New Fascist Gag Rule for the Citizens (read: Rabble) of Spain: One Step Too Far?

On July 1, a new law came into effect in Spain, and it is one vicious law.  The ruling PP party’s name for it is “The Citizen Safety Law”; citizens and activists protesting the egregious austerity foisted upon them by their own corrupt elites and the IMF call it “ley mordaza” or “the gag law”, and that it’s altogether reminiscent of the days under dictator Francisco Franco. It’s obviously been designed to curtail any public free speech, freedom of association, including on social networks, in Spain, and gives the police insane levels of power to punish protestors financially and all of course without even a nod to due process.

From the Inquisitir:

“According to the ruling PP party, “Demonstrations will be freer because they will be protected from violent elements.” However, those in opposition say the government is creating a “police state,” as now police officers will be able to hand out administrative sanctions and huge fines, which were previously the sole preserve of the courts.”

Now this in a nation whose citizens are suffering high jobless rates, massive foreclosures caused by the bursting of a seriously inflated housing bubble (does it sound familiar?), but whose mortgages must be paid off even after the owners are evicted.  Apparently their were punitive clauses written by their Banksters in the fine print.

El Pais English lists ‘Five things Spain’s ‘gag law’ will stop you doing from today’: (July 1)

Demonstrating near Congress and the Senate

The law considers an offense any “serious perturbation of citizen security” in front of Congress, the Senate or regional assemblies, even if the legislature is not in session at the time. “But what constitutes perturbing citizen security?” wonders Greenpeace, denouncing that this decision will now be in the “arbitrary” hands of the police. This measure was introduced at the time when social protest movements such as Surround Congress arose in Spain.

Taking photographs of police officers

Video cameras have become commonplace at protests in recent years. And social networks are being used to disseminate recordings that have captured police abuse on more than one occasion, and have later been used as evidence against officers. This will be harder starting on July 1, as the Citizen Safety Law imposes penalties on “the unauthorized use of images or personal or professional information” about police officers “that could endanger their personal safety or that of their families, of protected facilities or endanger the success of a police operation.” Amnesty International has complained about this, noting that journalists and other individuals’ private recordings have occasionally helped report the use of excessive force by the police.

Stopping a home eviction

“In the name of citizen security, the new legislation bans and criminalizes such common practices as stopping a home eviction,” says PAH, a support association for home loan borrowers in trouble. The PP once went so far as to suggest ties between PAH and the Basque terrorist group ETA. The new law will make PAH’s actions harder, as the police will be able to sanction individuals who “obstruct any authority, public employee or official corporation in the exercise of administrative or judicial agreements or resolutions.”

Protesting from above

As per the new legislation, police officers may slap fines on anyone found “climbing buildings or monuments without authorization when there is a clear risk of damage to persons or goods.” This article seems tailor-made to stop the kind of public campaigns staged by Greenpeace, this organization notes. “In this case, the offense is committed without the need for disturbing the peace or harming citizen security,” notes a Greenpeace release. It will be enough for the police to consider that “a risk” exists.

Peaceful resistance and sit-ins

The new law means the end of peaceful resistance, say non-profit groups. The police will be able to fine anyone who refuses to break up gatherings and demonstrations in public places after “the relevant authority” has ordered it.

Fines of €100 to €600,000

Under the new law, minor offenses will carry fines of €100 to €600, while serious offenses are sanctioned with penalties of €601 to €30,000 and very serious offenses between €30,001 and €600,000.”

The Inquisitir author writes that almost all Indignado protests were peaceful, save for some incidents they believed were committed by agentes provocateurs in order to bring out the riot police; yes, we know about that tactic.  Now, nothing I’ve read directly talks of arrests and prison time for breaking these rules, but it’s not hard to believe that ‘failure to pay fines’ would inevitably lead directly to jail.

El Pais’ Dec. 2014Ruling party rams controversial security legislation through Congress; Opposition calls it “a gag law” while a group of citizens sings protest song in parliament’… tells some of the history of it, but the photo at the top is wonderful.  A group of people in the public gallery stood and sang:

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

It will be interesting to hear if significant numbers of police refuse to don their fascist overlord’s cruelty as they button on their uniforms for their day jobs, won’t it?  Will there be massive citizen protests , and if so, how will the police respond?

