people instead of private banks, calling for the cooperation of our “German brothers” and all European people.
- iaioflautas blog : http://www.iaioflautas.org/ [SP, CAT]
- Manifesto: http://bit.ly/LGliJv [SP, CAT, EN]
- Twitter: @iaioflautas (Barcelona), @yayoflautas (Madrid) , @yayoflautassevi (Sevilla), @iaioflautasvale (Valencia), @Iaioflautailles (Palma) HT: #EuropaDemocracia
- Barcelona’s Iaioflautas solidarity Message to the Miners, by peoplewitness.cat.ElPequeñoHermano : http://bambuser.com/v/2770783 [SP]
- Cordoba Iaioflautas at the Detusch Bank occupying and reading their manifesto: http://bit.ly/Mkh0tu [SP]
- Valencia Iaioflautas action, by Freestyl0rz: http://bambuser.com/v/2770613 [SP]
4) PAH, WORK IN PROGRESS
In 2011, over 58,000 families were evicted from their homes in Spain because they couldn’t pay their mortgages (http://bit.ly/MTNqIA ). For over three years, the Platform of the Affected by Mortgages (PAH in its Spanish acronym) has been known for its actions of stopping foreclosures and their demands to help people who can’t pay their debt to the banks. In the last weeks, new actions of civil desobedience have taken place: buildings have been occupied in order to give an appartment for evicted families and returning therefore the social function to the empty flats. For this reason, 2 buildings of the bank Catalunya Caixa and 2 buildings of the bank Unimm have been accupied. These actions, known as “PAH’s social welfare” have been taking place in different towns around Barcelona, such as Sabadell and Rubi. Through that, PAH also wants to press the banks into accepting the cancellation of the debt and to force the governments to take mesures to guarantee the right to housing.
PAH is also working on a long-term solution: they are working on a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP in Spanish) to change the laws in Spain concerning mortgages. They have been gathering all the legal information necessary to carry it out and are attending all sorts of events, to collect the 500,000 signatures on official papers that are needed by October 31st in order to present the ILP (see NL #12, 2 http://bit.ly/MOhCGV)
Last week, the PAH activists also protested every morning in front of Bankia agencies all around Spain (see NL #18, 2 http://bit.ly/LB33qx). They demanded Bankia to cancel the debt of those people who had already had to give their homes back to the bank.
- PAH blog http://bit.ly/LLS1xd [SP]
- PAH Terrassa blog http://hipotecadosterrassa.blogspot.com.es/ [SP, CAT]
- Press article about families evicted: http://bit.ly/MTNqIA [SP]
- PAH Sabadell occupies an empty building of Catalunya Caixa http://bit.ly/MwGDG0 [CAT]
- English interview on the ILP: http://bit.ly/Oo92nt [EN]
- Twitter: @LA_PAH @obrasocial_PAH @Pah_Rubi @PAH_Trs