In November 2011, the Free Fall of political freedom and human rights started in Spain. The victory of the Conservative Party (from which a wing still is pining for the Franco era) meant for the country not only the total collapse in economic terms through neoliberal policies to satisfy the oligarchs, corporations, banks and the illegitimate Troika, but also marked the decline of nearly all civil liberties.
Precisely in May 2011 a civil revolution began , based on participation, empowerment and democracy that took the people to the streets and squares across the country. Thousands of angry citizens protested against the exclusionary policies of the government of Zapatero, but soon indignation gave way to action.
The constant flow of citizens in public spaces unhinged the new Conservative government. Right from the start, they used repression and showed signs of being against democracy and participation.
Media manipulation, police complicity, the exclusionary policy, the precarious life conditions, laws against human rights and dignity, these are the daily politics of the Partido Popular. Last year, the first draft of Public Safety Act became known, commonly called the „Gag Rule“. This draft bill is going to uproot all civil liberties that remain in the weak Spanish democracy; it undermines the right to demonstrate, the right to information, the freedom of assembly, etc.
It is also a serious attack against the new forms of communication over the Internet. It will be punished to call to a demostration through social networks, to take and post pictures of policemen, while giving an almost unlimited power to the police against any citizen. Any sanctions will pass through judgment and go to the administrative channels, in other words: the judgmental process is skipped and it is a cop who decides and not a judge. In addition, the privileged could become millionaires by suing groups such as Greenpeace, whose form of protest used is to climb public spaces and buildings (the most severe penalty).
Because of these outrages to the freedoms and human rights, the Platform No Somos Delito (We Are Not Crime) was born with more than 70 organizations consisting of activists, lawyers, and citizens to inform about the meaning of the Penal Code Reform and the Public Safety Law.
The bad news: This week the Senate will vote for the Reform of the Criminal Code and the Public Safety Act, both will go into effect on July 1, 2015. Furthermore, the law enabling “hot returns” (expulsion of clandestine migrants from Spanish territory without any of the necessary legal procedures having been carried out in respect of those persons) will pass Senate. This law will come into force on the following day to its publication in the Government gazette.
The good news are that both No Somos Delito and the citizens reject this law with no exceptions. So the fight will continue in the streets, networks and in each space. Because democracy is a way of life and no one is willing to lose it – and nobody is willing to let the oligarchy still steal without obstacles.