In the demonstration of last Saturday in Madrid, two things surprised us, apart from the dimensions of the large crowd filling all the Plaza de Colón and the neighboring streets. First, how the T-shirts were transformed into the main vehicle of expression of the protest, and on the other hand, how many of them were written in the various languages of the Spanish state, especially in Catalan.
“And when will they operate you?” “I have to go there on 25 October, but I don’t know whether I will, because I feel no more pain” “Just go, at least you will frighten them” – PUBLICH HEALTH: It is more probable that you will die before they attend you
This demonstration brought together in the Plaza de Colón the protests of various professional groups most directly affected by the cuts the government has applied to the core of the welfare state. Thus, health and education, both in a distinctive green color, were the most visible.
Machado’s metaphore, „Madrid, breakwater of all Spain”, has already become a commonplace, but in the city you can always feel its truth. We, who are not from Madrid, but from a far away periphery of the country, where Madrid’s name is used as a metonym for all political and economic ills, in the few days spent in the city are always surprised not to see the devil jumping out from every lamppost, and to experience the open and welcoming spirit of the locals, the general hospitality of a city which has so little to do with its rulers.
Today Esperanza Aguirre, President of Madrid has resigned. The Saturday demonstration was surely not the reason, but we can attest that her name was cited there with very little affection for a couple of hours.
“I is another” (“Je est un autre”), at the foot of the Cybele fountain
And finally, in a bar, a park, or, as in this case, in the Museum of Prado there is always a quiet place to rest.