Indignados in Spain haven been occupying local banks with lively noise demos and caceroladas, or pot-banging protests, in Barcelona, Madrid, and other cities. In Barcelona, protesters have targeted La Caixa in a campaign called Occupy Mordor, a reference comparing the bank to the land of evil from J.R.R. Tolkien mythology. The Spanish government recently bailed out another major bank (Bankia) while under threat from the European financial sector, who promised total market chaos across Europe if their demands were not met. Spanish Occupiers – the 15-M or indignad@s movement, who largely inspired #OWS – are fighting back by expanding their banking protests.
The banking bailout is tied to the wider program of austerity being enforced in Spain and across Europe, as well as in North America. It’s incredible the noise and the visibility we can reach with a few but motivated people, and with our big mouvement, if individuals or collectives can come one day by week or just one hour it’s perfect, it’s organic and the non-stop protest take form and can be very dammaging. 20 non-stop days of pot-banging (since the 15 of May) with daily conferences and assemblies made that we don’t need to be thousands, the important is the millions of cars beeping for this fight, the thousands people passing by the infopoint and the connexions between us witch are generating more actions and projects. We don’t need to camp, we keep our energy to be more visible and creative. Below is our Manifesto from Barcelona
We have a government that is directly involved in bank fraud and an economic elite that does not hesitate to rob us. Together, they have doomed the lives of millions of people to the abyss, and consequently sent the country into total bankruptcy. Without any shame, they continue to enrich themselves and tell us to the face that they will not investigate any charges. Evictions, insider scams, and millions of empty houses left to speculation fuel a descent into poverty where the only certainty is that there is no right of the people they are not willing to sacrifice in order to save the banks.
It is time not only to protest, but to take action: While they live the high life and rescue the banks that rob us using our own tax dollars, they ask us to tighten our belt without any type of decency. While increasing taxes, they cut services in order to privatize our basic rights like transportation, and the rising cost of living forces us to work much longer for less money. They are using the crisis to defraud us. Why do we pay taxes if in the end we are forced to pay for the services we need anyway? And how are we supposed to pay if we cannot find work?
Since May 15th, we have protested La Caixa (#LaCaixaEsMordor) every day at Diagonal (Maria Cristina stop on metro line 3) from 17h to 20h in the afternoon. We bang pots (cacerolada) to show that this hoax must end now, and at 20h we hold talks to explain how different collectives are organizing to struggle together. For example, we conducted talks by Platform Affected by Foreclosures on how to deal with the crisis differently.
This Saturday [today], we will plant a new seed at Bankia. We will exercise our right to freedom of expression and rebellion.
Here is what could be done with the 23,500 million € that the government will give Bankia:
- Increase pensions by 20%
- Cover 81.5% of unemployment cases
- Increase the scholarships program by 18.5%
- 280% increase in education and health care spending
- Increase by 13% Spanish social spending
- Multiply by 11 the Official Development Assistance
- Increase policy development work by 4 times
- 25-fold increase of investment in culture
- Increase infrastructure investment by 106%
- Pay for 4 years spending on development research
Acampada Barcelona International (English)