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By Concha Mateos, PhD in Social Communication
Faculty at one public University in Madrid.
Something that looked impossible is happening.
Not a miracle: there
is no God acting, no divine intervention. Only human will and the crowd.
Thousands of people were there, with the same ideas, the same
objectives, the same desire for
change. They lived in different places and cities and countries, but they were
in reality at the same Puerta del Sol, although none of them did know.
One day of May 2011 they happened to gather together driven by the
same and only cause.
Have you ever taken a decision together with thousands of people in
which each person's opinion is
heard and treated equally?
Thousands of people were there, in the same ideas, in the same
objectives, in the same need
of changes, in the same Puerta del Sol, but they didn´t know it.
The companions have meet together.
Have you ever taken a decision with thousands of people considering
them all the same?
The square, whatever square, has become a school in democracy – pure,
radical, real, and effective
democracy. (Democracia real ya – real democracy now – is the name of
one of the groups making up the
movement.) While corporations try everyday to captivate audiences sat in front
of the TV, swallowing garbage TV entertainments, the protest is in the form of
an acampada (camp) in the squares. There you have people listening to
each other sitting on the ground taking and sharing the
floor. The sun assembly shines every night at Puerta del Sol.
We build agreement where politicians want rivalry.
We look for solutions where politicians want oppression.
We don't fight: we presist, we protest creatively. Consent,
participation, respect (for one another,
for animals, for the environment), dialogue are our methodology. We raise our
hands and shout: these are our weapons. And work hard and patiently to reach
After thousands of years of human civilization, one system of
production has appeared in the last
period and managed to oppress more people and destroy more resources than ever
Beyond its plastic face, capitalism has brought ruin to the way of
life of millions of human beings, as
well as those regarded as sub-human, the immigrants trying to survive within
the sub-democracy, without rights, a place to live or the entitlement to vote,
living on a pittance, a dishonor for them but a cause of shame for the
rest of us.
The welfare state is being destroyed, huge areas of the planet are
condemned never to become part of
Another system is possible. Stop lying with your corporate media.
This Spanish revolution is a revolution because people have been
changed in the process.
That is the first and the main step forward in any protest, the transformation
it brings about within the individual.
We were angry at the beginning. Capitalism has wasted four centuries
spreading out reasons for the
protest, barriers we have climb over to get a job, to get a house, to get an
education, to get healthcare, to win political, social and cultural
rights, real rights, to defend our dignity.
Corruption, privilege, politicians paid by corporations to manipulate
the economic system, putty in
corporate hands, TV entertainment offered us instead of participation.
Capitalism planted the seeds of the anger of the indignados. But
outrage is not our goal. We are not doing this to remain angry.
The indignation we felt was identified a long time ago. But who were
"we"? Nobody knew. But we do
now. We discovered this "we" in Puerta del Sol on 15th May, 15th, we
discovered that our indignation is wide spread, we are thousands of people, a
booming process of collective conscience.
A new political subject has emerged. We are the first to be
transformed. That is because this
is a revolution.
We have rescued that word from TV and cultural theory. We are giving
back its meaning to the people,
ordinary people throughout Madrid's various neighborhoods made their voices
heard in meetings held last Saturday (May 28). Hundreds of local assemblies
held throughout Spain, with women, men, mothers, grandfathers, students,
professors, workers, immigrants, real people living a real democracy taking
shape in their local areas for the first time in their lives.
Indignation became joy. And now that joy is seeing us through to organizing.
Anger plus joy produces
strength. Strength plus organization is the start of structural change.
Yes, we camp. We have camped and we will camp into the future.
The Puerta del Sol camp is not going to fade away; it is going to
explode, to set up camp deep in
the thinking of people. No police force or government can remove it
from the mind
of the new political subject that has burst onto the stage shouting Democracia
Remove the current electoral system, get rid of the economic
privileges the political class has allowed
itself, make the corporations responsible for the crisis pay for the crisis,
stop the economic reforms dictated by international economic power, and let our
reason govern our world, not the capitalist reason. Claim, support and defend
all this through democratic meetings, horizontally, and peacefully.
It is happening, and it is not a miracle. It is something more
powerful, a lot of people have
experienced the pleasure of recovering the political sense of our lives. Debate
and decide in assembly.
We held two general assemblies yesterday, May 29. The assembly of
local committees in the morning
and the general one at night, lasting more than four hours each. The need and
the plan and the dream of restructuring the camp at Puerta del Sol, a camp that
is a symbol and reference point for so many people. We connected live with
companions in Athens and Paris. We condemned the police actions against them.
Have you ever taken a decision with thousands of people in a public
square? Have you ever experienced
the energy of that collective will and responsibility?
It is hard work. To turn anger into joy, and joy into agreement for
action. Truly hard labor, but
the only one that can give us back our dignity.
Concha Mateos has a PhD in Social Communication and is on the faculty
at a public University
in Madrid. She has been actively involved with Project Censored since 2009.