Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breaking Camp In The Puerta Del Sol

Arriving far later than originally intended, a photographic summary of the dismantling of the protest camp in Madrid's Puerta del Sol. The decision to leave the camp on Sunday 12th June was taken after a long assembly the previous week. Long because every attempt was made to accommodate the opinion of the minority who were against leaving the square. Eventually a consensus was reached which consisted of those who wanted to remain having to make proposals acceptable to all if they wanted to stay in the name of the 15-M movement. That didn't happen, and on a hot Sunday morning the work began to clear the camp.

Huge amounts of material were removed from what had become quite solid structures during the lifetime of the camp, as well as the hard task of removing traces of posters and stickers from the Metro entrances and other structures in the square. The people from the camp took the task of clearing up very seriously and the municipal cleaning services provided the containers and lorries to move the debris away.

Not everything was removed from Sol, and there was even a bit of new construction. The movement had decided to leave an information booth about the campaign in the square, and here it is in construction.

Alongside the information booth there were a series of other reminders of what had been here since the middle of May.

The vegetable garden was still there in Sol when I passed by on Sunday following the big demonstration in Madrid. Doing surprisingly well considering the hostile environment in which it has to survive.

After the dismantling of the camp there was still time for an assembly to mark the occasion and to make clear that the campaign that took off on the 15th May is far from over. 

This is the information booth in the square once it was up and running.

Some of those who opposed leaving the camp claimed that the extension of the campaign to the barrios of Madrid wasn't yet ready. In reality, it had been running well already for a couple of weeks and the proof of that was there to see in the successful protest held on June 20th, as well as in the huge range of activities that are now being organised at local level around the city. 


Tumbit said...

I'm both surprised and heartened to see that many protestors stayed behind to clear the camps and the mess left behind. I doubt that the situation would have been the same if it were the UK.

Graeme said...

You have to take into account the huge propaganda campaign to try and portray the protest as anti-system "perroflautas" who were just creating a hygiene problem in the square. When I went down there were almost always people cleaning, and the way in which they left was a demonstration of the attitude maintained during the lifetime of the camp.

Anonymous said...

So it is over. The politicians haven't done anything. We still have corrpt politicians running for election (and winning!).
Banks that made bad business decissions being supported by all of us, and an extremely conservative elite that keeps its money in secret accounts to avoid taxes and then wnats to teach us ( the rest) how to behave..
what did this protest accomplish????

Graeme said...

It's not over yet - a week after the camp was dismantled we got the biggest demonstrations so far. Too soon to write it off.