General Assemby in Madrid decides to end #acampadasol, but continue the struggle

#spanishrevolution, #ukrevolution, #acampadasol, #greekrevolution, #europeanrevolution

The M-15 movement in Madrid has decided tonight, after a four hour long general assembly that it will end its occupation of ‘La Puerta de Sol’ (main square in Madrid) on Sunday the 12th of June. The way in which this process will be carried out will continue to be debated and it is likely that a small permanent information office will remain. The movement will also continue to hold daily general assemblies in the square and it acknowledged that some people may decide to continue the occupation as individuals.

The reasons given for ending the occupation are varied. It is partly to address the growing problems associated with the camp, in regards to security and hygiene. However, more importantly it is part of strategy for decentralizing expanding the movement. This has already began, with a national day of action planned for the 19th of June and the creation of popular assemblies in hundreds of suburbs and communities all over Spain. The occupation is currently in its 24th day and the M-15 movement has vowed to continue its struggle for  participatory democracy and social justice.

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The #15M Prepares for the Post-camping Era #spanishrevolution

The 15-M Prepares for the Post-camping Era, #spanishrevolution, #acampadasol, #europeanrevolution, #ukrevolution, #greekrevolution, #frenchrevolution,

The member associations of 15-M now prepare for the post-camping era. Leading up to the temporary eviction of Barcelona and Lleida, they experienced a gradual decrease in the number of participants and media attention. After this episode, in spite of the present upturn, they know they will again lose supporters. However, they believe that the movement has to continue and they are already preparing the strategy: they propose a European mobilization at the end of June, the creation of a wikiparliament to formalize proposals, the development of Democracy 4.0 and the extension of the movement in networks through the suburbs and smaller cities.

The political intervention in Catalonia has revived the protests. This already happened in Granada at the beginning of the election campaign. The greater the political presence, the more protesters in the camps. Yet the members of 15-M are conscious that the near future will hold a decrease in demonstrators until the dissolution of the camps. Nevertheless, they don’t want the lack of presence in the streets to mean the end of this unprecedented movement.

The Laboratory of Political Ideas and Practice of the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville has welcomed the movement because, according to professor of Philosophy of Law Rafael Rodríguez, it is necessary to “create links and synergies” to facilitate the elaboration of proposals for social transformation. In the setting of this laboratory, Law graduate Francisco Jurado, member of 15-M and one of the founders of coordinating committee of Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now), has explained how they are planning the future.

Wikiparliament. The methodology for decision-making in this assembly setting is still in debate. One of the ideas being considered is to create a wiki-type platform of proposals on the Internet, a page that will be cultivated with voluntary contributions. This system would permit the revision of proposals and for all to continue refining and contributing their knowledge and experience.

They reject the presentation of proposals without certain “minimum requirements”. So they consider that this wikicongress would permit any idea to be proposed, amended and developed with reasonable contributions. Once there is a consensus on these proposals, they will be initiated.

Amongst the short-term objectives, is that mortgages be settled in the case of non-payment. In the long-term, they aim for a revision of the separation of powers, social monitoring of executive actions and the reform of the channels of participation. As they reject links to any political party, the tradition parliamentary channel is unlikely and proposing popular legislative initiatives is limited. “We would be pleased if a political party took up our proposals,” Jurado affirms.

Democracy 4.0. This is the title used by a member of the university laboratory of ideas. It’s based in the existence of sufficient technology and legal precedents – there are measures that authorize Members of Parliament to vote without being physically in Parliament – in order to guarantee citizen participation beyond every four years in the ballot box. An online system of voting would facilitate citizens to express their opinions.

To this point they add many others that would facilitate the channels of social participation in the parliaments, without the need for citizens to direct their proposals through political groups.

Territorial reorganization. The first action is to extend the movement and disassociate it from the central plazas. They are aware that the camps have been fundamental, a “lesson in practical politics”, Jurado asserts. The camps have been a grouping by common interests and objectives that have generated an “identity”, but 15-M cannot limit itself to Sol, the Plaza of Catalunya or “las setas”, as they call the Plaza of La Encarnación in Seville.

