Minutes of the 25/07/2011 Meeting in Madrid – “Indignados” Protest Marches

On Monday morning, the assembly decided to hold a meeting where the working groups could present their global proposals before setting to work on them.
Assembly dynamics
Presentation of the work done by the following Puerta de Sol working groups: Economy, Environment, Education, Migration, Political
Division into groups to work out the international coordination between working groups
Working session in small groups dedicated to planning 15th October events
Proposal of the Working Group on the Economy

Demand the abolition of tax havens. The HSBC features such services. Tax havens are related to the Pact for the Euro, which must be categorically rejected as the driving force behind cutbacks in social spending.

Collect signatures against tax havens to send to European Parliament. Demand a Tobin tax on financial transactions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobin_tax.
Organise a Europe-wide Grassroots Legislative Initiative (with 1 million signatures in each country)

An explanation of the Tobin tox. The revenue collected would be invested by a European ministry of the economy in different countries.

Repeal Article 104 of the Maastricht treaty, which forces national debt to be sold to private banks.

Collect signatures for a referendum. The  goal of this action is to demonstrate the extent of indignation of the majority of the population. This referendum will consist of four or five “key” questions that the entire group/movement considers to be fundamental. The results of the referendum will be binding and override any economic adjustment. AVAAZ will translate the initiative into all necessary languages.
Public and private banking transparency under democratic control.
Subject European institutions such as the European Bank to citizen control.
A tax on financial transactions.
A moratorium on external debt payment.
Compliance by transnational corporations with the strictest human rights legislation, making them subject to European law and not the law prevailing in the countries where they operating.

Minimal international proposals

Abolition of tax havens.

Application of a Tobin tax.

In Spain, penalise companies [which operate] in tax havens.

Miscellaneous proposals
Work on fiscal disobedience. See relevant websites
A new working group (set up yesterday) with two lines of study: 1) reformulating the national constitution, 2) creating a new constitution originating in the assemblies.

These two lines are applicable across Europe and can be shared as marchers cross the continent to Brussels.

Ten commandments re the 10th July dismantling of the welfare state. Proposal to focus on turning the Pact for the Euro around in Brussels in October.

Pursue a debate on human rights.

Force the State to comply with the rights of migrant workers; repeal of the European immigration law.

The International Working Group together with the Economy Commissions — Create a group in n-1
Use the term peoples rather than countries and/or states. Create a group in n-1 to coordinate with indigenous peoples and similar groups.

Proposal for international coordination (beyond Europe) of social demands

Create a Working Group on town planning and economy
Create a Working Group on Palestine
Increase visibility through the WSF (World Social Forum) by sending reports of what is happening in the M15 movement and by translating 15M News (http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/periodico-15m-news/).
Request the repeal of the Union for the Mediterranean, set up in 1995 to liberalise Mediterranean economies and control migratory movements.
Work with the CEAR (Spanish Commission to Aid Refugees).

Promote contacts with the expatriate community.

Contribute to enhancing comunication amongst assemblies in the north of Africa.

In Tunisia they have begun to collect signatures against agreements with the EU.
A march has been started from Barcelona to Montpellier to build relationships between peoples, without entering key cities such as Brussels.
Environment  Working Group

Take to the beach, take to the hills: expose environmental offences, make national and international calls to create assemblies and movements

Take to the hills

Preparation of content and materiales: degrowth, creating community gardens and city farms
Creation of networks; e.g., rural areas outside of Spain
Strategic vision
Changing society from the bottom upwards, coordinating local movements on agricultural production, fighting for food sovereignty. A reform in 2013 (until 2020) of EU agricultural policy which began with the creation of the EU; this agricultural policy has an impact in far-flung parts of the world.
No negotiating with food supplies; avoid speculation and profit through food.
Pool experiences in an alliance for food sovereignty.
For climatic justice: fight against coal and coal-derived electricity.
For the prohibition of genetically-modified foods.
Against the privatisation of water.
For sustainable mobility as a line of action — this could be a cross-cutting theme which helps to foment degrowth.
Inform people about “peak oil” production
Contact other organisations in Europe to coordinate struggles against nuclear waste and nuclear power plants. Oppose nuclear waste dumps as they are not built as they should be.


Climate change: Anton Uriarte
Peak oil: Ramon Fernandez Duran
Web about exchanging information for the evolution of life and awareness: http://crimentales.blogspot.com/ (in Spanish)

Working Group on Education
This group explained the baseline principles on which it reached a consensus:
Free, secular public education in all stages of life.
For the increase of public expemditure in public education and culture.
For the democratisation of all educational and culture structures.
Educación integral  e inclusiva
For holistic and inclusive education which leads to:
the elimination of subcontracting in education.
the elimination of chartered schools and the gradual establishment of public education system
an educational pact which is not dependent on changes in government
the elimination of religious indoctrination
an increase in public spending on education

There is a research group on this:  http://solatinvestigacion.wordpress.com/

For science as a servant of the people. Against knowledge being lost in labs and offices. INDIGNANT DRAINED BRAINS.
School of free knowledge

Free knowledge harvests better joint intelligence. The more we share intelligence, the more intelligent we become. And with all of this taking place outside the patent sytem.

Current legistlation is beginning to penalise free schools.
For free knowledge and patents.

Working Group on Politics

The two lines of debate underway in the assembly as the social forum was being held were:
The State: promote an internationalist view of the movement, turn to the assemblies for collaboration
The constitution: shortcomings of the constitutional model
Recovering the means of production
Raise awareness about the lobby system, the link that unites politicians and multinational corporations. These lobbies influence politicians and their decisions.

