Here are some of the works the students have done this term.
Thursday, 16 June 2016
ETHICS AND POLITICS
Politics do not consist of fighting for power on the contrary, it is a noble activity focused on social welfare. Politics is not just a politician’s concern. It is part of everybody’s life. Each citizen must participate, criticize and be aware of all the decisions taken by their government.
Democracy is the best way to organize the social convenience. It is a model based on an ethical project. It consists of four key elements: (a) A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; (b) The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; (c) Protection of the human rights of all citizens, and (d) A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens
Democracy was born in Athens in 508BC. The most famous definition was given by Pericles in the year 431:
“Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy… The law is equal for all of us”
Political power is the one exerted on public matters, on the state and its institutions by means of public channels.
Political power has to be legal and legitimate.
Legal: If the government has achieved its power fulfilling the laws of the state.
Legitimate: If the election laws and procedures are fair and have been accepted by citizens, respecting the rights of everyone and governed by ethical rules.
Relationship between ethics and politics
Machiavelli was a Florentine humanist during the Renaissance. He had responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was a founder of modern political science and more specifically, political ethics. He wrote “The Prince”, where he shows his views of the importance of a having a strong ruler. He should be unscrupulous and ambitious. This point of view was often seen as evil and immoral. For Machiavelli: “the end justifies the means”.
In an ideal world, the ruler of a nation should be respectful with the law and its moral principles. “the ends don’t justify the means”. He shouldn’t commerce with the nations that don’t respect human rights, for instance. But the relationship between ethics and politics is hard in real life. Everybody should respect ethics however; this doesn’t happen in the world. There are people who want to impose their will and take advantage of others. We should work to build up a society where we could reach our private project of happiness.
The relationship between ethics and politics is complicated but it is absolutely necessary to avoid situations of injustice and discrimination.
It is the use of power by government officials or position of power to get private benefits illegally. Forms of corruption vary but include: extortion, money laundering, nepotism, trading in influence, etc. The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. But sometimes it is not only the politicians who act illegally but also the lobbies are the instigators of a crime.
What is a lobby? A group that attempts to influence a legislation or government spending plans to achieve a result more favorable to its agenda or objectives.
The work of the judiciary system is crucial to fight against political corruption. The judges have to make people observe and obey the law. Apart from that, they must defend the citizens’ rights. Finally, the most important thing is the independence of the judiciary system to sanction the political corruption.
WORK IN SMALL GROUPS AND ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
1- Do you believe in democracy? Why or why not?
2- Do you think it is the best political way of ruling a country? Are there any better ones?
3- Are all citizens prepared to decide their political representatives, who will decide on their jobs, lives, etc.?
4- Is political corruption related to the development of a country?
“The less developed a country is, the more corruption there is”
5- People can vote at the age of 18, but the legal age for working is 16. Do you agree? Explain your answer.
ANALYSIS OF THE FILM “WAG THE DOG” 1997
1- What’s the meaning of the title? –( Why the film is called this way)
2- Order the actions that compose the fiction of the conflict:
a. The shooting of the Albanian village ______
b. The making of the song and slogans ______
c. The invention of the hero ______
d. The repeated negation of a conflict ______
3- What part of the false conflict is the most manipulated in your opinion?
4- Along the story, part of the country gets identified with the messages the media spread; e.g. the hanging shoes. Do you remember something similar that happened in real life?
5- Make a personal assessment of the image of politics in the film.
PROJECT PRESENTATION ON POLITICAL ETHICS
1- CHOOSE ONE OF THESE ITEMS TO WORK IN GROUP.
a. The French Revolution is important in the history of the present democracies (Abolition of Feudalism, The National Assembly taking the Tennis Court Oath, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 26 August 1789, etc.) Explain why it was a turning point in History and in politics.
b. Hobbes was one of the most important English philosophers and formulated the Social Contract theory for the first time and it was later developed by other authors. What did it consist of? Explain.
c. The Ancient Greek democracy was not the same as the one today. Tell its origins and characteristics. Compare it to a modern one: e.g. USA democracy.
d. Explain two cases of political corruption in your country:
i. Pujol, Urdangarin, Bárcenas, Caja Madrid black credit cards, Camps and the Gürtel affair, Fabra and Castellón airport …
e. Tiananment revolt 1989. What happened for the revolt to happen? What happened after the revolt? Do you think it was worth doing it? Do Chinese people enjoy individual rights nowadays?
f. What kind of political regimes are there in the world today? Find examples and explain them. Are they politically ethical? Why or why not?
