The second biggest police union has publically accused the government of disobeying the law when ordering the desalojo of Sol. They have also explicitly offered their solidarity to the indignados of the 15M movement. In a document, of which I present a copy, the union explains that the delegate of the government gave three clear instructions to the police when ordering the eviction of Sol and Paseo del Prado:
1. There were to be no arrests.
2. No riot gear was to be used.
3. By any means necessary the campers should be prevented from returning to Sol.
As for the first two points, it is clear that it’s not of the civil authorities’ competence to decide on these matters. It’s up to the commanding officer, on the basis of the factual situation, to decide whether to use riot gear or to perform arrests if necessary. ‘Are we to permit people to go free if they break the law?’ ‘Are we to support possible aggression stoically without taking measures to protect ourselves?’
As for the third point, even though not explicitly mentioned by the document, it’s unacceptable to demand from the police that they deny certain people access to a public square on the base of their appearance, when these people do not pose a threat to the security or to the circulation of persons or traffic.
“These instructions, apart from being pathetic, are also illegal, and the delegate of the government should be the first to obey the law, to avoid a situation that is worse than it was under Franco.”
The police union points out that many officers have seen all their holidays suspended and lately have only had the opportunity to rest for three hours every day without knowing how long this situation will go on.
The last paragraph of the note reads: “We express our solidarity with the true indignados, because they are rightfully protesting. We also ask for their comprehension for our sometimes ungrateful work, and that they turn their criticism to those who are truly responsible, the politicians.”
This is exactly the reason why I am so angry with a minority among punks who think it’s cool to use the coverage of the crowd to raise their middle finger in the face of the police. These officers are doing their work, they are civilians like us, and if we want our revolution to succeed, we cannot put their sympathy for our movement at risk.
Today, all day long the indignados are trying to take back Sol. I will be there soon to see what’s happening. I sincerely hope our movement will remain faithful to its peaceful principles, in word and deed.