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.
What the lateros are doing is illegal and there are police everywhere. If they’re caught selling beer, their stock, which they purchased themselves, will be confiscated. But, for the tin men, it’s worth the risk.
I’m getting used to the sound of hovering helicopters but what can I expect, living in Lavapiés? I live in a barrio so routinely pushed to the edge that, every now and then, the pressure becomes too much and its people crack.
Despite their straitened circumstances, the citizens of Lavapiés are a fiercely proud tribe. Throughout history, when pushed too far, they have risen up in bloody clashes with the authorities, and here’s why.