2- YOU MUST INVESTIGATE THE SUBJECT AND TELL WHAT IT HAS TO DO WITH ETHICS. PRESENT THE INFORMATION ORALLY TO THE CLASS. YOU MUST SUPPORT YOUR INFORMATION WITH PHOTOGRAPHS, GRAPHICS, QUOTATIONS, VIDEOS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, ETC.
3- THE ORAL INFORMATION SHOULD BE WRITTEN DOWN ON A WORD DOCUMENTAND BOTH, THE WORD DOCUMENT AND THE DIGITAL PRESENTATION SHOULD BE SENT TO THE CLASS EMAIL.
4- THE PROJECT WILL BE UPLOADED TO THE CLASS BLOG.
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
This term the students have been analysing different religious conflicts around the world. They have tried to clear out the origins on the conflict and reflect on the possible actions society and we, as individuals, can do to help solve the problem.
We have chosen this conflict, because it is one the most important conflicts in these last years.
Firstly, we will talk about the main religion of this this conflict, which is Islam. Islam started in Arabia, Mecca in the year 622.
It has 1.5 billion of followers, so it is the second largest religion in the world after the Christianity.
Like every religion, this one has a deity which is called Allah. Even though the pre Islamic religion in Arabia had more than one deity, nowadays, they only believe in one, Allah. They believe that Allah created the universe and the overpower.
The founder of this religion was Muhammad. He wrote the Muslim holy book called Coran, where he wrote the Muslim basic beliefs. And some of them are these:
1. A single God. ("Allah" is often used to refer to God; it is the Arabic word for God.)
2. The angels.
3. The divine scriptures, which include the Torah, the Psalms, the rest of the Bible, and the Qur'an (which is composed of God's words, dictated by the Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad).
4. The Messengers of God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad -- the last prophet. Muhammad's message is considered the final, universal message for all of humanity.
5. The Day of Judgment people will be judged depending on their acts while they were on earth, and will join Heaven or have punishment in Hell. Hell is where unbelievers and sinners spend eternity. One translation of the Qur'an, 98:1-8, states: "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." ("People of the Book" refers to Christians, Jews and Muslims).This means that if you are not Jewish, Christian or Muslim, you must go to the Hell. If you are among people of the book you can join the paradise. Paradise is a place of physical and spiritual pleasure where the sinless go after death
6. The supremacy of God's will. Allah will manage everyone’s life, so they haven’t possibility of free will.
This conflict is nowadays happening, it takes part mostly in Afghanistan and in started in 2001, the 7th of October. So this problem is 15 years old, and it isn’t currently finished yet.
In this conflict take part some different groups. And we can separate them in two groups; Radical Muslim groups, led by Al Quada. And in the other hand, the ones who aren’t Muslims. Radical Muslims want to become everyone Muslim, however, the ones who are not Muslims want to live in peace. Helping these last people, we can find USA or Great Britain. Also, there were NATO’s treaty signed countries, like France or Germany.
DIFFERENT INTERESTS IN THESE CONFLICTS
● Societal motivations: Some anthropologists have found the greatest predictors. While personal humiliation does not turn out to be a motivation for those attempting to kill civilians, the attention that others with whom one feels a common bond are being humiliated can be a powerful driver for action. Terrorists are social beings influenced by social connections.
● Economic motivations: The Muslim world has been afflicted with economic stagnation for many centuries. It has been estimated that the exports of Finland, exceeded those of the entire 370 million-strong Arab world, excluding oil and natural gas. This economic stagnation commenced with the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1924. The parts of the Middle East under Ottoman rule still had a diverse growing economy.
● Citizenship issues: Another cause of embarrassment and resentment is that since the 1950s, Muslim immigrants have been forced to emigrate to western countries in large numbers because fellow Muslim countries that are well-off economically and socially do not accept them.
