Author Archive

The Catalan Question

In #GlobalRevolution on 29 September 2015 at 11:19

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Via Via

Dear people,

Spain got another taste of elections this week as Catalonia went to vote. The big issue was independence, and the result was a stalemate. Now, I know that most people don’t really care about national politics, even less about politics in other countries, so I can imagine that local politics in other countries doesn’t really arouse enthusiasm abroad. But Catalan independence really is a big issue in Spain at the moment, so I’ll briefly bring you up to date on what’s happening before trying to analyse what this all means with respect to the democratic revolutionary movement in Spain.

Catalans have been periodically regurgitating their will to break away from Spain over the last few centuries, most recently in the late 19th century, then during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, and lately these past few years. The reasons for the current outbreak are to…

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Note from the Democratic Revolution

In #GlobalRevolution on 11 July 2015 at 16:47

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Dear people,

A little catch-up in short. During the last two elections, the political establishment of Spain has been rocked by candidates that have their roots in the indignado movement. First the European elections in 2014, where Pablo Iglesias and Podemos Party took eight percent of the vote, and lately in the municipal elections where local citizen’s platforms won the town hall in Madrid, Barcelona and other major cities.

Next up is the general election in November. In the streets, for years now, a heterogeneous mass has shouted “Yes we can”, and the latest electoral results have given them reason enough to believe that it will indeed be possible to enter parliament, peacefully, and bring democracy back to the people.

At the next elections, those people have Podemos and Pablo Iglesias to vote for. Many people will, some of them will do so for lack of better, and many will…

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Real Democracy Now

In #GlobalRevolution on 30 June 2015 at 14:04

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Ada Colau, the new mayor of Barcelona. Photo Reuters/Telesur. Ada Colau, the new mayor of Barcelona. Photo Reuters/Telesur.

Dear people,

It has taken four years for the 15M movement to arrive from the occupied squares to the palaces of power. Last month, grass roots political parties all over Spain have shaken up the establishment and conquered, among others, the municipalities of Madrid and Barcelona. Local platforms and nationwide party ‘Podemos’, inspired by the indignados movement, are now gearing up towards the general election next November, to replace the old regime.
In Barcelona, anti-eviction activist and sweetheart of the movement Ada Colau has been elected the first female mayor of the city. The platform for which she was a candidate, ‘Barcelona en Comú’ (Barcelona in Common), proposes  a radical democratic revolution, with continuous citizens’ participation, transparency of government, right to housing and basic sustainment for all,  and a lot more.
In Madrid, a traditional stronghold of the Conservatives, the new…

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A New Season

In #GlobalRevolution on 31 January 2015 at 18:32

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Podemos demo filling the Puerta del Sol. Madrid, January 31, 2015. Podemos demo filling the Puerta del Sol. Madrid, January 31, 2015.

Dear people,

The 15M movement that exploded in May 2011 gave rise to a galaxy of different assemblies, initiatives, movements and struggles in permanent evolution. And although the indignados initially rejected all forms of representative democracy in favour of direct citizens’ participation, a year ago in Spain a political party was born which was directly inspired by the 15M movement: ‘Podemos’ (‘We can’).

Four months after its foundation the new party dashed into the European limelight by conquering five seats in the Europarliament, presenting itself as a radical alternative to the Spanish political dinosaurs of PP and PSOE (“¡La misma mierda es!“). On the eve of the election in Puerta del Sol the trademark 15M slogan “They don’t represent us!” turned into “Yes! They represent us!”

Today, Podemos showed its strength with a massive demonstration in Madrid…

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In #GlobalRevolution on 10 January 2015 at 13:13

Originally posted on PostVirtual:


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Forms of Violence in the ‘Umbrella Movement’ of Hong Kong

In #GlobalRevolution on 28 October 2014 at 19:20

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Umbrella Revolution, Iwo Jima style. Foto by Raymond Kam. Umbrella Revolution, Iwo Jima style. Foto by Raymond Kam.

