#BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 11
The elder activists group iaiaoflautas has been back in action this week: on April 26th they occupied the entrance hall to the Home Office Department’s for the autonomous government of Catalonia. The iaioflautas were condemning the increasing repression in Catalonia, and they asked to talk to the local Home Office minister, Felip Puig. Finally they were able to talk to the Home Office’s Secretary General.
In the manifesto that the “iaios” (familiar word for grandparents) read out they condemn:
- The Home Office’s penal code reform plan in order to extend the anti-terrorism law, limitating the right to meetings, preventive detentions, encouragement to inform on others, and a general hardening of the penal code.
- The police repression against the 29M strikers, where several people were arrested. Especially the Mossos d’Esquadra’s (Catalan auotnomical police) behaviour, arresting people arbitrarily, identifying en masse during pacific concentrations, arresting and emprisioning sindicalists on remand and promoting citizen denunciation through a specific website and by asking the universities’ vice-chancellors for lists of students who participate in university assemblies.
- The unfair and incredible imprisonment without trial of Isma, Dani and Javi for participating in a student picket on the 29M, and more recently of the sindacalist Laura
The only explanation that they found to this is that the power is scared and trying to frighten people from protesting for their rights. The iaioflautas would like to say that they are not scared and they will keep fighting for the rights that they fought for and gained when young, as now they can’t bare to see those rights trampled upon.
Article: http://www.lavanguardia.com/sucesos/20120426/54285297572/yayoflautas-ocupan-vestibulo-interior-de-generalitat.html (ES)
2) VALLÈS OCCIDENTAL: A 9-DAY MARCH TO PLAÇA CATALUNYA’S 12M MOBILIZATION (MAY 4TH -MAY 12TH)
After this year of collective thinking, whith several marches towards Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Athens… Vallès Occidental, an area near Barcelona which is really active in the 15M movement, now have a new opportunity to live this kind of protest and to keep adding experiences.
They intend to walk along the Vallès Occidental to summon the people from all the small villages and towns in the area, to mobilize them towards the Global May 12 demonstration in Barcelona, both by the visibility this march will achieve as it moves from town to town, and by the daily assemblies held in the towns through which it passes.
They also intend to approach people who are not yet 15M activists and report the reasons why we must unite and stand up against attacks on fundamental rights we are experiencing globally.
During these 9 days, the march will prepare a “Book of the People” collecting the concerns, discomforts, problems, solutions, alternatives, and complaints each person or entity wishes to contribute, with the idea of delivering it, once in Barcelona, to the Catalan Parliament to make our voices heard.
The Vallès March poster http://twitpic.com/9dx6ur
3) PUIG’S LIST: CATALONIA AS FAR WEST: WANTED!!
Last Wednesday, April 26th, Catalonia’s Home Office opened a website of denunciation, pioneer in Spain. Through this site, citizens can collaborate with the police by informing of any data that may help with the identification of the alleged perpetrators of street violence during the 29M strike.
At the moment of activation, 231 pictures and 3 videos of 68 people where on it: they where named person 1, person 2, person 3 and so on until person 68. Now some of these photos have been withdrawn for several reasons: One of them was underaged and his father forced the police to take down his photographs, and warned that it seemed some more were also underaged and it is therefore illegal to post their photos there. Four of the exposed citizens were members of an independentist group of activists, and as they have spoken out their names, their pics have been withdrown. They gave a press conference in Plaça Catalunya, talking of a citizen platform condemning the mere existence of such a website. Their motto was Donem la cara (we’re not hiding, approx.)
Obviously, this website has triggered many reactions -not only in Spain- among jurists, citizen collectives, and social movements. While Twitter has nicknamed the website as #laListadePuig (Puig’s List, as it reminds us of Schindler’s list) and hacktivists are pulling the site down, journalists have been asking lawyers and judges what they think of the site. Jurists seriously doubt its legality and constitutionality as well as the validity in a trial of evidences collected by blurred pictures and citizens’ tip-offs.
The main accusation most jurists agree upon is that of breaking the fundamental rights of self image and privacy, besides the lack of presumption of innocence.
The list has been accused of spreading fear, creating a suspicious climate among people, and – last but not least – being a further repression brick on the way to fascism that the most alarmist see in the Spanish horizon.
Yet we shall not stop in our route to dignity. The four activists from the independentist movement who were in the list shall be carrying the opening banner for the independentist block on May 1st demo.
The website: http://www20.gencat.cat/docs/mossos_colaboracio/index786d.html
Articles on the website and how it may be illegal:
Article on the 4 activists who gave a press release:
4) CATALAN GROUP OF “YO-NO-PAGO” (I DO NOT PAY) REFUSE TO PAY TOLL MOTORWAY
Proupeatge (catalan for stop toll motorway) is a website where a group of Catalan activists promote the idea of “Stop paying the motorway toll in the higways of Catalonia!”
Catalonia is the only autonomical region where more than half of the high traffic ways have to be payed for, vs. an average 18% in the rest of Spain: Catalans say to be tired of paying for the whole country.
In 2004 the highways were supposed to become free of any charge, but the concession was renewed until the 2021 and Abertis (the international company managing the highway service) had a net income of 720.000 € in 2011, increasing an 8.8%. The president of this company claims that all the highways in Spain will become by payment eventually.
On April 27th a citizen refused to pay it, collapsing the toll-gate of Manresa (north of Barcelona). Then, more drivers started to protest, until the Mossos (the autonomical police of Catalonia) gave a free pass to everyone without any fine. Actually, in the mentioned website you can find a “#novullpagar (catalan for I do not want to pay) legal guide” where you can read:
1. The Catalan Traffic Service and the Mossos do not consider refusing to pay a toll motorway as an infraction, and they can’t fine you as this action is not considered in the General Traffic Regulation as an infraction.
2. When you refuse to pay, the staff of Abertis can just note down the vehicle’s registration number and let you go. This has no consequences. If they try to stop you, they are doing it illegaly and you can ask the Mossos to intervene against them.
3. You have the right to not identify yourself.
The protest is increasing and it seems that from the last 3 weeks until now 1,500 people have refused to pay. Few days ago politicians of ERC (a left wing party) joined the protest, inviting everyone to do the same.
The group made a call for a simultaneous mass action of #novullpagar on May 1st at 12pm, at all the motorway tolls in Catalonia and Valencia.
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522965188
Video of a #novullpagar act made by a driver showing the un-consecuence of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJaP6lY544k&feature=player_embedded
Articles on this issue: http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4006723/20120427/collapse-peatge-manresa-novullpagar-multitudinari.html (CAT)