SPAIN, missive: spontaneous, horizontal, emergent revolt (?)

25.05.2011 § 7 Comments

So… It started several days ago, leading up to the elections in Spain this last weekend, when the gov denied permits to protest for the 3rd or 4th day running. What did the Spanish do? Kept protesting. And haven’t stopped.

Things swelled, unquelled. Here excerpts of one missive, The Nothing searches for more:

 The people of Madrid has risen up. What began as a demonstration and a spontaneous occupation of the town’s central square, Puerta del Sol, has become the seat for something extraordinary. We have resisted there now for 6 days. We have constituted an autonomous, self-organized village where people of every age live now by the thousands. There is absolutely no centralization of power: we have spontaneously organized in democratic working councils where decisions are taken by horizontal consensus and every task is voluntary and rotatory. The village is equipped with autonomous groups of infrastructure, nourishment, infirmary and psychological services, day-care for kids and old people, legal services, communications, cleaning, self-defense, etc etc (the list is endless, and every day new committees pop up and begin to work. The efficiency and coordination is simply astonishing). Moreover, 7 autonomous and sectorial working groups (economy, political reform, education, culture, environment, etc..) have initiated a political constituent process. Hundreds of people (from MIT scientists to housekeepers, from unemployed workers to firefighters on strike) participate in those working sessions, and we are already getting the first serious propositicnsensus, and never voting). Last night more than 3000 people attended. And it works beautifully well.

We have faced initial abuses by the police, constant fear tactics, a 12 hour tropical storm and fascist attacks. Every day (and every day feels like a month) we have at least doubled the size of the crowd which meets at 8 pm to show support. Day after day, the Electoral Board has declared illegal the camp and asked the police to take us out by any means (there are local elections this Sunday, and political demonstrations need special authorization by the board). They simply could not do it. We have protocols of civil resistance and disobedience, and above all, we have a crowd that tonight reached 50,000 people. Spontaneous assemblies and discussion groups, debates, infrastructures: tonight we have moved to at least other 7 squares in the old town. The whole place is packed with people working and discussing together. We are not only staying there: we are taking over the whole town. The project is to resist until may 28th, and then reconstitute as a federation of assemblies in each neighborhood. But things go so fast it is impossible to know what would be our best strategy, especially given the fact that after the elections, we will face massive violence for sure.
>

> The depth and dimensions of the event are simply astounding. People from the whole town bring food and materials every day. They come to work for a couple of hours after their jobs. The place explodes with ideas. There is no one flag, no one party, no one ready-made discourse seen or heard anywhere -not once since the beginning. It’s all from scratch, and the only rule is equal solidarity. Money has been abolished in the village. The revolt has spread to over 50 Spanish cities and, announces itself to many other places in Europe (very slowly, and mostly as a twitter thing. Funny thing is, the movement originated here on the web, but then nobody has access to the web over there. You talk, you run from one place to the other, you write info in cardboard banners, you rely on hearsay -and it works).

slightly longer version here dsf

But another comrade cautions:

This is not defenitively a revolution . This is a moment where radical people and people that have never been involved in politics before are meeting in the squares around spain and are talking about capitalist system, financial crisis, political crisis, etc… It’s a process of ridding  fear to raise our voices. And it is complicated for people who are super radical to work with people who have never heard the word patriarchy, you know. But it is beautiful and very important that new people is getting involved, outside the political ghetto. The camp in Plaza Catalunya is very very organized, full of people cooking for free, free radios, free tv programs, people making gardens, nurseries, workshops, talks, music…

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§ 7 Responses to SPAIN, missive: spontaneous, horizontal, emergent revolt (?)

