(peoplesassemblies.org) In case you haven’t heard (due, probably to the interesting media blackout we are suffering), here in Spain thousands of people are protesting against our worthless politicians and their connivance with the corrupt financial establishment. We’ve occupied the central squares of our cities and are having a real, joyful, extremely interesting political debate. Don’t miss it. Here’s a text on it from an anonymous Spanish citizen.
A really joyful thing I wish I’ll do again forever
How can we explain this to the same press and media who are now speaking from a distance, often disdainfully, about “these youngsters” (these youngsters who are so far away from us, so alien, so difficult to understand, so ignorant; these youngsters who have nothing to do with our daily routines, our boredom, our unrest, our petty -miserable- concerns); how can one explain to them that we are not just “the other”. How can we tell them that many of us -most of us- aren’t even young anymore. That some of us actually do have jobs and permanent contracts and even make ends meet; many of us aren’t even suffocated by mortgage payments and, still, we are camping in our city squares. We, too, are fed up. How can we explain to them that we are all in this together: the unemployed, the precarious workers, the mortgage payers, the ones who have recently been fired and those of us who are none of the above. How can we explain -to the media and politicians, to radio and TV commentators; to all those who speak, recite or burst into soliloquies without even stopping to listen- that we are also coming to our public city squares for reasons unrelated to strictly economic or material issues. How can we explain to them that some of us are here because we know that living a precarious life does not only mean being jobless, but also being daily enslaved by our jobs, cheated by the market’s alienating and indoctrinating dynamics, stripped down of what makes us human and rendered just feeble merchandise, consumers and objects of consumption. Stripped down of what connects us to other human beings -our common joy, our empathy, our capacity to listen, to communicate, to stimulate and love each other- and left to stack for life, hermetically sealed in individual packets. Isolated.
How can we explain that we have come to fight these alienating patterns bringing out the best in ourselves. That we know that those who are responsible of creating these patterns have faces, eyes and names. But that we also know we are the ones perpetuating and nurturing these patterns and we have come to put an end to them. We have come to short-circuit this system which we have actually been making stronger, and which is eating up our lives. How can we explain this to people who do not think this is possible.
How can we explain that we have also come to the squares to find each other. Tired of being locked up at home, vacuum-sealed in front of our TVs, tired of barely touching one another in pubs, at soccer games, tired of never really getting to know each other. We have also come out to inhabit a common space. To create, by means of our own presence, a new space in which to talk, to tell each other who we are, what we need, what we have learned so far.
So what are these youngsters proposing? This is what’s being exclaimed behind every politically orthodox rostrum, with a combination of astonishment, disdain and a bad conscience. We, the youngsters, those 17, 25, 36, 43 and 60 year-old youngsters, have come together precisely to decide what it is we want, so no one can ever again choose for us the things we do not want. We have come out to share the tools that have worked for us so far, to share the things we know, by virtue of which actions we have come to alter what is private and what is public. We have come to change everything that’s grey-colored in our lives of work, pubs and soccer. And so we are here to change the world, because the personal is still always political and anything political starts in the personal.
We have come out to find out who we are living with and we have realized that what they told us was not true. We are not different, we are not far away from each other, we are not enemies, we do not wish to steal from each other what little we have. We have found out that we are one, even if we do not share the same language or support the same soccer team. We have found out we are more generous than we thought we were. We are interested in what we are telling each other and we want to keep on talking. We do not wish to go back to our homes, our TVs, our vacuum-sealed packets. We do not wish to go back to being regulated, to being forbidden to seat at public squares and to be locked up in cities and continents. We now want to know what is being told in public squares in other countries, even outside the Schengen walls.
We have discovered that coming to these squares is bringing life to them and that bringing life to our cities, collectively, is bringing life to our own selves. We have discovered we can do it a lot better than them when we are together. And that we feel better together than alone. And so we are exultant.
How can we explain this to them, who do not feel this joy.
May 18, 2011