Madrid, Spain. Neighborhood of Salamanca. Núñez de Balboa. The media speak of a crowded street. But in many other streets in the same neighborhood and nearby, such as Arturo Soria, Retiro, Hortaleza, the neighbors accompany the demonstrations from the balconies and the terraces like a dark troupe.
On the corner of Goya dozens of people are demonstrating. Hands clad in blue gloves, others in white, they are raised to the sky demanding freedom as in the time of Miguel Ángel Blanco. Rabid slogans sound to the beating of a loud saucepan. Watching, I understand that they get their authority from flags. Flags in their masks, wristbands, fluttering in the wind, others – huge – covering their backs.
I hear: “This government is illegal! Down with the government! Resign! Sánchez out! Communists out! Out! Out! Shouts that tear the air: “Long live the police! Long live the Civil Guard! Long live Spain!” That ¡Viva España! strikes against my gut. It reminds too much of those “Long live our chains! Long live death! Death to culture!”, chanted by the leaders of the coup on that fateful day at the University of Salamanca. Some of that ferocity goes on echoing. That’s why, I tell myself. I need to get out of here. Fast. I try not to run. I turn the first corner. Take a breath. I’m out.
How is this possible? I am looking for an explanation for what I have just experienced. I realize that it is nothing other than the precipitation of something that had already been announced. Which is that they do not lose elections. They are robbed of what is theirs. And then the Reconquest begins. “This government is illegal.” That this government comes from the ballot box means nothing to them.
In my opinion, my own feeling, what is really worrying is that increasingly thin line between VOX, the party of the far right, and the Partido Popular of the offspring of Aznar. Those taken up by the ideology of neoliberal principles, impregnated with rancid Francoism and a Trump-like modernity, forged and disseminated by that factory of ideas allergic to the common, to the social, which has been the FAES (Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis) for the past two decades.
The Ayusos, the Casados, now in power in Madrid are their ripe fruit, but also the new generations that follow them. They are politicians without guilt and without shame. This gives them a freedom to say and do things that seem to have no limits, neither for them nor for the damage they do and can do to society.
And we know what that Spanish right is capable of, heir to that which they never denied and never left, when they decide that the other is a usurper and has no right to exist and that therefore the time has come to remove them by any means possible.
In my opinion the Madrid sunsets are only a small instance of this. What they want is for Spain to be theirs and only theirs again. It is their rightful property that they are claiming.
I deduce that we are going to have to fight for democracy and with it for our right to exist as who we are and who we want to be. I am in no way given to either nationalisms or fatherlands. I never thought that the day would come when we would have to face each other again for a conception of Spain. And now that day might well be today. That day might already be here. Hopefully this time they will stop at shouting. Let’s hope that this time they don’t have guns.
Because we are not going to give in. To imposition and barbarism we will always say: No. We will resist with our vote. We will resist with our saying, with our doing and with our way of living. And to this active resistance we will always say: Yes.
Translated by Roger Litten
Published originally in Spanish in Zadig España. Available online.