Below is an English translation of a leaflet written and distributed by some people at the protest encampment in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza. This ongoing encampment (“acampada”), with people actually living together for days and now for more than two weeks in these plazas, is part of a nation-wide movement involving at least 60, and perhaps as many as 80, cities across Spain, involving tens of thousands and perhaps over a hundred of thousand in all. The movement has called itself various names, including Real Democracy Now (“Democracia Real Ya”), Spanish Revolution (in English), and Take the Plaza (“Toma la Plaza”), and the participants refer to themselves as “los indignados”. While Real Democracy Now has been the most prominently used of these, it is clear from this leaflet that there is some difference of viewpoint on the question of Democracy. The people in the encampments have formed assemblies to discuss their shared situation and what they think should be done to change it. Protests in the plazas began on May 15 under the slogan “we are not commodities (merchandise) in the hands of bankers and politicians”, primarily by young people who are painfully aware of the bleak future facing them in this society. But the movement quickly developed into one encompassing all age groups. It has also spread to various other countries, including Greece (where there have also been many thousands involved), Italy, and France, and on a smaller scale to almost every European country.
We were many over these last days, who have flowed into the streets to protest. All of us identify with the rejection of politicians, trade unions and bosses. Above all, we realize that we have reached the limit. We are tired of being the pariahs of this world and can no longer accept that a few people fill their pockets and live like kings, while all the others must tighten their belts ever more in order to maintain the health of the sacrosanct economy. We know that to change all that we must struggle on our own, outside of parties, trade unions and other representatives who want to take charge of us.
Above all, this reality raises a fundamental question that affects the whole world: the contradiction between the interests of the economy and that of humanity. That is what our rebellious brothers in North Africa understood perfectly, that is what we understand here today: when the situation becomes unsustainable, we have to come out and fight. We have borne the unbearable; we have suffered the worst deterioration of our living conditions in decades. But finally we have said enough, and here we are, expressing our rejection of this entire infernal system that transforms our lives into commodities.
We definitely want to express our clear-cut refusal of the label of citizen. This label is tagged onto all people, from the politician to the unemployed, from the trade union boss to the student, from the richest capitalist to the most miserable worker. Completely antagonistic lifestyles are all mixed up. For us this is not a citizen’s struggle. It is a class struggle between exploiters and exploited, or between proletarians and bourgeois as some say. Unemployed, workers, pensioners, immigrants, students …we’re all part of the social class onto which fall all the sacrifices. The politicians, bankers, bosses… belong to the other class which profits, also to a greater or lesser degree, from our impoverishment. Those who do not want to see the reality of this class society, live in a dream world. So, here we are, protesting in many public squares of many cities around the country, and it is time to reflect, it is time to concretize our positions and to clearly orient our practice. For sure, there is great heterogeneity. There is a confluence of comrades who have struggled for a long time against this system, others who are protesting for the first time, some for whom it’s clear that it is necessary to go “all the way:(“we want everything, now” says a banner at the Puerta del Sol). Some speak of reforming certain things, others still are disoriented, others just want to show that they have had enough … And we must not ignore that there are also those who are fishing in troubled waters, those who want to channel the discontent on order to neutralize its force, taking advantage of the indecision and the weaknesses that we manifest.
Something that we have discussed with many comrades is that our strength is in this rejection, in this movement of negation of everything that prevents us from living. That is what has forged our unity in the streets. We believe it is necessary to continue this way, to deepen and to better concretize our rejection. Because our strength comes from this negation, it is clear to us that we’re not going to solve our problems by demanding a better democracy, as some do, not even by demanding the best democracy we can imagine. Our strength consists in the rejection that we manifest of real democracy, the democracy “of flesh and bones,” that we suffer from day by day, and which is nothing other than the dictatorship of money. There is no other democracy. To strive for that ideal and wonderful democracy is a trap, the praises of which have been sung since our childhood.
In the same way, what’s at stake is not improving this or that aspect or life, because the essential condition will still be the dictatorship of the economy. It’s a matter of completely transforming the world, changing everything. Capitalism cannot reform itself; it must be destroyed. There is no intermediary way. It is necessary to go to the root of the matter; it is necessary to abolish capitalism.
We have occupied the streets a few days before the parliamentary circus [the regional elections in Spain], where whoever is elected will carry out the directives of the market. Good, this is a first step. But we cannot leave it at that. We have to continue the movement, to create and consolidate structures and organizations for the struggle, for the discussion between comrades, to confront the repression that has already struck us in Madrid and Granada. We have to realize that without social transformation, without social revolution, everything will continue as before.
We call for continuing to demonstrate our rejection of the spectacle of the electoral circus in all possible ways. We call to say everywhere: “Out with them all!” But we also call for continuing the struggle after Sunday, May 22. So that we can go much further than we already have. We cannot let the bonds of solidarity we are building perish.
We call for the formation of structures to carry on the struggle. We call for contact among us, to coordinate the battle, to struggle in the assemblies that are being created, in order to make them organs for fighting, for conspiring, for discussing the struggle, and not meetings of citizens. We are calling to organize ourselves throughout the whole country to fight against the tyranny of the commodity.
BLOQUE “¡QUE SE VAYAN TODOS!” (The “Out with Them All”- Bloc)
May 19, 2011
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