The objective is to disperse this movement with teaching through “local settings”, like neighbourhoods and small villages. By maintaining the global character of the movement, the creation of an international platform can be simultaneously promoted. In this way, they aim to generate a network that will produce support systems, proposals and followers.

Education. This is another key plan of 15-M. They aim to promote initiatives, like those of the Seville Pablo de Olavide University, in order to create a society that is committed and prepared to take a more active position in the management and monitoring of government administration.

In this sense, Jurado explains, they imagine the university as a centre for investigation and knowledge, grounded in social reality.

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Translation of the conclusions of Manuel Castells on May 27 at the #AcampadaBCN #spanishrevolution #15M

Translation of the conclusions of the speach in Spanish  of the sociologist Manuel Castells, professor at Berkeley University  (California) and researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC),  on May 27 at the # AcampadaBCN – Plaza of Catalonia – to support the  camps around the world and enumerate the conditions necessary to achieve  real democratic change. Short version of the conference (in Spanish) http://www.vilaweb.tv/?video=6848 Complete version (47 minutes) http://www.vilaweb.tv/?video=6847 
“Fearful around the world, but united in the Web”
We  are in a society where everything needs to be fast, but when we arrive at  home we colapse. Therefore we should do what we want to do, like for  instances create a new democracy, but slowly. Nobody is in a hurry, we have  to make history, there is not need to rush. Others can run, we don’t,  because we are advancing systematically. If not we will become the  rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, running always with the clock. My long experience  in social movements, starting with the May of 68 in Paris, where I  participated actively, tells me that what we are living here, and in 706  camps more around the world, has substance, has roots, and whatever  forms it takes and whatever will happen, this movement will continue. It  will attempt to bring profund changes. Precisly because it is a  movement of people not of organisations. People are neither created nor  destroyed, only transformed. But is not going to be easy. When the  powers that be realise what is going on is serious (because for the  moment they don’t believe this is serious), they will react. And they  will react probably violently because there are too many interests at  stake. That is why it is essential that this process be slow and profund to  reconstruct democracy. It must also have non-violence as a fundamental  principal,  which is already expressed and put into  practice. 
 
Non-violence is  fundamental. What camps are proving all over Spain, is that after 11 days  there has been not a single violent incident. And until the police come,  there is not going to be violence. To the likely violence from the  system, we should propose people use non-violence. To do this, a lot of  courage is needed, becauase to reply to violence with violence, is to  respond from fear: you are attacked and you defend youself. We will need  to help people who would be so scared that would became violent. We  should help them to advance towards a superior level of courage, which  requires one to overcome fear. Overcome fear from the acceptance of the  funtamental fact that fear is a part of life. The only way to  overcome fear is by leaving solitud. Fear is a disease caused by  loneliness. The only cure is joining others. And without fear and  without violence, all is possible. Some days ago,  I asked a good  friend, and a great neuroscientist, Antoni Damasio: “Do you think it is true  that if we overcome fear things would change?” And he replied “Absolutly” because fear is human nature  and have to recognize it.
 
Therefore if now I had to propose a slogan, I  would say: Fearful around the world, but united in the Web. United,  because together the only thing you can lose is your fear. And if we do it, this may be the start of a new  participatory internet based democracy, yet to be invented, which will be born. Thanks for your antention, and we can continue discussing this after the talk. 

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Minimum Requests of #acampadabcn #spanishrevolution #15m

-TRANSLATION- (Originally posted at  http://acampadabcn.wordpress.com/demandes/ consulted 31 May 2011 17:00 )

Minimum Requests

In Barcelona several documents are being written collectivly, ​​ they collect the wisdom and the contributions of hundreds of people. These documents speak about the different levels in which we operate to bring change. They are all documents in progress, open and in constant improvement.

This is document is only one of them.

Specialized subcommittees have been created to produce content with the aim to add more specific documents to this first one.

We are changing the world. Completely.

Meanwhile politicians that don’t represent us are still there, legislating about our lives.

This is why we are writing here some measures that can be easily understood and applied. Alert! This document is about minimal actions . Actually what we want is much greater, something that may never be undesrstood.

We will transmit this to the mayors elected on the 22nd May elections. We will ask them what follows, point by point.

