Today I went to Plaza Catalunya here in Barcelona to watch the #spanishrevolution movement gather and protest.
Plaza Catalunya, 19 de Mayo 2011 #acampadabcn
It is still a bit unclear exactly what it is that the protesters are trying to accomplish with these nationwide protests, they talk about change, about jobs, about the politicians, the bankers, the crisis, the big revolution and a better future. Chanting “Yes we camp!” while camping on the plazas around the country during the days, and making noise and organising big talks during the nights. All of this, continuously since the first protest on the 15th of May, and right before the elections that are due this Sunday, the 22nd of May.
What I witnessed today at Plaza Cataluña was a never ending noise from frying pans, keychains, whistles, trumpets, drums, singing and clapping. This went on together with dancing and jumping, nonstop for more than an hour. Tinnitus guaranteed.
After that, a big van with speakers was driven in to the middle of the plaza, and the crowds, thousands of people, sat down on the ground. The talks were on and after a short instruction presentation, presented together with a sign language interpreter, anybody who wanted to talk could come forward and express their thoughts, complaints and solutions though the microphone. The people would listen and either agree by shaking their hands in the air, disagree by forming an X with their arms, or tell the person they have been speaking for too long by doing another, pre-decided movement. So beautifully organised, so democratic!
I’m not sure if and how chanting and making noise will bring Spain to economical stability or make the politicians and bankers give up their salaries. I do, however, strongly believe that the simple fact of old ladies, little children, hippies, young students, parents, immigrants, activists and men in suits – thousands of them – singing, making noise, jumping together and talking – has a very positive effect in itself on the society.
So, even though my ears still hurt from all the noise, the way these people have organised their own revolution has been beautiful to witness and I support them in their continued peaceful and democratic fight for change. Whatever that change might be.