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.
- To boycott Israel: bdmovment.net [EN],boicotisrael [SP], Pacbi [EN]
- Ship To Gaza website [SW]
- Gaza’s Ark website [EN]
- Rumbo a Gaza website [ES]
- Freedom Flotilla website [IT]
- Video of Palestinian Gandhi Project: http://bit.ly/OXuoUX [EN]
- Streaming by peoplewitness.cat.mirimmi [CAT, SP, EN]: 1) http://bambuser.com/v/2986017 2) http://bambuser.com/v/2986048 and by Freedom Flotilla Bambuser Channel [CAT, SP, EN]:http://bambuser.com/channel/freedomflotilla
- Universitat Indignada 15M blog: http://bit.ly/nfTCSC [CAT] http://cort.as/2VQJ [EN, automatic translation]
- More information on CooperaSec [CAT]
- Programme of the conference [CAT]
- Assembly of Poble Sec’s Website [CAT]
- Twitter: @barripoblesec
- Spain converts passive resistance into a crime [EN]
- Anti-austerity marchers take to the streets in Spain and Portugal [EN]
- Transport strike leaves thousands stranded [EN]
- #15S: @Industria_CCOO @MadridSindical @UGT_Comunica @UGT_Andalucia @SocialcumbreS
- #17S: @CCOOMetroBCN @CGTCatalunya @MadridSindical HT #huelgadetransporte #vagadetransport #vagaTMB
1. The freedom flotilla Estelle in Barcelona: Sailing against the blockade.
2. Barcelona debates Blockupy´s next steps: Agora 99.
3. Universitat indignada 15M: Shared and self-organized learning at the service of social change.
4. CooperaSec: Committing to an economic and social transformation.
5. 15S & 17S mobilizations, from discontent to agony.
1. THE FREEDOM FLOTILLA ESTELLE IN BARCELONA: SAILING AGAINST THE BLOCKADE
On Sunday September 16th the ship Estelle (part of the “freedom flotilla”) stopped in Barcelona on its way to Gaza.
Estelle left Finland, sailing throught the Baltic, the Atlantic, the Cantabric and the Mediterranean seas. In every port where it stops there are events, concerts and talks organized to raise awareness about the situation of Gaza and its citizens, who suffer an illegal israeli blockade fully in place for six years, causing an unimaginable damage to the Palestinian society in Gaza.
The welcome at the Barcelona’s dock was warm and moving. The crew – made up by peace activists of everywhere around the world – disembarked among cheers and clapping. People from several collectives supporting the initiative talked about the origin and the goal of this sailing: putting an end to the blockade. Three previous attempts have failed.
During the talks, the project of an economic, academic and cultural boycott against Israel was promoted.
Around 6pm concerts and performances began. The internationally known singer Manu Chao went up to the stage out of the program, showing his support as all the other well-known artists that took part of the event.
On September 17th and 18th more talks took place, and it was possible to visit the ship.
The International Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) is the movement comprised by campaigns and initiatives from all over the world working together to end the blockade on Gaza. The FFC considers that the solution is not to provide humanitarian aid but to end the blockade itself, solving the problem from its root.
The latest campaign against the blockade and the arrogance of Israel asked in many languages in several postcards with portraits of Gaza’s people: is this a human being? If so, why is he denied his human rights?
2. BARCELONA DEBATES BLOCKUPY’S NEXT STEPS: AGORA 99
On September 12th a debate was held in Ateneu Roig, Barcelona, with the premise of talking about Europe’s reality from the point of view of the 99%. The call was launched from the affinity group that was formed after Blockupy Frankfurt.
The debate was attended by members of international groups based in Barcelona, neighbours and people interested in learning how to work from the grassroots in the reconstruction of Europe from the citizens’ point of view.
The meeting began by introducing four lines of discussion: The current situation in Europe, a summary of the actions taken in Blockupy, updates on the European debt groups and a presentation of the next Agora 99 to be held in Madrid early in November.
About the situation in Europe, the growing inequality between the North and the South was the main idea. Not only in economy, but also an increasing difference in views on how to solve the crisis. There was talk of working in a constitutional process as a way of bringing together the different positions, and also to defend the rights that have been violated in recent times.
Then Blockupy highlighted that, after the October 15 demonstrations, a part of German society understood that a new way to target social problems was emerging and Blockupy tried to gather a symbolic blockade around one of those who are directly responsible for the financial crisis, the ECB, and interrupt its activities. The call took to the streets more than 20 thousand people, an unprecedented event in recent years in Frankfurt. After the successful discussions and meetings held during Blockupy they decided to keep organizing meetings and actions concerning the future of Europe.
Debt groups in Europe are preparing a global week of debt starting on October 8th and ending on the 16th. In a few days the program will be ready and posted on the new website. The slogan for this campaign is: We dont owe, we dont pay.
