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HomeGlobal NewsThe book that embarrasses Greenpeace Spain | The USA Print

The book that embarrasses Greenpeace Spain | The USA Print

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We talk about a haunting essay, especially for its ability to portray a grotesque error of our judicial system (an error about which we already have indications that it can go further). The book is titled Nobody is going to laugh. The incredible story of an irony trial (Debate). The Murcian signs it Juan Soto Ivars, one of the journalists who has contributed the most to uncovering the new progressive inquisition that we so often unconsciously or semi-consciously accept. The main thread of the text is the condemnation of Anónimo García, one of the promoters of a performance artistic to denounce the sensationalism of the media with the case of La Manada, but also the text contains a substantial subplot to which little attention has been paid.

A bit of context: García was sentenced for posting on the Internet a tour by Pamplona that would go through the main scenes of the events of La Manada, which occurred in July 2016. This activity never took place, since it was a performance of denunciation of sensationalism by the mainstream media, which opted for a scavenger approach to cover the event. Once a certain media stir arose, the website of the alleged tour for tourists, devised by the artistic group Homo Velamine, changed its content to texts denouncing the sensationalism of some major media (confirmed by the fact that some television stations voluntarily removed the grossest errors in their coverage from their official websites). The unexpected result is that a lawyer convinced the plaintiff of La Manada that she should sue the group responsible for the performance and -against all odds- sentenced Garcia to a year and a half in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros.

On which article of the Penal Code did they rely to convict someone for a simple performance? They used 173.1, whose wording is open and ambiguous: “Anyone who inflicts degrading treatment on another person, seriously undermining his moral integrity, will be punished with a prison sentence of six months to two years.” To whom has this rule been applied up to now? The acts condemned by article 173.1 that he mentions imply: forcing a woman to prostitute herself and submerging her head in the river repeatedly; beating immobilized men; confinement of people in dark rooms, handcuffed, without meeting their basic needs, and the publication of sexual advertisements with a woman’s phone number without her consent. The latter received an acquittal, despite the fact being proven, because they did not consider it serious enough,” says Soto Ivars. The worst is, After the conviction of Anónimo García, these days another similar one -18 months and 6,000 euros- has fallen to the poet Camilo de Ory, author of some black humor tweets about the case of the child Julen. Should one go to prison for making jokes and performancesAre they in good taste or not?

Soto Ivars’s essay has been increasingly successful, both in copies sold and in presentations throughout Spain (in the one in Madrid, dozens of people stayed outside the Tipos Infames bookstore). The interesting subplot of the conflict, which is briefly explained in the text, is that Anómino García was the subject of a file at Greenpeace after the first conviction (December 2019) and dismissed after its ratification (June 2020). Greenpeace, contacted by Vozpopuli, denies that the dismissal has anything to do with the sentence. He attributes it to a violation of the organization’s code of conduct, by not informing Garcia of his extra-work activities. That the file and the dismissal fell just after the convictions would be a simple coincidence, according to the well-known NGO.

Presentation of the essay in the Tipos Infames bookstore (Madrid)

The seriousness of the matter is that García did not hold any position, but worked in the area of ​​Freedom of Expression, carrying out central tasks such as the campaign against the Gag Law. Therefore, a veteran NGO, traditionally dedicated to civil disobedience, fired an employee for civil disobedience (and abandoned him to his fate due to his legal problems). García had also occasionally collaborated with Amnesty International, another organization that turned its back on him.

Greenpeace’s double standard

This is how Soto Ivars portrays the dismissal of Greenpeace, which left García in a vulnerable situation: “Where was he going to get all that money? Due to the unfair dismissal, Greenpeace had loosened 27,500 of those euros that their partners send them to save polar bears. It was all he owned, and the figure was about fifteen thousand euros below what he owed, between the compensation, the costs and the next scenes of the legal battle ”. As if that were not enough, the condemned man had just become a father, redoubling his level of helplessness.

