How Spain Launched a Revolution
Saturday 18 June 2011
By Ter Garcia, Waging Nonviolence | Report
Just a few months ago, Spain was like much of the Western world: quietly struggling with the economic crisis and the social cuts government took to deal with it. But then something changed. The citizenry lost their confidence in labor unions and political parties and decided to take matters into their own hands.
The first steps toward the massive uprising of May 15 were taken in February, when a bunch of activists and bloggers created a Facebook group to coordinate the various elements of society.
“When we were just a few, the idea of a massive mobilization was proposed, which would bring together the many disparate groups and people,” said Klaudia Álvarez, one of the Facebook group’s original participants. “Everybody liked the idea and so we started working on that as the first collective action.” She is now a communications coordinator for the national grassroots campaign Democracia Real Ya (DRY).
There is no single organization behind the campaign, but rather, as Álvarez noted, “angry individuals who felt the need to do something about the current situation and who found each other on the Internet and decided to start working together.” They were bloggers and activists, like Violeta, administrator of the blog We Have the Right to Work; members of the National Association of Unemployed People; members of the Campaign for People Affected by Their Mortgage; or people from the hacktivist group Anonymous. They were from all around Spain and communicated through social networks without having much previous knowledge of nonviolent social movements.
“Almost all of us were beginners in these matters and the little training we had came from different manuals about peaceful resistance and the rights of demonstrators that we looked up on the Internet,” Álvarez explained. She cited a publication called Civil Defense Manual by Grupo 17 de Marzo—an activist lawyer collective—as particularly influential.
To read the full story, click on this link: http://www.truth-out.org/how-spain-launched-revolution/1308413538
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