A carnival event, organized by Madrid’s City Hall, has ended with two puppeteers imprisoned, accused of extoling terrorism.
The artists were representing exactly what has happened to them. In their play, the character of the witch is unaware of being set up by another character, a police officer, who places on her a banner with the words “GORA ALKA-ETA” ( a homophonic wordplay: “Long Live Al-QAEDA / ETA) so that it seems like the witch is commending terrorism. As a result a judge condemns her to death by hanging. Now, in real life that same banner which reads “GORA ALKA-ETA” is being used by a real life judge to accuse the puppeteers of defending terrorism.
The difference between the judge in the play, who condemns the witch, and the real life judge who condemns the puppeteers resides in the matter they’re made of: the first one is made out of rags and the second one is an ex-policeman who served under the fascist dictator Franco and is now a judge in the Spanish Court of Law: Audiencia Nacional. It comes as no surprise that such a judge would attack the freedom of speech and popular creativity or even order prison without bail for the two puppeteers. But, it’s not only about this judge. We’ve been suffering this kind of repression under many forms: the “Ley Mordaza”; fellow activists being arrested in their houses; modifications to the Criminal Code; fines; unjustified assaults on political organizations and social centers and, prison sentences simply for assisting popular demonstrations.
There are still two characters remaining in this story: the media and City Hall. Media, in general, have assumed and spread the judge’s version, knowing it’s a lie in order to harm the City Hall. And, City Hall, instead of defending the workers and their freedom of speech, has decided to lodge a complaint against the workers for breach of contract.
Too many Punches for one story, that would certainly seem ridiculous if it weren’t for the two colleagues in prison.
Stated the facts, the “Free the Puppeteers Assembly” demands:
1. Immediate freedom, with no charges, for our two colleagues of the theater company “Títeres desde Abajo”.
2. City Hall must withdraw all charges
3. Dismissal for every person in the judicial chain, responsible for ordering prison without bail for a crime never committed.
We will continue to campaign as long as freedom of speech and creation are not respected and, as long as the people are repressed, and our colleagues remain in prison. They want us divided, they’ll have us united.
PEOPLE’S ART ISN’T ILLEGAL
FREEDOM TO THE PUPPETEERS
Send your adhesion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 10th. 7pm (Madrid)
Saturday, February 13th. 6 pm- Ministry of Justice. (Madrid)
If there are any protests in your city send it to us so they can be included