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Inside the #SpanishRevolution

The spirit of insurrection is sweeping around the globe

Read an eye-witness report on the situation in Spain at RoarMag.org.

For the last several days, thousands of Spanish citizens have occupied the central square in Madrid and demanded systemic political, economic and social change. Rallying under the battle cry of "Real Democracy Now: we are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers," these everyday people turned rebels have brought to the shores of the West the popular spirit of insurrection that has swept across the Arab world. Perhaps it is not a historical coincidence that of all the Western nations, Spain has a most unique historical relationship with Islam: the country was once part of the Islamic Caliphate, Arabic was the main language of large areas as late as the 15th century and many of its citizens have ancestors who were once Muslim. Let that be a question for future movement historians to debate, the fact remains that the people of Spain have done far more than simply transpose Tahrir onto Madrid. They have actually transformed the model of Tahrir into an even more democratic form. They have conceived of how to carry out a popular revolution in a way that will soon catch fire in the imagination of the West.

Generally speaking, the tactical insight of the Egyptian activists was the idea of seizing a public square and transforming their presence into a symbol powerful enough to topple a tyrant. To be fair, this model had been successfully used before, such as in the 1986 Filipino People Power Revolution in which two million protestors occupied the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, but the major breakthrough of the Egyptian activists was to prove that this tactic was once again relevant and that even the most highly policed state cannot stop the people if they organize themselves spontaneously. The gift of the Egyptian revolution was a sense of optimism, that a revolutionary spring has arrived in which, to use the slogan of the 9/11 antiwar movement, another world is possible.

The Spanish Revolution takes the lesson of Tahrir one step further. Rather than simply holding the Puerta del Sol square, the people of Madrid have transformed the street into proof that real, direct democracy is possible. The catch-phrase of this revolution is the "assembly", hours of discussions where people decide their demands, their manifesto, and the fate of their movement all without leaders. Horizontal, de-centralized, people power has been realized. A reporter for the Spanish newspaper El Pais describes the scene:

"At eight o’clock in the afternoon the assembly starts. There are a hundred people sitting on the floor. People of all stripes. Mostly young. Some come wearing Ralph Lauren polos, others torn t-shirts without sleeves. The neat boy exchanges ideas with the hippie. Talking. They’re different, but there’s one thing that unites them. They’re tired of this deceit, they are tired of being the political puppets of simplistic slogans, of the accused politicians on the lists. Chorus: 'They call it democracy and it’s not.'"

The Spanish Revolution is the closest that contemporary activists have yet come to reviving the dream of true democracy. In the following words of the reporter, we can finally taste the arrival of the glorious commune, the political assemblage of liberty and equality that births a true revolution because it fundamentally changes the social bonds:

"On Wednesday morning, the outraged mini-republic is fully operational. There are meetings in every corner. Those gathered line the entrance of the Metro station with messages on white sheets. It’s turned into a mural of indignation. Maps of the city-in-planning indicate where each of the committees are. One near each of the lampposts in the square: Power, Action, Extension, Internal Coordination, Legal, Care / Cleaning, Infrastructure (lost items), Communication. The infirmary is full of medicine and bandages. Every night, bars and restaurants in the area give the campers everything they can spare. At the food place, housewives arrive with full shopping carts. A restaurant owner brings pots full of stew ... 200 lawyers were appointed ... A total of 15 nurses. Seven solar panels, 15 computers."

Go to RoarMag.org to read the full eyewitness account of the first few days of the Spanish Revolution and come back to post your reflections here.

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52 comments on the article “Inside the #SpanishRevolution”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 52

Page 5 of 6

Anonymous

CNN and other corporate media outlets are reporting this to be a protest because of unemployment, and burying the story beneath garbage news. The reality is that people have had enough of the system that tramples democracy and the politicians that support it. Corporate media has a large conflict of interest reporting democratic uprisings. Corporations by nature are tyrannical power structures, run from the top down. The journalists are inherently subordinate to power.

Anonymous

CNN and other corporate media outlets are reporting this to be a protest because of unemployment, and burying the story beneath garbage news. The reality is that people have had enough of the system that tramples democracy and the politicians that support it. Corporate media has a large conflict of interest reporting democratic uprisings. Corporations by nature are tyrannical power structures, run from the top down. The journalists are inherently subordinate to power.

