July 9, 2015
Well, Spain’s officially a police state now. On July 1st, its much-protested “gag” law went into effect, instantly making criminals of those protesting the new law. Among the many new repressive stipulations is a €30,000-€600,000 fine for “unauthorized protests,” which can be combined for maximum effect with a €600-€300,000 fine for “disrupting public events.”
This horrible set of statutes has arisen from Spain’s position as a flashpoint for anti-austerity protests, the European precursor to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Fines, fines and more fines await anyone who refuses to treat authority with the respect it’s forcibly requiring citizens to show it.
The law also extends its anti-protest punishments to social media, where users can face similar fines for doing nothing more than encouraging or organizing a protest. Failing to present ID when commanded is another fine. And then there’s this:
Showing a “lack of respect” to those in uniform or failing to assist security forces in the prevention of public disturbances could result in an individual fine of between €600 and €30,000.
Spain’s legislators thought of everything. To ensure these crackdowns on protests go off with a minimum of public backlash, “respected” police officers are being given a blank check to use as much force as they feel necessary when breaking up “unauthorized protests.” The law doesn’tdirectly instruct police to behave badly, but it does provide a very helpful increase in opacity.
This article was posted: Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:05 am