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20 septembre 2011 2 20 /09 /septembre /2011 07:19

Les Indignés ont été à nouveau aggressés par la police hier soir à Saint Germain. 60 interpelations 2 blessés hospitalisés.

 

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18 septembre 2011 7 18 /09 /septembre /2011 11:20

Publié le 17.09.2011, 21h05 | Mise à jour : 21h10

PARC DE LA COURNEUVE, HIER APRÈS-MIDI. Carla, Roberto et Juliette, trois jeunes Indignés espagnols, ont occupé la Puerta del Sol à Madrid de mai à août. Aujourd’hui, ils sont des invités de marque de la Fête de l’Humanité.

PARC DE LA COURNEUVE, HIER APRÈS-MIDI. Carla, Roberto et Juliette, trois jeunes Indignés espagnols, ont occupé la Puerta del Sol à Madrid de mai à août. Aujourd’hui, ils sont des invités de marque de la Fête de l’Humanité. | (LP/E.B.)


Plusieurs centaines d'«indignés» ont manifesté, samedi après-midi, à Paris, au départ de la cité universitaire (XIVème) et en direction de la place de la Bastille (XIème). Ils ont exprimé leur rejet du système capitaliste et prônent une révolution pacifique.

Les manifestants -300 selon la police- s'en sont pris à plusieurs banques sur leur passage, taguant les vitrines et apposant du scotch sur les distributeurs.
Arrivés en fin d'après-midi devant la Banque de France, quelques-uns ont accroché une pancarte proclamant «Mort aux banques» tandis que d'autres scandaient «Coupable».

«Nous sommes un mouvement pacifique, citoyen, qui a envie de faire bouger les choses. On s'adresse au peuple et on lui demande de se réveiller», explique Pierre-Yves, 29 ans, qui a participé à l'organisation de la journée.

Le cortège est parti vers 16h00, derrière une banderole indiquant en espagnol: «Marcha popular a Bruxelas (Marche populaire vers Bruxelles)». Cette marche réunit plusieurs groupes d'«indignés» européens, dont de nombreux Espagnols, venus parfois à pied, et qui doivent rejoindre Bruxelles pour une journée d'action le 15 octobre.

«On demande la paix, la paix économique et morale», déclare Rafael, 39 ans, la barbe naissante et le pied droit meurtri par le voyage. A la tête d'une entreprise de peinture, il dit avoir dû licencier ses vingt salariés à cause de la crise économique et se retrouver lui aussi au chômage. «J'ai décidé de porter à Bruxelles les voix de tous les gens victimes de la crise», explique-t-il.

Scandant «Paris, debout, soulève-toi» ou encore «Petit à petit nous marchons vers Bruxelles», les manifestants devaient rejoindre la place de la Bastille samedi soir pour une assemblée populaire.

La mobilisation parisienne des «indignés»a débuté le 19 mai, faisant écho au mouvement de contestation spontané né le 15 mai à la Puerta del Sol, en plein coeur de Madrid, les jeunes Espagnols exprimant leur ras-le-bol face à la crise économique et au chômage, qui touche près de la moitié des moins de 25 ans.
Plusieurs «indignés» espagnols, ont, d'ailleurs, été des invités de marque du Front de Gauche à la Fête de l’Humanité dès vendredi à la Courneuve.



LeParisien.fr

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18 septembre 2011 7 18 /09 /septembre /2011 11:04

AFP | Société Hier 21:55

Plusieurs centaines d'"indignés" ont manifesté samedi après-midi à Paris au départ de la cité universitaire (XIVème) et en direction de la place de la Bastille (XIème), exprimant leur rejet du système capitaliste et prônant une révolution pacifique.

Les manifestants -300 selon la police- s'en sont pris à plusieurs banques sur leur passage, taguant les vitrines et apposant du scotch sur les distributeurs. Arrivés en fin d'après-midi devant la Banque de France, quelques-uns ont accroché une pancarte proclamant "Mort aux banques" tandis que d'autres scandaient "Culpable" (Coupable").

"Nous sommes un mouvement pacifique, citoyen, qui a envie de faire bouger les choses. On s'adresse au peuple et on lui demande de se réveiller", explique Pierre-Yves, 29 ans, qui a participé à l'organisation de la journée.

Le cortège est parti vers 16h00, derrière une banderole indiquant en espagnol: "Marcha popular a Bruxelas" ("Marche populaire vers Bruxelles"). Il réunit plusieurs groupes d'"indignés" européens, dont de nombreux

Espagnols, venus parfois à pied, et qui doivent rejoindre Bruxelles pour une journée d'action le 15 octobre.

