This morning at 7:30 AM we woke up to see the sight of a line of police vans moving towards parliament. People were calling “Arriba! Arriba! Everyone get up! The police is clearing the square!”
I encounter a comrade from the northern march, we run towards parliament, and we arrive just in time. Behind us the police seals off the Prado so that no more people can reinforce the campers outside of parliament.
Everyone is sitting down in the middle of the road. Police are lined up on two sides in riot gear. I arrive in the middle of all the action. The clearing of the square is just beginning. I start filming. Check out how the officers take people by their ears, hair and jaws to take them away.
As they get carried off to the side one by one, the rest of the people are shouting, “No to violence!” It doesn’t take long before three officers physically ‘convince’ me to leave the road as well. From that moment onwards I can only look on from behind the police cordon as our camp gets cleared out, the barriers get opened, and traffic starts to flow again.
When people get dragged away, in the heat of the moment, they turn their rage against the police. I can understand it, but I don’t share the feeling. These people in their uniforms are still our brothers. They are just executing orders, and they are doing it professionally. Jim has got some bruises on his arms and on his back. Other people will do as well, but as far as I can see no-one got really injured.
Still, many of the police officers do not have their ID numbers clearly visible as regulations prescribe. They get photographed one by one by some of our people while they are guarding us on the pavement. At the same time the police are fighting back in the information war as well. One of them is constantly filming protesters from close up with his hand held camera.
When the road is cleared, spirits calm down a bit. One of us is allowed to gather stuff from the pile and distribute it. Someone else is walking around shouting: “Lawyer! Lawyer! Does anybody want a lawyer!” The people who do, write a name and a telephone number on their arms. In the end, just before they let us go, five by five, we hold a collective embrace.
The movement is strong. But it’s important, even in the face of police action, to keep cool. There are undoubtedly some bastards among the police who really like to do this and who would love to use their clubs if they got the order, but I’m convinced they are a minority. These people in uniform are not our enemy. Our enemy is somewhere else. And he doesn’t dare to show his face.