1 – No more privileges for politicians, starting with those in Barcelona:

Drastic reduction of the politicians salary of the drastic political to put them at the same level of the populationś average salary

Removal of their privileges on tax payments, allowances, pension contributions (In Barcelona only this would save at least half a million euros a month).

Prohibition of pension set above the maximum pension for the rest of the citizens.

Removal their legal immunity for corruption cases. Dismisal of the corrupt politicians.

2 – No more privileges for bankers:

– Prohibition of any rescue or capital injection to banks or any actions for saving banks: entities in distress must fail or be nationalized to became a public bank under social control.

– Immediat and transparent return to the public coffers of all public capital provide to banks

– Regulation of speculation and sanctions for poor banking practices. Prohibition on investment in fiscal paradises.

– All properties acquired by foreclosures, should be rented in social regime to evicted families.

3. No more privileges to large fortunes:

[ To solve the deficit problem in Spain, it would be enough to apply to the 50 largest fortunes the 5% of the salary cuts that were imposed to the civil servant’s salaries]

– Increase the tax rate on large fortunes and banks, elimination of the ICVCs

– Stop the supression of the succesion tax. Recovery of the wealth tax.

– Effective control over tax 3. No more privileges to large fortunes: evasion and capital evasion to fiscal paradises.

– Promoting international adoption of a tax on financial transactions (Tobin Tax).

With the application of the these three points above enought budget would be obatined to solve the next four issues. Because there is no shortage of money.

4. Decent wages and quality of life for everyone:

– The economy serves the people and not vice versa

– Establishment of a maximum wage as well as a minimum.

– Reduction of number of working hours, so that everyone can enjoy life, have time to think and can balance his personal and professional life, without reductions in salary. This downsizing will allow a sharing of tasks that would end the structural unemployment.

– Withdrawal of the pension reform.

– Safety at work: supression of collective dismissals or dismisals for “objective causes” in large companies while there are benefits; control of large companies to ensure they don’t engage temporary employees in jobs that could be cover with permanent labour contracts

– Recognition of domestic work, reproductive work and family care work.

5. Right to housing

– Expropriation of unsold vacant housing to raise the offer of public social rent.

– Declaration of cities free of evictions and eviction.

– Criminalization of mobbing practices.

– Donation in payment of housing to cancel the mortgages, retroactively from the beginning of the crisis.

– Prohibition on real estate speculation.

6. RISE PUBLIC SERVICES STANDARDS:

– Withdrawal of proposed budgetary cuts by the Catalan government (Generalitat). Withdrawal of the austerity plans and cuts affecting public services at national, European and globa levell.

– Reestablishment of services already cut in health and education.

– Increased health personnel and infrastructure to end waiting lists.

– Increase number of teachers and of educational insfraestructures to maintain the ratio of students per classroom, the groups split and the support groups in schools.

– Ensure truly equal opportunities for access to all levels of education, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Allocate public resources to public education only. Schools should be equals and of quality

– Funding for public research to ensure its independence.

– Public transport economically affordable to all people, quality and ecologically sustainable (NOT CONSENSUS REACHED YET IN THIS POINT. DISCUSSION / DEBATE STILL NEEDED)

– Public free care to children and people with special needs.

– Prohibition of privatization of public services.

– Submit our membership in the NATO to referendum.

7. FREEDOM AND PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY:

– Stop control of Internet. Abolition of the law of cinema know as the “law Sinde”

– Protection of freedom of information and of the independence of investigative journalism. Removal of legal dispositions preventing the exercise the right of free use of community and non profit media. Elimination of de facto monopolies of radio space.

– Implementation of free software in public institutions to ensure sustainability.

– Withdrawal of the “civility bylaw” (ordenaça del civisme); withdrawal of any bylaw that limits the freedom of movement and freedom of speach.

– Mandatory and binding referendums on issues of great importance (including European directives)

– Elimination of non-regular raids on migrants and removal of the Immigration Law and current closure of CIEs. We support voting rights for migrants.