"On demande la paix, la paix économique et morale", déclare Rafael, 39 ans, la barbe naissante et le pied droit meurtri par le voyage. A la tête d'une entreprise de peinture, il dit avoir dû licencier ses vingt salariés à cause de la crise économique et se retrouver lui aussi au chômage.

"J'ai décidé de porter à Bruxelles les voix de tous les gens victimes de la crise", explique-t-il.

Scandant "Paris, debout, soulève-toi" ou encore "Petit à petit nous marchons vers Bruxelles", les manifestants devaient rejoindre la place de la Bastille samedi soir pour une assemblée populaire.

A leur arrivée Place de la Bastille, vers 21H, un important dispositif policier contenait les manifestants sur un trottoir devant l'Opéra, a constaté une journaliste de l'AFP.

Une manifestante, Marie-Ange a déclaré par téléphone à l'AFP que la manifestation avait été "très mouvementée" place de la Bastille, tandis que "ça s'était bien déroulé jusqu'à présent".

Selon la préfecture de police, jointe en début de soirée, il n'y a eu ni confrontation avec les manifestants, ni interpellation.

La mobilisation parisienne des "indignés" a débuté le 19 mai, faisant écho au mouvement de contestation spontané né le 15 mai à la Puerta del Sol à Madrid, les jeunes Espagnols exprimant leur ras-le-bol face à la crise économique et au chômage qui touche près de la moitié des moins de 25 ans.

 

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18 septembre 2011 7 18 /09 /septembre /2011 10:50

Publié le 17-09-11 à 18:19    Modifié à 18:22     par Le Nouvel Observateur avec AFP     

Plusieurs centaines de jeunes européens, dont de nombreux espagnols, doivent rejoindre Bruxelles pour une journée d'action le 15 octobre.

Les Indignés lors d'un rassemblement à Barcelone en août 2011 ALVARADO/EFE/SIPA Les Indignés lors d'un rassemblement à Barcelone en août 2011 ALVARADO/EFE/SIPA

Plusieurs centaines d'"indignés" ont commencé à manifester samedi 17 septembre après-midi à Paris au départ de la cité universitaire (XIVème) et en direction de la place de la Bastille (XIème), exprimant leur rejet du système capitaliste et prônant une révolution pacifique.

"Nous sommes un mouvement pacifique, citoyen, qui a envie de faire bouger les choses. On s'adresse au peuple et on lui demande de se réveiller", explique Pierre-Yves, 29 ans, qui a participé à l'organisation de la journée.

"On demande la paix"

Le cortège est parti vers 16h, derrière une banderole indiquant en espagnol: "Marcha popular a Bruxelas" ("Marche populaire vers Bruxelles"). Il réunit plusieurs groupes d'"indignés" européens, dont de nombreux Espagnols, venus à pied ou en voiture, et qui doivent rejoindre Bruxelles pour une journée d'action le 15 octobre.

"On demande la paix, la paix économique et morale", déclare Rafael, 39 ans, la barbe naissante et le pied droit meurtri par le voyage. A la tête d'une entreprise de peinture, il dit avoir dû licencier ses vingt salariés à cause de la crise économique et se retrouver lui aussi au chômage.

"J'ai décidé de porter à Bruxelles les voix de tous les gens victimes de la crise", explique-t-il.

"Paris, debout, soulève-toi"

Scandant "Paris, debout, soulève-toi" ou encore "petit à petit nous marchons vers Bruxelles", les manifestants devaient rejoindre la place de la Bastille en fin d'après-midi pour une assemblée populaire.

La mobilisation parisienne des "indignés" a débuté le 19 mai, faisant écho au mouvement de contestation spontané né le 15 mai à la Puerta del Sol à Madrid, les jeunes Espagnols exprimant leur ras-le-bol face à la crise économique et au chômage, qui touche près de la moitié des moins de 25 ans.

Le Nouvel Observateur - AFP

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18 septembre 2011 7 18 /09 /septembre /2011 10:02

TV5

Avant de rejoindre Bruxelles, quelques centaines d'indignés européens ont manifesté à Paris samedi 17 septembre pour réclamer  « une réelle démocratie » et « la fin de la dictature financière ». Certains d'entre eux - entre 100 et 150 -  sont arrivés à pieds. Partis d'Espagne, ils marchent depuis des semaines. Plutôt jeunes, sac sur le dos, ils parcourent jusqu'à 30 km par jour, campent sur les places publiques et organisent des rassemblements populaires. Rencontre.

 

1. Avant de manifester dans les rues de Paris, les indignés européens se sont retrouvés à la Cîté internationale universitaire. 

 

 

Isabel avec sa tente et sa gamelle.

