Tag: gaglaws

United against Spain’s Gag Laws: change bottom-up

Five years ago Spain’s ‘indignados’ or the 15M movement erupted onto the scene in the context of a political and socio-economic crisis resulting from successive corruption scandals, social welfare cuts, and largescale privatization of public services. 2011 saw an intensive period of social mobilization with widespread grassroots participation, alternative forms of horizontal organization, and thousands of people talking to each other in citizen assemblies in the main squares and marching in the streets across the country.

Instead of listening to popular demands, the government proceeded to develop new laws aimed at limiting citizen protests, namely restricting the freedom of assembly and expression. Faced with the prospect of the so-called Gag Laws, civil society activists came together to create a new space for action. The result was “No Somos Delito”, translating as “We are not a crime”, a platform of civil society organizations formed in late 2013 to raise awareness of the Gag Laws and campaign against their implementation. Acts of peaceful resistance such as opposing home evictions or publishing images of police abuses are now heavily penalized.