Dear people,

This is the translation of another article recently published by Miguel Ángel Martínez, on his blog ‘Orquídeas en Hong Kong‘. For continuous updates on the situation on Hong Kong, check my RebelMouse page, here.
“Let’s talk about violence. Political violence, to be exact. The most noteworthy episode of violence in the history of Hong Kong dates back to 1967. Between May and December there were strikes, armed clashes, domestic bombings and a Chinese military incursion leaving 45 people dead and resulting in hundreds of arrests. Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841-2 and was ruled with an iron fist. However, the city’s industrialization attracted a wave of labour immigrants from China, some of whom also rejected the model of triumphant communism after 1949. The revolt of 1967 was inspired by the Cultural Revolution and was…

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About Hong Kong

In #GlobalRevolution on 11 October 2014 at 16:40

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Foto via Tumblr Foto via Tumblr

Dear people,

Protest in Hong Kong flare up after a week which saw violence by agents provocateur and talks with the government breaking down. I translated another piece about the context of the protest by Miguel Ángel Martínez. Original here.

Various Layers of Social Movement in Perspective: About Hong Kong

“It’s Monday and we have to return to class. It has been two weeks of demonstrations. A student strike and one by the ‘umbrella movement’. To call it a ‘revolution’ seems a bit exaggerated. On Sunday negotiations resumed between the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and the government of the ‘Special Administrative Region’ (SAR). They were frozen since Friday as anti-occupy groups had entered the scene attacking protesters and trying to dismantle occupations with the passive complicity of the police. So yesterday, while I was walking around several of the key points of the movement…

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Umbrella Revolution

In #GlobalRevolution on 2 October 2014 at 19:42

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Via Via

Dear people,

Revolt seems to have hit the shores of Hong Kong. I’m not there, but here’s a translation of an article by a Spanish blogger on the spot, who explains what’s happening and why. (Check out the original here)

Occupy Hong Kong and the Contradictions of Neoliberalism in China.

“It’s 10 a.m. in Hong Kong, 6 hours later than Madrid. When I woke up this morning, the occupation was still there. I can almost see it clearly from my window. It’s the one in the district of Mong Kok (on the mainland, Kowloon), because there are two more occupations active on the “island”, which is Hong Kong proper. One is in Admiralty, near the government offices. Another is in Cause Way Bay, one of the congested commercial districts. The barricades cutting traffic there are still standing. They are simple barricades, made of fences and some street…

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Hit and Run

In #GlobalRevolution on 1 March 2014 at 02:38

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Via El Jueves Via El Jueves

Dear people,

So I spent a week in Barcelona this month. First thing I noticed, entering the city: a banner over a motorway bridge, and people protesting against education cuts. Second thing, like last time, the Catalan flags at the windows. There are three types. One with a white star on blue (independence), one with a red star (independence and socialism), and the official flag, no stars, only stripes (union with Spain). You will not find a single Spanish flag flying from the windows.

I won’t go into the nationalist discourse. Just a brief reflection on the tribal instinct. Human beings generally live in packs. They stick together on the basis of certain similarities, linguistic, social, racial, religious, etc. They have a tendency to distrust of differences. In a globalized society, this tendency is largely drowned out by the benefits of cultural, economic and scientific exchange. But…

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A Voice from Bosnia-Herzegovina

In #GlobalRevolution on 25 February 2014 at 18:07

Originally posted on PostVirtual:

Photo by Giles Clarke Photo by Giles Clarke

Dear people,

I saw a man sitting at a metro station last week. Gracia neighbourhood, Barcelona. He was reading a brick of a hardcover, entitled ‘1914-1918’. It’s a hot topic this year. World War 1, the massacre that ended the Age of Empires and inaugurated the 20th century.
The prologue of the conflict began in Sarajevo, with the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, at the hands of a Serbian nationalist. At the time, the region was at the centre of a power struggle between German-backed Austria and Russian-backed Serbia, and, by extension, between the two grand alliances that included almost every great power of the day. Hence, the local conflict went global.

After one hundred years and three devastating wars, the country and its peoples are still divided and subject to powerplay from abroad. Earlier this month, protests…

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