The People of Spain Persecuted for Questioning the Pope’s Visit

Spain has been hit very severely by the global economic crisis. The unemployment is high and the social services are suffering huge cuts. The people of Spain have been protesting in the streets against their government’s austerity measures since May.

In the midst of this already very painful situation, the Spanish government decided it would be a good idea to shell out 50 million euros to bring the Pope on a 4-day-long visit to the country. It also decided it would be swell to send out the police forces to engage in brutal assaults on the protesters who came into the streets to demonstrate their peaceful disagreement with the Pope’s visit. Spain’s Catholic Church had collaborated with the fascist dictatorship that brutalized the country between 1939 and 1975. Since then, the younger generations of Spaniards have moved away from religion. These are the same people who are being hit very hard by unemployment and who don’t understand why their money – which is scarce as it is – should be given out to a bunch of religious fanatics who have done untold damage to the country already.

Through the blog What? I discovered this video of police officers beating a 17-year-old female protester. I warn you that it is very brutal.

17 thoughts on “The People of Spain Persecuted for Questioning the Pope’s Visit”

              1. You just have to copy paste the link from youtube into the comment. And that’s it. 🙂

                WordPress is good this way because it doesn’t require you to use html code like Blogger does. That I could never master.

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            1. So howd’ya do it? I don’t control it — it embeds when I don’t want it to, and won’t when I do.

              Meanwhile, it was my browser – don’t know why but now I can see it. God Madrid is beautiful. God I hate it, though, when people follow me saying eh, eh … even when well meaning,
              as is this case. Police, doing what they do best.

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              1. I just tried it this once and it works. There is a probability it won’t work the next time. I just pasted the url from Youtube into the comment and it embedded.

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  1. Great minds think alike. I just posted today about the situation in Spain. Spain’s Indignados have had an answer to their peaceful demonstrations when the country’s Socialist Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, declared that he would place constitutional limits on the budget deficit and the public debt essentially agreeing with Mariano Rajoy, leader of the opposition conservative People`s Party. This will be passed by the Spanish parliament before it`s dissolution on September 27th of this year. This means tax increases and/or budget cuts just like the states.

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    1. Just like in the US, in Spain people don’t have anything to choose from politically. Just like here, they deserve much much better. Unlike here, though, they do seem to realize that.

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  2. If the Pope wants to visit a country, why doesn’t the Catholic Church pay the costs? They certainly have more money than Spain at this time. And this is with the Socialists in power. What would it be like with the PP back in power?

    I don’t mean to belittle this, but I’ve seen a lot worse in this country.
    March 7, 1965 – Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama
    April 17, 1965 – 1st march against the Vietnam war
    August 27,1968 – the Chicago Police Riot

    Clarissa, I’m sure you are aware of much worse in Ukraine and the FSU. Violence against people protesting injustice is constant in the world. Look at Syria, Gaza and Israel today. Look at the British reaction to impudent little brown people like Mahatma Gandhi or the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.

    My first wife (divorced 1974) is a leader in the Israeli peace movement. Two years ago she was escorting a group of West Bank farmers to their olive grove for harvest. She was attacked and beaten by Charedim settlers and her knee was broken so bad that she had to come to this country for several surgeries. She will never be able to walk straight again. Oh, the olive grove was then burned.

    The worst I am aware of was also a Pope’s visit, this time to Salvador, Bahia, Brasil in October 1991. Homeless street children were ubiquitous in all of Brasil’s big cities at that time and most lived by petty theft. They were a constant problem for merchants. See the films “Pixote” and “Cidade de Dios” for examples. The local merchants (sort of a Chamber of Commerce group) hired a private security company to clean the city of Salvador before the Pope’s visit. The street children (pixotes) were rounded up (I was told approximately 6,000), taken out into the countryside and shot. They were buried by bulldozers in a mass grave. I was told this by a local doctor who had been abandoned on the streets himself when he was 6 years old. The story was denied, but I suspect it was true. Certainly the streets were safer and there were many fewer children on the streets afterwards. If it is true, it would put that visit of John Paul II close to Srebrinica in terms of numbers killed at once.

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    1. As the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno used to say, “Me duele España”. 🙂 Spain was doing so well before the crisis. It recovered so fast after the dictatorship. OK, not completely, but still, it was going in a good direction. Of course, there are many horrible things happening in the world. But it’s normal for a person to care more about some places or see them on a more emotional level than others. Something bad happens in Spain, I feel it viscerally. Paradoxically, I feel nothing similar for Ukraine.

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      1. bloggerclarissa :
        Of course, there are many horrible things happening in the world. But it’s normal for a person to care more about some places or see them on a more emotional level than others. Something bad happens in Spain, I feel it viscerally. Paradoxically, I feel nothing similar for Ukraine.

        That is so true. I feel strongly about things in Brasil. My feelings for Spain are mixed. I care about Galicia, but very little about Castilla. I find it interesting that you have little attachment to Ukraine, but considering your experience growing up there, that may be understandable. Most people I know who toured there have said it was extremely oppressive and unrelenting.

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  3. Diego, I’m pretty sure that’s true re SSA (Salvador BA). It’s interestingly hard to just
    Google, though. And in general – yeah. I am sorry about your ex wife!

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