  • maxine holz says:

    Statement by 85-year old Agustin Garcia Calvo, speaking to the crowds at Puerta del Sol:
    a few excerpts roughly translated below
    you are joy, the joy of the unexpected and the unpredictable. Neither the governments, nor the authorities, nor the parties expected this. Even you yourselves, a few weeks or months ago, did not foresee this …

    “ don’t count on the State …no matter what: not any form of state organization.
    …we have no use for “democracy “. I’m sorry, I see this doesn’t get as much immediate applause, but I have to insist. I understand that choosing slogans such as ‘Real Democracy Now” could be a less confrontational tactic, because it seems that that to be upfront and say “ No to any State, democratic or otherwise” could sound bad, but I think its time to let go of the deceit of democracy. Democracy is a trick… Kratos means power and Demo is supposedly the people… and the people can never have power: power is against the people. ..the contradiction is inherent in the very word, democracy… The democratic regime is simply the most advanced, the most perfect, the one that has produced the best results, that has produced this Regime of Well-Being that they say we live in; but really it is still Power, the same as always … a better democracy is an illusion…It’s not the way, and if your uprising gets organized in a way that resembles the administration of the State, it will already be lost, it will be doing nothing more than repeating history with other colors …. I urge you to renounce ideas of a better state…

    [regarding demands for a better future]

    “ I would [also] erase from the list of demands put forth by your leaders [demands for a better future]. The Future is your enemy. The future is what is used to deceive people, especially, the youth. They say “ you have a future” or “you have to create your future”, which really means to resign yourself to death, to a future death. This future is what Capital needs…..The future is theirs, it’s their weapon. Don’t let it seem like it’s something blessed or beneficial: their future should sound to us like death….the future is the future of Business, of Finance, of Capital. You don’t have a future! You need to have the courage to denounce this.

  • Raj I must say that I look forward to reading your blogs. You never fail to make me think. I stand with your views (usually). I can count on the well thought out words that flow from you to fill me with the joy of the knowledge that not everyone is filled with the same feelings and motives asd the American government andbig business. THANK you for being you!

  • debra beatty says:

    This IS a kind of revolution. It is a revolution to get people to wake up the political reality in Spain where corrupt officials are re-elected despite the fact that they have cases of scandal and corruption pending in the high courts. Where unemployment in some cities, like Castellón which depended on the now dead construction industry, has an unemployment rate of 30%. Where the only thing the two main political parties do is bicker with each other rather than work together to find a solution to our very serious economic problems.

    I don’t think the participants are radicals nor people who have never participated in politics. I think these people are just tired of having no say in this so-called democracy. In fact one organizing group is called Democracia Real Ya ( REal Democracy Now) and that is the real spirit. Let there be democracy, stop corruption, find solutions for unempolyment, invest and look after public institutions.

  • debra beatty says:

    Despite being a non-violent movement, the acampados indignados, the indignant people camping in the city square have been beaten up by the special police force, the Mossos de Esquadra, en the Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona.

  • thesumofnothingandnothing says:

    We refer you to our subsequent post
    https://readthenothing.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/spain-we-have-no-use-for-democracy-the-future-is-your-enemy-garcia-calvo/

    “… we have no use for “democracy.” I’m sorry, I see this doesn’t get as much immediate applause, but I have to insist. I understand that choosing slogans such as ‘Real Democracy Now” could be a less confrontational tactic, because it seems that that to be upfront and say “ No to any State, democratic or otherwise” could sound bad, but I think its time to let go of the deceit of democracy. Democracy is a trick… Kratos means power and Demo is supposedly the people… and the people can never have power: power is against the people. ..the contradiction is inherent in the very word, democracy… The democratic regime is simply the most advanced, the most perfect, the one that has produced the best results, that has produced this Regime of Well-Being that they say we live in; but really it is still Power, the same as always … a better democracy is an illusion…It’s not the way, and if your uprising gets organized in a way that resembles the administration of the

    State, it will already be lost, it will be doing nothing more than repeating history with other colors …. I urge you to renounce ideas of a better state…”

  • […] reading group in New York City. No idea who runs it, but they’ve a great report from the joyful streets in Spain, and also a fine caution about the prospects and possibilities of the Spanish Revolution… […]

  • […] Naomi Klein on Camp Sol’s lessons for true democracy Michel Bauwens 5th June 2011 The depth and dimensions of the event are simply astounding. People from the whole town bring food and materials every day. They come to work for a couple of hours after their jobs. The place explodes with ideas. There is no one flag, no one party, no one ready-made discourse seen or heard anywhere -not once since the beginning. It’s all from scratch, and the only rule is equal solidarity. Money has been abolished in the village. The revolt has spread to over 50 Spanish cities and, announces itself to many other places in Europe. * […]

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