In the city of Lugo, in the north of Spain, specifically in the autonomous community of Galicia, where I’m with the program IVY, Interreg Volunteer Youth as part of the European Solidarity Corps, the citizens have joined in the platform Lugo sen mordazas (Lugo without jaws) against the government to remove the Civic and Security Ordinance.
Lugo sen mordazas platform, currently formed by more than thirty cultural associations, social groups, non-profit organizations, politicians and trade unions of the municipality of Lugo (as for example Plataforma Feminista de Lugo, SOS Racismo, FORO GALEGO DA INMMIGRACIÓN, Tres Monos Artes Escénicas, Banco do Tempo,...) where there are people of all ages, from children with their parents, teenagers, university students, activists, retirees, grandparents,…
Lugo sen mordanzas has been created with the objective of requiring the local government of the PSOE in particular and the municipal corporation in general to withdraw the decree project that they call "civic" but that cuts out freedoms and is contrary to civil rights.
Every Monday at 8pm they meet in an open assembly, in the street in the center of Lugo, to which anyone can attend, to discuss the points, analyze what happened in the previous week and how to move forward. They organize activities in the street like neighborhood cinema, and a non-civic festival with different artists from jugglers to break dances and singers. 10 of the reasons why they (Lugo sen Mordazas) ask that the local government remove the Civic and Security Ordinance are the following:
1. Because no one is legitimated (let alone local police) to impose sanctions without the possibility of legal defense.
2. Because repression aggravates the socioeconomic inequalities.
3. Because the fines do not help them solve problems of coexistence and prevent the possibility of understanding between the parties.
4. Because they (Lugo sen Mordazas) want to express themselves freely in the street politically, culturally and artistically, active and cheerful streets where can play and create. People needs to sing, play, relate and sleep, also in public spaces. Therefore Lugo sen mordanzas do not accept the sanctions that the government are proposed:
- Up to € 750 for stamping on the portals for no reason, shouting "soeces" in the street, dragging furniture in the house, climbing the
trees or firing on firewood outside, for clothing in inner courtyards or barbecues; without processing a municipal permit.
- Up to 1,500 euros for making "funny" calls to the Local Police phone.
- Up to 750 euros per bed, camping or placing chairs in the public space; for washing in the fountains or drinking pets in them. Up to €1,500 for stunts with bicycles and skateboards, for practicing massive spontaneous sporting games and competitions.
5. Because it applies censorship, since cultural associations, social groups, unions, political organizations... will not be able to pick up posters, collect signatures on the street, distribute brochures or hang banners without express municipal authorization. In addition to fines of
up to 3,000 euros, the Local Police may safely seize all the material.
6. Because it is more vulnerable to people who are more susceptible to police abuses, something very worrying in a city that has members of the local security corps imputed in judicial investigations for corruption and abuse of power, such as the Carioca Operation.
7. Because it is an arbitrary rule that grants absolute power to the Local Police, leaving to the sole personal criteria of each agent the decision that facts are considered worthy of sanction and their seriousness.
8. Because it is discriminatory, class, racist and sexist; and it is a direct criminalization of poverty and chooses cruelty and insult against people with fewer resources. The City Council of Lugo should opt for social policies to solve problems that have a clear socioeconomic root
rather than impose a repressive regime that reaches extremely serious extremes such as:
- Fees of up to € 3,000 to ask for alms on the public thoroughfare, sell scarves or other small items in exchange for will, windshield wipers or juggling at the traffic lights.
- Persecution with fines to prostitutes, allowing the irruption of local agents in private homes.
- Encourages local allegations and the culture of "chivatazo"; responsible for the organizers of sociocultural events to monitor that none of the assistants behave contrary to the provisions of this regulation.
- It establishes that the Xunta de Galicia will be notified so that it removes benefits to those who carry out practices considered "concealed begging"; or that it may be sanctioned by street vendors even when they are not selling and have already collected their merchandise, requisitioning the money obtained with these practices (something impossible to demonstrate) and even fines who works with them by buying or notifying that there are authorities nearby.
9. Because it is an ordinance fruit of social alarmism and media sensationalism, which paints Lugo as an insecure and sordid city, when it is simply a city that is recovering the cultural effervescence and the associative fabric.
10. Because it is a regressive law that reminds them of the times of Franco's dictatorship and that seems an adaptation of the Law of Vagos and Maleantes, which seeks to avoid any type of dissidence or protest of citizenship against government policies.
For all the reasons explained, they have just started a campaign to collect signatures and disseminate the contents of the ordinance between the citizens, so that all the people of Lugo know the intentions reactionary that hides this norm, and they are organizing protests and street demonstrations that will not stop until the local government announces the withdrawal of the project and refuses to present it to approve it in the Plenary Session.
In spite of the social response, the government of the PSOE and the rest of the parties that support the Civic Ordinance, notably the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos, insist on approving it, they announce in advance that they will initiate the pertinent legal actions to go through the text and ask for its nullity of full right. They would not be the first municipality in which it is obtained, because in 2016 the Civic Ordinance of the City Council of Palma has been annulled by the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands after being denounced by the local associations and social groups.
They have full legal certainty that this norm will be thrown down if you arrive at the courts, due to the lack of powers of the City Council to legislate many of the aspects included, as well as many of them contrary to current legislation and not to respect civil rights and freedoms more. Basic, as well as proof of jurists from other municipalities.
FOR A LIVE AND INCLUSIVE CITY. NOT TO ORDINANCE MORDAZA.
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook: @lugosenmordazas