THE SOLUTION (INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY)
● The West (Europe and America) must be united and declare war against Islamists. President Bush must issue personal letters to all government heads of Muslim world to cooperate honestly. They must act to stop this madness arresting them. All governments of the Muslim world must impose a ban on all Madrasas (religious schools) and terrorist organization formed by Islamic mullahs.
● Western intelligence (like FBI, CIA) have to provide them all class of information about militant Muslims activity.
● The West must form a multi-national committee to investigate the dangerous teachings of Qur'an, which do transform a simple young human into a monster. Those scholars must find out what those Muslim mullahs teach young Muslim students in the Madrasas (religious schools or college for the study of the Islamic religion) and other religious schools all over the world. Their findings must be published in the newspapers, and open debates of Islam must be permitted by all nations.
To solve this problem, is difficult to find a solution to this huge problem. It is an extremely poor country, and they have to pay taxes to Talibans or to Lords of war. Their life expectancy is very low and the illiteracy is over 70 %. They don’t have drinkable water and either light.
So we have seen their horrible situation, and this should finish. We think that the best way to help to finish this conflict is to try to make aware what’s happening in Afghanistan.
Mostly, children are harmed because this situation, and they don’t have the fault. This is our conclusion, we can’t do anymore.
GORKA, IKER, MAITANE & GAIZKA
RELIGIONS IN CONFLICT: UGANDA
The animism is a belief which thinks that everything has a soul or spirit including animals, plants, rocks, mountains and rivers. The animists believe that every soul is a powerful spirit who can help or hurt them. It is a primitive religion, whose believers deify animals, stars or idols and they practice the spiritualism, witchcraft and prediction. They use magic, spells… and some other things that they think they can help protecting them from bad spirits.
The Christianity is a religion based on the teachings and Jesus Christ’s miracles. This religion teaches that there’s just a God, the one who created the universe, the World and Adam and Eve. The Christianity teaches that everyone is under the fair judge of God; due to everybody has sinned against him. It is the only religion that teaches that the salvation is because of grace. This means that we are not fair in front of God because of our efforts, honesty or actions, but because of the faith we have in what God made in the cross. So in fact, Christianity is a relation between the real God and the living people through the presence of Jesus Christ.
Since 18 years ago in the north of Uganda, a cruel and quiet civil war had been flighting, with a resolution of 150.000 deads, thousands of injuries and a broken and destructurated society.
For Uganda´s president, Ioweri Museveni, it is an internal conflict and he hasn´t let anyone interrupt them in the battle against the LRA and has enhanced local economy´s situation. But the killing of 210 people in last months has attracted other nation’s interest.
LRA (Lord´s Resistance Army) is an extremist Christian organization liderated by Joseph kony, a fanatic Christian who has named himself the centre of his spiritual “new” religious ideas (the theory of theocracy). Since its creation in 1987, the LRA has kidnapped between 20,000 and 30,000 kids, which have been used as soldiers or sexual slaves. In the other hand, the gobernment of Museveni have used between 8,000 and 10,000 kids for the same use.
One of the other reasons of this war could be the gold mines Uganda has. Some countries are interested in having them controlled, and maybe because of that for example USA is allied with the defence force of Uganda to beat the LRA.
Although the war started more than 25 years ago, the ONU didn´t sentence them until 2002, and the sentence was very soft for people who have killed several persons.
Uganda´s army has been following the LRA for many years. It is thought that this religious conflict has costed over 1300 million dollars.
In October 2005 the International Penal Court sentenced the LRA´s headmasters to arrest warrance.
HOW CAN A PERSON HELP?
The consequences of violence and war are harmful. But if we work together we can solve these problems. Here we have some solutions to help or assist in Uganda.
- If we want to help children, we can participate in an ONG that collects food but if you don´t have time you can send food to these places.
- You can give your old clothes to poor children instead of throwing them to the bin.
- If you know anything about medicine you can go to heal the wounded people in Uganda.
- Finally you can send money every month to help children.
IS RELIGIOUS CONFLICT ETHICAL?
- Ethics directs the most basic consequences of the moral imperative “do good and avoid evil”
- Moral moves forward to make the way easier stating precepts to enable people to do what they have to do and avoid what they mustn’t do.
