Every morning brings more news from the United States or other parts Europe and the measures put in place to control COVID-19. It’s changing rapidly. Madrid and País Vasco are the worst. The regional newspaper La Voz de Galicia says “Spain is now Italy and Madrid is Wuhan”.
A few weeks ago, authorities in Galicia thought we could avoid the worst of it. There were only a few cases, mostly in A Coruña area. Now however, we have many confirmed cases, 15 confirmed in our province and perhaps a few in our town.
The Xunta has closed everything except supermarkets, gas stations, and pharmacies. We haven’t stocked up on anything and probably won’t panic buy, especially not toilet paper (Muslim pro tip: use a lota, look it up 👍🏼). We have three markets in town, one on the edge closest to our village. I don’t think panic will set in like it might in larger, denser cities.
And so, we isolate ourselves, continue to work from home (which is an unbelievable privilege), and try keep ourselves entertained. We have the woods and our monte very close. I’ve already FaceTimed more friends back home than in the last month. I also started a Twitter account and Telegram group of Democratic Socialists of America members who live abroad and want to start organizing. For what yet, it’s unclear, but there’s
I try to keep up on happenings, and check GCiencia for a good map of cases in the Galicia.
Be safe, everyone. Keep your distance, but reach out to neighbors, family, and friends. We need to support each other and all we have is each other.
“My communism isn’t a folkloric, symbolic, or aesthetic communism that simply lives through nostalgia. It’s a way of confronting the social and environmental problems we have, in the face of an economic system which is leading us to disaster. It works off the etymology of what “radical” means — that is, to get to the roots of problems. So, my idea of communism is very open. Perhaps in other countries it is understood in another way, but in Spain the communists are those who helped bring about democracy in the 1970s and who defended the Second Republic in the 1930s. Communism doesn’t have the same connotations that it may have in Eastern Europe, or in places where anticommunist propaganda has been extremely effective. And this vision of communism needs to understand the need to reckon with the problems that face us today. Historically socialism hasn’t taken on board questions like feminism and environmentalism, but these need to be incorporated. This isn’t new — it has been the case since as far back as the 1980s. But Spain is one of the countries in the world where feminism is currently strongest, and we’re one of the European countries that is going to be most heavily impacted by climate change and ecological collapse. We need to build a space that I would call “eco-socialist” or “eco-communist” — although at the end of the day, labels don’t interest me that much. I’m a lot more concerned with people understanding what it is we want to do — to construct an alternative to a society dominated by the accumulation of private profit.”
After a pretty cold night in the van in A Rúa next to its dam, we visited the UNESCO World Heritage site of Las Médulas in Castilla y León for a few hikes. This was an old Roman gold-mining town now famous for the beauty of the fracked mountain tops.
The Romans used a technique to fill the worthless first layer of the rock with water using aqueducts and tunnels to ‘wreck the mountain’, revealing the gold deposits underneath.