It has been a wonderful week, but I won’t paint things brighter than they are. It doesn’t make any sense to fool ourselves.
Yesterday morning there was an evaluation assembly of the 25S in the Retiro park. The conclusion, paraphrased: ‘It was a success. Now let’s all go home and be content about ourselves.’
It makes me wonder how much a success is worth if you don’t capitalise on it.
At night I went to see the General Assembly of Sol. It was depressing. After the most vibrant protests in half a year’s time, the assembly attendance was minimal. Almost everyone under 40 has abandoned it. The Mexican sombrero band performing on the other side of the square attracted a bigger public than the assembly. There was no orden del día, there didn’t seem to be anybody taking acts, and there was no-one filming. The once mighty General Assembly of Sol has turned into an open microphone with a few dozen oldies listening.
So Sol is dead. I’m sorry to say so. It has already been dead for some time, but now it’s official. The fact that the assembly did not support the 25S call to surround parliament has been lethal for its revolutionary credibility and prestige.
What’s happening now in Spain is that the 15M movement is being superseded by the 25S movement. All over the country, the assemblies are only a vague shadow of what they used to be. The 25S has given popular indignation a new impulse. By itself, it has lifted the movement to the next level. The 15M lacked a clear and simple message that people could relate to. 25S has provided this message. ‘Resignation of the government. A constituent assembly to write a new constitution’. With this, it’s incorporating trade unions and angry citizens of all ages who are weary of hypothetical discussions.
The big risk now is that 25S also turns into a discussion platform. There are no demonstrations planned in the short term. However successful it has been until now, the siege of parliament is over.
In this respect, the assembly held last Saturday during the demonstration at congress has been subject to gross manipulation on the part of the moderators. While on the one hand inviting people to use their ‘collective intelligence’ to reason about how to proceed the protest, they added that any next mobilisation will be for the end of October when the government will approve the budget for next year. I ignore who took this decision.
In the meantime, there will be days of discussions on social services and economy, reflections on a constituent assembly, etc.
This is all very important, sure. But we have been talking about any possible issue for one and a half years running, without things having changed for the better. What the intellectualoid core of the movement doesn’t seem to understand is that for most people the time for bullshit is over. This is time for revolution in the streets.
The upcoming dates are October 4, ten thirty in the morning, demonstration in front of the high court (Calle Prim) in support of the 34 detainees. October 13, Global Noise, pan bashing all over the world. And then October 25 to October 28, the government discussing the budget for 2013.
I might not be there. I easily get bored when things aren’t happening. This week, Madrid gave some fireworks. Hopefully, people will now take over the revolutionary torch in some other place.