Wednesday, May 02, 2007

El Dos De Mayo

I wanted to post something about the 2nd of May, not least because it is a public holiday in Madrid; giving me the chance to do it at my leisure. So I went to English Wikipedia looking for some background, only to discover that there was no specific article on the events that happened on this day in 1808. Faced with such a situation, and having spent some time with Wikipedia for other reasons, I decided the best thing to do was to write it myself. It is still a work in progress, but has already been greatly improved by other Wiki users. So if you are inside or outside of Madrid today, and don't understand why the city is still on holiday this article will tell you why: Dos de Mayo Uprising.

7 comments:

The Pillion Passenger said...

What can you tell us about the disturbances in Malsana last night? I've only basic Spanish so ELPAIS.com is a little tough for me! I visited the Goya painting from the rebellion a few weeks ago. Fantastic.

Anonymous said...

As regard Malasaña´s disturbances, it only was that teenager wanted to drink (alcohol) in the streets (that´s ilegal in Madrid, except during some feasts) and then they begin throwing bottles and stones to the police. At the end, several injured and nothing more.

Graeme said...

Well I was considering doing a post on the "other" dos de mayo uprising. It is, unfortunately, about not much more than the botellon - the mass open-air drinking sessions that until a few years ago were a regular feature in the Plaza 2 de mayo. However, it is also about municipal incompetence and police over reaction, I have just been watching on TV a policeman repeatedly kicking someone who is on the ground - almost certainly no action will be taken against him.

The fiestas of 2 de Mayo used to be held in this square, there were concerts and it gave the neighbours a chance to air their grievances by hanging protest banners on their balconies. After the Madrid bombings they cancelled the fiestas - understandable - but since then the city administration has refused to permit any celebration in the square. Last year they refused to permit local residents to organise anything sayimg that it would encourage the botellon - they then sat back passively as the whole area was turned into a massive botellon throughout the whole holiday period! This year they have obviously decided not to permit anything at all, and here we have the result of an inconsistent policy combined with the arrogance of those who think they have the "right" to use anyone's doorstep as their own space to get blitzed. It's not Paris, this is not the suburbs exploding in anger over their hopeless situation.

I did consider doing an on the spot report for South of Watford but - shameful confession - the events have been taking place after my bedtime, and given the indiscriminate nature of the police reaction I didn't feel it was worth getting my head kicked in by a riot policeman to see some kids chucking their empty vodka bottles at the police lines.

The Pillion Passenger said...

Thanks for that, was just wondering. Any time I've been in Spain - and i was in madrid a few weeks ago - the police seem to turn a blind a eye to street drinking. It's one of the most enjoyable parts of being there, I think, but clearly there was a different context last night.

Katie said...

nice wiki piece. as for the current dos de mayo uprising, today i was with someone who attributed the police (over) reaction to the upcoming elections. it's amazing to witness the pre-election craze here ... 11 new metro stations opening every day!? i'm just glad we can finally get the metro all the way to T4...

Graeme said...

The police turn a blind eye to something when it suits them - but if they feel like it they can slap a hefty fine on you for walking down the street with an open can of beer in your hand - try doing that in supposedly more ordered Germany and you'd get a revolution. I did a little tour of 2 de Mayo this afternoon, there were police all over the place but the square had been taken over by Miguel Sebastian's campaign team.


Katie, the T4 metro station gets a pre-election double inauguration - the government minister inaugurated it today because Aguirre didn't invite her to the "other" inauguration tomorrow. I'm still waiting to see how they will price it, given that they handed the contract to a private company. There were rumours of having to pay a supplement.

David said...

Good job on the Wikipedia article. Many articles are started with a couple of sentences. I think you did a really great job.