Spain is routinely referred to as a democratic country, and it does possess many of the attributes typically associated with democracy. At the same time, as I have seen during the past several months of living in Madrid, the country is also home to some profoundly anti-democratic tendencies. For many critics, these tendencies represent not an erosion of a previously democratic reality but rather a confirmation that “La Transición” (Spain’s post-1975 transition from dictatorship to democratic rule) remains fundamentally unfinished. Nowhere is this clearer that in the ongoing attempts by the state to restrict the ability of ordinary citizens to exercise freely their right to protest and to share information about what is happening in their society. In this “Weaving the Streets” post I will share what I observed and learned at a recent protest in support of Raúl Capín, an independent photojournalist who is facing potential jail time after photographing police activity at a major public demonstration in February 2013. The case is intimately connected with a broader series of issues having to do with the criminalization of information and possibility for real democratic transformation in Spain.
I am reprinting the following piece originally published today by Counterpunch, with permission, because it gets at some very important issues about structures of violence that resonate not only throughout the U.S., but also in Palestine (the normal topic of this blog). One of the authors, George Ciccariello-Maher, is a St.
Thanks for Your comment. There is NO NEED for any censorship laws now and in the future. YET there is need for something else: NEED TO RESPECT EACH OTHER. Freedom of speech ends where freedoms and rights of another human being are violated and treated, or her/his culture and values are insulted, mocked, and laughed at.