Democracy Real Ya

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History

From an interview of Francisco Jurado by Carlos Delclos:

  • Can you tell me a bit about how the Democracia Real Ya (DRY) platform came about? Who spearheaded it? And why did you pick May 15, 2011 to carry out the first mobilization?

Well, at the beginning it wasn’t called Democracia Real Ya. It began as a Facebook group around a manifesto with eight programmatic points. The group was called the Coordinating Platform for Groups in Favour of Citizen Mobilization, and people from different collectives started to join, as well as a few unaffiliated people. The only requirement was that you could not join as a liaison for any of the parties or labour unions, so we could avoid establishing competitive criteria from the beginning. That group produced several branches, both territorial (the DRY nodes) and thematic ones (design, content, communications, tech and international relations).

As for the date, I’m not sure why we picked May 15. I guess it was to take advantage of the political opportunity opened up by the municipal and regional elections the following Sunday.


* Well, what happened after that protest, with the occupation of the squares, is history at this point. And what has taken place during the 2015 election cycle cannot be explained without taking that story into account. Yet, amazingly, some people still claim that the indignados didn’t achieve anything. Looking back, do you think DRY achieved its objectives?

I think DRY’s victory and defeat both lie in the degree to which it was overwhelmed, and how its objectives were exceeded. Its main victory was that a protest organized via social networks with practically no other means became an augmented event that had an enormous effect on Spanish politics over the years that followed. As a group constructed around a call for protest, a manifesto and eight very broad points, it was possible for us to bring lots of different people together. As we delved deeper into nuances, more problems arose. By nuances here, I’m referring to things such as an attempt to turn the platform into a formal association or NGO, or more specific issue-based initiatives.

In terms of its mentality and methodology, DRY was not prepared to mutate into something more stable that could stand the test of time. It completed its original mission by propping up the indignados movement, we used it throughout that year to organize a massive protest in June and an enormous global one in October, and then it stopped being useful." (https://roarmag.org/essays/podemos-spain-fransisco-jurado-interviw/)