Let’s accept this difference between ethics and moral and apply it to the religious conflict. We could state that
- First, trying to justify violence as a way to spread the religious ideas is unethical (lack of ethics)
- Second, it is the religious leaders’ job to look for peace and harmony in an active way
If we have a look at the RAE Dictionary, we will see that the first meaning of conflict is “combat, fight, row”. In the Oxford Dictionary the meaning: “prolonged armed struggle” comes second place.
Well, the nearer our concept of conflict is to the Spanish definition, that is; “combat, fight, row”, the more incompatible it is with religion. In a strict way, the term conflict (understood as combat, fight and row) is contradictory with religion. The term religion comes from the Latin word “re-ligare” (unite/join again) and its main task is to take man towards God and what is more, love enemies.
The person who follows and practices a religion cannot hate but love.
HOLY WARS (adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/war/religious/holywar.shtml)
Modern people often regard the idea of a holy war as a contradiction. Killing thousands of people and causing wholesale destruction seems to be as far from holiness as one can get.
But religion and war have gone hand in hand for a long time. Armies went into battle believing that God was with them, often after prayers and sacrifices to keep God on their side. In tribal cultures when a country lost a war they often had to change to the worship of the winner's gods.
However involving God as part of the campaign does not make a war a holy war - for a war to be a holy war, religion has to be the driving force.
Holy wars usually have three elements:
· The achievement of a religious goal
· Authorised by a religious leader
· A spiritual reward for those who take part
Many of the wars fought in the name of religion do conform to the just war conditions, but not all of them.
Francis Bacon said there were five causes for holy war: (he wrote in a Christian context, but the categories would be usable by any faith)
· to spread the faith
· to regain countries that were once Christian, even though there are no Christians left there
· to rescue Christians in countries that were once Christian from 'the servitude of the infidels'
· recover and purify consecrated places that are presently being 'polluted and profaned'
· avenge blasphemous acts, or cruelties and killings of Christians (even if these took place long ago)
Only the first of these causes is completely outside the scope of the conventional idea of a just cause. Some of the other causes, because of the length of time that can pass since the offending act took place are probably not just causes either.
The legitimate authority for a holy war is not the government of a state but the Church, or the relevant organisation or person who heads the religious institution concerned.
In ancient times the authority was often God. This would not be the case today.
The third condition of a holy war is a spiritual reward for those who take part. The doctrine of the just war does not refer to any personal rewards for the participants - and such rewards would be against such a generally austere doctrine.
The first holy war was probably in October 312 CE when the Roman emperor Constantine saw a vision of the cross in the sky with this inscription "in hoc signo vinces" (in this sign you will win).Constantine trusted the vision and had the cross inscribed on his soldiers' armor. Even though his forces were outnumbered, he won the battle against an army that was using pagan enchantment. (Historians regard this as a turning point in Christianity's fortune.)The great series of western holy wars were the Crusades, which lasted from 1095 until 1291 CE. The aim was to capture the sacred places in the Holy Land from the Muslims who lived there, so it was intended as a war to right wrongs done against Christianity.
Friday, 18 December 2015
Here there are the different presentations of the students on the concept of freedom.
ALAZNE - MARÍA - IKER - GAIZKA
GORKA - ALEX - JON - XABIER
ANDER - IÑIGO - GAIZKA G. - AINTZANE
ALAZNE - MARÍA - IKER - GAIZKA
1-A free person has the legal allowance to do whatever he or she wants as long as he or she does not offensively harm or force other people against those other people's wills. The limitation is a logical requirement. Freedom obviously cannot include the legal right to limit other people's freedom because that would be illogical.
2- Having the privilege of freedom means that some people don’t really know what they want to do or what they want to choose, so that insecurity produces fear. Fear of making wrong decisions. Fear of freedom. That’s why lots of people prefer having fewer options or less freedom because it’s easier for them to make decisions.
3- Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington. I agree with this quotation. The more freedom and responsibility we have, the more dangerous we can be. If people start thinking that they can do what they want, they will start doing things that can probably damage other people, that´s why freedom needs control.
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. John F. Kennedy. On the one hand, I don´t agree with this quotation. Sometimes conformity can make people more decisive as they have fewer options at the time of choosing something. Freedom can also make us ambitious, because the more choices we have the more we want. On the other hand, conformity can make people be more narrow minded, so this way they give fewer opportunities to grow as a good society.