– Amendment of Electoral Law (NOT CONSENSUS REACHED YET IN THIS POINT. DISCUSSION / DEBATE STILL NEEDED)

– Establishment of effective mechanisms to ensure internal democracy in political parties: open lists, direct election of Councillors (This point has not been completed to agree. MISSING DISCUSSION / DEBATE)

– Budget approved for by all citizens

Here the text will mention the discontinuation of some industries and professional bodies. We call for the relocation of these professionals or the reconversion of this industrial activity sectors .

8. Environment

– The economical system can not be based on indefinite economic. This is not sustainable.

– Food sovereignty, promoting peasant agriculture, rather than multinationals.

– Promotion of agro-ecological farming. Suspension of GM based on the precautionary principle, to resolve uncertainties about the impacts on the environment and health. We support land reform.

– Sustainable development and fair trade. Prevent monopolies controlling the distribution of food, to guarante access to all producers.

– With all these measures above and others comply with the CO2 emissions reduction objective beyond the Kyoto Protocol. We support a true climate justice.

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Police forces crack down brutally on #acampadabcn: protesters return in thousands and take back the square #spanishrevolution #bcnsinmiedo

After surrounding the camp in early morning, the local police forces in Barcelona evicted the people staying in Plaza Catalunya at around 11:00 AM with the excuse of cleaning up. The reason, they say, is that because Football Club Barcelona plays the Champions League Final (an important football match) the area might be flooded by a massive celebration if they win. They stated that if this happens, then the tents and objects placed there could be used during the celebration for violent purposes, which they say is a “security risk”, making it necessary to evict so as to let cleaning brigades in the square. They also said they want to make clear it is not an eviction and that the protesters will be allowed to return after the operation is ended. While the police violence was taking place on the outskirts of the square, 300 people were surrounded in the center and sitting down peacefully they called for non-violence and asked the police to explain themselves. Official government channels have stated that 15 people suffered minor injuries during the operation, although this number could be much larger, as much as 45 or 65 according to El Pais and other independent media. Ironically, the spokesperson for the Catalan police said, on national television that the operation had been non-violent. On Twitter the #acampadabcn and #bcnsinmiedo hashtags have been very active and many videos as the ones below have been posted to show the un-called-for brutality with which the police evicted the peaceful protesters. In response to these actions, social media sites have been buzzing with anger, with many people around the world sending their support and others swearing they will return.

A few minutes ago, at around 14:00 pm thousands of protesters broke the police line around the square and have reclaimed what is left of their camp. Most of it, including computers with valuable data and donated furniture, was taking away in trucks that were part of the cleaning operation. The different sections of the 15M movement (@acampadasol, @acampadavalencia etc.) have called for a unified protest around Spain at 19:00h to support people in Plaza Catalunya. The hashtag for the protest is #confloresalas7 (which means with flowers at 7).



VIDEOS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4m7BYU23WA

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#Europeanrevolution ignites after #spanishrevolution leads the way: massive protests happening now in #France, #Italy and #Greece

(Originally posted at http://www.wlcentral.org)

As the main camps in Puerta del Sol (Madrid) and Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona) prepare to pack their tents and leave on Sunday, organizers have started to spread their message to the rest of Europe. From the beginning the Internet was abuzz with proposals of a European revolution or a #globalcamp, and for that purpose thousands of blogs and independent websites have been opening, planting the roots of the protests happening now in over twenty cities in France and Italy. Greece has also taken the streets and an estimated 30 thousand people are protesting outside of Athen’s Parliament as we can see from this live feed. Here you can find a live streaming of the General Assembly in Paris.

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Tomás Herreros and Emmanuel Rodríguez: This is the Democracy, stupid #spanishrevolution #15m

-TRANSLATION- (http://tomalaplaza.net/materiales-para-la-reflexion/)

On May 15: From indignation to hope

Sunday the 15th of May marks an important point of inflexion: from the network to the street, from the conversations at home to the mobilization; but especially, from the indignation to action. Hundreds of thousands of people, summoned across the network, plain citizens, have taken the streets with a clear claim: the demand of real democracy, a democracy not at the service of the big interests, but of the persons. A direct critique to the political class, that from the beginnings of the crisis, has governed behind their backs and under the rule of what is always euphemistically called ” the markets”.

