Political dissidence made criminal: Resistance from spain


Before State interdiction and oppression, how can and should resistance and opposition proceed?  If public protest risks falling into spectacular re-appropriation, should the streets then be left to the authorities of pacification?  And if protest is necessary, how can it be pursued without falling into the traps set by State authorities and corporate media sedation, most notably the trap of violence?

The spanish government’s proposed law, the Ley de Seguridade Ciudadana (Law of Citizen Security) will criminalise and penalise most public political dissidence.  Its aim is precisely that.  The multitudinous actions, interventions, protest of a movement such as those that have characterised 15M will be rendered illegal.  The only response can be the refusal of the law, disobedience.  If protest is criminal, then a criminal one becomes: openly, passionately, joyfully.  This is not a celebration of violence.  The criminal should not be confused and conflated by so restrictive a notion.  The risk for 15M, or elements within it and outside it, is that it pursue such a narrow path of resistance.  The revolution lies not in a violent confrontation with the State – something that is completely absurd under present circumstances – but in the on-going and creative making of alternatives within the folds of State-Capital; alternatives that open spaces-times and weave a fabric of resistance.

In Madrid, the collective Coordinadora 25S, with the support of multiple assemblies and collectives, in the city, called for a public gathering before the country’s congress, to protest the proposed new law.  The response of the State authorities was predictable: police identifications, harassment, and finally the melees between police and protesters.  The police will beat and arrest.  The media will speak of delinquents.  Governments will call for law and order, to secure the “freedom” of “citizens”, as freedom vanishes.

The Coordinadora 25S collective has reduced its politics to protest, to spectacle, to a confontation with the State over power, and for this it may be criticised.  But the state of exception into which all contestation is being forced into can only be responded to by an equally exceptional politics of resistance.

Video from the day of protest, by Jaime Alekos …

… and leading up to it …

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