Spain // Madrid versus the “Dickface” president~ 4 min

By Víctor Boaventura and Duarte Guerreiro

Several left reformist municipalist projects were defeated at the ballot box during the last elections in the Spanish State by alliances between the Popular Party, Ciudadanos and Vox. These last two are little more than excretions from the more neoliberal and fascist wings of the Popular Party.

One of the defeated projects was Más Madrid (More Madrid, previously Ahora Madrid – Now Madrid), headed by Manuela Carmena. Madrid is now ruled by the triple alliance or, as it is know locally, Trifachito (the trio of little fascists). It did not waste any time in attacking the reformist measures of previous governments, including those of Popular Party governments that date back to 2004. In fact, doing so was its electoral promise.

Their first and most important measure so far was to begin dismantling “Madrid Central”. This project aimed at reducing road traffic in the city center and reinforcing public transportation in order to reduce the city’s considerable air pollution and improve the inhabitants’ quality of life. The measure reduced air contamination to historical levels at the central and northern areas of the city. The month of May 2019 had the best air quality in record.

For now, the Trifachito has only suspended fines for circulating in Madrid Central, but further measures are expected. The consequences are already here: during the last few days, inhabitants of the central Madrid neighborhoods saw a significant increase in road traffic, including on streets which had been barred to circulation since 2004. Public transportation has been reduced and the average waiting time for several bus lines has increased from 5 to 15 minutes.

One of the big targets of the Trifachito alliance are social movements and everything related to popular organization. One of the first symbolic measures of the municipal government was to remove all banners in favor of welcoming refugees and against male chauvinist violence.

The “Carapolla (Dick Face) Case”

The current president of the municipal government, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, won himself a new nickname this week: Carapolla (Dick Face). The name originated with a protest by residents of the Vilcavaro neighborhood in Madrid, during the local San Juan festivities.

That night, the local Residents’ Association hung a few banners throughout the neighborhood denouncing male chauvinist violence, evictions and unemployment. The municipal police showed up in force at the neighborhood and removed all materials bearing a political message.

A week later, during the district’s popular celebrations, a group of young people decided to organize a protest against the repression carried out by the current Madrid municipal government. They made stickers displaying the phrase: “Almeida Carapolla, we shall be your worst nightmare.”

The initiative was well received by the local inhabitants. During the four days of celebrations, an increasing number of people started proudly bearing the sticker with the jesting phrase. The municipal police then began forbidding these people from entering the festival site and identifying everyone bearing the sticker.

One of the people identified was accused of a light administrative offense for “insulting a competent authority”, a charge which does not exist in the Spanish penal code.

This situation made the tense neighborhood relationship with the current municipal president even worse. During the electoral campaign, Almeida was the protagonist of a curious scene which displeased the local population. He showed up in Vilcavaro with a brush and bucket to remove an “ACAB” graffiti from the ‘El Madroño’ cultural center.

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