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Spotlight

Spotlight

“We were never conquered”: Mexico’s Indigenous Zapatista movement visits Madrid

11 October 2021

Just after sunset on 13 August 2021, with temperatures still topping 35C, the seven delegates of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) stepped onto the monument in Madrid’s Plaza de Colón. They had just completed a historic journey from the jungles of Chiapas in Mexico to the Spanish capital to mark 500 years since the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital Technoctitlán, now Mexico City. A local crowd, who marched behind the delegates, marked their arrival with thunderous applause.

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UNESCO’s new World Heritage Site in Madrid was once a human zoo

18 August 2021

On an April morning in 1887 in Madrid’s Retiro Park, Queen María Cristina declared the Exhibition of Philippines open for business. Over the course of six months, tens of thousands of Spaniards would have the chance to visit one of the farthest corners of the Spanish Empire – and even meet some of its people – without ever having to leave the country.

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Madrid’s youth fight back against the gambling epidemic invading our barrios

16 July 2021

With their blacked out windows and monochromatic signs, one of Spain’s most dangerous industries to public health does a good job of hiding in plain sight. As the proliferation of the casas de apuestas, (betting shops/gambling houses), continues, the fight to prevent growing gambling addiction in Madrid’s barrios becomes ever more urgent.

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Evictions are state violence and institutional theft

15 July 2021

Yesterday morning, police carried out the eviction of Manuela and Jesus, and their four small children (9, 8, 2 and 1) from their Vallecas flat where they had lived for seven years. The family initially occupied the flat because they couldn’t afford to rent anywhere and, despite having two toddlers at the time, were not granted social housing. The flat they chose to occupy belongs to CaixaBank, with which the family tried to negotiate without success.

Spotlight

The forgotten victims of Storm Filomena

13 July 2021

In January, Storm Filomena brought the capital to a standstill. While we were building snowmen, snowboarding through the streets and carving makeshift paths for the elderly, there was something we completely overlooked: the countryside.

Spotlight

Today, the brand-new Ley Trans will be approved!

29 June 2021

You always hope that the protest you’re attending will be the last. In the case of LGBTQI people, and specifically trans people, the end is no longer a distant light at the end of a very long tunnel of frustration, hate and fascism.

Spotlight

The fight to reclaim Madrid’s abandoned plots, one plant at a time

31 May 2021

Having access to green space reduces depression by up to 40%, and reduces the feeling of worthlessness by up to 50%, according to a study by five doctors at the University of Pennsylvania. For those living below the poverty line, the improvement in mental health is proven to be even more profound.

Spotlight

Madrid welcomes back La Ingobernable – this time, in an abandoned city centre hotel

11 May 2021

On Sunday, 2 May, the night before the Madrid election, a group of activists broke into a derelict hotel in the centre of Madrid. Upon entering, they found 112 abandoned en-suite bedrooms, a decaying Andalusian patio, three large salons with a hundred wooden chairs, a sturdy stainless steel kitchen and an overall perfect space to build the youngest generation of social project La Ingobernable (The Ungovernable).

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Serigne Mbaye: from ‘mantero’ to activist to future member of parliament

28 April 2021

I know Serigne Mbaye from the grassroots activism circuit in Lavapiés, where he regularly frontlines at protests with powerful anti-racism speeches. It’s no surprise to those who know him that he’s now running for election in the Madrid Regional Government with Unidas Podemos, where he’s set to become one of Spain’s first Black members of parliament, and achieve many other firsts too.

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