Sunday, May 22, 2011
Free Spaces Make for Protest Places
Gathering space for people is important for human society. Take the example of Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain.
I spent a fair amount of time in this incredible space just a few months ago. It is truly the Sol ~ soul of the entire country. Every road radiates outward from this point to places all over Europe. It is the center of everything in Spain. Read more about it here.
In the late 2000's, this site, which had been a busy vehicle filled transportation hub, was converted into a mostly car fee space. The transportation has all been moved underground. It is now THE gathering spot of Madrid, as well as the rest of the country.
"Gathering" also sometimes includes protest. This is fantastic. Having a space where people can gather peacefully and safely in large numbers is crucial to a functioning democracy. We all saw how important this was in Egypt with Tahir Square. We also saw how it all plays out when democracy doesn't exist: China, Tiananmen Square, 1989.
Humans have always gathered. It used to be over a campfire but it has changed quite a bit over time.
Watch the live feed below. As of this posting, it shows the occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid. How it all plays out will only be known over time. Twitter has played a role but overall, it's space, place and people.
Free live streaming by Ustream