Posts Tagged ‘#23F’

Opening Salvo

In #GlobalRevolution, Madrid, Spain on 24 February 2013 at 10:37
23F Demonstration in Valencia. Photo via @acampadavlc

23F Demonstration in Valencia. Photo via @acampadavlc

Dear people,

The start of the revolutionary season has become a success. Yesterday, February 23, people all over Spain massively demonstrated against the ‘coup d’état of the markets’.

The date was symbolic. The demos came exactly 32 years after the latest attempt of coup d’état. Some of you may remember the pythonesque images of army officers storming into parliament without knowing what to do next.

Yesterday, all the different waves have united. Students, teachers, miners, doctors, nurses, firefighters, the 15M movement, the platforms against mortgage foreclosures, etc. etc.

In Madrid there were over a 100.000 people, in Barcelona over 40.000. In every other big city in Spain there have been demonstrations, as well as abroad. Solidarity actions were organised in Brussels, London, Paris and Amsterdam.

This time, I haven’t witnessed it in person. But it has been all the more impressive to see the images of the crowds coming in via livestream.

At the Spanish parliament, after the demo, there were speeches by representatives of all the waves, and a concert of the Solfonica orchestra. All the while, in the crowd, someone walked around with a cardboard guillotine…

After the demo there were reports of police firing rubber bullets and charging protesters near Atocha railway station. Over thirty people were arrested.

Police hooligans arresting girl after demo in Madrid. Photo via @Jogueteroto

Police hooligans arresting girl after demo in Madrid. Photo via @Jogueteroto


23F Demo in Madrid. Photo @15MBcn_int

23F Demo in Madrid. Photo via @15MBcn_int



Madrid, aerial view of Neptuno. Photo via @Juanmi_News

Madrid, aerial view of Neptuno. Photo via @Juanmi_News


23F in Las Palmas. Photo via @BySanso

23F in Las Palmas. Photo via @BySanso


23F Oviedo. Photo via @lvatanax

23F Oviedo. Photo via @lvatanax


23F Barcelona. Photo via @15MBcn_int

23F Barcelona. Photo via @15MBcn_int





Citizens’ Wave Rising

In Madrid, Spain on 23 February 2013 at 11:12
Manifesto via

Manifesto via

February 23, noon.

Dear people,

I’m so excited. Today is the Grand Opening of the Revolutionary Season 2013! Everybody is going to be there. The white wave, the green wave, the red wave the blue wave. Wow. It’s going to be rainbow, it’s going to be everywhere, and it’s just the beginning.

The Puerta del Sol continues to be occupied. Police may harass, police may evict, but they can’t refrain people from returning to their square, over and over again. Notwithstanding the cold, notwithstanding the rain.

People are fed up. They demand that the government resigns, they demand that the economic system serves them, the people, and not the financial and political elites.

In particular, people demand free education, universal health care, decent affordable housing, an end to political corruption, an end to the discrimination of women, gays, coloured people etc. etc. In short, people demand a human society. Today will be the opening salvo. It’s going to be big.

We might not achieve this ambitious yet reasonable goal today, or tomorrow. Not even this year. But we’ll be back, for as long as necessary. We are the people.

The waves will converge on parliament. The building will be stormed. Check out the marches and tonight’s aftermath on SpanishRevolution.TV and on GlobalRevolution.TV.

Me, I’m in the studio for a change. If all goes well with the connection, I’ll be doing comment and translation live on GlobalRev.

Good day, and good luck!


In Madrid, Spain on 9 February 2013 at 18:07
Bugsy Siegel (1906-1947), 'founder of Las Vegas'

Bugsy Siegel (1906-1947), ‘founder’ of Las Vegas

February 9

“Corruption is linked to power. In a capitalist system, it’s the capital that detains this power. The quest for accumulation, profit and personal benefit forms an essential part of an ideology that worships individual enrichment, a false and criminal idea of ‘competitiveness’, ambition and greed over values aimed at​​ cooperation, mutual support and the common good.”

– From a comuniqué against corruption, launched today by the Economy working group of Sol

Dear people,

Officials of the Popular Party governing the capital region of Madrid are convinced that a Las Vegas franchise can save Spain from the economic crisis. This is no joke. This is the same Popular Party which is involved in a corruption scandal that goes from top to bottom.

With these people in power, what do you think will happen when the third richest man of America – multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson – knocks on the door with a project to build 750 hectares of hotels, restaurants, malls and theatres, a sports stadium, six casino’s and three golf courses?

Exactly. I thought the same.

Yesterday, after more than a year of negotiations and protests it was announced that Europa Vegas will be built (if at all) in Alcorcón near Madrid over the course of the next twelve years. During the evening, people demonstrated against the project in Sol.

In the meantime, another person who was about to be evicted from his home committed suicide in Córdoba, leaving wife and daughter behind.

In Paris, local indignados staged a demo at the Spanish embassy, demanding the resignation of the government.

Tonight, at Sol, it’s carnaval. Earlier, the occupants launched a call to action ‘For a European Spring’ on March 13.

“While (…) policies are designed to rescue big banks and big business, we, the vast majority, are made to pay for the excesses of the privileged.