Responsibility is the price of freedom. Elbert Hubbard. I totally agree with this quotation because freedom requires some rules. These rules are the laws that government has imposed to people, that limit what people can do. You can do what you want as long as you don´t hurt anyone and your actions don´t involve other people.
4- True freedom is being able to do what you want, without anyone over you. However, some things that some people want to do would infringe on the freedom of others, their rights. So basically what freedom means is being able to live your life the way you choose, being you without anyone’s permission. If you follow the government's laws, you have a better life than if you don’t follow them, and if you don’t follow them, you are forced to do whatever the government tells you to do.
A free place is where people are safe of violence, where families stay together, where no one is afraid, where futures are possible and every single child, woman and man belongs. A place we build together that can never be destroyed. Freedom has no refugees, only citizens who will be there to support and welcome everyone.
5- Our society is mostly free. There are some governments which are tolerant and responsive to the wishes and concerns of the public with transparent and flexible political systems. Some states don’t keep secrets. Some governments and societies aren’t authoritarian and common or social knowledge belongs to everyone. Freedom and human rights are the most important factors of a good society.
Spain has been a free country since Franco the dictator died.
Unfortunately, people from North Korea, Burma, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya (Russia), Belarus, Chad, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Zimbabwe, Western Sahara (Morocco), South Ossetia (Georgia) aren’t free.
6- UNFREEDOM FLIM:
Unfreedom is a film about a society without freedom in the religion and sexual choices. It happens between New York and New Delhi. The film joins two powerful stories about religious intolerance, one of which follows a Muslim terrorist attempting to silence a liberal one, while the other is about a young woman who escapes an marries in secret because she fell in love with a woman and they have a lesbian romance.
2 MEN ARRESTED FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING:
On Friday, November 6 the police of Wichita found a 15-year-old girl who told them that she had just gotten away after being kidnapped days before.
On Friday, November 6 the police of Wichita found a 15-year-old girl who told them that she had just gotten away after being kidnapped days before.
She told that 16-year-old girl and she were walking when a man pulled up and offered them a ride. They accepted and when they got in, he takes out a gun and demanded sex.
Polices went to the home and found the 54-year-old man and 16-year-old girl and they arrested the man.
79 COUNTRIES WHERE HOMOSEXUALITY IS ILLEGAL:
The ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) lists 75 countries with criminal laws against sexual activity by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. The death penalty can be imposed in eight of these countries if someone practices sex with a “wrong” person.
In Europe there isn’t a country against the homosexuality.
GORKA - ALEX - JON - XABIER
1. Find a philosophical definition of freedom and state your opinion and give reasons.
Freedom of action is the property of being free from constraints, especially from external constraints on our actions, but also from internal constraints such as physical disabilities or addictions. Political freedoms, such as the right to speak, to assemble, and the limits to government constraints on associations and organizations such as media and religions, are examples of external freedom.
- In our opinion this definition of freedom is right, but we disagree because addictions are addictions until you give up with them and you do whatever you want. At the same time addictions sometimes don’t let you get rid of them so they don’t let you be free. Everything depends on how addicted you are and how much willpower you have.
2. What do you understand by “fear of freedom”?
What we understand is that when you give too much freedom to people it is like when you watch Spiderman and they say that a big power entails a big responsibility,
so big freedom entails big responsibility and you have fear of it.
3. Find quotations of famous people about freedom.
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
- Martin Luther King
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
- John F.Kennedy
4. What is freedom for you? Write your point of view.
We think freedom is a kind of lifestyle in which you can do whatever you want. For example you can create a company, to act politically in society, to live in any country, etc. But all people can´t have this lifestyle, for example African people were considered a lower ethnia.
5. Is our society free nowadays? Find examples of countries where people are not free.
We think our society isn´t free, because the laws which we have to accept, for example; we can´t kill people, we can´t steal, etc. For example in Siria they kill people just because they don’t agree with them.
6. Try to support your ideas with a piece of news or an article you find in the web.
In this article we can see Sirian people trying to pass to Europe, but they can pass a only from a few places, an example is Croatian small cities, and increasingly more cities can´t pass to Europe.
ANDER - IÑIGO - GAIZKA G. - AINTZANE
Definition: Freedom starts with a principle of self-control. In a free society, each and every person has legal control of their own body and mind. It refers specifically to equal empowerment. In other words, a free society is one with an equal distribution of legal rights and in which each and every person has as much legal rights as possible.
