Visca Los Indignados

I think this article does showcase how the Mediterranean can be seen as cosmopolitan and bridge-like in terms of how the Los Indignados movement in Spain was inspired by the Arab Uprisings in other regions of the Mediterranean. The Los Indignados movement, like the Arab Spring demonstrations, exemplified how peaceful demonstrations only become violent once they are antagonized by police and government forces.  The characterization of the youth, the students, the professors, and the movement’s sympathizers as anarchists as well as the focus on their resistance to police interference is designed to portray them as violent, when really violence is the last thing they want. It is remarkable to me how the logic of police forces when it comes to protest leads them to start physical confrontation, which the article shows always has the opposite effect than intended. Instead of making Los Indignados back down, it only strengthened their movement and message for peace.

I also find it interesting that the reasoning by the police as to why Los Indignados would have to move from Placa Catalunya in Barcelona was so they could clean the space for the celebration to come for the futbol championship. It obviously seems like the police are more sympathetic to the actions of the “troublesome futbol fans” than the students, professors, and others who want nothing more than to promote peaceful egalitarian relationships in a public space. It is clear that how those in charge view that public spaces are not space to be used by people however they please, especially when that use goes against the status quo.

I would be curious to know whether those on the outside of the movement agreed with the use of police force in this case. In other protests I have heard people blame protesters for resisting police, because it seems they believe anything the police do is “correct” or justified. I am always left wondering: Why is it that violence is the go-to response to peaceful demonstrations? Since this question is unanswerable, I also pose the question of whether or not the Los Indignados movement could function on a grander scale than in the space of the plaza. Could the dream of an egalitarian, democratic, labor sharing society really become a reality, or would someone always be there with rubber bullets to stop it?

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