Calmness & Awareness

Some more pictures from yesterday, this time from the calm Plaza Catalunya just next to the Ramblas and the Champions League celebrations. I guess you can see the huge contrast. More of my photos from the #spanishrevolution can be found on flickr.

That’s it about yesterday’s events. Thank you all very much for the support and for spreading my blogs and photos through twitter and pressing the like on facebook button on my posts. By sharing information we get more confident, independent and aware of the situation around the world. Cheesy enough, I would like to tell people to please stop relying on the local newspaper as the only source of information.

When non-violence wins.

Today I witnessed two completely distinct and separated worlds within just metres from each other.

The loud and very violent football supporters celebrating the victory of Barcelona in Champions League: explosions, fire, jumping around, singing and drinking on the Ramblas.

Then, just some metres away, Plaza Catalunya: surrounded by a wall of people standing quietly with signs saying: NO TO VIOLENCE.

Passing them calmly, anyone was allowed to enter. And when inside, one discovered tranquility, peace and a completely relaxed and harmless atmosphere, where people were simply sitting on the ground talking. The difference between these two places, the sensation they were giving and the people that were participating – was completely overwhelming.

I moved from fear and the adrenaline caused by firecrackers and people running away in panic – straight into an oasis of calmness – in a matter of minutes.

However, around 3 o’clock in the morning the sirens of the Special Forces started to sound and the situation got a lot more tense. We were informed that the football supporters were being dispersed from the Ramblas and that they were moving fast, followed by the police, towards the square.

The people were urged to strengthen the “human wall” and everybody chanted “NO TO VIOLENCE! NO TO VIOLENCE!”. Nobody was allowed to pass and I happened to find myself on the outside part of the “wall” as I had been shooting pictures which felt both uneasy and threatening. There was this wall of people, standing with their signs, there was me, and then there were huge amounts of panicking supporters aggressively trying to push their way through.. and behind them – violent police shooting rubber bullets.

The police tried various times to enter from the different sides of the square, but all of them had been closed in the same way by the people. I got through eventually, and the feeling of how powerful and peaceful the protection had been was just amazing.

The police left at 4.30am, applause sounded in the square and people were hugging.

I’m completely touched by how beautiful this movement is. Barcelona won today – twice. All my love goes to Plaza Catalunya!

Click the pictures for flickr.

Goodnight and see you tomorrow!

White hands and flowers

Today evening there were more people than I have ever seen at Plaza Catalunya. The masses were clearly upset about what had happened earlier today and there were many that loudly wanted to express their disapproval.

With colourful flowers and with their hands painted white, people of all ages showed the world that the movement would insist to keep the resistance non-violent no matter what, and that what they had witnessed today wasn’t going to be accepted by the society.

I’m very curious about where this is going.


I woke up this morning reading tweets from @acampadabcn urging people to come to Plaza Catalunya as the police had arrived and was acting violent towards the non-violent protesters. I got there an hour later, along with hundreds of other people.

I don’t scream but I take pictures, because police brutality is not okay, and the world needs to see this. Barcelona sin miedo is trending worldwide on Twitter. So is Plaza Cataluña, Felip Puig and now #confloresalas7 – the power of internet is incredible.

The people have taken over the square again. And at 7 they urge everybody to join the protest, with flowers. I’ll do my best to be there.

Here’s some photos from earlier today, the helicopter is still around.

27 de Mayo 2011, Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

#AcampadaBCN 20 de Mayo 2011

Following are some impressions from today’s protest at Plaza de Catalunya. It’s been a wonderful experience and I chose to head back home while a lot of people stayed at the square to spend the night.

The protests were declared illegal at midnight because of the upcoming elections, despite that, the police chose not to interfere and the people got to stay on the squares around Spain. The ambience surrounding this movement is amazing and once again, the organisation is exemplary. The discussions continued until just an hour ago and some interesting ideas were brought through. More about that tomorrow.

I don’t have much to add tonight except from the fact that I don’t think International Press is giving this event enough attention, there’s something big happening in Spain right now and the world is missing out. Even if this might not change the world, something has already changed in the minds of the people participating, and in terms of Social Psychology, this is one of the most interesting events I have witnessed.

Here are some pictures from today and I want to send a big thank you to Barcelona, and thank you to Plaza Catalunya! Manos arriba!

¡No tenemos miedo!

Tonight will be a big night,

Children at Plaza Catalunya in front of a sign saying No tenemos miedo – “We are not afraid”

I passed by Plaza Catalunya earlier today to see how the indignados were doing and it’s just wonderful how well they have managed to organise themselves. There are activities for children, a huge kitchen where people cook huge pots of coffee and food, a communications centre, international translation services, information centres, organised speeches, and activities, music, theatre, art, books, people, more people and big maps of the whole plaza with instructions and information. What strikes you is that every person is invited and welcome to participate, it’s not an organisation that has mounted the whole thing, it’s everybody, the people. There is no chaos as I was expecting at first, The whole thing seems very well thought through and as I said, organised, which for me makes it all much more legitimate, real and powerful.

To those who still haven’t understood what this is all about, there is already a great wiki for it.

I will be at the plaza tonight to support the protesters and listen to the debates. And of course, to take pictures.

I’m going now, see you there!

The Spanish Revolution

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.