15M – Real Democracy now

Democracia Real Ya

The ‘indignados’, so-called “indignants” (or outraged) have been on everyone’s lips for weeks, but there is still a lot of people who don’t know who they are, what they are asking for, and why are they demonstrating… Welcome to the Spanish Revolution! Everything began to take shape on May 15, when demonstrations were held in more than 50 Spanish cities and towns. The Arab spring, the protests in Iceland and the publication of the book ‘Time for outrage!’ by Stéphane Hessel, were some of the seeds that germinated in the social networks. That was the moment when thousands of people took to the streets, each one with his own particular reason to be outraged, loosely organised by the civic platform ‘¡Democracia Real Ya!’ (Real Democracy Now!). At the end of the biggest demonstration, in Madrid, a group of people decided to stay overnight in Puerto del Sol square. Police tried to move them on, which had the opposite effect, so that by the next day there were hundreds of people camping in this and many other squares of the main Spanish cities, including Málaga.

Work committees were created immediately, some to keep the camps organised running kitchens, cleaning and making sure the environment was respectful, while others spread the movement so it could reach as many people as possible through information, communication, talking to worker’s associations, people in neighborhoods and villages. Meetings began to be held daily (in Málaga at 7pm in Plaza de la Constitucion), providing a forum where everyone could express their discomfort, outrage or proposals for change. Proposals were discussed, and everyone could have a turn, as the aim was for consensus and there was no rush. Weekly demonstrations were held, and thousands of people participated and proposals became more specific: electoral reform in order to achieve a more representative and proportional electoral law, fight against political corruption, real separation of power and creation of civil mechanisms to control politicians. This was a call for a real democracy, not limited to a vote every four years, but one that would establish mechanisms for real citizen participation such as referendums on the most important issues and to make civic proposals easier.

In Málaga, as in other Spanish cities, meetings were spreading gradually to the suburbs and villages. There are now weekly meetings in Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Ronda, Antequera, Coín, Alhaurín de la Torre and Axarquía. In Málaga city meetings are now held in almost every neighbourhood, from Churriana to El Palo, and information can be found about times and places on malaga.tomalaplaza.net.

¡Democracia Real Ya! organised a second demonstration on June 19, when thousands of demonstrators traveled from the main districts in Málaga towards City Hall, creating the biggest demonstration to date. About 25,000 people demonstrated peacefully, holding banners with humorous or pointed slogans and shouting “They call this democracy, but it is not”, “No hay pan para tanto chorizo”, “Why does the market control us if we haven’t voted for it?” amongst others. That day the camp in Málaga took down the tents, after being on the street for a month, not to disappear but to expand; to keep decentrilising the movement, to go to each neighborhood, each village, each citizen. A week later, the “outraged march” began to make its way from Málaga towards Madrid, where, on July 23, it joined all the other marches which had left from other parts of Spain, holding meetings in each village and town as they passed through. Thousands of ‘indignados’ joined them until they arrived at the capital. Another demonstration has been organized for October 15, the third demonstration aiming to mobilize Spain and other European countries. If you are willing to show your outrage, if you think change is necessary and possible, if you have ideas to share, join the movement in your village or in your area. Go to the nearest meeting, listen and participate. Put your two pennies worth in because we are going to change this together. Because if those at the bottom move, those at the top will fall…

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