The fact that the dismissal was unfair is already quite revealing. Soto Ivars denounced in the text the frivolity with which the fees of his partners are spent, some of whom have already resigned at the expense of the incident. The NGO’s press department alleges the following: “Nobody at Greenpeace knew about this or any other activity by Anónimo García in advance, and found out a posteriori by the media,” they explain. The reality is that we have been able to verify that the September before the dismissal, García gave a workshop on the artistic activism of Homo Velamine in a Greenpeace camp held in Piedralaves (Ávila) from September 11 to 15, 2019. Apart from this, several Grenpeace employees had participated in performances of this group halfway between art and denunciation.

In Greenpeace’s responses, it is insisted that everything was done “in compliance with current legislation”, when the very nature of the NGO requires it to defy laws

Greenpeace repeatedly invokes a violation of the code of conduct that it is not clear that it occurred (hence the inappropriateness): simply it was preferred to avoid problems rather than support an employee in a legal process that ended in a prison sentence and a fine. The “reputational cost” of García’s actions is also invoked for the dismissal, which may sound sensible but problematic: it also entails reputational costs to dismiss an employee who simply dedicates his free time to an activism as legitimate as the yours (the difference is that Garcia had much less material means).

Examples of Greenpeace activism causing reputational damage: when they exposed whale overfishing in Japan in 2008, stealing catches from ships, or when they damaged the lines of the Nazca geoglyphs (Peru) in 2015 or the actions against the nuclear power plant in Cofrentes in 2011. In Greenpeace’s responses to the García case, it is insisted that everything was done “in compliance with current legislation”, when the very nature of the NGO requires it to defy laws to further its objectives.

Since the news of the dismissal began to circulate, there have been various casualties of partners. For example, that of Joaquín Muller-Thyssen Bergareche, explained on Facebook. Greenpeace’s communication director wrote to convince him to maintain his support for the organization, to no avail. “You tell me about a constant and repeated breach of the code of conduct of ‘this worker’ (Anónimo García) whom he does not even name, for not informing his manager of a ‘potential’ conflict of interest between the individual sphere of action and labor or organization, something that is surprising because it is hard to think that such a conflict occurs between the actions of Anonymous and the actions of Greenpeace”, he replied.

“Even more surprising is that on the cause of the dismissal or the ‘rescission of the contract’, the euphemism to which he resorts, he plans Greenpeace’s commitment to non-violence ‘expressed in the construction of a culture of zero tolerance with all the actions that may incur suffering or other harm to persons’. Does this mean that at the bottom of the parody that Anonymous made of the media in the case known as La Manada was the desire to harm the victim? I think not, and if he did it, it was as unintentional as the damage that his organization’s actions cause to third parties. Wave humiliation and professional discredit suffered by the head of security at the 2009 Copenhagen summit Because of Juantxo López de Uralde’s actions, was it premeditated damage?”, he argues.

This is how he closes his answer: “I am glad that you affirm that Greenpeace is defending ‘without nuances’ the right to freedom of expression because it is really hard to believe it after its performance in this sad case that today is awaiting a resolution from the Constitutional Court. I do not know how they will be able to defend their position if the high court decides to acquit Anónimo García ”, he concludes.

This loss is not the only one. “I have been at Greenpeace for at least 25 years,” Abel Valero writes on Twitter. “Today I am leaving. I add that this is the last straw: I have disagreed with his hypocrisy for a long time and this has been the last gesture ”. More wood: “How about reinstating Anónimo García? With apologies and publicity, a lot of publicity”, suggests Javier Gómez, responding to a post where Greenpeace encourages tweeters to join. Is it possible that the reputational cost of firing García has only just begun? All thanks to an essay that Greenpeace never had on its menu of options.

BUY FOR €17.95



Mark NT
Mark NT
Mark NT was born and raised in the India. He worked at a literary development company as a publisher. He is a creative website writer for teens and a good book reviewer.

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