#indignados: fall and rise and fall of a movement
The third week of protests in Sol starts under several points of criticisim. Shop owners argue that sales around the area are down by 80% due to the camp. Media is not paying as much attention as they used to on the first two weeks, and when they do they tend to focus on negative issues, such as the slowness of the assambleary decision taking process and the disagreement between supporters. Indeed, original supporters claim that Sol is going the wrong way, wasting too much effort on demands that are way beyond the original movement: feminisms, animal rights defenders, pro-Palestinian and Saharawi groups, gay and lesbian, 9/11 truth groups, etc. Furthermore, activities such as batukadas (massive brazilian-style bongo drumming), Tibetan bowl ceremonies, homeopaty and spirituality sessions, among others, are held regularly, all of which are fine, but don’t stick to the original spirit and make the camp look closer to a squat that to a wide popular movement. Disenchanted supporters claim for an end to the camp and such activities, and a return to the original demands and more blunt actions.
Nevertheless, since last week the camp is trying to spread to each district of Madrid, where weekly popular assambleary meetings are to be held. Although the success of the first one (last Saturday 28th May), Sol wants to make sure the gears are working fine before leaving the camp. Last Friday’s police’s brutal crush with protesters in Barcelona also gave new energies and a reason to stay (as a response, 25,000 people met on Barcelona that evening). And finally, a consensus on four key points to demand, and how to demand it, is being tried to agree.
Furthermore, protests are spreading timidly across Europe. On 30th May police cleared protesters in Paris’ Bastille. Greece is seeing massive demos everyday. As analysts say, “these revolutions are going to spread through the summer in Europe, and by the winter it’s going to go global”. Does Sol need to resist as an example?