Des propos recueillis par Camille Sarret

17.09.2011Isabel 23 ans -  Espagnole de Valence en recherche d'emploi dans l'audio-visuel

« J'en ai assez du manque d'enthousiasme et du manque d'empathie générale. Les gens travaillent comme des robots. Ils ne voient pas plus loin que leur propre petite vie. L'argent est devenu plus important que les vies humaines. La classe politique et les médias nous mentent. Il est temps d'opérer un grand changement. C'est pour cela que je marche depuis le 8 août avec les indignés de Madrid.

On va d'une ville à l'autre en passant parfois par de petits villages. Le soir, on installe nos toiles de tentes sur la place centrale. Parfois le maire tente de nous faire décamper mais la plupart du temps, nous sommes bien accueillis. Les gens nous donnent à manger, nous apporter de l'eau et nous offre même des vêtements plus chauds avec l'arrivée de l'autonome. Et nous, nous distribuons des tracts, organisons des débats publics. En ce moment, ma phrase préférée, c'est "on va lentement parce qu'on va loin". J'ai vraiment le sentiment de participer à un mouvement historique, révolutionnaire. »
Vincent, 36 ans - Français de Bayonne, artiste

« Depuis longtemps, j'essaie de convaincre mon entourage que notre société va droit dans le mur. Alors dès que j'ai vu qu'un changement de fond était en train d'émerger en Espagne, je m'y suis intéressé. Apprenant sur Internet que des indignés de Madrid passaient par Bayonne, je les ai rejoints et marche avec eux depuis un mois. J'ai l'impression qu'on n'est qu'au début du mouvement. Après Paris, il y aura Bruxelles et d'autres villes encore. C'est un mouvement de fond qui réclame de manière pacifiste un changement radical. Après l'expérimentation de l'individualisme, de la concurrence effrénée et du règne du plus fort, il est temps de construire autre chose en inversant les valeurs sociales. »
Quand la fatigue la gagne après plusieurs jours de marche, Amandine fait du stop pour suivre les indignés.
Amandine, 26 ans - Française de Dijon, en formation coiffeuse

« Dès que j'ai rencontré des indignés de Barcelone après les avoir encouragés à passer par Dijon, je me suis identifiée à leur mouvement. Mes proches sont de plus en plus nombreux à vouloir  voter Marine Le Pen [présidente du Front national, le parti d'extrême droite français,ndlr] à  la présidentielle. Moi je sais que ce n'est pas la solution. Je trouve que les gens sont défaitistes, pessimistes, blasés. On ne sait plus vivre en communauté. On ne tolère plus rien. Avec les indignés, je retrouve de l'entraide et de l'affection. »
Refusant le terme d'indigné, Enrique se définit comme un activiste des droits de l'homme.
Enrique, 32 ans. Espagnole de Barcelone, DJ.

« Depuis quatre ans, je vis sans logement fixe sans rien posséder. C'est un choix personnel. Je ne veux plus faire parti du système capitaliste actuel. A Madrid, j'ai participé aux forums qui invitaient les citoyens à faire des propositions de réformes dans le domaine de la santé, de l'éducation, de l'agriculture. On a tout mis en commun le 25 juillet et le lendemain on a lancé la grande marche jusqu'à Bruxelles pour montrer qu'au-delà des frontières nous partageons les mêmes problèmes : le chômage des jeunes, les banques qui accumulent de l'argent, des hommes politiques qui ne font pas ce qu'ils disent. Il est temps de remodeler la démocratie, de redonner aux citoyens le pouvoir de décider, de remettre le système financier sus la tutelle du pouvoir politique. »

 

Les indignés se préparant à manifester...

2. L'ampleur du mouvement reste limité. Quelques centaines de personnes étaient au rendez-vous.
Photo : Camille Sarret

 

 

 

5. A la pause déjeuner, une grande cantine s'est mise en place.  

 

 

8. Après Paris, les marcheurs ont pour objectif d'atteindre Bruxelles où siège le parlement européen. 

Photo : Camille Sarret

8. Après Paris, les marcheurs ont pour objectif d'atteindre Bruxelles où siège le parlement européen.

 

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18 septembre 2011 7 18 /09 /septembre /2011 00:04

spaanserevolutie

Banana Republic

In March on Brussels on 17 September 2011 at 23:59

Paris, September 17

Day 54 of the March on Brussels. From Bagneux, 7 km.

 

Dear people,

 

The evening before we marched into Paris was like a high school reunion party. Under a dome of blue lights our camp was invaded by familiar faces. Almost all of them were people who participated in the earlier stages of the march, but who couldn’t come along because of personal or professional obligations. “We’ll meet you in Paris”, they said. And here they are. Our march is complete.

