#BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 21

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. Seven million euro to kick a ball in the name of Spain, while the country is crashing down?

2. Culture tribal gathering: no culture without social rights
3. Hobbits decide to recover strenght before a new siege of Mordor
4. AureaSocial: how to manage your own rights

1. SEVEN MILLION EURO TO KICK A BALL IN THE NAME OF SPAIN, WHILE THE COUNTRY IS CRASHING DOWN?

On Sunday, July 1st, Spain won the Eurocup. Each soccer player from the national team won 300.000 € extra as a bonus: 23 players = 7million euro. Not bad, considering also that they will probably not pay a cent of taxes in Spain for it, but theorically in the countries where they won the games.
In this case Poland and Ukraine, where money won in such competitions are tax-exempt.
Some people consider this a real scandal. The Spanish political, economical and  social situation is sadly known: cuts in public health care, public  education, public transportation; incresing of VAT and other taxes; 54,000  families evicted, more than 5 million citizens are jobless, poverty spreading all around…then 7 million euro to millionaire sportsmen. This sounds really bad.
An online petition has been opened: people can sign asking for the football players to donate the bonus for social purposes, and for paying the taxes related to this money in Spain. A twitter campaign has been launched and the two hashtags #LaGanamosTodos (we all won) and #PrimaSocial (social bonus) have been Trending Topics.
Everyone is invited to continue demanding this act of dignity by sending tweets directly to the footballers’ public twitter addresses.
LINKS:
  • Articles:
  • Twitter:
  • HT: #LaGanamosTodos #PrimaSocial

2. CULTURE TRIBAL GATHERING: NO CULTURE WITHOUT SOCIAL RIGHTS

A group of varied culture agents, such as museum and culture management platforms, associations, educators and artists, gathered at the P.A.R.C (People Affected by Cuts to Culture, meaning as well park in Catalan) in Ciutadella’s Park on July 8th, answering the call of the 15M Culture Commitee in Barcelona. That is not very usual, as the cultural sector is very diffuse and disperse, making it very difficult to gather them for such a meeting.
The  aim of this meeting was to share concerns and solutions for conflicts, to expand on previous denunciations, to plan actions, to create a united and consensuated path to mutual support, and to generate synergies.
The cultural sector bears deprivations from many years ago. Job insecurity,  lack of social support, dispersion and corruption in the institutions became worse and more evident due to the crisis and subsequent neoliberalist mesures. It is not only about budget cuts, but also the instrumentalization of the arts by institutions, trying to muddle up culture and entertainment. Extracting dissent and critics from society means moving towards a culture of assent and massive consumption which understands culture not as a process, but as a stock of  market products.
The session started started with a coffe-talk introduced by J.L Marzo, a cultural researcher, R. Martinez, member of ZZZINK and X.net, and Ll. Cabrera, director of the Taller de músics. Then, the different collectives that participated in the meeting had a brief talk from their point of view on three points: analysis of the current situation, proposals for common lines and actions. The act closed with a debate in which the main lines of proposals were discussed. The kitchen commitee (see nl 19, 1 ) was there to offer coffee and food during the short breaks.
During the meeting, voices for a redefinition of the cultural policy based in Commons, were together with more conservative positions, only denouncing the budget cuts. Self-managenment, crowdfunding and new ways to finance the arts were viewed as alternatives to the model of subventions that doesn’t work anymore. The main problem related to the subvention model is the total dependence of creators and artists on the decisions of the institutions, very often instrumentalized by  political needs and approaches.
Some of the conclusions were
  • The need to redefine artist assotiations towards a model of  self-management, real independence and democratic organizations based on horizontality and participation.
  • Denouncing the looting of resources, corruption in institutions and making a public list of cultural entities that don’t pay artists.
  • Gaining visibility as social and political agents, getting back the social function of cultural agents.
  • Need of a coordination platform to consensuate actions and give support to social fights which are already redefining the cultural model of our lifes.
The Culture Commitee is preparing a report to gather all the information that was generated. The act ended with a proposal of another meeting after summer, to start working on the proposals.
LINKS:
  • Streamings
  • Twitter: @CulturaBCN HT #culturaalPARC

