Monday, October 25

The other October 12: “nothing to celebrate” in the protest march and indigenous folklore

In the alternative parade on October 12, there is no box of authorities, salvos or bugle call. If someone arrives a little late, an institutional conflict does not break out and the fuel that is consumed is not that of the military planes in procession, but that of the generators that feed the loudspeakers of the folk music and dance groups that advance through the streets. streets. For the ninth year and after the 2020 stoppage due to the coronavirus, hundreds of people paraded through Madrid before an audience of thousands, in a protest march, but also festive, to affirm that the event should not be such.

“With this merriment we want to show that despite 500 years of imposition, we are still alive and we are part of society. We have their surnames, but we continue to carry our blood,” explained the spokesperson for the Discolonize Platform, Nélida Molina, who led the march dressed with the Mapuche costume, carrying with his companions a banner with the slogan “October 12. Nothing to celebrate.” The mention of the surnames is current, in addition, after the recent mockery of former president José María Aznar to the Mexican leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, understanding with the indigenous complaints, on account of their Castilian surnames. “Spain has to rethink this day. It has many other dates [que sirven] as a national day. And it does so by demonstrating its strength, armament and imposition, which is related to a colonial, genocidal, racist and patriarchal concept, “Molina added.

Chanting slogans such as “Mother Earth is not for sale, it is defended” or “It was a genocide, not a discovery”, the most political headline was followed by multiple folk groups, dressed in traditional costumes, especially from Bolivia and Peru, who danced to the rhythm of the morenada or the carnival pujllay, expressions of Andean indigenousism difficult to fit in with the recent thesis of the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who considers this claim of respect “the new communism.” “Of course it is vindictive, but we also want to show that we are integrated,” said Moisés, from the Untouchables fraternity, whose emblem includes a Bolivian and a Spanish flag at the same height. The man wore a colorful and intricate traditional costume and was sweating profusely, but as he progressed he received applause from the many families who had come to see the parade.

“It is a celebration of the nations,” explained a veteran assistant to a tourist surprised by the commotion set up in the Puerta del Sol, which started at around 5.30 pm. The retinue was large; After half an hour from the start and while the head was circulating along the Calle Mayor, the rear had not yet begun to move. There was the morenada Gran Poder, the Pujllay Masis group and dozens of others, including an African percussion group, who entered the Plaza Mayor to the perplexity of many foreign visitors sitting on the terraces on a short-sleeved afternoon.

Idolaters despite everything

The political demands were varied. Some, ironic, like a banner that read: “Extirpation of idolatries to me. We resist”, in reference to the aggressive evangelization process from the sixteenth century. A panel of a Peruvian collective demanded the writing of a new Constitution, a desire that the incoming government of the country has recently cooled. Another group, Brazilian, demanded to paralyze the bill with which the country’s government intends to reduce the rights of the indigenous Amazon to favor agrarian landowners, and accused the current leader, Jair Bolsonaro, of genocidal. There were also demands for Palestinian freedom or direct calls to miscegenation: “There is no way to improve the race, enough hierarchies,” read a cardboard.

The march had a very festive character, with almost no police presence, barely blurred by the appearance of a subject who in the square of the province began to shout cheers to Spain and make the Falangist salute. Some young people went to rebuke him, but the organizing staff contained the conflict and the provocateur ended up leaving.

“Neither forget nor forgive, we want reparation,” continued the chants of protest, which accompanied the march through Plaza de la Provincia and Tirso de Molina to Nelson Mandela, in Lavapiés. At the end, the manifesto was read, endorsed by more than a hundred associations, with 13 claims, beginning with the end of October 12 as a national holiday and the demolition of the statues of Christopher Columbus, also passing through respect for rights of indigenous peoples from the cultural and international trade point of view, as well as against military harassment of their territories and, in Spain, the repeal of the Immigration Law.

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