I met Ángel (not his real name) waiting in the dinner queue of Vecinas de Lavapies food bank last summer. It would cost him at least one hour’s work to feed himself, and another job to get the metro back to his sister’s house where he was staying.
Now that the last remaining piles of snow have finally melted away, let’s reflect on a fortnight of Filomena’s presence in this city. With zero Council preparations and unprecedented snowfall, how did Filomena’s force unfold and take Madrid from its most beautiful to a disaster zone?
The Regularización Ya movement which fights for the legalisation of migrants in Spain is closely linked with the CIEs No movement. They believe a world without migration detention centres is possible.
When Mario talks about the snow, he can’t help but smile. He’s from Romania, and has been living in Madrid for the past eight years, but on the streets of Fuencarral for the past two after losing his job as a truck driver.
As Madrid plunges to -11°C this week and sees historic snowfall that is predicted to be the most snow this century will ever have, children of the Cañada Real Sector 6 forget their traumas for a moment and enjoy the magic of their world in white.
Let’s take a look at Colonia de los Olivos (Colony of Olive Trees), which was built hastily in 1947 to accommodate a post-war migration boom in Madrid. Around 1,000 people have called these temporary blocks their home until their phased demolition more than half a century later, which is still not complete.
The sun sets at around 4 pm in Warsaw, so it’s dark by the time protestors can leave their offices, schools and factories. As soon as they’re out of work, they wrap up warm, often in black and red, and head to the streets to protest against the patriarchal ruling class.
An anthem of resistance is the united response of the people of Vallecas against the President of the Comunidad de Madrid, Isabel Diáz Ayuso, who has imposed new restrictions to lock down Madrid’s poorest neighbourhoods and install border patrol.
Racism towards the Chinese community in Madrid exists. It’s time to talk about it, writes Rose Lander.
Vecinas de Lavapiés are an incredible group of neighbours serving daily meals and weekly food supplies to their fellow neighbours. They’re the little sister of La Cuba, one of Lavapiés’ first Covid-19 relief food banks, and Vecinas have joined forced with Plaza Solidaria, a long-standing local association you may have spotted distributing hot food on Plaza de Tirso de Molina over the years.
Just as Spain was finally starting to recover from its last financial crisis, the deepest recession we’ve ever witnessed has only just begun. Poverty, inequality and reliance on precarious work inflicted by a decade of government-imposed austerity remains all around us, and the few tourists that trickle in today – just as their pre-pandemic forefathers did – continue to feed into this.
Immigrant exploitation is all around us. Many of Spain’s 600,000 undocumented migrants are essential workers, They pick Europe’s vegetables and keep them cheap, they take care of the elderly, clean the hospitals, deliver us food, build our homes and allow us to stay confined in them during the pandemic. Institutional exploitation of immigrants must stop, and that is exactly what Regularización Ya are here to do.
One hot summer night in 2015, protestors gathered outside Congress, quietly sitting cross-legged on the pavement with blue gags tied around their mouths and with their hands behind their backs. Their timing was key, protesting until the clock struck midnight on Wednesday 1 July – the moment their actions would suddenly become unlawful.
Becha opened up her Lavapiés tailor shop two years ago with a big ambition: to get Spanish people wearing African clothes. But what she never anticipated was that her workshop would become a small hub for African migrants and, further still: a food bank for the local community.
The same spotlights that once shone bright on the faces of Madrid’s rising stars now illuminate food parcels for victims of Lavapiés’ Covid-19 crisis.