Finally, the call for Agora 99 was announced. Agora99 is an international meeting to be held the first weekend of November in Madrid with three thematic axes: Debt, Rights and Democracy. They emphasized that is inclusive and open to citizen participation. The aim is to leave the meeting with a common work schedule, common events around the three axes and common working tools.
Streaming by @okokitsme: http://bit.ly/SdiKVv [SP] [EN]
Twitter: @99agora @Blockupy @AuditCiudadana @acampadabcn_int
3. UNIVERSITAT INDIGNADA 15M: SHARED AND SELF-ORGANIZED LEARNING AT THE SERVICE OF SOCIAL CHANGE
The Universitat Indignada 15M (UI15M, 15M outraged university) claims that social change can only come through education, yet not the official one because it’s designed to control people and make them consumers, but a free self-organized one. They use the street as a space not only for protest but also for a shared learning. There, on the streets and in the squares, decentralized into different neighbourhoods and villages, the UI15M events take place: by combining lectures and open debates, they are looking for an education able to transform society. Through a higher involvement in building alternatives to the problems people have the UI15M helps looking for collective solutions, increasing the capacity for criticism and fighting against the mercantilization of the world while giving value to the human being itself.
The Universitat Indignada 15M claims: “We don’t accept a world where they want us to believe that the only possible social model is the one that says a human being is disposable, culture is a show, education is indoctrination and university just a company”. All in all, a project to keep in mind, to transmit and experience what human dignity is by reinforcing the shared values of self-organisation, consciousness, environment respect, social justice and free culture.
On Sunday September 16th one of their events took place in Ciutadella Park. It was “For a public education as a transformation tool” . The government’s direct attacks towards public education with the excuse of the financial crisis are hiding the purpose of transforming it into a business. That is why several alternative positions were confronted: University teachers, pedgogues, secondary school teachers and parents talked during the whole day about the situation, historical and economical context, free pedagogy theories, experiences on free schools and the need to defend public education. They also discussed and planned mobilizations, such as the strikes along September (see NL 26, 4 ) and other proposals. At the end, a long debate was opened where the most important objective of the event was reached: thinking collectively how to build together the alternatives to capitalism.
Twitter : @UniIndignada15M
4. COOPERASEC: COMMITING TO AN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
From Acampada Barcelona 15M, the movement spread to the city districts, creating their own assemblies, and began working on alternative and local actions.
An example of this work is CooperaSec, a commission of the Assembly of Poble Sec (Barcelona). Its aim is to create alternatives to the current economic system based on an economy of solidarity and cooperatives, at local and community level. It is a tool for economic and social transformation through popular empowerment, supporting projects that advance towards a fairer and egalitarian society .CooperaSec is therefore commited to a social market, instead of a capitalist market, through inter-cooperation. The organization is based on the assembly, which meets once a month, and working groups that develop the actions agreed at the assembly. CooperaSec is also part of a network of cooperatives in Barcelona, and there is in fact a cooperative meeting planned with other neighborhoods from the city, to establish a network that will strengthen the construction of new forms of work.
A reflection of its activity is the First Conference on Cooperatives and Solidarity Economy CooperaSec 2012, which will take place between September and December 2012. During these three months CooperaSec will give training and lectures on cooperatives, alternative education, exchange networks, health, self-management, food sovereignty, culture, or housing. Sticking to its principles, no pre-registration is required and the activities are free.
5. 15S & 17S MOBILIZATIONS, FROM DISCONTENT TO AGONY
Responding to the main trade unions, Spanish workers and unemployed went back to the streets of the main cities in Spain on September 15 (15S) with demos demanding the end of social cuts.
Huge, pacific columns crossed downtown of the main cities screaming messages against the liberal government, the dictatorship of the markets and the IMF while the national media applied a shaming censorship of the events.
The risk premium had trespassed this summer the simbolical 250 points when the increase of the debt and the number of unemployed showed their evidence. Spain has passed the psychological scores of Ireland and Portugal when they were rescued, but the government does not accept the reality, prefering to increase social cuts while unaccepting to recognise the need of a European rescue.
On 17S almost all the unions of national and autonomic public transport had called for local transport strikes. Monday 17S finally became a national public transport strike quite followed by the 75%, with Madrid and Barcelona totally blocked during hours from morning to evening and with over 25km of traffic jams around Madrid. The 15M movement, specially education and public transport sections, has participated in this symbolic date to make visible in Spain’s streets the few days remaining for the 25S Congress blockade. The Ministry of Justice has started modifying the criminal code the day to press stronger charges against civil disobedience, just before the 15S demo. Three 15M activists at the demo in Madrid were arrested for showing a banner of the 25S event.
The recent protests in Spain show that discontent has become an agony. People do not see the horizon clear and it is quite possible that September brings more mass demonstrations in order to press even more the government’s decision to ask for a bailout. If the government orders a debt bailout, many think it would be insurmountable for this generation. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense has had a 28% increase in its budget just a few weeks ago, getting a € 2,000 million credit from the government to pay for military weapons.