“They are singing, ‘It’s not a crisis. It’s a fraud,’ ” she tells viewers.
If you’re looking for the origins of the Occupy movement — and perhaps its future — it is here, in Spain.
Five months before American protesters stormed Wall Street in September 2011, Spanish youth staged a similar campout in the Puerta del Sol in the center of Madrid. Known as the indignados (indignant ones) or 15M (because the first protest took place on May 15), the movement continues to evolve in Spain where the economy is struggling with unemployment at 24.6 percent.
The group here still holds street protests but is also helping institute tangible changes such as organizing neighborhood councils to fight corruption and pushing for legislative reforms.
Even as Occupy tents and protests dwindle in the United States, 15M is using cutting-edge social networks to draw attention to the role of bankers and politicians in creating the European financial crisis and the austerity measures that have forced ordinary Spaniards to pay for others’ mistakes.
15M has been in constant communication with Occupy Wall Street and dozens of other protest groups through an online network that is redefining how democracy is conducted.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in New York and beyond over the weekend to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the movement. Dozens were arrested. It took months of negotiation during online meetings with more than 500 participants from 82 countries to coordinate the series of global events that began on Saturday.
These supporters typically gather online each month in a meeting that often draws up to 1,000 participants and lasts four to six hours to debate ideas and coordinate actions. Each country has its own general assembly, and from there participants split off into various groups organized by city and neighborhood.
There’s no agenda and no official leadership; various people rotate in taking charge of certain tasks. There are translation brigades to facilitate communication between countries and teams of lawyers who work in shifts to quickly help protesters who have been arrested or who are in other legal trouble.
Though Facebook and Twitter were central to the global movement in the very beginning, the group is turning to other social communication tools partly because of its sheer size.
Members of the movement use Mumble, an open-source voice chat application, to host regular local, countrywide and international meetings that can draw thousands. Vibe, an anonymous broadcast messaging service, is used to announce dates and times of actions. And Bambuser, a live video technology created by a team based in Stockholm, has been adopted to stream video of people and events that matter to the movement.