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Since the beginning of his mayoralty in June 2019 José Luis Martínez-Almeidahas not stopped fighting everything that seems to be left: Social movements, feminism, 15-M, Self-managed Social Centers ( CSAs) or organizations dedicated to historical memory. All this could be due to an ideological militancy of the extreme right or, as many suggest, it could well be due to the need to satisfy VOX, its majority partner in the government1.

With regard to their fight against feminism, we have the elimination of the current General Directorate of Equality of the Madrid City Council2, he withdrawal in less than 48 hours of the banners against sexist violence and in favor of refugees put up by Carmena3 or where Javier Ortega Smith boycotted the minute of silence in memory of a murdered woman showing the banner “Violence has no gender in September of 2019. “Against all types of domestic violence”4. Almeida, far from reprimanding his government partner, replied “You know perfectly well that I do not share the gender ideology or the feminism of March 8.” It is not the last case where this trend is evident; Also at the request of VOX they erased a feminist mural in favor of equality in the Ciudad Lineal district and in the face of social outrage in response to that fact nothing else occurred to her than to seek a relationship between that mural and ETA5.

Social movements have also been the target of aggressions from the city council. On January 11th PP and VOX voted in favor of a motion to remove a huge mural dedicated to 15M in the Plaza de Oporto6. Fortunately the Carabanchel District Board refused to remove the mural thanks to the abstention of Ciudadanos and the votes against Más Madrid and PSOE. On the other hand his attack on the CSAs is known having already announced when he took office that “As of May 26th Madrid will be a city free of squatters and cheeks.” And he demonstrated this by closing the La Dragona7 or the Ingobernable centers the latter on two occasions: After having managed to occupy a second space briefly the mayor ordered a new “express” and illegal eviction8 taking advantage of the first times of isolation during the pandemic. Other CSAs have also been threatened with closure in addition to legal spaces (although ideologically opposed) such as the collective Espacio Vecinal Arganzuela (EVA). In this case the excuse for not renewing it has been according to the mayor that this space is “absolutely essential for the Samur”9.

The ideological battle of Almeida has also reached the historical memory by closing the Office of Human Rights and Memory launed by the previous municipal team in 201710, Or paralyzing the file of the Memorial of the Almudena cemetery destined to the 2,934 Republicans shot between 1939 and 1944. He decided to change it to a new memorial to “all the people shot by both sides”11, equating those who were shot in time of war and those who were persecuted and killed during the dictatorship. We also see it in theattempt to remove the plaques in memory of the historical socialists Indalecio Prieto and Francisco Largo Caballero. A judge ordered the removal of the plaques to be suspended on a precautionary basis which did not come in time to stop Largo Caballero from destroying the plaque12.

It is not the only case: This city council is known for putting problems or preventing everything that it considers contrary at an ideological level, either by the hand of VOX or of its own accord. Taking into account that there is a vote in the making for the Community of Madrid where a strong presence of VOX is also expected13, we must hope that this type of attack will become widespread and spread. Therefore we have to be vigilant and protect our collective spaces and our social rights from those who try to take them away from us.


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