Booklet review: “How to cook a peaceful revolution”, by Spanish rEvolution

Available over the Internet, free distribution.*

To quote from the booklet’s introduction: “All of us, to a greater or lesser extent, dream about changing the world, but we always end up abandoning that dream when we think that we are unable to do anything alone. In Spanish rEvolution we are pursuing that dream tirelessly and we are convinced that all together, as one, we can make it happen. But we are also aware that any individual can only change their immediate environment and the world is vast. So we decided to create this document to help all those with the same dream as us to organise, mobilise, develop and create, so that we can change the world together.”

The document is intended as a DIY kit and captures everything Spanish rEvolution, to give the motley gathering of minds and hearts a name, has learned since the movement was born. This includes organisation and assembly systems, forms of network dissemination, what to do when charged by the police, activities still developing, links with other international groups, and – importantly for us at |Pressenza – how to be a non-violent and horizontal movement.

Looking back at some of the better known moments that have led to the development of this tool, in January or February 2011 a group called Real Democracy Now decided to call for a demonstration on the 15th of May because of the economic, political and social malaise which Spanish society was suffering from. Thus the 15M name. Over the following months many people heeded the call and social networks did the rest.

Recalling that on May 15th there were demonstrations in all the major cities of Spain, with over 50,000 people in Madrid alone and that these events resulted in over a dozen people arrested, after the demonstration a group of people gathered in the central square of Puerta de Sol, Madrid and decided to think about what they could do. They camped out! The next day there were several citizen assemblies and collectively the meetings brought together over 1000 people who decided as a first step to create various working committees. These were: media, food, legal, extension and infrastructure. After the meeting each who wished joined the committee where they thought they could be more helpful. This is where yet again social media came in as accounts were set up for Twitter, Facebook and a website was created.

However, before dawn had broke they were evicted by the police and that news began to spread on Twitter and Facebook as well as through the emails of those in committees created the previous day. Social networks took on a life of their own and a spontaneous demonstration was called for 8pm that day. 15M became a trending topic in Spain; the ‘Spanish rEvolution’ had begun. It started to spread like wild fire and the rest is people’s history.

What is the Spanish rEvolution?
• A people’s movement which emerged spontaneously
• A peaceful movement
• A horizontal movement with no leaders, no ruling council, and no one in command
• A movement that is beginning to learn to use its collective intelligence through the assembly method and new technology
• An innovative movement that is laying the foundations for a new form of social organisation for the 21st century
• A heterogeneous movement composed of people of all ages and ideologies.
• A group of citizens who believe that a better world is possible and have begun working on it.

As it states in the booklet: “The Spanish rEvolution and all the other rEvolutions that are happening around the world are many things and for everyone it will be something different. The above are just a few examples and there will be those who share this description and those who don’t.” As it also states the one item we all share is – hope.

There’s a quote by someone I have long admired, it goes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” Margaret Mead.

We hope you find this document useful.

issued by the Spanish World Extension Team; Version 1.0 “How to cook a peaceful revolution”. By Spanish rEvolution.