All over Europe struggles and strikes are happening against these unjust policies. These struggles are our struggles, and we reject the violent attempts of European states to suppress them. Now is the time for solidarity across borders and sectors, to be the force to create real democracy and social justice. We are seeking to build a society where solutions, very different to those defended by the elites and imposed by the EU, can be proposed and discussed by everybody.

We call for actions, strikes and demonstrations on the 13th of March across Europe as part of a week of European resistance, with a mass mobilisation on the 14th in Brussels targeting the EU Spring Summit. We will show those in power that our growing movement will, sooner or later, be strong enough to change the course of Europe in the interest of us all.”

Winters at Sol

In Madrid, Spain on 7 February 2013 at 20:16
Occupation of BBVA bank in Barcelona, 7 Feb. Photo via @Xaviandreu

Occupation of BBVA bank in Barcelona, 7 Feb. Photo via @Xaviandreu

February 7

Dear people,

To the thoughtful words with which Ada Colau had presented the popular bill against foreclosures in the senate economic commission, the authorities have responded with a platoon of riot police.

At four o’ clock in the morning police evicted the protest camp in front of Bankia headquarters, where a few dozen people had spent the winter to demonstrate against a public bank that throws its own citizens out on the street.

Outrage exploded early in the morning. In Barcelona a BBVA bank franchise was occupied all day long. In Madrid, student protests continue as we speak. On the Puerta del Sol, the General Assembly of the ongoing occupation has just launched its manifesto… (Eng)

“On February 3 (…) we decided to stay in our Plaza del Sol [sic] (…)

We belong to the streets, the streets belong to us, we will not leave.

We are citizens fighting against corruption. We are people united by the same interests and we want to claim and stimulate civic struggle.

(…) we appeal to the people to mobilize and demand with us the effective investigation of illegitimate debt, the mass resignation of the government, the repeal of the current constitution and the formation of a constituent assembly to prepare a new constitution capable of returning citizens power over markets and economic corporations, which currently have kidnapped the rule of law.

We need your ideas, your actions and your media. We are young, elderly, students, the unemployed, workers, pensioners, evicted…

We are winters at Sol.”

Occupation Update

In Madrid, Spain on 5 February 2013 at 17:09
Barcelona this morning. PHoto via Flickr

Barcelona this morning. PHoto via Flickr

February 5, 1730 hrs.

Dear people,

The occupations continue. Forty people spent the night at Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. The acampada has been going on since the protests against government corruption exploded on January 31. This morning, police surrounded the camp and arrested a man who was supposedly on his way to work.

The Sant Jaume square in Barcelona has a very strong political signifance. It is bounded by city hall and by the palace of the ‘Generalitat’, the regional Catalan government. Throughout the day people have gathered on the square in support of the occupation.

As explained by Thais Bonilla in her article ‘Vuelta a las plazas’, the 15M’s strategy is not simply to protest, but to publically shame all of those who have accepted bribes. They have disgraced the trust of the citizens, and they must be outcast. “The idea would be to organise demonstrations wherever those responsible for this scam can be found, and make it a continuous persecution.”

In Madrid the original five of Sol have multiplied considerably as forty people camped out on the square for the second night in a row. The renascent Acampada in Sol can be followed through their Twitter account @inviernosalsol, ‘sunny winters’.

At the time of writing, reports of occupations in Valencia and Zaragoza could not be confirmed. The General Assembly of Sol is now in session, live at SpanishRevolution.TV. The appointments for tonight, for every night, are 7PM at the PP Party Headquarters in Madrid, and at 8PM, pan bashing at Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona.


In Madrid, Spain on 4 February 2013 at 15:18
Acampada Sol, February 3, 2013. Photo via @Desobediencia_

Acampada Sol, February 3, 2013. Photo via @Desobediencia_

February 4, 1600 hrs.

Dear People,

The Puerta del Sol in Madrid is being occupied since last night. Five people have slept on the square under the equestrian statue to mark the start of an indefinite protest against government corruption and austerity measures. They were baptised ‘#Las5deSol’, and they have been subject to fervent tweeting ever since the sun came up.

Right now, citizens are gathering in the square. According to rumours, there are people occupying in Valencia as well. In Berlin, there was a demonstration against key corruption suspect and visiting prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

At five, there will be a General Assembly in Sol. Today’s call is not only to storm Popular Party headquarters, but also to occupy for as long as the government doesn’t resign.

Keep checking SpanishRevolution.TV, TomaLaTele.TV, @15MBcn_Int and @GlobalRevLive.

Early Spring

In Madrid, Spain on 3 February 2013 at 15:51
Demo in Barcelona, yesterday. Photo via @15MBcn_int

Demo in Barcelona, yesterday. Photo via @15MBcn_int

Dear people,

Keep your eye on Spain these days. Sometimes, a little spark is all you need. The recent corruption scandal involving the governing Popular Party and in particular prime minister Rajoy, has provided that spark.Corruption is nothing special in Spain. It is one of the prime roots of the country’s economic misfortunes, so the news can hardly be called surprising. But when it comes in a situation where the government imposes harsh austerity measures on its citizens, selling off their health care, their education, their water, then the news of government officials taking bribes is enough to turn rage into action.

