After what seems like a summer break, things have been heating up in Spain, especially in Barcelona. Last week there was a massive general strike in Spain, which was mostly peaceful. But here in Barcelona the city looked like a warzone with fires burning, banks smashed up, a starbucks smashed and burned out, police shooting a massive amount of rubber bullets for over 3 hours. One protester has lost an eye, another has a ruptured spleen, many injuries
We have already seen huge violent protests in Greece, where already people have died and tragically a 77 year old man took his own life in protest this morning outside Stgyma square. Are we going to see a far more violent confrontation between the radical, and mostly anarko, elements of activists in the city against a police force that is getting ever more violent and a head of command, Puig, hell bent on such a showdown… OR, can we expect a growth of a more non violent, but still direct action based form of resistence to the Increadibly harsh measures of austerity?
As a pacifist, I would argue that the peaceful road is the one that we should go down. Not soley for the spiritual reasons for pacifism, but more so that I believe that this strategy is the only one that can get us to that better place that we really feel we will get to, soon!
To outline the hows and whys of how a pacifist approach can and will change the world, I`ll direct you to a very excellent recent talk: Chris Hedges And Occupy Debate Black Block Violence
Previous vids about debate between use of violence or not, from COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009: (Copenhagen ’09) Reclaim Power, that talk, that “riot”, that action, the consequences
Spanish General Strike: Spain: General strike demonstrations on March 29th | General strike marks another step forward for indignados (Reflections on a Revolution ROAR) | Spanish general strike: Notes from the margins (Red Pepper) Videos: LaTele Punt Cat: A multitude of multitudes | Inicidents from the 29M strike in Barcelona (in Catalan)
Previous #Occupy post: Changing the world in the Network Age | The Cancer in Occupy (Chris Hedges) VIDEOS: RT- Chris Hedges: ‘Black Bloc’ Could Kill OWS | Chris Hedges And Occupy Debate Black Block Violence | Occupy Wall Street – Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges | Chris Hedges – “Nonviolent Citizen Resistance to War and Global Climate Change” | Police mark OWS anniversary by beating up the protesters | Michael Moore: ‘This is just the beginning of OWS’ (RT) | Van Jones on Building Occupy-Like Mass Movements | Guardian articles: Spain’s general strike shows first signs of rebellion against austerity | Eurozone crisis live: Violence in Barcelona amid Spanish general strike – as it happened | Spain’s general strike is also a day of action for the 99% | Spanish Economic situation: Spain announces ‘extraordinary’ €27bn budget cuts Facebook networks: 15M: Marcha Bruselas | European Revolution Occupy Wall Street – Occupy Mainstream Media – Spanish Revolution – Occupy Boston – Occupy Denver – Occupy Liverpool – Occupy the London Stock Exchange | Acampadabcn | Dandalion Salad: Chris Hedges: Occupy Debate on Black Block Violence + Kevin Zeese on the Status of the Occupy Movement | Chris Hedges: Black Bloc Could Kill OWS| 29M photos: 29M Vaga General :: Huelga General :: General Strike | Greece: Pensioner shoots himself at Greek Parliament, refuses to ‘search for food in garbage’ — RT | Greece shows us how to protest against a failed system | “Peoples of Europe, Rise Up” Greece’s message being taken up by France, and maybe beyond too?
Michael Moore: “The hardest part of the struggle is already done”
Inicidents from the 29M strike in Barcelona (in Catalan)
We have already seen an escalation in police violence in the last few months, since the new right wing conservative government came to power in Spain. Especially with the shocking police violence in Valencia agains, not university students but school children. Currently there is a 16 year old girl whose head is held together by metal pins after having her head smashed in by Spanish police.
Predictably, most of the neoliberal media’s coverage of the general strikes in Spain focuses on the targeted property damage that took place during the protests in Barcelona, where hundreds of masked citizens seriously damaged several major banks, a Starbucks and the Opus Dei-related, upper-class hypermarket El Corte Inglés. It is no mistake that conservative representatives of that country’s eroding institutions are resorting to desperate terms like “criminal instinct” in order to paint the protests as some form of violence. Faced with a situation in which property destruction is increasingly accepted as legitimate, and having exhausted their repertoire of fear-inducing discourse and repressive measures in the weeks prior to the mobilizations, the only thing left for a proto-fascist like Felip Puig (the Catalan Minister of the Interior) to criminalise is that human instinct which favours life over property.
** Chris Hedges And Occupy Debate Black Block Violence
By Chris Hedges
The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state.
With the escalation of police tactics at many Occupations, some Occupiers argue for more active resistance. Chris Hedges and Kevin Zeese are questioned by DC Occupiers over future tactics at a seminar sponsored by a Ralph Nader group.
If we dont break our addiction to fossil fuels were done for, simple. All those on (occupy) Wall street know that.
In the 17th century speculators were hung, now they run wall street. Speculation is a disease.
Chris Hedges – “Nonviolent Citizen Resistance to War and Global Climate Change”
RT: Where next for the Occupy movement
Violence and the media
2011 International road to dignity
2012 road to dignity – Spanish actions (29Marzo = 29 March)
Greece shows us how to protest against a failed system
John Holloway, 17 February 2012
Love and rage, rage and love. Love has been an important theme in the struggles that have redefined the meaning of politics over the last year, a constant theme of the Occupy movements, a profound feeling even at the heart of the violent clashes in many parts of the world. Yet love walks hand in hand with rage, the rage of “how dare they take our lives away from us, how dare they treat us like objects”. The rage of a different world forcing its way through the obscenity of the world that surrounds us. Perhaps.
That pushing through of a different world is not just a question of rage, although rage is part of it. It necessarily involves the patient construction of a different way of doing things, the creation of different forms of social cohesion and mutual support. Behind the spectacle of the burning banks in Greece lies a deeper process, a quieter movement of people refusing to pay bus fares, electricity bills, motorway tolls, bank debts; a movement, born of necessity and conviction, of people organising their lives in a different way, creating communities of mutual support and food networks, squatting empty buildings and land, creating community gardens, returning to the countryside, turning their backs on the politicians (who are now afraid to show themselves in the streets) and creating directly democratic forms of taking social decisions. Still insufficient perhaps, still experimental, but crucial. Behind the spectacular flames, it is this searching for and creation of a different way of living that will determine the future of Greece, and of the world.
For this coming Saturday action throughout the world has been called for in support of the revolt in Greece. We are all Greeks.
A 77-year-old Greek man has committed suicide in central Athens by the nation’s parliament, shooting himself with a handgun in apparent financial desperation.
Eyewitness reports say that the man shouted “So I won’t leave debts for my children” before turning the gun on himself. Others claimed he said nothing.
Greek state media reports the man left a suicide note saying “The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival. And since I cannot find justice, I cannot find another means to react besides putting a decent end [to my life], before I start searching the garbage for food.”
Messages on the tree in Syntagma Square read “Who’s gonna be next”, “Not a suicide; a murder” (Photo from twitter.com by user spyros gkelis)
29M Vaga General :: Huelga General :: General Strike – Photos from Spain
29M Vaga General :: Huelga General :: General Strike – Barcelona poster in many languages
Vaga: What is a general strike (Catalan)
29M Barcelona poster in Arabic and Hindi
General Strike for social and environmental justice: ecologists in action
Huelga 29M – Strike 29 March (barcelona grafitti)
99% see you in the streets – 29M
(This article was written on April 4th – but not published untill May 10th 2012)