I’ve been looking at the pictures coming in via Twitter from many a corner of the planet. I love it, the feeling of unity without borders, from timezone to timezone. This is us, a globalised public opinion that is fed up with a globalised system of exploitation.
On the other hand, it was but a mere reflection of last year’s unprecedented demonstrations of tens of millions of people in a thousand cities worldwide.
Back then it spewed forth waves of occupations, actions, consciousness. This year it was an anniversary happening. And I agree with a comrade from OWS when he told me that these things don’t make a lot of sense. ‘We’re still here’, seems to be the message.
But as far as Global Noise went, debt was another message. In Tokyo people gathered to protest against a meeting of the International Monetary Fund. Other concentrations that I know of took place in New Zealand, Australia, Berlin, Frankfurt, Budapest, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, London, Stockholm, Paris, Spain and Portugal, New York, Mexico and the West Coast.
I witnessed the parade in Madrid. It was probably one of the biggest. But there was nothing much to say about it. Three words sum it up pretty well. Loud, civilised, boring.
There were about ten to twenty thousand people banging on drums and pans. The opening banner was ‘We don’t owe, we don’t pay’. While moving over the Paseo de la Castellana, people neatly keep to one side of the boulevard, leaving the other open for traffic.
Police presence was insignificant. There were far less lecheras and officers to control this crowd than there had been the day before to evict sixty people from Casablanca Social Centre.
In a few hours, the march arrives in Sol. People make some more noise, and then they disperse into the Saturday evening movida without leaving a trace. I take a walk, and I’m sad. At first sight, nothing seems to be wrong. Bars are filled, people are showing off. The only visible stain on this happy panorama are the men and women sleeping in the entrances of the shops. I have a feeling their numbers are growing and growing.
And while there are ever more people living on the streets, authorities keep evicting their citizens from abandoned buildings. Yesterday I witnessed how the masons, under police protection, walled up the entrance of Casablanca.
It’s not going to be the end of it. Already I can read the writings on the wall… “La lucha es el unico camino”
‘Struggle is the only way.’