We agree with this definition of freedom because the more limitations you have the less free you are. But we also think that freedom obviously cannot include the legal right to limit other people’s freedom because that would be illogical.
The fear of freedom means that more choices doesn’t mean more freedom. So, when we get out of our “fishbowl” we think that we are going to feel better because we are going to choose our own decisions. Instead, it isn’t like that, because when we get out, we feel fear of everything because if we choose the wrong choice it will be our fault and we get shocked.
Freedom is the possibility of doing whatever you want, whenever you want and do it in the way you want if and when it’s inside your principles. As Barry Schwartz said, everyone needs a fishbowl, but in my opinion that fishbowl is our principles, so all of us have got different fishbowls, and when we break the fishbowl and we have to go to another one, it’s obvious we are going to be afraid of what to do.
Also, having a lot of choices doesn’t make us free. The thing that makes us free is to know what to choose.
There are different points of view about freedom; for example, Luis Antonio de Villena said “It’s amazing seeing how when the theoretical freedom goes up, the practical freedom goes down”. There are more famous quotations; Bill O’ Brian said “People think they are freedom when they don’t care about external thoughts, but they don’t know that they are overwhelmed of a wore fact; they only have one thought”. Other famous quotation is “Free people let other persons to be free” but the person who said that was unknown.
The freedom of women in Saudi Arabia is null. Here we have seven things that women cannot do in this country:
1- Leave home alone. Saudi women must leave home accompanied always by a man of the family, whether for shopping or to visit the doctor.
2- Driving. Officially women are allowed to drive, but in practice they cannot do it because it is not allowed by the highest religious authority.
3- Wearing clothes or make-up that shows their beauty. The majority of women in Saudi Arabia wear abaya, a garment that hides them the body completely. In the country there is also the religious police, which controls the feminine garment and tends to be very strict, and they can be fined a woman for simply show a toe.
4- Competing in certain sports. Saudi sportswomen participated for the first time at an Olympic Games in 2012 in London, where two women from the Arab country competed in the tests of judo and athletics. It was a historical fact that has not repeated since then. However, Riad has pledged to send to any athlete to the games in Rio de Janeiro.
5- Interacting with men. In Saudi Arabia, virtually all public spaces are segregated by sex. The majority of public buildings has an entry for men and another for women.
6- Trying on the clothes when shopping. Women should buy clothes and try them at home. Only the abaya in some luxury shops testers can be removed.
7- Using a hotel gym.Virtually none of the hotels in the country allows the entry of women in the gym.
A part from the women issue, when journalists do not make as they told the Government of Saudi Arabia, they are sentenced to lashes and is allowed to crucify people.
Spain puts 'gag' on freedom of expression as senate passes security law
Despite a global outcry, Spanish legislation, expected to be ratified next month, lays out strict guidelines on demonstrations that come with steep fines
The Spanish senate has voted to push forward with controversial changes to the country’s public security laws, cracking down on Spaniards’ rights of freedom of assembly and expression despite opposition from activists and human rights groups.
Recent years have seen millions of Spaniards take to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with the rightwing People’s party government, protesting against crippling austerity measures and attempts to roll back the country’s abortion laws. Now the government has hit back with legislation, dubbed the “gag law” by critics, that seeks to limit protests by laying out strict guidelines on when and where they can take place and penalizing offenders with steep fines.
The legislation includes fines of up to 600 euros for failing to notify authorities about demonstrations in public areas, even in the case of peaceful protests. Once approved, marches that veer from the approved itineraries could face fines of up to 600 euros.
The fines climb to 30,000 euros for protests that result in “serious disturbances of public safety” near parliament and Spain’s regional government buildings. Unauthorized protests that take place near key infrastructure, such as transportation hubs, nuclear power plants, refineries and telecommunications installations could result in fines of up to 600,000 euros.
I think that having freedom for what you want to do is something that everybody should have, above all if what you want is to protest peacefully, because everyone has the right to be heard and the freedom of expression.
Removing these rights means that society in this country is being controlled by the government, and it’s a signal of corruption. This violates The Human Rights, and creates something like a dictatorship.