By Carlos Delclós for ROAR Magazine - On February 18, over 160.000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that the Spanish government and the European Union accept more refugees. The build-up to the protests was spectacular, with the city and Catalan regional governments working together with broad citizen platforms to put the phrase “We want to welcome” (Volem acollir) on everybody’s lips. For several weeks, leading politicians including Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and Catalan president Carles Puigdemont lambasted Spain’s current policies towards refugees. One week prior to the protest, a special concert was organized by a campaign called Casa nostra, Casa vostra (“Our house, your house”), not in a civic center or public square but in an Olympic stadium. The event was aired on Catalan public television and featured major Catalan artists and cultural figures.
In polluted Kabul, I’ve been trying my faltering best not to live ‘life-as-usual’. The ‘usual’ has no song. It has fumes enveloping the city in the evenings, making us cough. It has no imagination, regurgitating Obama’s lie that the Afghan war is over, while repeating the violent refrains of ‘fight, fight, fight.’ It ignores human beings, especially children. Every week in Kabul, the Afghan Peace Volunteers at the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre take me away from the ‘usual’. They’re building an alternative life. Please join them to become a Borderfree Community wherever you are, Communities that try to build green spaces where we share life’s basic necessities with all, and where there’s no war!