It’s 9pm. The King has spoken. On every balcony, silhouettes appear, banging with all their might on pots and pans. The deafening noise fills the streets and rises up into the humid night.
I am briefly transported back in time to Buenos Aires, 2002, the time of the cazerolazos, when our meetings were routinely interrupted by the same metallic melody. I blink. And come back. This is Barcelona, 2017.
A few days ago, somehow, police started beating up men and women of all ages, on the grounds that they were performing the illegal act of expressing their opinion on matters of governance. A form of brutality only too reminiscent of a not-so-ancient experience of ruthless dictatorship in this country.
Since when are excuses of legality used to brutalize peaceful people? In Europe! How is it possible that violence is endorsed in the name of a constitution against the citizens of a democratic nation?
It seems that the world is standing on its head.
And how can it be that the powers that be, Royal or European become empty mouthpieces for a “law” or a “constitution”. As if these artifacts somehow had more value than the right for European citizens to be protected from gratuitous state-endorsed violence. As if this nation didn’t have a history that stretched far beyond the legal constructs of the past 40 years…
And I ask myself, where is our humanity? Where is our memory?
Have we become so numb that we turn a blind eye to what is only one more act of carnage, eerily normalized by a constant stream of horrors on our news channel?
I know what I want to believe. I know that the stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we share are the ones that will ultimately transcend time and carry us into our future.
And so, here we go:
Take a fork & a pan, go out onto your balcony and bang for 20 minutes. Along with all your neighbors. And you’ll see what happens.
You might suddenly wake up. You might suddenly find that the call of the cazerolazo can act as the meditation bell of the Tibetan Buddhists, calling us to our awakening.
We are not numb. Human connection is alive and well. Connection to the past. Connection to the land. And it is marching. Fiercely loyal to freedom and self-determination. Democracy, safety, and dialogue.
No matter what the media may portray. No matter what political manipulations and power agendas may be swirling, the people are rising. Here and beyond.
The noise outside the window suddenly escalates as thousands of protesters peaceful march by, wearing flags, chanting slogans, backed and escorted by their own police.
The air is electric.
In this time of great turbulence, here and beyond, may we find the will and power to rise for our humanity. To use the bell of awakening, in whatever form it may come. To say no to all forms of violence and oppression.
Most of all, whatever hurdles come our way, may we be steady in this energy of peace. May we find it within and spread it without.
It is time.