204.3 Disability rights movement in Spain: From the UN convention to the "indignation" in the streets

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 9:40 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Miriam ARENAS CONEJO , Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Soledad ARNAU RIPOLLÉS , Dpto. de Filosofía y Filosofía Moral y Política. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED-España)., Madrid, Spain
Eduardo DÍAZ VELÁZQUEZ , Universidad Complutense de Madrid/ Centro Español de Documentación sobre Discapacidad (CEDD)- Fundación SIIS, Madrid, Spain
Miguel A. FERREIRA , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Asun PIÉ BALAGUER , Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is now the main tool for persons with disabilities in their political struggles for equal opportunities. It reaffirms the legislative renewal process that has been going on in the last decade in relation to disability. In Spain, the normative framework is the LIONDAU (2003), which enacts equality of opportunities and non- discrimination as regulatory principles, leaving behind the previous biomedical and care-oriented approaches. However, those changes have had little impact on the daily lives of persons with disabilities, who have also recently extended their claims by joining the Spanish 15M movement.

In the midst of the severe economic crisis, the 15M movement began in May 2010 with a series of massive demonstrations in Spain. Organized through the Internet, the movement was embodied by a network of camps in public places of a large number of cities, which were transformed into multitudinous spaces of participatory and deliberative democracy. There, political action was developed outside the traditional representative model, thus allowing participation to a great diversity of critical voices against the current economic and social systems. Once the camps were dismantled, the movement has remained alive through the Internet and as a decentralized network of local and neighborhoods assemblies, as well as in its transnational version actualized by the Occupy movement.

 This paper is aimed to show how Spanish persons with disabilities have joined their efforts to this new movement of social transformation, given the lack of impact of the UN Convention in their daily lives and the inadequacies of the traditional ways for channeling their claims. It will also explore how this alliance with open and participatory politics brought by the 15M movement places disability at the core of a new concept of citizenship, making it more complex and radical.