Letters to the Editor

By The Beacon | November 8, 2011 9:00pm

Spain is origin of Occupy Portland

(Jackie Jeffers | THE BEACON)


Several weeks ago your editorial on Occupy Portland sparked much debate in my household. Thank you for writing it.

In the course I am teaching this semester, Cultural Perspectives of Modern Spain, we have traced Spain as the birthplace of social protest movements around the globe focused on economic corruption and injustice. The Spanish group, Democracia real YA, began organizing itself on Facebook a year ago and staged its first encampment in plazas across Spain on May 15 and then called for a second occupation on Oct. 15.

In my home, this perspective gets little support. My husband attributes Occupy Wall Street to a Canadian group, Adbusters. My nine-year-old daughter tends to agree with him. A quick search led me to the Adbusters site, which does credit the Spanish acampadas, and also the Egyptian uprising.

I disagree that Occupy Portland is inspired by Arab Spring because I believe the tone is different. On this point, I have to agree with my father who says he has not been this hopeful about the social change possible since the Vietnam War protests. In other words, while there may be anger (toward banks), and a few violent acts, a peaceful tone prevails, in my opinion.

Lora Looney

Associate Professor of Spanish