The Guardian: It’s difficult to think of more serious disturbances in the Spanish capital since the 1970s.
Last Tuesday night we saw “riots” in Madrid, after a massive demonstration was attacked savagly by the huge police force that had been shipped into town for the day. The day of action named “Surround the Congress” was organised by Coordinadora #25s. There has been much coverage of the goings on, including in international media. But, there has been little international coverage of the fact that the Spanish state have been clearly caught using Agent Provocateurs, or secret undercover cops, to create the “riots”, a tool used often in Spain to discredit peaceful movements and to sway public opinion against “radical” groups demanding change. Late Tuesday night, in the TWITTER-sphere and blogoshpere there was evidence to back up the claims from protesters that this was the case. So much so that, thankfully, the following day in some mainstream Spanish media there was coverage of this fact, this was mostly due to the circulation of this video (explained below). The claims were also reported in an BBC interview with an organiser.
The violence has left 64 people injured, some severly, but it has also created divisions in some of the ranks of Spains social movements. Some feel that the violence was legitamite and came from angry sectors of the movements and that this shows a move to a new and “more serious” phase of the struggle, whereas others feel that it is imperative that the struggles in the streets remain peaceful. Arguments for remaining peaceful were outlined in an earlier post after the violent demonstrations some months back in Barcelona: Moving on… After Spains 29M general strike, how and why peaceful action is the only way to WIN
BBC report in English denouncing police infiltrators
Javier hold his injured father in Madrid (original photo here)
Javier frente a la policía llorando con la foto de su padre herido ayer. #26S (photo source)
Javier in front of the police crying with the phot of his injured father yesterday
Mainstream media and social media reports:
Non Spanish reports:
Most importantly, several first hand witnesses report that plain clothes police officers infiltrated the demonstrations and provoked the confrontations.
Before Its News: Police Agent Provocateurs Caught Inciting Spain #25s Protest Violence (originally posted here)
‘Democracy kidnapped!’ Clashes in Madrid as thousands surround Spanish Congress
“¡Que soy compañero coño!” – A closer look at the claim of agent provocateurs
In this video “Undercover police forced to reveal themselves, Madrid 25S” the commentry makes the following claim:
On 25th September thousands of protestors surrounded the congress building in Madrid. The majority of protestors occupied Neptune Square from approximately 6pm until the early hours of the following morning.
At approximately 8:55 (five minutes before the daily news bulletin was due to air on national television), a group of masked and hooded protestors, sporting red and black flags, provoked a violent reaction from the surrounding riot police, which resulted in the gradual dispersion of the protest and various violent clashes around the surrounding area.
Soon after the first initial incident, various apparent “protestors” wearing hoods and masking their faces (later revealed to be undercover officers) were filmed aiding riot police and detaining other protestors.
Numerous reports point to an attempt by undercover police, posing as protestors, to provoke a confrontation and thus justify the actions of the riot police.
Now lets look at the goings on in more detail:
Some photos circulating:
Police infiltrators provoke violent disturbances
So, Can we win???
When people say it cant be done, we remember Iceland, where it has been already done…
Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to “Occupy Congress” & Stop Austerity. 1 of 2
Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to “Occupy Congress” & Stop Austerity. 2 of 2
VICTORIA: [translated] Because banking is a business where sometimes you make money and other times you lose some, when they have profit, they don’t redistribute, they just distribute it upwards, nothing for the people. But when they lose money, which I don’t think they do, they just take from our pocket and put it in offshore accounts. Well, I don’t understand how, but the government bails them out. Bail us out. Don’t cut education. Don’t cut healthcare.
Full transcript from Democracy Now at Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to “Occupy Congress” and Stop Austerity
WE BATTLE ON (PEACEFULLY, AND HOPEFULLY WITHOUT POLICE INFILTRATION)
1) Despite the serious incidents of yesterday, we want to convey a positive idea: the massive affluence made 25s a success. Two generations have broken the strong deal cut during the Transition [from dictatorship to democracy] and have generated a social protest without comparison in the recent history of Spain. Whatever happens from now on, 25S will be considered a fresh start.
2) While the Government had been trying to criminalize social protests and portraited the demonstration as a coup d’etat, the reality was different. As it has seen, people of all ages and conditions visualized the kidnapping of democracy, under the excuse of the economic crisis. In fact, this call has been an example of citizen’s political courage to attend despite the government’s intolerable blackmail and fear campaign.
3) In front of a deaf and blind power, we reaffirm our position of non-violent civil disobedience. We condemn the provocation and infiltration techniques that were used in yesterday’s manifestation by the police to dissolve the protest. We are the first ones to regret that the focus on the violent escenes set aside the real reason that led us to the streets, which is no other that the effective occupation of our free capacity of political decision. Before the police charged, the event was non-violent and civic. It was clear that the action did not pursue to interfere in the regular work of the Parliament. The support of some members of parliament and parliamentary groups just proves that the iniciative did not seek, as announced, to literally ocuppy the Congress, but to attract the attention to the fatal distance existing between citizens and their representatives. The damges in several public offices from Izquierda Plural (a political group whose offices are nearby the protest) proves the irrationality of a Government that tries to hide its weakness and absence of legitimacy acting in an authoritarian way.
4) This has not been just a demostration of discontent, but a political statement. It would be a big mistake if, after these events, the Government does not listen these voices and keeps disregarding the desesperation and suffering its measures are causing in the spanish population.
We are still in the streets and we have no fear.