Valencian Spring

One year ago, on February 15th, 2012, happened what was called Primavera Valenciana (Valencian Spring) in Valencia, Spain, (the city where I live), named so following the Arab Spring.

All started when a group of 20 minors, students of the school Lluis Vives, was protesting against the degradation of public education, since all the money is saving banks. Police arrested a minor, 15 years old, because the protest hadn’t been previously notified and the students cut the traffic during a pair of minutes.

The next day the students repeated the demonstration, much more crowded. Riot police answered charging against the students, leaving images of brutality that were soon seen all around the world.

picture from hombresgrises.wordpress.com
Primavera Valenciana
Anna, 16 years old, begging not to be beaten

As a normal person might guess -but not riot police nor their rulers, of course-, this caused a rise in demonstrations during the next days, from a group of twenty persons to thousands, and also solidarity demonstrations spread around Spain. The Police Chief who ordered the charges, Antonio Moreno, claimed that people protesting were “the enemy”.

Primavera Valenciana
Demonstration in Sevilla – “I am the enemy too” (taken from wikimedia.org)

One year later, Governemt continues saving banks, public education continues being dismantled, police continues to behave as in the years of Franco dictatorship, and the infamous Antonio Moreno was promoted… showing that police brutality, even against minors, is approved and rewarded by Spanish authorities. This is Spain, the country where beasts beat up minors and are rewarded for it.

Today it will be celebrated in Valencia a demonstration and a concert, in commemoration of the Valencian Spring, and the income will be used for the defense of those arrested during that week (40 persons) and penalised (231 fines, probably to save banks). I wonder if our enemy, the police, will attack again.

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8 thoughts on “Valencian Spring

  1. This is horrible Samuel. I feel guilty just living over here with so many freedoms we take for granted while our government does nothing. It's disgraceful that “civilized” governments ally themselves with governments that permit this. Thank you for sharing. You won't be forgotten, and hopefully together we can change this.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, John. Spanish government is diguised as a civilized government as well, and many Spanish people like to believe that. But many are waking up at last. As I comment in other post, the budget for riot police equipment has been raised a 1780% for 2013 (173.670€ in 2012, 3.260.000€ in 2013). That is very significant about what the government thinks.

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  3. Pingback: An offer I can refuse | Samuel Guevara

    • Thanks. I don’t know if Spanish people is more solidary, comparing with other countries. But these are hard years, and it’s true that citizen movements are much stronger than 6 years ago.

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      • more to do with the EU, i bet. I don’t think the average American or non-EU citizen, realizes how much was lost to come into the EU as far as taking on the euro, etc. I was in Madrid the last week in March and was surprised how in solidarity the people were, even those who did not march! What will the EU do if citizens of Greece, Spain and Ireland band together?

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      • Perhaps you know something about the 15-M movement, the protests starting in Spain since 15 May 2011. That movement started a citizens activism that didn’t exist before, and is continuing now with a new political party, Podemos, and civilian candidacies in many cities, out of the traditional political parties. The expectations for this movement are very good. And at least in Greece can happen the same, with Syriza.

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