 

"It's love, and they call it revolution"

 

 

At breakfast one of our comrades went around painting red hearts on people’s hands, to be waved at bystanders and police. Immediately, a counter alternative was born. The skulls. To differentiate themselves from the love-peace-and-harmony faction, other people started painting skulls and bones on the palms of their hands. There was also an ‘Italian’ with us, who carried both symbols, just to be sure. All the adherences have been diligently noted by the Intelligence commission.

It’s obvious, playfullness has returned to our group. We were longing to have fun with each other after long days and weeks of problems and conflict. We take the streets with flags and banners. This is the great day. We walk down boulevards until we encounter a sign that says ‘Paris’. Photo opportunity.

Just outside the Cité Universitaire we join up with the Mediterranean March and we hold an enormous collective embrace in the middle of the street. Next thing we have to do is organise today’s demonstration. It’s amazing. In the days and weeks before, it had been impossible to coordinate anything, but now that we’re together under direct pressure of time, everything works out. In a quick internal assembly the ideas are collected. Working groups are created immediately. A list of necessities is drawn up, and all things appear out of nowhere. While some comrades are preparing lunch, the others are at work making masks, signs, banners, flags. The scene is invaded by armies of photographers and cameramen.

'Enthusiasm'

 

'We are not merchandise in the hands of politicians and bankers.'

 

 

According to schedule we should have been under way at three to be at the Bastille at six. But we’re Spanish, we take our time. We depart at four and in the end we arrive at the Bastille at nine.

All in all the demonstration was a good one. It wasn’t oceanic, but we were neither just a handful of people. We make a lot of noise. We wave our banners, and every once in a while, small units of four or five indignados detach themselves from the parade to perform the actions we planned. Tapping bank windows and cash dispensers with duck tape, changing the names of the streets with cardboard signs and covering walls and streets with slogans in chalk.

Banker

 

 

 

The police is nervous. They make the big mistake of trying to protect some of the banks. Immediately the indignados are all over them. It makes for a great photo opportunity. When the police officers start running towards the next bank, a group of indignados runs along, shouting and screaming like indian warriors, overtaking them, and lining up to protect to next bank from police.

'Let's reclaim our right to be lazy.'

 

 

So yes, playfulness has returned, also in the parade. We have reached Paris, and the route is marked by names that resonate centuries of history. Le ‘Luxembourg’, the monumental seat of the French Directory after the revolution of 1789, the Sorbonne and the Quartier Latin, which have been barricaded many times, most recently in May 1968. Now, just like the rest of the center of Paris, the neighbourhood has become horribly bourgeois. We cross the Seine, we sit in front of the Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité. On the other side of the river we arrive at the Hôtel de Ville. Once it was the seat of the Paris Commune, now the square has been prostituted to host a commercial event promoting the NBA.

 

 

While we’re advancing towards the Bank of France, voices reach the head of the march. “They have arrested someone! Come one!” Everybody turns around. The whole march gathers in front of the police vans. People sit down and start to shout. “Let our comrade go! Let our comrade go!” Five minutes, and he’s free. Everyone cheers. The march can go on.

 

We arrive at the Bank of France. “Coupables! Coupables!” we are shouting while signs are being attached to the walls and the name of the road is changed into ‘Avenue de la Democratie’.

It’s getting dark. We are already hours late. “To the Bastille! To the Bastille!” people say. It sounds like a battle cry. And so off we go, singing. “Paris, rise up! Paris, rise up!” I’m happy to witness this, I would never have thought. But then, it starts to rain.

 

'The earth gives enough for all'

 

When we arrive at the Bastille, it’s dark and the rain is pouring down. The police presence is massive. Once we have all arrived on the square the cordon slowly starts to straighten like a belt. In the end we are surrounded, a reduced group of soaked indignados on the pavement of the Bastille. When we try to sit down, the police charge immediately, they start to tear us away.

 

Welcome to Paris. Chaos is complete. People are wet, tired and hungry. After various hours of apathy, some food supplies are allowed to enter the square. The rain has stopped. But the organisation of a place to camp or to sleep is zero. The Paris indignados have let us down. They knew that police would be implacable. And they haven’t prepared any plan B, C or D. They left us catch a cold on the pavement until someone turned up with the possibility to sleep in a sports hall in the suburbs.

 

Shivering we march off in tactical retreat. We invade the metro and take the last train to Champigny. But that isn’t the end of it. At the village square we are once again surrounded by thirty police officers, many of them in hooligan outfit. They won’t let us go anywhere until someone from the mayor’s office confirms them that we have authorisation to sleep in the sports center.

