As if it were a metaphor, the sun imploded and the encampment of the Sun decided to get up to make the Great Leap Downward. The stars are with us! At NASA they shout: “Houston, we have a problem!”
We, Propolis, six hands and three keyboards, wrote this text:
Disappear from the Sun to ask for the moon
Thanks for taking the leap, for deciding yesterday that we’ll leave the Sun.
We could not be there and have received the news.
We dare to point out five reasons to back up the huge step that you have taken and turn it into the Great Leap Downward. Our family of exprogres can tell us what Mao’s Great Leap Forward was… as can the history books, he drove off the cliff. Here the non-parlimientarian “Chinese” mingled with the Christian base. Our jump is much better planned and will go much further. It will take us higher, without detaching our feet from the ground or sinking us in the mud. After taking the Sun, we will ask for the moon.
5 hops, until the final leap:
1) The logic of 15-M (horizontal, dynamic and without leaders or leadership) and the threats (physical, political and from media) had submerged the movement in Madrid into a continuist strategy. We did not know how to get out of Sol. After the attacks in Barcelona and the increasingly fierce criticism of the encampments, we fenced ourselves in. Precisely those of us that call ourselves a mob and boast of our power to make our presence felt where and when we want. It seemed that we were forced to continue camping to prove that they can’t do whatever they want with us. As if a violent eviction was to provoke a global insurgency. Or, no longer dreaming or claiming to be the global vanguard, we feared we would disappear when we removed the tents.
2) The inertia has slowed down the reflection on the objectives and the organization of the movement. Stopping and lifting the encampments does not imply recognizing disobedience as unnecessary, much less surrender. In contrast, it requires an exercise, or at least the will to revise the forces (among the heterogeneous groups involved) of participatory mechanisms (excessive specialization of the assemblies, quasi-institutional bureaucracies, taking overly unanimous consensus …). It also requires, first of all, that we recognize that we are losing what gave us strength and public support. Before the attacks on BCN, the plan to move to the assemblies to the neighborhoods seemed a given. We were marking a rhythm. We exhibited the ability to break and to interrupt their performances with our mere presence. It was our best strategic asset. To say it with proper names. What will Aguirre and Rubalcaba do now? Previously limited to denouncing the increasing degradation of Sol, one to demand a firm hand and the other to appear magnanimous. Now they don’t know how many, to where, or how, with what we’ll come at them with when she “takes possession” and he, to keep up appearances, runs as the sole candidate in the primary.
3) The decentralization of the movement collided with the presence of a physical center that had become a straitjacket to design new tactics. It was also a bottomless well of energy that threatened to prevent fruit from bearing elsewhere. More importantly, if anything, is to recognize that the projects and practices there were overly centralized. Just because the Sol encampment had become a benchmark to which all other encampments of the country (and beyond) looked to, did not mean that it had to be an example or pattern. In fact, the other encampments, exercising their autonomy, decided to take up their tents and ideas before Sol. Symbols exist to be reinterpreted. To renew meanings is the only way to escape stagnation and trivialization. The center has no role in the non-centralized networks of counterpower that we created and now propose to apply to the political and social sphere.
4) It is time to pack up lift Sol, not only as a center for reflection, but also as a strategy. Despite the risks of demobilization arising from the excessive fragmentation of the movement, lifting up the nucleus and its more or less routine actions, leads to the unpredictable. Those who watch us will have to weave other monitoring networks (larger and more complex) and not only watch what happens daily in the plaza, but what can come from any front. We know the way back and we can retake the plaza at any moment. They know it and we know it. It’s time to continue opening unbeaten paths.
5) Raising the encampment is to take a bet and focus our efforts on the Great Leap Downward. It is more difficult, it is much more of a challenge than to continue in Sol. To extend the invitation to the neighborhoods, to disappear and reappear at any space or institution strengthens the idea that 15-M was not only episodic protests during the elections or a cystic camp-out but a movement that challenges the foundations of the system. It is time for micro-actions, to stop evictions and racist raids, to boycott and occupy the banks, to focus on the local governments when they “take ownership” (what a phrase, it will soon become literal) of municipal duties the 11th of June, of the protests on une 19th, of…
Let’s stop looking at the sun, to avoid the glare. Let’s collect heat and power, while we’re in the tents. That Sunday when we leave, the Sun shines like never before.
And let’s get ready to take the moon. There we can go without burning (ourselves), neither ourselves nor our ships.
Trans. Note: The title is based on a Spanish play on words Sun = the sun and the name of Madrid’s central plaza were the encampment was located (Sol).