Spain’s next general election, according to Wikipedia will be held…toward the end of the year; but at least before Dec. 20. Their Rulers are banking on this fascistic law to stifle dissent so that any democracy-loving rabble supporting Podemos don’t get any political power.  They must be crushed, like the ‘coalition of the radical left’ Syriza in Greece.

This is Pablo Iglesias on with Amy Goodman in February of this year.

(It’s hard to listen to his comments on Obama…)

Amy had asked about the genesis of the Indignado (15-M) movement into the Podemos political party.  This is part I of a discussion on TRRN: ‘Los Indignados to Podemos: The Making of a Party; The Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias learned much of what he knows from the leftward shift in Latin America, says Becquer Seguin, doctoral candidate in Romance studies at Cornell University –   February 6, 2015


The other heart-breaking story (among many) I found on Earth First!’s Twitter account was this one from “our backyard” (Joe Biden):

This might be considered a companion piece from July 2 I ran into unexpectedly today, but who knows if their ‘success’ is based on (free, unfettered markets) Austrian economics?  What’s Driving Bolivia’s Booming Economy’  I’ll bet the folks at Mise just loooove the TPP and such ‘deals’

But the evidence had been that Evo had indeed been…devolving, even as far back as 2011.  Counterpunch used to pick up Glendinning’s posts. She’d even reported him calling the Indigenous some wretched names, although I’ve forgotten the particulars.  He’s a long way from his Declaration of Mother Earth, enshrining human Constitutional rights to the planet, and it’s a tragedy.  Oh, Evo; you are killing your soul and too many of your people step by horrid step!  And think what you’re doing to our Mother Earth in direct defiance of your own inspirational Declaration along the way.

15 responses to “New Fascist Gag Rule for the Citizens (read: Rabble) of Spain: One Step Too Far?

  1. Spaniards continue protesting as new ‘gag law’ takes effect ;-)

  2. The Spanish government must be desperate to take such measures, which will only serve to hasten their demise, one would think.

    What a shame about Bolivia.

    • i suspect you might be right, juliania, or at least i do hope so. they are watching events in greece very carefully, of course. getting that greece’s fate could be theirs if the Titans of Finance succeed in killing democracy, dignity, and human rights’

      i wish i knew spanish in order to read pablo iglesias’s Tweeties. but from the looks of the photos, he and podemos are effectively ‘dancin’ thru their revolution’, as emma goldman advised. ;-)

      oh, evo…such a disappointment from an indigenous man elected to do…something sooooo different. i suppose it’s one of the main reasons not to have heroes; so many end up having so much clay on their feet.

  3. Hello wendyedavis,

    Please excuse my going to go off topic with “gag-order,” only in the sense of this was happening in a late Thursday night state budget committee session right here in Wisconsin. A measure in Budget Motion 999 to eliminate or exempt almost all of state government dealings with open records law.

    This change if passed, would essentially free Walker, who announced earlier on July 2, his federal filing for POTUS run, from any further scrutiny over his part in the John Doe 2 investigations into his 2011-12 illegal campaign contribution coordination, and also the conflict of interests between the 4 conservative state supreme court justices deliberating on this same John Doe case on their docket, whose defendants, WI Club for Growth, (Koch, Bradley Foundation sponsored) contributed a combined $10M to elect these 4 “justices,” and other related kangaroo actions against transparency and democracy.

    Spent yesterday working to preserve what’s left of our state democracy, nothing to celebrate, a wider audience needed to see this pos governor in action.

    I did read your piece and this state of the US is being set up as a test kitchen for spreading the austerity for thee but not for me, oligarchical rule here. Same day Walker announced federal filing, Obombya was in La Cross, WI to chastise Republicans here for wage theft and union busting and not many saw the hypocrisy behind his words, considering what he intends to do with fast tract authority.