In the next weeks and months, we will see how this claim for “real democraciy now!” develops Everything indicates that its power will go on growing. The best way to prove its`power is how it is taking hold of the squares in different cities. The social network is in favor of the movement, and its replication in streets and squares makes it stronger. Today, and far from predictions always uncertains, we can already present some conclusions.

Firstly, the movement of May 15 is right in its critiques. The way we know politics, they way polical parties are today forcing the the weakest sectors of the society to pay for the crisis, has led to the indignation of an increasing part of the society. In the last years we have witnessed , amazed, the multimillion euro rescue of big banks, side by side with the social welfare cuts. The destruction of the elementary rights and privatizations, that have diminished the already sketchy  Spanish welfare state. Today nobody doubts that this way of practicing politics is a danger for our present and our immediate future. Precisely, the indignation grows when faced with the cowardice of our politicians, unable to control the power of the financial sector. What happens with the promises of an humanized capitalism after the crisis of the subprime? Where is the promise to finishing with the tax havens? What happened to the control on the financial system? Where is the taxation of  the speculative revenues? Where is the the proposal of discontinuing funding fiscally the richest?

Secondly, the movement of May 15 is much more than a warning for the so called the Left. It could be (in fact it most probably will be) that on May 22, day of local elections and also of the autonomous communities, that the Left will be defeated. In such a case it would be a prologue of what surely will happen in the general elections. What is certain, is that the institutional Left (parties and big unions) are the target of the political indifference produced by its incapacity to present new solutions in the context of the crisis. And it is in this framework that one finds the double explanation of the Left electoral defeat. Lets say it loud and clear: the problem comes simply from the extreme inequality of the wealth distribution, worsened by the financial discipline. On the other hand, the Left doesn’t know how to make space and work with the emergent movements that claim democracy and freedom. What mattered more the millions of mortgaged or the big banks interests? And what to say of the new cinema Law Sinde? Whose side was Zapatero on? On the side of the people who are shaping the net or the side of those that want to make it a business? Why is left not capable of taking sides with the citizenship movement? If the Left is not capable of leaving the script of the financial and economic elites, and of proposing plans B to get us out of the crisis, it will always be in opposition. The time for extensions is gone, simply put: the left must change or die as social legitimate actors.

Thirdly, the Movement May 15 shows how the citizenship, far from being a passive actor, has proved able of organizing and shaping itself in an epoch of institutional abandonment and strong crisis of political legitimacy. The new generations have been able to network, inventing new ways of being united, without falling on obsolete ideological cliches, armed with their wisdom and pragmatism, escaping from the political preconceived categories and from big bureaucratic devices. We are witnessing the construction of ” majority minorities ” who demand democracy to end the the war of “all against all ” and the imbecile atomization proposed by the neoliberalism; who demand social rights in opposition to the logic of privatization and adjustment imposed by the economic power. And it is quite certain that the pre-established old schemes, the impossible return of the State claimed by almost all the left parties (from the most radical to the more moderate) will not work. Reinventing the democracy demands nothing less than new forms of distribution of wealth, global citizenship with independence of the place of origin, the defense of the commons (environmental resources, knowledge, the education, Internet and the health), and other forms of self-government of masses that would overcome the corrupted present forms of government.

Fourtly, we must remember that the Movement of May 15 is linked to a current of thinking shaped in different parts of Europe, resulted from the rejection of the so called austerity policies. Reivindications and mobilizations that are challenging real things, the dream of this mute and amorphous Europe that the political and economic elites are promoting. It is about the UKUnCuts’s campaigns confronting the politics of Cameron, of Geraçao a Rasca in Portugal , or of what happened in Iceland after the refusal of citizens to pay the financial rescue. And also, and especially, it is inspired by the so called ” Arabic Spring “, that across democratic revolts Egypt and Tunis, that succeeded with the dismissal of their corrupt leaders.

We do not know where the spirit of May 15 is heading to. But what we can already be certain of, is that there already exist at least two plans against the crisis: the cuts or the invention of the real democracy. We know the results of the first one, not only has it not returned the economic “normality”, but it has made us” all against all ” and “every man for himself”. Of the second one, which promotes the absolute democracy, we only can say that this is just starting and that it marks our direction. It is to this second one we sign in.

Tomás Herreros and Emmanuel Rodríguez (Nomadic University)

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