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Thousands took part in a virtual march in the streets of Madrid last Friday night to protest the new Citizens’ Securities Law’s Reform law that will have a chilling effect on public protests. Hailed as a “Hologram” protest, even though the technology used seems more akin to a projection, the event is part of a larger campaign called Hologramas por la libertad (Holograms for Freedom) that hopes to overturn the law before it goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
Under the new Citizen Safety Law, which human rights advocates have renamed Ley Mordaza (Gag Law), Spanish citizens cannot protest against the Congress or hold meetings in public spaces and they would have to ask permission from the authorities whenever they wish to protest publicly. Organizers of unauthorized demonstrations could be fined up to €600,000 (~$636,000) for their protests, with possible fines of €600 (~$636) for disrespecting police officers, and €30,000 (~$32,000) for filming or photographing the events.
The “hologram” protest, which was organized by an umbrella organization of 100 groups named No Somos Delito (We are not crime), invites people to submit video messages that would be transformed into digital projections on the streets of Spanish cities. Over 2,000 people took part in the nearly hourlong demonstrations, according to El Pais newspaper. The idea was partly inspired by the Kate Moss hologram at Alexander McQueen’s 2006 “Widows of Culloden” show in Paris.
One of the organizers’ spokespeople, Carlos Escano, explained the concept for the protest to the El Mundo newspaper:
Our protest with holograms is ironic. With the restrictions we’re suffering on our freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, the last options that will be left to use in the end will be to protest through our holograms.
This is the second “holographic” protest in the last few days, as last week The Illuminator temporarily revived the guerrilla Edward Snowden sculpture that was placed in a Brooklyn park.
In the last two years, there have been more than 87,000 demonstrations in Spain and, according to data provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior to El Pais, there have been incidents in fewer than 1% of them.
Hologram protest in Madrid against the Gag Law. “As we can’t protest as free citizens, we protest as free holograms.” pic.twitter.com/mjE9j4SBNe
— Giedre P. (@GiedreP) April 10, 2015