“He does not come by car, he comes on foot,” one of the organizers assured. The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, has arrived at the first listening act of her new Sumar project on foot, but in the opposite direction to the nearest metro station. Today climate change was the protagonist of an event that was held in the 100% ecological space Ecooo, in the Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés.
The press has waited for the arrival in Converse of the minister at the doors of the premises, since it was difficult to stay in the lobby due to lack of space. Díaz has arrived escorted by two men, who had been waiting for long minutes on the corner, smiling while she contemplated the traditional buildings of the capital’s neighborhood.
After greeting all the media, he entered the building, conditioned by evaporative cooling, and answered the first questions, recounting a meticulous and prepared speech. “People are wanting to participate in a new and different country, today young people are the protagonists. “In the face of resignation, I had not seen so much hope for a long time.” Díaz has had to face questions, which due to his gesture have not been comfortable, about his United We Can party, absent from the project since he assures that “it is a citizen’s movement”. Nor has he wanted to give himself prominence and if he considers running for the next elections he has answered emphatically, “this question does not concern”. Vice President has tried to resolve any suspicion about the tense situation with the Government and the rest of the partners, stating that the only tool is “dialogue, dialogue, dialogue”.
“Let’s begin, compañeras!” This is how the speaker began the dialogue with the young people that Díaz “has followed, studied and thought about.” Yolanda has taken out a pencil case, notebook and pen and is ready to take notes. “I have no hope”, so she has emphatically sentenced one of the first young women to intervene. Contrary to the words of the minister, most of the young environmentalists have shown their discontent and lack of confidence in Spanish politicians. “You, the politicians, have to be the first to set an example.”
The use of public transport has come to the fore in the first instance. It has overlooked the bonuses for the Cercanías and Media Distancia subscriptions announced by Pedro Sánchez, since, as one participant explained, “we workers continue to spend two hours getting to work and that continues to be a social inequality”. Once again it has been shown that the Government’s measures are not enough, he has said, because “politicians have to be the example to follow”. The intervention has been silently supported with mute applause.
The debate has been characterized by diverse contributions, a farmer’s son from emptied Spain sitting in front of another young man who has accused agriculture and livestock of an important waste of water. It is true that, despite accusing Spain of impassiveness in the face of climate change, it has targeted the great powers for its climate carelessness. “Spain is a tiny country compared to the powerful countries, but not Europe. If we don’t put pressure, we are going to suffer the consequences.”
While exposing a guest, there is a rumble, then a female scream and the entire room is paralyzed. “A chair fell over.” After several seconds of laughter, which Díaz used to review his old IPhone model, the discussion continued.
“We can’t even adjust the temperature of our houses to be able to live. I’m hot but I can’t put on the air conditioning because the light is expensive,” said a girl with a purple shirt and feminist symbology before defending the rights of the inhabitants in an irregular situation of the Cañada Real of Madrid. “It is unfair that a person who cannot afford to pay for electricity is cut off, just because it is not considered a human right, as is the case with water.”
The reflection on migration and the impact on the Melilla fence has not been left in the inkwell. “The climate refugee” and the pact with NATO with its respective increase in military spending, have been the two factors that have justified these massive waves of illegal migration and that, as “a colleague” commented earlier, “is the result of the business elite that has led to this situation”.
Yolanda Díaz has responded to the accusation about the high cost of meat consumption by saying that she, despite being Galician and how complicated it is considering its gastronomy, does not eat meat. Despite the various contributions and the enthusiasm that emerged every time one of the vocalists took the microphone, the faith shown by the youth has been almost non-existent. “The times of the polar bear are over, we need structural and radical changes”; “We are not going to listen to those who have been saying for years that this economic system works, since it does not even provide happiness, it is incompatible with life.”
Díaz has been true to his word on this occasion, “I will shut up and listen” and so it has been. During the almost two hours that the meeting has lasted, he has dedicated himself to writing and nodding. As the banner that covered the vice president’s back said, listening, illusion, proposal and freedom were not lacking in the presentation. “Today you have shown me that your reflections make us much better. I ask you to write the new Green New Deal. Thank you.”
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