Posted 7 months ago on Oct. 22, 2012, 7:11 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
In a move sure to send shivers down the spines of activists and civil liberties advocates everywhere, the Spanish government is taking steps to prohibit the filming and photographing of on-duty police and security forces, the New York Times reports. Described by Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria as a reaction to the recent shocking clashes between police and demonstrators – such as the Madrid anti-austerity actions – this ban is necessary, they claim, to strike a balance "between citizens' right to protest" and the need "to uphold the integrity of state security forces."
The deputy prime minister made his announcement a day after Spain's director general of police, Ignacio Cosido, said that said that draft legislation for such a ban was already in the works.
This position is in direct conflict with European laws governing the freedom of the press and human rights and an affront to all the dedicated citizen journalists putting themselves in harm's way in the service of transparency. The proposed new legislation also makes it illegal to disseminate photos and videos of security forces over social networking sites such as Facebook.
Angel Casana, a lead writer for the national newspaper El Mundo, weighed in on the plan via an online editorial: "If this proposal goes ahead, it is going to be impossible to know about events as they occur on the streets just at a time when streets are at boiling point due to the dire economic situation of many families."
Video livestreamers, in particular, have reason to worry that they will be prohibited from doing their work. There already exists a vast amount of video evidence collected by citizen journalists across Spain that documents indiscriminate police violence during protests that resulted in grave injuries against people who were exercising their constitutionally protected right of political expression.
These streams are not only reliable news footage, but also contribute to historical record of our time and therefore belong not only to Spain, but to the entire world. The idea that a government feels it has to erase part of it's record to ensure it's own safety indicates an awareness that its actions, if documented, will provoke public disapproval and increase dissent.
Igancio Cosido specified that the new rule would prohibit "the recruitment, reproduction or processing of images, sounds or information of members of the security forces in the exercise of its functions as may endanger their life". If they really believe that the routine actions of police officers in dealing with protesters would evoke such an extreme reaction by the general viewing public, perhaps they should review their use of tactics instead of trying to suffocate the evidence. Another world is possible.
Photograph: Chema Moya/EPA
Posted 7 months ago on Oct. 8, 2012, 10:04 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
This short film chronicles recent events in Spain where hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the government and an end to police brutality. Many of the protests ended in clashes with the police. Since the stand off began on September 25th, the images of police brutality have travelled the world over, shocking and inspiring people across Europe and leading to an international day of action on September 29th. This film tells the story of why so many people took to the streets and follows these events as they unfolded.
Go to globaluprisings.org for the full series of mini-documenaries about reactions to the economic crisis around the world.
Madrid On The Brink: S25 → S29 from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.
Posted 7 months ago on Sept. 24, 2012, 12:10 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
real democracy now
The 25th of September the Spanish Parliament building will be surrounded as a symbol to
rescue it from the kidnapping which has turned this institution into a useless organ. A
kidnapping of the popular sovereignty by the Troika and by The Markets, executed
under the blessing and collaboration of most of the political parties. Parties which
have betrayed their electoral programs, their voters and the people in general, breaking
their vows and contributing to people’s gradual pauperization.
A government chosen by the people that once it reaches the power operates on the
opposite that the candidates promised has no legitimacy. Winning an election does not
give the government the right to make do as it wills, betraying the voters who elected it.
The people, under these conditions, have the right to require the government to quit. The
people have the right to have a government which governs according to the popular
choices. This is the essence of democracy and popular sovereignty.
The Parliament will be surrounded by the 25S to tell those who unjustly govern us: we will
disobey their unfair and illegitimate impositions to pay their debt. We will defend our
collective rights: our houses, public education, public health system, employment,
democratic participation and our decent life. We will initiate the process to stop the
responsibles for this crisis. The arsonists who have caused our crisis will be judged
instead of rewarded.
The demonstration on September 25th around the Parliament takes place in order to
recover our responsibility of our own future, rejecting impositions. We want to tell the
ones who have kidnapped Democracy that it is their time to leave. We will require the
resignation of this government, as a first step. Set it free. Let’s start anew our constitutive process: an open process with direct participation where we all determine together political institutions, participation tools, juridical and political mechanisms that we need to guarantee the efficiency of our collective decisions. A continuous constitutive process which collective definition starts, but does not end, on 25S.