Monday, April 15, 2013

The effectiveness of escraches

Ever since I moved here, I’ve had to laugh at how organized and civil the political protests are in Spain. For me, something fundamental about a protest is that you make life difficult for the people who are at fault. In Spain, protests generally make life difficult for the average person (eg shut down public transportation or making people wait longer for public services), but the politicians driving around in their chauffeured cars are unlikely to care much.

From the howls of pain coming from the direction of the government (“Nazis!” “Terrorists!”), it’s obvious that the idea of “escraches” (where people protest in front of politicians homes) are having a serious effect on moral. All of a sudden, politicians have to worry that their votes might actually cause a bunch of angry people (though still non-violent) follow them around and make their life miserable.

The reports of the complaining politicians just an opportunity for the protesters to show how out of touch the politicians are with the reality of everyday living. “Oh no, my poor children had the listen to an angry man swearing at me!” “Well, my kids don’t have a home anymore because I couldn’t pay my mortgage since the company I was working for went bankrupt because your government wouldn’t pay their bills on time.”

Perhaps the government should reconsider pursuing policies that result in large numbers of extremely unhappy unemployed people.

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