    • mornin’, amigo. yes, that is indeed a paper gag order of the most nefarious kind. even criminal court proceedings are sealed? holy shit, how convenient. this uppity link on the left sidebar was even more explicative, i think, but then i’ve been reading for hours some of the links i grabbed from MOA on greece. (varoufakis as a trojan horse for the IMF, and so on.)

      p.o.s walker, p.o.s obomba, so many of them around, aren’t there, that it’s hard to remember some days that there are good dudes and good dudettes fighting their power and financial looting. obama had made some grand gesture of an EO raising the limits for overtime work pay (i dinnae follow it well), only to read that it was all quite empty of any nod to the truth. legacy shopping in the most craven ways…

      i commend you highly for hanging in and fighting for a better wisconsin, nonquixote, and i hope you’re having a good time with your daughter. ;-)

      i just played the ‘do you hear the people sing?’ video again, tears welled again, and mused that it is so apropos today here…and around the world.

      • When the most extreme teaparty orgs in the state (McGiver Institute, and WI Institute for Law and Liberty [WILL] they wish to attack the record of the left with open records requests ) commend the Democrats denouncing this “motion 999,” it gives one pause to wonder if this was the red meat tossed out to distract from a couple other things in the motion that they are trying to shift focus from. Some of that is coming out here and there.

        Just in from watering the latest succession planting, keeping things moist for good germination. Better communications are ensuing as someone is maturing, but that imho is revealing the depths of the “spectrum” of problems to be addressed. Going to seek suggestions from available help services this week, job coaching and career steering, aptitude testing… thanks for asking. To brighter days in many ways.

        • ha, yes, deception theater is bumfuzzling, and so useful, isn’t it?

          good on you for being proactive, and i hope the answers are helpful. in different directions, of course, the help we received was so often…unhelpful at best. but your issues are quite different than our chirren’s were.

          sigh, yes: brighter days in many ways. and i assume the someone who is maturing…isn’t you? just joshin’ around, dear one. good gardening to you.

      • Almost couldn’t comment this morning, as your comments square stayed dark, wendye – but the ‘reply’ button works!

        I LOVE the real news network! Here’s just a wonderful this morning video that ties our concerns in a positive way (shades of that Hawaii thingie):

        Happy Cinco de Greco!

        • That was meant as a reply to wendye’s comment above, nonquixote; sorry. Best wishes to you in your endeavors, and never say off-topic – Wisconsin is certainly on!

        • well, curse wordpress for it’s many glitches! and i’m paying for this? ;-)

          i’ll try to watch, but i did want to try to comment on the other thread n some of the links i’d collected at MOA. i’ve grabbed a few more on my travels, but few of them may matter except to understand a bit about what comes next, either Oxi or Ne (they’re spelling them differently as of this morning, go figure). big chore day again, so i might just have to be in and out.

          and let’s hope it IS a happy cinco de greco; times will be hard, hard, for everyday greeks for quite some time no matter what. i will say i loved the woman quoted at the guardian saying she hadn’t decided how to vote (as she was waiting in line to vote). “but failing to vote is wrong!” ha ha ha.

  4. Mordaz: scathing, caustic, biting, barbed, pungent, nipping, mordant, acrimonious, poignant, acid, blistering, peppery, …

    These fascists need some tough love.

  5. how good it is to see you, comrade X. here’s hoping you are doing well, if not ‘doing good’. (just teasin’; you know i ♥ you, of course.) but isn’t ‘poignant’ heart piercing?

    but oy, i’ve checked the twitter thang, and haven’t found how their protest objections have gone. i’d hoped a bit like the ‘fuck your curfew, libby schaff’
    actions, but were they fined so heavily without the means to pay that many may be in jail? the regime seems to want ‘object lessons’ learned well. and boy, howdy, are they watching greece. hopefully, they are taking ♥ from the referendum results today.

  6. Good to see you still at it, comrade. Have not been following the Spanish demonstrations recently. Spain was/is becoming very repressive. They don’t have a museum for the Spanish Holocaust yet, though it’s closing in on 80 years. Here’s an interesting comment from a visitor to the Civil War Museum in Cartagena.

    Throughout my travelling through Spain (south) not much public reflection seems evident.
    I was eagerly looking forward to viewing this but left, quickly most disappointed.
    Found it quite amateurish and simple.

    If I as a tourist left no more informed, it is not serving the Spanish people well either.

    Spain remembers to want everyone to forget. Someone’s put money in to elevate the Gitano contribution, Flamenco, but the Spanish elite spares much less for those dirty Republicans.

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