 

Finally, in the early hours, authorisation arrives, and we can officially go to sleep. We learned that Paris is different from the rest of France, and we learned it the hard way. Don’t think that you can occupy a public space as a citizen. You have to be a registered trademark to do that, and you have to pay. If you do so, you can even put up your tents in front of city hall.

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16 septembre 2011 5 16 /09 /septembre /2011 20:13

 

 

In March on Brussels on 16 September 2011 at 20:15
Bagneux, September 16

Day 53 of the March on Brussels. From Montlhéry, 26 km

This morning

Dear people,

 

We are camping near the gates of Paris. We have reencountered comrade Waldo who has meticulously prepared our arrival in this modest black-and-white suburb of the capital.

 The walk over here was a strange experience. We didn’t cross the city and we didn’t cross the countryside. It was a hybrid. Old villages and modern flats interspersed with cornfields and vegetable gardens.

 

Street art in the suburbs

 

Half way towards the center of gravity, the urban matter thickens. We go from suburb to suburb over a bicycle lane through a green corridor of parks. The monuments we encounter tell the story of the division of general Leclerc, who received the honour to be the first to enter Paris in August 1944. While the soldiers were liberating the city, Ernest Hemingway was ‘liberating’ the wine cellars of the luxury hotels.

 

 

Since yesterday we are joined by a comrade from Barcelona, a veteran of the Mediterranean march. He confirms all the bad stories. I haven’t yet heard a single positive word about their march. Rumours had already reached us that they did at least three legs by car. It’s all true. They are a bunch of slackers.

What I didn’t know was that a French girl living in Barcelona joined the march in Montpellier, and grabbed power. The principles of horizontally were abbandoned in favour of dicatorship. She controlled everything, the assembly and the logistics. She imposed rules and punishments.

“Really?” I ask, “and did things go better after that?”

“No. The internal conflicts persisted. The only result was that people stopped participating and thinking for themselves, which are more less the two things we want to accomplish. Those who didn’t agree with the new regime packed their bags and left.”

Lady Blue Eyes, the Führer, was only once confronted with a rebellion, in Nimes. A minority of hard core marchers refused to go by car. But everything was already organised. A fait accompli. The rebels desisted. The march restarted from Lyons.

The only positive result of the coup was that the internal assemblies stopped being a lengthy waste of energy and time. They turned into informative meetings where the leader communicated her decisions to the group. The popular assemblies on the other hand were a theatrical piece that followed the exact same script every single night, interpreted by the same actors. “A farce.”

 

I recognise these tendencies. But in our march we never even got close to the extremes of the Mediterranean. And though we should all be sad about the failure of our comrades, a most human reaction to this news is one of self complacency. “We aren’t so bad after all, compared to those gilipollas of the Mediterranean.”

Unndoubtedly the most succesful march from a human and a revolutionary point of view is Toulouse. They were few and their organisation was minimal, but very functional. For the most part of the trip they didn’t have a support vehicle. They walked distances of 25 km max with their bagpacks on their shoulders and they hardly ever ate a hot meal. Only sandwiches. They didn’t have commissions, and they didn’t exhaust themselves with internal assemblies. Everything worked out naturally.

Even their communication was much better than ours. Their blog is serious, updated by one person only, and whenever they had a support vehicle at their disposal, the car went ahead to the villages on the route to distribute flyers and attach manifests announcing the popular assembly. By comparison, our Communication commission has counted up to eight people, about as much as the entire Toulouse march, and they hardly ever managed to do any difusion in the villages on the route, or to bring out the word of the march on the internet. One example says it all: the other day a member of our Communications commission came to me to ask if he could send an email to his family. They hadn’t heard from him in ten days, and he wanted to let them know that he was alive.

 

At Orléans our march has literally swallowed the Toulouse march. We treated them simply as another handful of marchers. We never did anything to integrate them, or to learn from their experiences. It’s one of our capital sins. Arrogance. ‘We are the March on Brussels, we come from Puerta del Sol, and we are going to teach the world the gospel of peaceful assemblyism.’

Some of the people from Toulouse have already left our march. The others don’t participate in the assembly, and rumour has it they are planning to secede after Paris and walk to Brussels the way they used to.

 

In the two speaches I held to the popular assemblies of Tours and Orléans I stressed the fact that there are many people who share our objectives. People who have been fighting for a better world for years. “We are conscious of this”, I said. “We also come here to learn from you. With all due humility.”

Comrade Vladimir, the only active participant from the Toulouse march summed it up in three words. For him, the movement of the indignados can only be aimed at one thing.

“Convergence of struggles.”

 

 

 

Petit assemblee, Disneyland style

Anarchism Rules!

