"This party is a demonstration of how we believe that politics should be done. Few things are more political than a party (...) than building community, camaraderie." Before a sea of white and purple umbrellas, following the pantone of the formation, Lilith Vestrynge, secretary of the Organization of Podemos, summed up the weekend's day in the Jardines de Viveros de València.
Some 3,000 people have passed through the spring festival of Podemos, an exhibition of ideological muscle that aspires to be held annually and addresses the issues that the formation has put on the agenda. After months of being beaten in all the forums, the purples took a bath of self-esteem among their own, of hugs and pats on the back, in an act of political self-affirmation.
In Podemos they wanted to party. So much so that, as they joked the next day, they broke their throats at concerts and finished off their beer stocks. Without a massive attendance, they managed to get enough attention in the talks, especially in those that addressed the relationship between time and work, the survival of the monarchy or the health of the investiture bloc. However, there was hardly any debate: the sessions were a succession of the enhancement of their actions, of their role in the State, with issues that they have amply worked on on their agenda, in which they have already generated their profile.
The surprise, for some, was the conference on Pope Francis, promoted by the leader of the Valencian Government, Héctor Illueca. The Valencian second vice president and former director of the Labor Inspection is a devoted student of the figure of Pope Francis and promoted a forum at the festival to highlight that his doctrine challenges the neoliberal system. To add, the speakers reflected, it is necessary to incorporate into the project those who "share the desire for justice", whether or not they are believers, in an unusual subject in purples.
The cultural battle was in all the sessions, perhaps for this reason they used their star system to complete the chairs: the writers and thinkers Owen Jones, Elisabeth Duval or Miquel Ramos accompanied their most relevant positions in presentations and the performances of Samantha Hudson, Manel and Los Chikos del Maíz; three musical styles with little or nothing in common but that promote an ideological change from the stage. Ramos's, accompanied by the photojournalist Eva Máñez and Ricardo Romero 'Nega', vocalist of the Chikos del Maíz, was one of the most emotional tables, with several tearful moments in the audience when reviewing the history of movement and militancy from the nineties.
As in any festival, there was tons of merchandising: bags with the motto 'fck vox', books, t-shirts, more books, stickers and memes with internal jokes, with gestures to the networks in which Podemos has deployed its political action. The current president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, filled T-shirts and glasses through the photograph that links him to a drug trafficker, competing with the Republican symbology for attention.
Despite claiming to be a party of sum and majority, there were hardly any words for the "other sister forces" that have made the investiture bloc possible -which did have a debate table with Bildu and ERC- or the regional and municipal alliances that they share . During the weekend there were no mentions of the actions of the Government of the Botanical Pact, in which they manage the second vice-presidency and Ministry of Housing, nor to Yolanda Díaz and the measures promoted by her ministry, beyond the intervention of Jaume Asens , nor was there a notable presence of his colleagues from the Valencian Executive; The vice president of the Consell and leader of Compromís, Mónica Oltra, attended a presentation, and the Minister of Transparency and leader of Esquerra Unida, Rosa Pérez, attended the rally, both with a discreet role among the public. At a time when alliances are being forged that will be decisive in the next elections, even silence communicates.
Despite the thematic diversity of the conference, one theme was the focus of the weekend: the feminist agenda. The purple ones value the measures that they have promoted in the Government and that this week has given them several successes. The permits for menstrual pain, the law of sexual violence or the advances in the reform of the abortion law are points of the program that, despite the reluctance of its main partner, have given the organization of the circles a notable role.
The reforms in the Ministry of Equality, the feminist policies, are the banner that the formation exhibits. Several tables addressed consent and sexual desire, patriarchal justice, sexual rights and how to legislate them; The central meeting was attended by Latin American leaders, who denounced that being a woman is a risk factor, and a shower of applause surrounded Irene Montero when she claimed what is already a motto in the demonstrations: that the fear of returning alone to home is a form of power. At the end of her speech, the general secretary, Ione Belarra, an older man in the audience comments to her companion: "The world will belong to women. Write that down."