Spanish government attacks free speech

This video says about itself:


Spanish people protest at the main office of the PP [Partido Popular, rightist government party]. The Barcenas papers show a corruption case in the Spanish government.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

‘Spanish democracy in mourning

Today, 11:07

Jessica van Spengen

He is always there. The nearly 80-year-old Martin Sagrera lives in Madrid but travels throughout Spain to protest against the policies of the Rajoy government. And he is always lugging stacks of homemade placards with him to hand out. At his home, there is no corner where no sign stands or lies. Demonstrating, Martin makes a full-time job of it.

Martin Segrera with pro-peace signs

This photo shows Martin Segrera with signs against the Iraq war.

In recent years many Spaniards took to the streets. Last year there were not less than 30,000 demonstrations. People protesting against the cuts in education and health care, and against the anti-abortion proposals, which were stopped.

They prevented that families were evicted from their homes by occupying the premises with many people. And politicians were surprised with ‘escraches‘, surrounding their houses by surprise so they could not go inside or out.


That had to end, the government decided. Yesterday, a law was passed in the Spanish parliament, which regulated, inter alia, demonstrations.

If one goes on the street without permission or surrounds the house of a politician or the parliament building, one risks a fine of between 30,000 and 600,000 euros.

Martin Segrera anti-PP signs

This photo shows signs by Martin Segrera. The sign PPartido PPeligroso! says that the name of the government party PP does not mean ‘Popular Party’ but ‘Dangerous Party’.

Enforced silence

The law was not accepted easily by parliament. Politicians of left parties during the vote taped their mouths to symbolize what the law according to them means: the silencing of citizens.

The entire opposition, except one member, voted against. But the ruling party Partido Popular has an absolute majority, so the parliament passed the law.

In recent months, this law became the reason for many Spaniards to go back on the streets. Before the Spanish parliament building there is a funeral wreath. Two girls adjust its ribbons. They are members of an organization that fights against the new law.

Spain is in mourning and so is democracy, explains one of the girls. Because this law is not meant to make demonstrating ‘easier’ and certainly not to prevent disorder, she says.


“In only 0.08 percent of the cases when there was a demonstration in Spain last year, it got out of hand, said the interior minister himself.” In Spain, generally many people demonstrate but in a very peaceful way. No, she is convinced that the law is intended to deter people from taking to the streets.

“If you’re going to have fines like these, 30,000 euros, then you are intimidating people. That’s four times the minimum annual wage in Spain.” Two men stand next to the bouquet. They have black hats and blue cloths tied over their mouths, which forces them to be silent.

Martin Sagrera is also convinced that the government behaves like a cornered rat. Because of controversial austerity measures and corruption scandals around the party, they lost a lot of popularity.

Is he afraid of the threat of heavy fines? He continues to make signs calmly. He has lived through the [Franco] dictatorship. However, it is a loss, according to him. A loss for democracy that is still so young in Spain.

THOUSANDS of civil rights activists protested in 30 Spanish cities on Saturday against a law that would set big fines for offences such as burning the national flag and demonstrating outside parliament buildings and strategic institutions: here.

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