In March on Brussels on 15 September 2011 at 23:10

Montlhéry, September 15

Day 52 of the March on Brussels. From Etampes, 29 km

 

'Minimalism'

 

Dear people,

 

This morning, instead of going walking early, we sat down in the tavern ‘le petit caporal’, to plot about actions in Paris. We were not the only ones. There are small groups within our march preparing actions and diversive manoeuvres of their own accord. Also the Mediterranean march and the indignados in Paris are busy cooking up their own plans.

Then when the time comes to coordinate things in the internal assembly, we lose hours deciding whether a journalist of a photographic magazine should be allowed or not to assist to the assembly. In the end, we don’t even get to talk about the important things.

But do not think that this is a ridiculous chaos, o no, it’s tactics. The only way for us to avoid that the police knows what we’re going to do is to make sure that we ourselves don’t have any idea of what’s going to happen.

 

So far for things in practice. These last few days I have been talking about the theoretical nature of our movement with comrade Roberto, from the Economy commission, which is now known as the commission ‘Autogestión’, to appease the anti-monetarians within the march.

Roberto is a former stock broker and bank employee. He started off as a choir boy in church. He knows the enemy, and he has a very analytical way of thinking which isn’t blurred by any kind of moral. I’m trying to convince him to be part of a secret Intelligence commission, with the objective to gather any type of information about the march.

This information is divided on various levels. One is the organisation of the march, another is a classification of its participants on the basis of their mentality, and another is a classification on the basis of their political ideas.

We made a scheme of the commissions. Route, Economy and Dinamisation are the primary ones. The Route decides where we’re going. Economy controls the secondary commissions of Logistics and Kitchen. Dinamisation is a kind of central committee which prepares the politics of the assembly. If you control these three commissions, you control the march.

But maybe the most important commission of all is Communications. Through Communications we create the public image of the march. We depend on public support. Without effective propaganda, there is no march.

As for the mentality, people can be divided into the ‘rigorosos’, or the people who want to shape order out of chaos, the ‘permisivos’, who try to keep the group together with comprehension and endless search for consensus. There are the parasites, who don’t really care as long as they don’t have to walk and receive a free meal. And finally, there are a few visionaries who don’t take themselves or the march too seriously. They watch on with amazement and joy how this incredible movement develops.

On a political level you can recognise the classical distinction between radical revolutionaries and practical reformists. The former want to change everything overnight, so that as from tomorrow we can all live together, happily ever after. The latter admit that things are a bit more complicated than that. But most people probably don’t have any clear political ideas at all. They know things are not right in society, but they wouldn’t really know where to start to make a change.

 

At midday we walk. It was a strange day today. A part of the distance I walked alone, and whenever I did, I got lost. This hardly ever happens. I arrived last, late in the evening. I missed the popular assembly on the village square, which was a shame, because I heard it had been very interesting.

There was a woman present who works in a psychiatric institution. She told that she had 23 patients in her department, ten of which had drinking problems. It seems that Sarkozy has passed a law which allows police to send people who are caught drunk on the street to a mental institution. One of the patients got caught the very first time he ever touched a bottle. After six months in the clinic he had become a true alcoholic.

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15 septembre 2011 4 15 /09 /septembre /2011 15:00

spaanserevolutie

The Road to the Bastille

In March on Brussels on 14 September 2011 at 22:53

Etampes, September 14

Day 51 of the March on Brussels. From Toury, 35 km

 

Dear people,

 

In the early days of the revolution I had great fun translating the solemn manifests of the French indignados which had assembled in Place de la Bastille, inspired by what was happening in Puerta del Sol. It was all real, and it was all a game. Together with the people who happened to be there in the Communcations tent at that same particular moment in history, and who spoke better French than me, I answered with resplendent comunicados full of historical and revolutionary winks. “Salut Paris! Ici Madrid! Avez-vouz pris la Place de la Bastille?

They had, it turned out. But they were never able to hold it. The General Assembly in Puerta del Sol fell silent when the news broke that police were clearing the square with tear gas.

Now, almost four months later, I am camped at three days from Paris with the March on Brussels, and together with my general staff we are gathered around a map of the city and its surroundings. We’re going to plan the road to the Bastille.

The fact is that comrade Cowboy has left the Route commission. He gave up after people had repeatedly ignored his routes to go their own way. The vacuum was filled by comrade Polacco, comrade Vladimir from the Toulouse march, two reconassaince bikers freshly in from Spain, and me. I am the only one who speaks both French and Spanish.