Anonymous

I hope this thread only opens a discussion for intelligent and moving ideas. Not insults of racism and what the girl on the photographs seems to originate from.

Anonymous

I hope this thread only opens a discussion for intelligent and moving ideas. Not insults of racism and what the girl on the photographs seems to originate from.

Anonymous

Madrid isn't the oly place with protesters-the same thing has been happening in Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona. I personally know a bunch of people who went there, and they're definatly not going to give up anytime soon.

Anonymous

Madrid isn't the oly place with protesters-the same thing has been happening in Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona. I personally know a bunch of people who went there, and they're definatly not going to give up anytime soon.

leracquet

¡What a pile of tosh! This article shows extreme ignorance over, not only the situation in Spain at the moment, but the Philippines and the attempt at world domination by the ruling elite.
To compare Egypt with the Philippines is nonsensical, and to take it a step further to talk about Spain in that same context is laughable.
1) The Philippines and Egypt were living under regimes where there were no democratic solutions. Yet on the 22nd of May 73% of Spanish voters made their voice heard through the ballots and 40% of them voted for one of the 2 corrupt parties: so the protesters are a minority.
2) The military backed the revolution in Egypt. Sponsored by the US since the Suez crisis, the Egyptian army had its salaries, kitchens, uniforms, guns, tanks, planes and boats paid for by the USA. No-one bites the hand that feeds it. When Mubarak defended himself against the protesters he found himself isolated: only the police were loyal to him, and THEY were the ones who shot at and beat up protesters (the same as what is happening in Spain).
The major difference is that the military in Spain (under NATO) has no interest in defending the people. You can rest assured that if things were to get out of hand in Spain, the army will step in to defend the state (as it should, given that the protesters are a minority and that the people have chosen this state)
3) The "peaceful revolution" in Egypt was neither peaceful nor a revolution. It only changed the president, and at the cost of more than 300 lives (amounting to what some might call a civil war.) The military is still in control and the USA still controls the military and as for the next government: more of the same. 300 lives later and millions of illiterate people still living in misery every day and dying from the same as they did before.

We mustn't dream about the revolution, we must BE the revolution. This won't happen by taking over the main square: it will happen if 1) we are organised 2) have a clear objective and 3) we know who our enemies are and what they are capable of doing to defend themselves.

leracquet

¡What a pile of tosh! This article shows extreme ignorance over, not only the situation in Spain at the moment, but the Philippines and the attempt at world domination by the ruling elite.
To compare Egypt with the Philippines is nonsensical, and to take it a step further to talk about Spain in that same context is laughable.
1) The Philippines and Egypt were living under regimes where there were no democratic solutions. Yet on the 22nd of May 73% of Spanish voters made their voice heard through the ballots and 40% of them voted for one of the 2 corrupt parties: so the protesters are a minority.
2) The military backed the revolution in Egypt. Sponsored by the US since the Suez crisis, the Egyptian army had its salaries, kitchens, uniforms, guns, tanks, planes and boats paid for by the USA. No-one bites the hand that feeds it. When Mubarak defended himself against the protesters he found himself isolated: only the police were loyal to him, and THEY were the ones who shot at and beat up protesters (the same as what is happening in Spain).
The major difference is that the military in Spain (under NATO) has no interest in defending the people. You can rest assured that if things were to get out of hand in Spain, the army will step in to defend the state (as it should, given that the protesters are a minority and that the people have chosen this state)
3) The "peaceful revolution" in Egypt was neither peaceful nor a revolution. It only changed the president, and at the cost of more than 300 lives (amounting to what some might call a civil war.) The military is still in control and the USA still controls the military and as for the next government: more of the same. 300 lives later and millions of illiterate people still living in misery every day and dying from the same as they did before.

We mustn't dream about the revolution, we must BE the revolution. This won't happen by taking over the main square: it will happen if 1) we are organised 2) have a clear objective and 3) we know who our enemies are and what they are capable of doing to defend themselves.

perceptiventity

latest on the protest and its deep difference and novelty isn't to be found on major "news" zombochannels but rather

http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/2011_Spanish_protests

perceptiventity

latest on the protest and its deep difference and novelty isn't to be found on major "news" zombochannels but rather

http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/2011_Spanish_protests

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