For three days the general assembly of Sol has been in session. And for as many days, thousands have marched to the popular party headquarters to demand the resignation of the government. In Madrid, and throughout Spain.

Yesterday late at night, after peacefully resisting police intimidation, the people who had gathered in Sol vowed to continue the protest. Rumours also have it that a dedicated pocket of revolutionaries has gathered in a bowling alley near Cádiz to swear that they will not split until Spain has a new constitution.

Encouraged and inspired by the admirable perseverance of our comrades on Tahrir square in their struggle for freedom and equality, the people of Spain demand the fall of the regime. They want executive revolutionary juntas to assemble in all cities, villages and neighbourhoods. They want them to seize and investigate the public administration, with peaceful compliance of all those civil servants and law enforcement officers who abide by the current Spanish constitution in defending the people’s basic right to health care, education and decent housing. They want speculative real estate assets to be expropriated and redistributed among the people on a social lease. They want failing banks to be liquidated, and their management held accountable. Finally, the people want all the local juntas to join in a Constitutional Assembly to determine the principles on which they will build a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society.

That’s what the people demand. And tonight at seven they intend to storm the governing party headquarters. I wish I could be there.

For coverage, check out the twitterfeed of GlobalRev (@GlobalRevLive) and BarcelonaInternational (@15MBcn_int), and the livestream on Spanishrevolution.TV and TomaLaTele.TV


In #GlobalRevolution, Netherlands on 29 January 2013 at 15:55
Volendam 1958, nationaal archief

Volendam 1958, nationaal archief

Dordrecht, January 29 2013

Dear people,

A happy new year to you all. And do forgive me for not keeping you informed, but there is not a hell of a lot happening as the Spanish revolution goes.

As I understand, it have been months of accusations, divisions and internal struggle. Once again, the movement seems primarily preoccupied with itself.

On the other hand, new actions and protests are being prepared. On February 23rd there will be a demonstration of the ‘United Waves’, representing the struggles for housing, public health care and education.

Also on a local level, actions continue. The platform against foreclosures is active all throughout Spain. Lately, they occupied a bank in Málaga and turned it into a soup kitchen.

Myself, I’m in Holland for the moment. And every time I’m here, back from the South, I have to get used to it. Holland is such a well organised little country, full of people who are generally decent and open minded. Aside from short periods of explosive irrationality, the Dutch prefer collaboration over confrontation. We haven’t had civil war or popular uprisings for centuries. Poverty in Holland is almost non-existent.

There is a very symbolic, almost biblical story that explains why. It’s a true story, it happened over five hundred years ago, right here in my home town of Dordrecht.

The Dutch, back then, used to be similar to so many other peoples in Europe. They fought each other over power. Left against right, democrats against republicans, guelfs against ghibellines, hooks against kabeljauws. That kind of thing. As political factions battled each other in the streets, the lord-their-god frowned upon the Dutch, for they had forsaken the covenant, their founding bond with the waters.

The water, to the Dutch, is both their most powerful ally and their most devastating enemy. It is the water, the sea, which is the ultimate proprietor of this country. The inhabitants only exert their dominion on a lease. And when the lease runs out, the water will take the country back.

As a matter of fact, they say that while it was god who created the heavens and the earth, it was the Dutch who created Holland. And it’s true. After the earth was crafted and covered with vegetation and wildlife, the lord carefully collocated all of the original tribes as he deemed fit. But when every land was divided among the peoples, the lord found that he still had one tribe left. To his personal embarrassment he had to admit that there was no room on earth for the Dutch.

“Let me make it up to you,” he said unto the Dutch, “I will give you a special treat, a challenge.” He plunged them into the shallow waters of a river delta and said, “Here, take this swamp. And show me what you can make out of it.”

Local proverbial wisdom states that either you pump, or you drown. And so the Dutch were forced to pump. They built dikes, canals, windmills. They harnessed the waters and they sailed off to trade in riches on faraway shores.

The lord looked down on them, and he was pleased. So he said unto the Dutch, “You have proven your worthiness, I shall make a covenant with you. You will be granted power over the waters and you will be my chosen people for as long as you will dutifully protect and respect this country, its dikes, and the life and liberty of its inhabitants.”

That was the covenant. And now, in the late 15th century, while the people were indulged in passionate mutual hatred, the covenant was broken.

For years all around Dordrecht the dikes had been neglected because of all the turmoil. And so one fateful evening – it was St. Elizabeth’s day – the waters rose.

Holland as people had known it was swept away overnight. Tens of thousands drowned. Hundreds of villages and hamlets were buried in the mud. Because of the flood, Dordrecht became an island. And up to this day, the old fishermen claim that when the full moon reaches its zenith, you can hear the bells of the churches over the water, the churches that were swept away by the tide.

It was only then, after all their efforts were turned to naught, that the Dutch painfully remembered the covenant. And Holland rose again.

This story has left only vague traces in the historical memory of this country, which is a shame. Not in the least because its biblical symbolism could easily apply to the present state of the planet.