When the map is unfolded, my eyes light up. I quickly note the various possibilities. The original idea is to enter Paris straight from the South and be at Bagneux, at eight kilometres from the center, on Friday evening. We are going to change all that. And we’re going to tell nobody about it until the last moment. It’s going to be a complete surprise. We’re going to Versailles.

Secrecy is of the utmost importance, and I repeat it. We’re going to camp in front of the castle, and we don’t want police to know about until we’re there. Everyone who joins in on the meeting agrees. Complete secrecy. The people from Etampes who are monitoring us from a distance seriously nod. The scene is filmed by two people from Canal +. “Not a word! We’re going to Versailles. It’s going to be fabulous.”

“Is it possible?” someone asks. “Sure it’s possible. We’re the March on Brussels. Look, we’ll take these roads, we cross the fields, we take the paths. We’ll be there before anyone knows what’s happening.”

“Right. You’re in front of the castle. Then what? The day after we are expected in the Universitary City at eleven in the morning. The distance from Versailles is over 25 kilometres. We should get up at five and be marching at six. If we arrive, people will be exhausted.”

It’s true. If we want we can do it. Versailles is a great symbolic photo opportunity, but little else. We have to be practical. In the southern banlieues of Paris we can do actions, hold assemblies, incite the workers. And apart from that, when I look around, I start to have doubts about the effective secrecy of the plan.

We return to the original plan. Bagneux in two days. Comrade Waldo will be waiting there with the local indignados. Then Saturday we march into the city to the rendez-vous point near the Gare d’Austerlitz. In the afternoon, we take the Bastille.

Where do we enter Paris? I look at the names of all the city gates. ‘Oh yes’, I think, and I place my finger down on the map. “Here. We will enter Paris through the Porte d’Italie“, I say, “for sentimental reasons.”

That’s it.  Nothing to be proposed to the assembly, because if we do, we’ll never make it to Paris. We will still be here discussing on the route in three days time.

I translate the general idea to comrade Vladimir in French. “If we don’t take Versailles” he says, “we should do something else, something symbolic.” And he comes up with a brilliant idea for a decoy. Something to disorientate the authorities. For obvious reasons I cannot reveal it now. It’s really secret, and it has to be communicated to our people in Paris as fast as possible. But we can’t use mobile phones or email. All our communications are at risk of being intercepted. The only way is to go there in person. Someone will have to jump on a horse and ride to Paris through the night, to bring the dispatch to our liaisons as quickly as possible.

“Who’s willing to do this?” I ask. No-one volunteers.”You can do it”, says someone.

I think about it for a second. I know that the horse won’t be a horse, and it would mean abbandoning the march. I can’t do it. At that moment, enter a messenger. Our people from Paris will be here tomorrow. There’s no need to warn them. We can talk it over in the group and continue as planned.

“Good”, I say, and the map is folded. I’m content. I love this game. “Tomorrow I want a detailed map of the center of the city.”

Love at first sight

 

Popular Assembly in Etampes

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 13:15

spaanserevolutie

The Great Plains

In March on Brussels on 13 September 2011 at 23:07

Toury, September 13

Day 50 of the March on Brussels. From Orléans, 38 km.

Comrade Cat

Dear people,

 

The march from Toulouse has added some much needed fresh blood and positive energy. There’s a good feeling in the group. And so this morning we left the ‘Sarkozy laboratory’ of Orléans triumphantly, and singing. The police has never shown up.

United marches leaving Orléans

We took the right way, and the wrong turn, meaning that today’s leg would be longer than it already was. For us, doing almost forty kilometres is nothing special, but I imagine that our comrades of Toulouse had some difficulty adapting, especially after three days of rest.

By now our group is more or less half French, half Spanish, even though some of the marchers from Toulouse are Spanish as well, ‘refugees’ from the Mediterranean march.

Outside Orléans we encountered a war cemetery. French soldiers who fell during the lightning invasion by Nazi-Germany in 1940. It was incredibly sad to see all the straight lines of identical crosses. We rendered hommage to them, comrade Abdullah left a brief wish in the guest book, “these victims merit a nation that is worthy of their sacrifice. 15M, March on Brussels”.

Near the cemetery we enter the forest over the road. It’s a military training ground. We hear shooting in this distance.

 

Once we come out of the forest, the countryside has changed. The Loire valley was like a watershed. We are now entering the great plains of Northern France, a sight that is familiar to me. ‘The endless lowlands’, as the poet sings. Every time I see it again after a long time in the South, it impresses me. The space is so enormous, the dome of the heavens is so overwhelming and majestic. It’s like being at sea. But instead of the sails of the ships, you see the clock towers of the villages in the distance.

