How about taking your favourite banker (and politician) to jail? 9 Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

May 16 2012

Location: 

Spain

The Spanish 15M/INDIGNADOS social movement represents a citizen break-up with the current political system while proposing an alternative one, creatively transforming the prevailing participation and action patterns in its society.

Inside the swarm of the movement, we find a key activist collective called XNET, specialised in the development of the Internet’s tactical use and creative forms of activism. It allows capillary forms of counter-information and self-organisation as well as renewed forms of citizen organisation, driving different empowering devices that are shaking Spanish politics today.

Xnet’s work begins back in 2008 as a communication guerrilla group in defence of the Internet - as a tool for democracy and as a battlefield - and of freedom of expression in the 21st century. But today's story takes us back only three years in time...

May 16th, 2012, Barcelona is celebrating 15M movement’s 1st anniversary when a group of citizens decide to pursue those politically and economically responsible for the crisis, acting against the impunity of the Spanish elites. A big fish was needed to attain this objective, so an ethical and strategic goal was chosen: the former Spanish Minister of Economy and later First Deputy Prime Minister as well as former managing director of the IMF - Rodrigo Rato - and his accomplices.

They build a device designed as a communication guerrilla and they do it under the name of 15MpaRato, a play on words meaning that organised society (resulting from the "Indignados" movement, best called 15M) has Rodrigo Rato as its number one goal, and also meaning that 15M will live for a “long time” (a “long Rato").

15MpaRato was founded and their intentions were proclaimed as a result of a call (at that time anonymous) from Xnet: A message for #12M15M from the Internet neighbourhood (https://xnet-x.net/en/a-message-for-12m15m-from-the-internet-quarter/ ).
They launched a five-year calendar plan to achive their objective - including making Rato's life unbearable in Spain - which so far has been quite impressively fulfilled (https://15mparato.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/story-citizen-lawsuit/ ).

The device found the evidence and the plaintiffs required to file a lawsuit against Rato and 33 of the major "banksters" responsible for the crisis in just one month. From an anonymous device and through crowdfunding, it managed to gather within hours the 20,000 Euros needed to file the lawsuit, in what is considered the first political crowdfunding launched.

After two years of litigation, and thanks to citizen collaboration and leaks, over 100 bankers and politicians have been taken to court. It proved one of the toxic products it was selling (preferred shares) was a huge scam, as well as the flotation of the Spanish bailed-out bank Bankia. With the evidence presented to justice, it succeeded in helping thousands of small scammed savers recover their money. Rodrigo Rato – IMF’s former president – and his accomplice the banker Miguel Blesa, have had to face with their patrimony two of the most substantial personal bails in Spain’s history –19 million Euros in total– and they are losing all their privileges.

Step by step, they are getting closer and closer to achieving the initial objectives proclaimed:

- This is not a crisis; it is not a divine punishment but an organised scam and as such it has people responsible with name and surname.

- Put an end to impunity and the plots involving governments and corporations.

- We will rescue ourselves with the money recovered from the corrupt bankers, speculators and politicians: the bailout must be paid with the money they have stolen, our money.

- The Spanish bailout proposed by the government and the troika, aims to sell out a whole country and its people, leaving us with no rights, no voice and no bread, just to preserve the privileges of a few.

The message is clear: IMPUNITY IS OVER.

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