Cartoon of 02/01/2022 in CTXT
Seven years old is the fucking gag rule. It has become very clear that the political class is not going to agree to a repeal of the law, as it promised ad nauseam, and what is more serious, the reform comes late and badly, with a demobilising effect based on hundreds of thousands of sanctions and what is even worse, they do not plan to eliminate the articles that are most harmful to human rights.
The Interior Ministry of the most progressive government in the history of the world has spent recently two million euros on 25,539 steel batons. The Mossos have them since 2016 and the Guardia Civil since 2018. The National Police have been asking for them for a long time to reinforce their equipment for public order thugs, more militarised every day. This is enough to give us an idea of how they are going to tackle the NON-repeal of the gag rule that they so vilified in the campaign.
They are calling for us to take to the streets to protest on 13 February and today there is a campaign on the web to promote it under the hashtag #Let’sEndTheGagGagLaw. If you want to add your voice, here you have the full text of the call for mobilisation, which I reproduce here and where you will find the list of times, cities and participating collectives.
You can also read five keys to de-muzzling protest.
The Gag Law has been used recurrently since its approval in 2015 to demobilise organisations, activists, journalists and citizens in general who mobilise in defence of human rights.
The Law on Citizen Security will soon be reformed, but as the reform has been proposed, protest will continue to be muzzled. The government’s agreement to reform the law is several years late, but what is worse, it will not eliminate the elements that are most harmful to human rights, and it is just a makeover of the Gag Law.
With the current reform proposal, the Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana will continue to be a gag on peaceful protest. The right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression would continue to be seriously threatened by not modifying in depth or eliminating the articles that have recurrently seriously affected the exercise of these rights
From the approval of the Law in 2015 until December 2019, nearly 140,000 sanctions were imposed on the basis of only two articles: “resistance, disobedience or refusal to identify oneself” (36.6) and “disrespect for authority” (37.4), accounting for 70% of all sanctions imposed in the area of citizen security. None of these articles is addressed by the reform agreement. Nor does the reform proposal propose eliminating the article on the “dissemination of images” of police actions (36.23). Police actions should be able to be documented both by journalists and the general public.
The reform proposal does not reduce the broad discretionary powers of law enforcement agencies, nor does it establish adequate control and accountability mechanisms, leaving the door open to arbitrary actions. Nor does it prohibit the use of rubber bullets. Nor does it propose to remove Article 36.11, the application of which means that women who voluntarily engage in sex work and victims of trafficking are forced to work in prostitution in isolated places, exposed to greater dangers of abuse. Nor does it propose to remove the apparent legal cover given by law to what are known as “hot returns”.
Of course we are not going to remain silent and we are going to mobilise. That is why we are promoting mobilisations for 13 February throughout Spain. Shortly afterwards an agreement will be reached and we will push for the result of the reform to be a new law that guarantees the exercise of our rights and freedoms. The challenge is enormous, but we are convinced that if we unite, we can do it!
We have many reasons to take to the streets to demand that we do not want any gag that violates our rights and freedoms. Let’s make sure that on 13 February we are thousands in the streets making it clear that we want to put an end to the gags once and for all.
It is time, it is our time. Participate and promote the mobilisations.
let’s defend our rights by exercising them!