Hugo Atman

27-O Surround Congress

Noticia   •   oct 28, 2012 16:43 CET

On this occasion Congress was not in session, though the police barricade still advanced toward the plaza about ten metres.

The police strategy has varied since the previous actions, situating their agents (some 1800) beside lines of police vans at all points of access to the Plaza, many more deployed than in previous actions, where the bulk of the police had been within the barricades surrounding the Congress.

This demonstration included thousand of indignant citizens coming from all over Spain, protesting the proposed spending cuts that are being debated this week in Congress.

According to other media sources, their buses were intercepted by police who identified and registered them.

Despite brisk low temperatures in the capital, the influx into the plaza was massive and demonstrators held an assembly among other actions.

With just a month in existence, the “25-S Coordinating Committee” movement stands as a representative of thousands of anonymous voices indignant with the current politics of economic adjustment and with the cuts in health, in education, and in social programs, that serve as an excuse to limit rights and freedoms.

Where does the 25-S Coordinating Committee come from?

Many people have asked this question, is the 25-S Coordinating Committee the same as the 15M Movement?

Yes and no, the 15M Movement that began in May 2011 initially was centralized in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, then dispersed into hundreds of sub-groups and neighborhood assemblies.

Since then new platforms have emerged that are in part formed by 15M participants, for example the Debt Audit, No Eurovegas, etc.

An association called the “Standing Platform” formed by people to whom the 15M Movement  appeared too “slow” or “bureaucratic” made a proposal consisting of literally occupying the Congress to demand the government completely resign, as well as the dissolution of the courts and the state leadership for betraying the country and the citizenry, premeditated and responsible for the meltdown.

The 15M Movement automatically distanced itself from this proposal, considering it dangerous and a form of coup d’etat in disguise.

And then another grouping emerged called “25-S Coordinating Committee”, fundamentally propelled by members of the 15M Movement and formed in part by people from Standing Platform, that appropriated the original idea and formed several working groups open to anyone who wanted to participate to inspire them to make it open and democratic, to give it a different content
and to mount a less aggressive action.

They changed the slogan from “Occupy Congress” to “Surround the Congress”, although they maintained the same goals, to demand the total resignation of the government, the dissolution of the courts and the state executive.  But the means to achieve the goals are very different.  They include surrounding Congress symbolically with peaceful protests, plastering the police barricades with proposals, informing the citizenry, etc.

It’s because of this that the 15M Movement went along with the calls of the 25-S Coordinating Committee, being social movements with the same ends but different strategies, namely the more focused objectives of the 25-S Coordinating Committee, while 15M has many targets.

Another difference between them is that 15M is above all assembly-based, which the25-S Coordinating Committee also is but to a lesser extent.

Returning to yesterday’s news, the demonstrators dispersed at 10pm and a group of them went to the Banquia headquarters to support other activists from PHA (Platform of those affected by mortgages) that have been camping in the Plaza del Celenque since Monday.

see all my news in