Working Group on Migration

There is a need for coordinated international action on migratory politics, in Europe, the Mexican and United States border, and wherever part of the population does not enjoy freedom or movement because they are migrants.
Spanish policies have become stricter due to EU legislation, the Spanish dentention centres for aliens (CIEs) and police raids.
A worldwide mobilisation for the rights of migrants will be called on 18th December.
The 15th October demonstrations should reflect the need to reverse the EU policies against immigration.
A No Border Camp will be set up at the borders of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey (25-29 August)
Set up a socialised dinghy (in which immigrants reach Spanish shores) to protect the refugees with our passports.
Study migratory flows, which are guided by financial flows; not only towards Europe but also and in particular to migrations between Africa and Asia.
An international march in which westerners learn what it means to be an illegal immigrant.
A reform of the halls of power to establish participatory democracy.
Create grassroots-based alternatives operating under direct democracy.
Create a subcommission of international action which will respond when there are acts of violence in other protest camps.
Begin a grassroots legislative initiative for aEurope-wideTobin tax for inter- country transactions.  Leave the initiative open for debate in each country’s people’s assembly.
Create a debate group on post-colonialism.
The ILO has recognised the rights of domestic workers.
Tomalaplaza in Colombia on 15th August – We should protect the movement in other countries where people put their lives at risk during certain actions
Re the 15th October demonstration. The main problem is now the economy, as it is in Portugal. We must denounce the role of the (debt) rating agencies. There should be an audit on national debts so we know what we owe. For monetary sovereignty.
There should be a commitment to carry out proposals. If someone proposes something, it should mean that they are willing to carry it out. We shouldn’t make proposals for others to implement.
There is no alternative to the Treaty of LIsbon. It should be made clear that the problems are not far away. To a degree there is also famine in Europe.
We are human and these things happen everywhere. Why concentrate only on Europe? We should try to apply them to people the world over.
Local and global events are closely united. We should act locally and think globally.
Tools available for international communication
  • Email: contact.takethesquare@gmail.com
  • International email list: squares@lists.takethesquare.net
  • There are specific working subgoups within N-1

Education: [PENDING]

  • Inform all protest camps of what has been discussed here and ask for feedback on content.
  • Each protest camp should appoint someone to make sure we have their email. This person should also be responsible for uploading proposals to the International Working Group.
  • There was a proposal to set a date for receiving contents. Should we set a final deadline?
  • Another proposal was to set up a team to do this with organisational independence from the assemblies. This team would not need to go to each assembly to explain what they are doing.
  • A  prior idea to organise a full week of activities culminating in the 15th October demonstrations was retabled. This would provide some flexibility around dates for participating.
  • A proposal was put forward to create a road map from now until 15th October to be sent to all concerned so everyone is informed of the proposals.
  • We should reach consensus wherever possible and then see what comes out of it when the matters involved are sent on.
  • Lots of people are not perceptually involved but they will  join sooner or later.
  • When is the information provider identified? Who should provide the information? Should it be an agreement among those present here? If the decision isn’t made here, where will it be made?
  • Someone suggests reviewing the items  on the assemby’s ongoing noticeboard and prepare the road map leading up to 15th October from there.
  • Barcelona is an example of where the commission acts on the information received. For instance, demonstrations have been held outside the embassies of countries with important issues and this attracts people from those countries to the movement.
The assembly subsequently broke up into groups of eight to prepare a road map of actions through 15th October.


Group 1
The first group concentrated on how to circulate information.
This stage, clearly, should be to get the methodology right: this will be a dress rehearsal.
A joint slogan should be adopted and translated into each national language(s), something like,  “We want to live, not just stay alive” or “Global mobilisation”
Is it more effective to decide on one important world square or should each area have its own flagship square.

Have links in each country to download a kit with videos, documents and files to print and ensure that relevant files are uploaded to those links.

Start letting people know so they can prepare. We have one month for organisation and one for publicity.

We should create a maximum of four pages each month for our newspapers, radios and so on. We can use alternative media such as graffiti.

For a simultaneous referendum

Group 2

This group dealt with the content on which our 15th October demands should focus as well as methodology

The subject areas are

*Social rights
*The environment (basic cross-cultural needs that  affect us all, for example, water)
Using PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY as the way to achieve our goals.
Group 3
The third group proposed some slogans which we can begin to use for 15th October.
It put forward a few proposals that could be used to mobilise discontent around the world.
Organise an indefinite general strike as a way to bring about change.
Establish a protocol of how to adopt decisions internationally and present it to all the assemblies
Formulate ways of setting priorities
Try to get experts, artists, performers and so on to show their support

The following was not discussed by the meeting as a whole but were brought up in the group. We could set up networking milestones to interconnect people in the different countries in the sae region. For example, on 3rd August a Skype confererence between people in South America, on 6th August in Europe, etc. In this way everyone who wants to help can begin to use our contacts and make sure that they are ready for the next meeting.

For a decent way of life, planet-wide.
The proposed slogans are:
For a decent way of life
Social values before monetary value
Let the people of the world decide the future of the world
Put an end to borders
For the free movement of knowledge
15th October: reinvent the world day
Now  more than ever: united we stand
Create a PiratePad to agree on a slogan.
Prepare a call for 15th October. A group stayed behind to draft a document for this. Their deadline is 5th September.
Calendar of worldwide mobilisations