3. HOBBITS DECIDE TO RECOVER STRENGTH BEFORE A NEW SIEGE OF MORDOR

Each year, the big media companies try to sell us the new book for summer through several campaigns to achieve a bestseller. The criteria that marketing departments follow are always decided by a small group of commercials. Despite the large and expensive campaigns generated each year, in 2012, the 15M movement in Barcelona has achieved to revive an adventure novel and remind everyone its author: The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.
It all started when the 15M Barcelona movement and its neighbourhoods decided to make a public judgment to those who are really guilty of the crisis. On the morning of May 15th, a year later, the people moved from bank to bank prosecuting corrupt acts of each company. As a climax to these direct actions, it was decided to perform a popular trial against the towers of La Caixa bank, a cold landscape, dark, with images and textures that reminded us the Mordor described by Tolkien in his novel. After the trial, some people decided to camp and keep a potbanging protest alive for another day. OccupyMordor was born.
What happened that day and the following weeks, you can read here: NL 14, 1
Two months after the beginning of OccupyMordor there have been numerous meetings, debates, talks by workgroups and experts, and especially potbanging actions. Each day it began at 5 pm and after three hours of noise -besides the potbanging, there was a new concept: a honk-a-ton (pitódromo), where they urged cars to honk against banks when passing by Mordor-  they would have an assembly where further proposals were gathered to harm the banks.
These activities include the “justice marathon”. People were called to participate on the same day of a popular “TV charity marathon” by meeting in front of the headquarters of “la Caixa Bank” – known now by everyone as Mordor-  for a day of discussions and performances, while the regional channel TV was broadcasting a sad “charity marathon”.
After 28 days of daily potbaging in occupyMordor, the hobbits decided to end the daily actions in front of the Mordor. But people have become used to honking against injustice, and now they still honk against Mordor when passing by Mordor, and cars do spontanious honk-a-tons when they pass by any demo or protest… which is now quite impossible to elude in Barcelona!
Many activities are still going on against banks or financially guilty companies with the unquestionable occupyMordor seal around the city, pan in hand and BANG BANG BANG… to remember that the struggle has not ended.
LINKS
  • Video
  • Streamings:
  • Photos
  • Articles on this issue:
  • #occupymordor: a vindication where it hurts the financial system most – NL 14, 1 [EN]
  • Twitter 
  • ACCOUNTS: @AcampadaMordor @OccupyMordor
  • HT: #occupymordor #lacaixaesmordor #CAIXArolada  #acampacaixa #LaBancaesMordor #maratopobresa #maratojusticia

4. AUREASOCIAL: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR OWN RIGHTS 

AureaSocial is a huge 2-floor space in the Sagrada Familia area in Barcelona. It has 1100 square meters of rooms fully equiped for workshops and talks, a kitchen and a library, plus a 300 m2 terrace.
Its peculiarity is that it is an open, self-managed space promoting and developing cooperative health care and education projects.Promoting empowerment tools, AureaSocial wants to help us take control over our lives at a local level as a first step towards a social transformation, while rethinking and covering people’s main rights. All projects are built from the grassroots, from people who get involved in the process and organise horizontally through assemblies where any single person or collective can present and share a project, looking for cooperation and support.
One of the main ideas of the Aureasocial project is to create a network for education and collective learning, aiming to reproduce their model in new spaces. Free talks and workshops are given often, and there is a nice library under construction. With this idea of education as a basic right, an Education Cooperative (CECI), and a collective investigation and learning office are working in AureaSocial to produce liberating knowledge, in order to create actions of empowerment connected with other processes elsewhere. On the health care side, SHA (holistic self-managed health) was born in AureaSocial with the aim of building a self-managed public health project.
You will also find at AureaSocial projects to subvert the current economy model, such as the CICHS office (Cooperative for Social Housing – see NL 12,3 ) and the Economical Insubmission Office (see NL 10, 2 ). It is also the place where people from the Catalan Integral Cooperative and the CASX, a self-managed bank without interests, work and meet.
Finally, several commissions and work-groups from Barcelona’s section of the 15M movement hold their work meetings, assemblies or workshops in AureaSocial. They also  help to keep this center functional and alive: It is vital to mantain AureaSocial feasible with the collaboration of everyone who is developping a project there.  Reorganization of tasks, shifts at the reception and scheduling new activities are everyone’s duty, and the social assembly tries to fit in everyone’s needs and find how to make the most of each group’s capabilities.
The possibilities of a place like AureaSocial are huge, this is just the beginning.
LINKS:
  • Article: AureaSocial, basic needs covered by the people for the people – NL 6, 4 [EN]
  • Twitter: @AureaSocial

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