Telling You What I Saw / Regina Coyula

The 15-M today in Logroño, photo from El Pais.

Last night I had a chance to see a phenomenon that started quietly and has spread to almost every corner of Spain. 15-M is the name of the movement, which also emerged from social networks, and which reflects the dissatisfaction of citizens with the management of government, political parties, all of this a few days before regional elections.

I am telling you what I saw. In a city so quiet and obviously prosperous as Logroño seems to be (I’m not posing as an expert, my impression is skin deep), a large number of people, camped in a central square. Some spoke to those gathered and depending on their skills as an orator, and of the content beyond mere words, one was more applauded than another. The many signs, mostly improvised, gave me the measure of the plurality of the protestors; signs were painted against the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), against the People’s Party (PP), and against the king himself.

But in all that protesting what most caught my attention was the absence of the police, the absence of angry people; it was just a group of citizens peacefully exercising their right to protest the management of the politicians.

May 19 2011