Spain

Taking To The Streets

Just purely out of curiosity, as I had no particular reasons to be there. Protesters and encampments occupied the Square of Catalonia in Barcelona; it was unrecognizable.

 
The night was mild in May, but the tone was not. The protesters had to decide to either leave the place on police orders, or continue occupying the square. Sitting among the demonstrators, I observed an improvised stage presenting different opinions. Some advocated an alignment towards peace and left the square each day, while the others supported the peaceful attitude but remained camping on site as they felt the need to defend and maintain their position or to respond by strength. The Egyptian and Tunisian witnesses present recounted the "success" of their revolutions and encouraged protesters to stay on. The dissidents voted among themselves, and an overwhelming majority voted to stay put but to avoid provoking the police. Staying with the majority who turned in early, my night was short.
 
Seeing a demonstration on TV is one thing, and participating through one is another. At times, the police surrounded the square. There were some clashes and then the first tear gas was fired along with shots in the air. Scenes of panic ensued but the majority managed to hold their positions and push the police peacefully.
 
In the middle of the action, I wondered if the May ‘68 civil unrest in France was like this, but there were no stones flying around, and looking closer there was a massive presence of TV cameras, international journalists and even curious tourists. I always had in reference Gil Scott-Heron’s words, that the revolution will not be televised. It will not go down easy, but it will be real.
Subsequently Spain voted and chose a liberal right party instead of the socialist left to lead them out of the crisis. Yet, the country’s economy is still stuck.

Many times

Moments

Did you know...

- There is 4 official languages - Castillan, Catalan, Basque and Galician.

- In 2004, Spain had built new housing more than any other country.

- In the early 17th century, Spain had reigned on empire including Holland, Belgium, South of Italie, half of the US, the majority of Central and South America and the Philippines - named according to Philippe II -.

- Spain and Portugal were under Moroccan domination from 711 to 1492.

- Tomato, potato, avocado, tobaco and cacao have been intoduced in Europe by the Spanish - that's why this names ended by an O -.

- In Spain, it's a crime to slander or defame the dead.

- Spain haven't been involved in either WWI or WWII.

- There is more than 4.000 arabic words in Spanish.

Tips:

- Learn some Spanish

- Lunch is about 1pm and dinner around 10pm.

- Carnaval of Cadix and the Misteri d'Elx around Valencia.

- Museums and creations of Gaudi, Picasso, Dali and Miro.

Granada
Sevilla
Barcelona
Cordoba
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Barcelona