This article is the second part of the previous one: https://revistaloa.com/elecciones-del-2-diciembre-reflexion-las-causas/, which exposed the reasons that took to the results of the Andalusia regional elections the past December 2. This article is a reflection about the consequences that these elections has had.
First of all, I must recall some points from the previous article that, summed up to some new ones, will help us to understand the situation.
- A late reawakening of the Spanish – representative – parliamentary monarchy. After Francisco Franco’s decease, the Spanish general elections, held on July 15th 1977, was an authentic reflection of how society’s thinking was shifting. In these elections the moderate parties were clearly victorious: The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party – PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) won 118 seats in the Congress of deputies, and the Union of the Democratic Centre – UCD (Unión de Centro Democrático) won 165. At the same time, the extremist parties got a pretty low representation: the Comunist Party of Spain – PCE (Partido Comunista Español) won 20 seats, and the right-wing People’s Alliance – AP (Alianza Popular) just 16. This center-left tendency was also shown by the overwhelming victory of Felipe Gonzalez, Secretary-General and candidate of the PSOE, since it meant the adoption of social-democratic postulates.
- The world crisis that of the beginning of this decade – discussed in depth in the previous article – not only caused the rise of “populisms”, but it also resulted in the end of the Spanish two-party-system and the apparition and/or empowerment of new parties, such as Podemos, Ciudadanos and Vox. Moreover, the ideologies of Podemos and Vox contrasted the dominant moderate tendency of that time, since they were much more radical.
- The clash among the present nationalisms in a society which is moving towards the global free market. In our case, between the Catalonian nationalism and the Spanish nationalism. It says without saying that nationalisms bring people from the same homeland together but also detach them from the rest, who are considered inferiors. To de clear: in Andalusia a lot of people are worried about the unity of Spain.
- The lack of political representation of the Andalusian left-wing, which influenced a very high level of electoral abstention (41.35%). Tired of 40 years of socialist hegemony and disappointed with Podemos, many left-wing voters decided not to vote.
For whatever reasons, those were the results. And a lot of people didn’t like that. This radical change of the political situation took many people to go out to the streets of the Andalusian cities as a protest.
CHRONICLE OF THE 3D: THE DAY AFTER THE ANDALUSIA ELECTIONS
My goal is to talk about what happened during the following days, without lies, from the perspective of someone who was there, living the facts, and writing with as much objectivity as my human subjectivity lets me do it.
The protest didn’t have any specific leaders or any coordination. No unions or parties were on charge of all these people. It made the police’s work a lot harder, they were perplexed and struggled to find a way to control the traffic. Due to this, the protesters could keep moving forward chanting against fascism: “Here are the anti-fascists!”.
This banner brought together a lot people from different groups and ideologies. Ideologies that were shown on many of the flags that were there. That day, they all marched against fascism, as a whole. (Considering as “fascist” any tyrannical and autocratic government that does not respect human rights.)
Many of the main streets of the city, such as Recogidas, Camino de Ronda, Villarejo, Caleta or Gran Vía were full of these protesters, and the police could not handle it. After returning to the starting point, they did a sit-in. By doing this, they blocked the traffic of one of the main roads of Granada.
This reaction to the result of the elections was similar in many other cities of Andalusia and, since it was kind of a chaos, an assembly was organized the following afternoon. There, they thought of the possibility of spending the night on an improvised camping right in front of the city hall, in order to maintain the antifascist movement that was emerging among the Andalusian youth.
They took advantage of the situation to make different work groups to start doing everything that was necessaire – such as getting food – to be able to spend there not just that night, but also a couple more days. Everyone there collaborated and worked together in order to achieve these goals, helping one way or another. At bed time, either in tends or cardboard boxes, a flame of hope lightened the darkest night.
The next morning started early and cold. This had frightened many people, reducing the size of the camp to a couple of dozens of people. Taking advantage of the incipient sun and the absence of police, the small group of people began to work on their identity, in a horizontal assembly (which means there was not an specific leader), embodying the principles that were emerging among the cardboards, that were the main building material. The media also became interested in the remnants of the 15-M (or Anti-austerity movement: peaceful massif protests that took place in Madrid in 2001) camped in Plaza de la Gracia in Granada. For a change, each of them gave a manipulated version, according to their subjectivities, in a very superficial way.