Image of a French village

Melancholy, sweet melancholy. It’s wonderful. I imagine this land on a cold Christmas eve. I am a traveller, and this is where I was born. Battered by the icy wind I walk across the snow, following the weak lights of the village I left when I was young. I’m looking for the warmth of a fire and human company that feels familiar. I knock on a door, but time has taken its toll. Nobody recognises me anymore. The door closes, the wind howls. I cover myself as best I can with my worn out cape, and I walk on, back to the South, hoping to see another spring.

 

I wake up from my thoughts, and finally, straight through the fields we reach Toury. The sun is already setting, but there are many things still to be done. We have to decide on the route to Paris, we have to write a comunicado about who we are, and why we are doing this crazy march. But there’s one problem. Electricity. My battery is almost empty. For the first time I fear I cannot send news from the march into the world. We interrupt the assembly. We need someone to take us to the nearest plug-in, late at night, in the French country side.

We end up in the bathroom of the municipal camping, which we clandestinely turn into a communications office. It’s absurd. It makes you realise how dependend we are on electricity. What would happen to our civilization, I think, if one day, for whatever reason, the light goes out.

 

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paanserevolutie

Reunion with ‘Toulouse’

In March on Brussels on 12 September 2011 at 21:43

Orléans, September 12

Day 49 of the March on Brussels. From Beaugency, 28 km

This morning

Comrade Roberto

Dear people,

It’s a wonderful evening in Orléans. We’re camped in the central square, right beneath the statue of Jeanne d’Arc. There are public plug-ins for electricity, there’s free wifi around, and the field kitchen is preparing an exquisite meal with all the goodies that people have brought us.

I came walking alone today, again. The others took the national road, I don’t know why, because parallel to it there’s a quiet little path through the green along the Loire. I couldn’t resist, also because it is the last day we will be following the river. Tomorrow we turn straight North towards Paris.

'Cornfield with crows'

The Loire river

We have joined forces here with the march from Toulouse. They have been here for days, waiting for us. Given the fact that their march has departed the same day as ours and they had to cover only half the distance, they had all the time in the world to walk up here, doing only 15 to 20 kilometres daily.

Up until now I knew hardly anything about their march, because of the lack of a good Communication commission on our side and the lack of time to find things out myself. It turns out they’re relatively small, varying from half a dozen at the minimum to about twenty people at the moment. By comparison, our march has numbered anywhere from thirty to a hundred people.

The Toulouse march might be small, but it’s very well organised. Their official blog is excellent, and I was happy to meet the comrade responsible for its daily updates. And not only, there were more people I was happy to see, like comrade Manuel, the most prolific member of the Audiovisuals commission of Sol, and comrade Smiling Sparrow, who was with us until Bordeaux.

Smiling Sparrow has seen all the three marches. So it was interesting to hear her make a comparison. In ours, which is officially called the ‘Meseta March’ – because it originates from the Spanish meseta or highland – we have had a lot of problems, as you will know by now. But it seems that the ‘Mediterranean March’ from Barcelona is much worse. Smiling Sparrow used an understatement, and said that it was a “complete disaster”. She only resisted three days.

“There are a lot of ego’s in the group, they are very immature, there are lots of parasites and only few people walking. Many of them just go hitch hiking when they don’t feel like marching.” Toulouse on the other hand is supposed to be a well drilled army, or at least a platoon. Also because “with less people there’s less to organise.”

In the three days that they’ve been waiting, they received hospitality from local sympathisers. They didn’t dare to camp. The reason being that Orléans is a so-called ‘Sarkozy laboratory’. The city is almost completely controlled by camera’s, police have far reaching authority to repress people sleeping, camping, or otherwise behaving out of the ordinary. Putting up tents here, anywhere, is a risk. Police can come in to arrest and destroy first and ask questions later.

We do things the Spanish way. We don’t care. We put up our tents and see what happens. Until now there hasn’t been a single police officer in sight. We’re much more numerous today, and we were on the front page of the local newspaper. It’s always possible that they attack tonight, but as we are leaving tomorrow they probably think it isn’t worth the bad publicity.

The news coverage also helped boost the presence of locals at the assembly, the biggest so far in one of the cities. I had the honour to give a small opening speech about the history of our movement, like I had already done in Tours. It’s not my kind of thing to speak in public, especially in a language – Spanish – that I do not yet perfectly master, but being ‘the official historian of the march’, it came down to me.

The assembly is over by now, locals and people from the marches are mixing while tasting the food. Showers are being offered continuously by sympathisers. Footage of the march is being projected on a blanket by comrade Jason, our cameraman driving the medical support vehicle.

Yes, dear comrades, it really is a wonderful evening in Orléans. And tomorrow morning we march all together. In five days we’ll be in Paris.

Assembly in Orléans

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