BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 30

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. 15 years of grassroots social and political activities in danger: Can Vies
2. Anticapitalist Transgender in action: October Trans
3. Degrowth: an anti-crisis formula that gathers adepts

1. 15 YEARS OF GRASSROOTS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES IN DANGER: CAN VIES

The Can Vies CSA (Autonomous Social Center) is a squat with over 15 years of history in the Sants district of Barcelona.

This 133 year-old building, unused for decades, was occupied in 1997 by a group of young people after holding a protest parade, to solve the lack of space in the neighborhood.  Soon self-management, autonomy, mutual support and grassroots horizontality became its way of relating, organizing and managing the day to day. Throughout these years, Can Vies has proved it’s essential for the neighborhood and the city to have a space away from the government’s and the market’s supervision. They have carried out many projects against social inequality, labor exploitation or speculative processes that disfigure neighborhoods. They have also created other forms of life, popular culture, links of solidarity between people who have built and tested alternatives in social, work, leisure and non-profit consumption. Amateur theatre, traditional dance groups and music bands have originated in this centre, many of them still use Can Vies’ rehearsal rooms.

Currently Can Vies is under threat of being evicted by the property owners, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB). It has already gone through three eviction attempts by TMB and its main shareholder, the Barcelona’s City Council (Ajuntament de Barcelona), who argued the need to demolish the center to build the new Mercat Nou metro station, which has finally been built without any problem. Can Vies has emerged victorious from all three, with the support of people in the streets and a good legal strategy defeating the excuses for demolition with facts.

But TMB and the Council are fighting back again. Now TMB pretends to demolish Can Vies as part of the works to cover an open air railway, even though once again it can be done without touching the building. The real purpose for wanting people out of Can Vies is because it disturbs politically and socially by not being part of Barcelona’s trademark, the Barcelona of budget cuts and postcard happpiness.

A campaign called  #SomCanVies (We Are Can Vies) has been launched to stop this action. They ask for solidarity in the process that center is going through by spreading the situation at Can Vies,  participating in the demos and actions, signing petitions and telling TMB managers and Barcelona’s City Council that we don’t want Can Vies evicted (petition here:  http://bit.ly/UQKXZK ). Can Vies has also set up a crowdfounding campaign (see NL #15, 1 ) at Verkami that will be used to support the fight against the eviction and the expenses of the project itself, while acting also as a loudspeaker, spreading the campaign internationally.

A space like this is not isolated: it is part of the varied and complex social fabric of Sants and Barcelona. Last week we talked about Can Piella’s threat of eviction and its call for support (NL #29, 2 ). Finally the place is safe, for the time being: the eviction has been suspended, but not the trial. And, after seeing the amount of support during the demo on Saturday 20th, we’re sure Can Vies is here to stay!

LINKS:

VIDEOS

TWITTER: @SomCanVies  #SomCanVies
Related: Can Piella eviction has been stopped  [CAT]

 

2. ANTICAPITALIST TRANSGENDER IN ACTION: OCTOBER TRANS

Octubre Trans BCN  (October Trans Barcelona) is a collective of Transgender, Intersex, Gay and Queer people who get together every October to organize activities, talks, workshops, actions and celebrations against the pathologization of sexual identities.
Yet it is not just about sexual identities and non-normative bodies but also about the power structure itself -mainly State, Church, Heteropatriarchy and Capitalism.

This Octubre Trans has a very rich program to offer: screening of movies and documentaries, including post-porno trans movies; an exchange space on self-hormonization and health self-management (Espai d’intercanvi: auto-hormonació i autogestió de la salut); workshops, talks about “Trans and Jail”, “Sexual work”,  “Feminist and Queer partecipation at Occupy Oakland” and “Queer-Anarchism in USA”, and much more. All Octubre Trans activities take place in free, occupied and self-managed spaces.

The last talk in this cycle (programmed for October, 25th) will count with the participation of two activists from the US radical anarchoqueer collective Bash Back that are now touring  Europe, under the name “Queer Insurrection Tour”, to present the anthology “Queer Ultra Violence” and informing about gender battles, heteronormativity and State in USA. More anarchists from the Bay area will also talk about queer and feminism in the recent revolts in San Francisco y Oakland.

The Octubre Trans in Barcelona opened on October 1st, with a photographic expo presenting the 13-month calendar 2012-2013 Trans tot l’any (Trans, all year long) where the collective shows – through humor and irony – images that claim the existence not just of other bodies, but also other economies and another way of life, not codified or even accepted. The calendar, which also announces activities related to Octubre Trans during the whole year, is on sale at the events.

The closing act will be a demo in Barcelona on Saturday October 27th, starting at 5pm. The Feministes Indignades (Indignant feminists), Barcelona’s comission that treats feminism transversally in all 15M-related actions and campaigns, will be there as a block within the demo itself, which you will be able to follow by livestreaming at this channel: http://bit.ly/LreyV0

A similar platform has been set up in Madrid, uniting several collectives and individual activists to work on a “day of fight”: on October the 20th demos, parties and actions took place throughout the city. Madrid’s group has also programmed talks, actions and movies during October, starting with a kafeta (self-managed social bar) on the 3rd and ending on November, 5th with a “taller de deseos”(Workshop on wishes).

It is time for society to realize, as Judith Butler puts it, “… that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender  is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the  morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who  goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which  gender it will be today.” 
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity     

LINKS

Videos and Pictures

Atricles

Twitter and Facebook

 

3. DEGROWTH: AN ANTI-CRISIS FORMULA THAT GATHERS ADEPTS

There is an increasing trend to form new groups of young people in Catalonia who are exploring the possibilities of a better life, steering away from consumerism. These are the new generations who already know that paradise is not working eight hours a day and that happiness can come from a simple life, with a healthier and environmentally friendly consumption …and without waste.

Supporters of degrowth are becoming very important in recent years. An amply prepared generation who have slammed the traditional banks, fleeing from consumerism, now mostly rely the idea of ​​sharing. One of the factors influencing this trend is that François Schneider, one of the leading theorists of this school of thought, is now living in Barcelona.

These outbreaks of degrowth are very rich and fertile, as they feed on currents of thought that mix people interested in healthy food, organic products or food with no trace of animal death. All of them critical with multinationals and the established agroindustrial model.

There are many examples of communities that practice degrowth in this area: 

  • Cal Cases is a housing cooperative born 4 years ago when a group of people bought a traditional Catalan Masia (countryhouse) to try a new way of life. 13 families and 30 members live in this self-managed community in Santa Maria d’Olo (Bages), devoted to traditional and ecologic agriculture, but also with independent professionals working from home. Cal Cases has also started exploring hay and earthbag building.
  • The Xicòria association is located about 50 kms north of the city of Tarragona, part of the largest industrial belt in Catalonia. This association consists in a group of four people (two men and two women) devoted to the garden, medicinal plants, fruit trees (all organic) and environmental education in Montblanc (Conca de Barbera).
  • Another example is the former textile factory of Calafou, in Vallbona d’Anoia, where everyday life is based on little cash economy and donations, as well as the exchange and the direct sale of the products to external consumers.

These are projects where people are implementing Latouche’s proposal to “decolonize the imagination”. People working to build a different reality with small economic resources and the desire of a better live.

LINKS

ARTICLES

VIDEO
Calafou: Techno-Industrial Ecovillaged  [EN]
TWITTER
@Ca_la_fou

2 Responses to “BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 30”

  1. Reblogged this on NonviolentConflict.

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