“I left Turkey Because there is nothing to fight for in Turkey. In Holland you have lots of things to fight for. But if you do not do it, you’re going to lose them all.”
Conducting a revolution can be very tiring. You get warned against this. “Rest!” says one of the signs here at Communications, “fatigue fights along with the counter-revolution!”
But rest is often no more than taking a short nap like the Thinker by Rodin. Then you wake up and you have to talk to yet another journalist. Someone from the English edition of the Deutsche Welle this time. It’s fun. You can feel that they don’t ask their questions out of routine. They are really personally interested. Because this is something new. And so once again I can proudly explain what we have created, how it works, and how the idea is spreading over the continents from here. And when it comes to our issues, the fight against corruption, for transparency, participation etc. I never fail to add that these issues merely come down to common sense and that we are already thinking ahead. We want to change society at its very foundation. And the wonderful thing about it is that they take it seriously. It is serious of course, but how easy is it for the big media to put us down as a bunch of troublemakers with nothing better to do. They don’t do so, because they have all seen in what exemplary manner we have organised ourselves here. In fact, I have the sensation that they are on our side, that they are curious to see if our model could really work on a large scale.
It’s great to work in Communications, comrades. The world comes to visit you here. The next person who walks up to the desk is a reporter for CNN London. She introduces us to Robert, an American sociologist who wants to demonstrate the great website he made. It’s a ‘Twitter thermometer’ based on Google Maps. You can click anywhere on Earth and see how much there is being twittered. The thermometer shows a temperature between zero and one hundred based on the last twenty tweets within a certain radius (“low density” is 500 meters, “high density” is more). If in a short time many tweets go out you will know that something is going on. At the start of the evacuation in Barcelona, the thermometer suddenly peaked at 99. The same thing happened with the recent crackdown in Bahrain. Robert saw it coming even before it had properly started. The site is http://www.clima.me. Pass it on.
The interesting thing is that this instrument can also be used as a ‘human rights’ thermometer. If in a place where there are tensions the thermometer suddenly goes to zero, then you know that the Internet has been shut down and that people are likely to be molested.
As far as the evacuation of Puerta del Sol is concerned we are well prepared. Sympathisers have offered us spaces to store material. Images and documents have already been largely brought to safety. I myself started to build a contact list of the people here at the Communications and the delegates of the other squares in Spain, so that we can quickly reorganise after a possible evacuation.
This morning I also dropped by Politics to have a chit chat about a possible counter offensive if the square is evacuated by force. For we are indeed a peaceful movement, but that does not mean we are not capable of attacking websites of the government and the banks if we want to. Internet is not just a tool for us to organise, it can also be a formidable means of power. We can use it to hit the big wigs where it hurts. The attack on Mastercard during last year’s Wikileaks affair was an exemplary action. With a bit of preparation we can do something similar, but on a big scale. We now have plenty of supporters around the world to put it into action.
Yet perhaps it is best to avoid Politics and talk directly to our hackers. One of the disadvantages of our organisation is that we are not prepared for such eventualities. If everything is democratic, then nothing is decided when it is really needed. In this respect it is really interesting to see how our democracy is interpreted, how different schools of thought are taking shape. There are the bureaucrats, who are mainly occupied with collecting and disseminating acts, comunicados and manifestos. There are the radical democrats who think everything should be decided by the General Assembly. There are the federals, who want to decide things as much as possible in the commissions and the working groups. And you have people like me and Jack who prefer to go their own way while keeping a foot in the door in various commissions. Because you know, comrades, our spontaneous direct democracy is really wonderful, but to be honest I cannot stand all the endless bullshit.