In those first defining assemblies it was decided to work based on a horizontal mode of organization. It was also stablished: a long-term objective — which consisted in stopping the entry of Vox to the regional parliament — the logistics and some necessary ideological labels that would define the mouvement, such as anti-homophobic, anti-xenophobic, anti-racist, anti-sexist, trans-feminist, self-defensive…
Around 11 am, the police tried to negotiate amicably with those stationed there, and even understanding their work, their motivations and their position; I cannot help but think that the police’s strategy was blackmail, offering nothing in return for everything, with the intention of progressively disarming the camp and dissipating the resistance there. The police gave an hour to the protesters, and they used it to take advantage to call more people, gather tents, food and cardboards and finally form a cordon around them.
Given the warnings, the media came to record what might happen, some of them with attitudes as deplorable as looking for the individuals who most fit the profile of hippie or buskers (called perroflautas), to try to connect the movement with Podemos. At that time, the movement had not yet reached the political interest of anyone who wasn’t involved. Anyway, this meant that the police did not tear down the camp and it could last until the assembly, that had been called the night before, was celebrated.
It is interesting to note that although some people approached with the intention of disturbing, discussing, aggressing or seeking any kind of conflict, they decided, by a show of hands, to ignore these provocateurs.
The assembly was a chaos in the best and worst sense of the word. A lot of people came, occupying the entire square and, this time, there were even representatives of parties and unions with a premeditated political discourse whose goal was to take over the movement, just like someone stealing a child’s candy. At the other extreme, there were people who only used the megaphone in their hands to feed their ego, with a redundant, absurd, out-of-tune or off-topic speech, that wouldn’t let the assembly advance in any direction.
Because of this redundancy in the discourse or lack of progress in the points to be discussed, a silent gestural communication system was improvised and it would serve to give feedback to the person speaking and. In order to accomplish that goal, there were several options: waving the hands while raising the arms meant a silent applause, crossing the arms in front of the head forming a cross meant “no” and making the movement of a wheel with the hands at the height of the chest meant a “you’re repeating yourself”.
In this assembly, they discussed everything that had agreed to in the morning. They tried to find solutions to the situation, from a horizontal approach (what means that there was not a leader, but everyone worked together as equals). Each person had a turn in which they could give their opinion freely.
Nevertheless, with the boost of ego caused by a megaphone, this horizontality was much more complicated to carry out, even if the coordinators were working as hard as possible. I shall now quote some verses that I wrote during this assembly, as an observation:
I see many people…
I see collectives with a prepared speech,
that appeals to lack of division, with populist postulates and axioms,
and I wonder: «Is this my revolution?»
I see media looking for idealistic people,
who give rise to everyday people to laugh
and I wonder: «Is this my revolution?»
I see idiots exalted with delusions of grandeur,
who subtly weave nets of networks of power
and I wonder: «Is this my revolution?»
…I see many people here…
Albert Limón aka Limoncello
The fact that there were so many people there took to their division into two different groups. One of them, who we will call “the assemblies”, wanted to stay there, organizing the neighborhood commissions. The other one, who we will call “the reactionaries “, wanted to demonstrate and change things with direct action in the streets. Due to that division, each person was now free to do what they wanted and the groups were able to operate correctly in their own field. Therefore, the confrontation between both groups to maintain a unity of action and thought was solved.
At the triumphal return to Plaza Carmen (where’s the city hall) of another improvised protest, the assembly group was waiting, with several commissions already organized and separated to start acting in the following weeks. These commissions’ goal was realize a social and educational work, in order to act directly in the different neighborhoods.
Around 3AM, the group had become small enough for the security forces to finally be able to evict the few people who had stayed at the square for a second night.
Different media tried to classify and discredit the movement. Moreover, they often tried to associate it with Podemos, or with the 15-M, and what’s worse: they wrote hoaxes that told that the protests had been violent. For that purpose, they used false evidences and other types of disinformation. Actually, I think this movement has been another step in the eternal learning pathway of the political left, since it was not a second 15-M at all, and neither did it mean to be so. Although it is true that the left had learnt some things from previous social movements, this time has been pretty important, since the context, the goals and the way the people worked were completely different to the previous ones.
Several novel conclusions were reached, such as the fact that the «democratic» system does not work if it supports fascism. Or that the so desired cure for society resides in education, in looking for new pedagogical forms which advocate critical thinking, as well as emotional and interpersonal intelligence. Moreover, it must evaluate the different competences of the students, always focusing on the individual as a person in an egalitarian society. In this way, people would be prepared to create new political models, in which citizens can participate actively and make informed choices in the course of their lives. They would be able to leave behind an outdated parliamentarism that never really worked.
“Granada will be the grave of fascism”