Monday, June 13, 2011

Revisiting the 15-M movement when the main camp closes down

Pça.Catalunya, days ago
That's what A. Pradilla and A. Intxusta do at Gara today[es]. Regardless of the quite irrelevant Basque subsection of this movement (most Basques have ignored the quite small camps, exception made of Pamplona probably, because we have a different and deeply rooted movement of our own), the analysis to be made is about nuclear Spain, specially Madrid, and Catalonia. These are in fact two different movements, each with its peculiarities. 

Overall the balance is that the new technologies have irrupted in the social mobilization scene in full, not just in Spain but in all Europe. The 2004 overnight mobilizations against Aznar's lies upon the Madrid railroad bomb attack, which were generated by mobile phone messaging look, they say, almost from another century.

Another aspect of the balance is that huge ill-politicized sectors have been mobilized and very clearly so. People that may support this or that social movement but who have no clear ideology other than basic human ideas such as justice and freedom. The fact that these apolitical masses can be mobilized so intensely almost overnight cannot be ignored.

The two faces of Sol (Madrid)

The camp at Puerta del Sol (Sun's Gate, Madrid) had two sides: one was that of the original calling movement, Democracia Real Ya, whose goals were very limited and mostly oriented to the reform of the electoral law (strongly favoring big consolidated parties), the other one, the one that took the lead since the beginning of the occupation of Sol, was that formed by social movements of diverse pedigrees but largely lefty background. 

This sector, they say, is the one which has benefited itself the most from the camp and the network of local assemblies established after it. The effectiveness and resilience of this network is what will test the aftermath of Sol since today. 


While Sol closes down, not without organizing itself as network of local assemblies, the camp in Barcelona, repeatedly attacked by police, goes on. In fact, as happened in Madrid initially, it was the reaction to the police intervention what triggered a much larger camp. 

But they seem to be unable to consensuate a program. For some it's time to pack, for others, staying there is a symbol of victory. The camp, which was initially quite weak (again the total disconnection with what happens in nuclear Spain), has in fact served to break the artificialness of a city in which everything is controlled since the year 1992 (Olympic Games, you do not want those at your city) and retake the public space for the people and by the people. 

Unlike in Madrid, electoral reform is not any priority in Catalonia, self-determination is instead. There was a heated debate, it seems, on this matter as Spanish nationalists pretending to be internationalists tried to sabotage it on grounds that it was a divisive matter. But it is not really that divisive and it succeeded.

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