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The police in Lavapiés are not here to protect us

On Good Friday morning in Lavapiés, two young black men were filmed by a passerby being violently forced to the ground by police officers. One officer placed a man in a chokehold position while another officer beat his lower back until he was flat on the ground.

The Violence of Gentrification: a talk by Leah Pattem

Throughout November and December, I will explain with first-hand experience how and why Lavapiés has intentionally been targeted by the authorities. I take a critical view on the previously held perception that gentrification is slow, passive, and inevitable, which I firmly believe it is not.

The Melilla Massacre one year on

As of today, 70 people are still missing, 22 remain in the Nador morgue and at least 37 were killed. Even though the Guardia Civil claimed to have had blood-soaked uniforms during the incident, none of them were harmed.

“In Lavapiés, all of us have the right to be safe”

I’ve been a resident of Lavapiés for almost 10 years. In that time, even though a lot has changed, there have been a lot of constants. Police are everywhere. Gentrification – the systematic loss of the barrio’s traditional bars, shops and markets – is a day-to-day reality here. On most streets, spray-painted bedsheets hang from balconies expressing an array of concerns from noise pollution and touristification to drug dealing and evictions. Large tour groups that snake through our streets and cluster on our squares have long incorporated the stories of our struggles into their voyeuristic spiel.

The unspoken story of Madrid’s Muslim cemetery

Following a spike in burials during Madrid’s first wave of Covid-19, the Griñón cemetery ran out of space, but instead of finding a new site, “there have been discussions about exhuming bodies that have already been there for 10 years, but not necessarily informing the families,” says Maysoun. “Another option discussed was to demolish the mosque, but [really] we just need more space.” Beyond a lack of space or access to Islamic burials, however, there’s something else that haunts the families of those buried in Griñón – it's where Franco's Moroccan troops are buried.

Spain’s plan for menstrual leave is good, but it can go further

In May this year, the Spanish cabinet approved a menstrual leave law – the first of its kind in Europe. If it passes in the country’s parliament, people suffering from painful periods will from next year be entitled to a minimum of three days of menstrual leave per month, with the possibility of extending this to five days if necessary.