“Marzo ventoso, April lluvioso”, recites my canary father-in-law, as we watch the golden sunset on a hill near Barcelona.
And get wind of it. Windstorms can be particularly severe in the Canary Islands.
There, halfway between Europe and the African continent, not only were paka sold at that time, but aerial volutes now bring parts of the Sahara with them.
It’s the calima, aka desert sandstorm, late winter phenomenon in the northern hemisphere that leaves cars, windows and noses dusty, not only in southern Europe (here in Barcelona too ), but potentially over distances like the North Sea and even, they say, Cuba.
The most powerful calm of the past two decades occurred last February, just before we stepped into this viral reality we now live in.
The famous Tenerife carnival, perhaps the most Brazilian of European carnivals, then took place under a rain of sand.
Irreducible revelers in Tenerife during the calima, in February 2020 (Reproduction)
At the beginning of February of this year, the brown powder colored the snow in the Pyrenees. Desert pimpimpimpim, look how chic it is.
I went to the center to resolve some things today and took the opportunity to check the damage left by the protests for the release of rapper Pablo Hasél.
Marked by episodes of violence, vandalism and clashes with police, the protests made international headlines last week.
In the center of Barcelona, several facades are graffiti or destroyed.
Covered with siding or cardboard, the windows of the elegant Passeig de Gràcia give a desolate look to the famous city promenade – in British Columbia (before the Coronavirus), filled with tourists and very expensive clothes.
Facade by Tommy Hilfiger, February 2021 (Susana Bragatto / Folhapress) Apple Store building in Plaza Catalunya, February 2021. The glass facade was completely covered with wood and metal slabs (Susana Bragatto / Folhapress) Facade of the fast -food -fashion Primark in Plaza Catalunya, February 2021 (Susana Bragatto / Folhapress)
Spain still faces many restrictions on opening trade, due to the unstable situation in Spain: stores over 400 square meters cannot open, and others can operate with limited capacity. from Monday to Friday. On weekends, everything is closed.
But today, even some of the establishments that can deliberately open have chosen to lower the blinds. The industry charges the government compensation for the damage.
The owner of an overgrown tobacco shop in the tourist heart of Barcelona, in Plaza Catalunya, told a local newspaper: Thieves are not protesters.
Clear. Why does a protester want 7,000 euros worth of tobacco?
Or in stone the facade of the Palau de la Música, one of the city’s cultural monuments?
Entrance to the Barcelona Stock Exchange after the pro-Pablo Hasél protests, February 2021 (Susana Bragatto / Folhapress)
The general rule in recent days: mostly peaceful demonstrations until a certain hour of the night. With the approach of the 10 p.m. curfew, the most excited begin to give wings to arson.
The preferred raw material for barricades against the police is garbage containers. But the pyromode is democratic: it can also include motorcycles and cars. Burned on the asphalt, they also melt the pavement.
Some residents of neighboring buildings sometimes try to participate with a weak bucket of water. Too late. The police come forward with their clubs and the mess begins. Service bastards come into stores, grocery stores, whatever’s in front, and steal what’s in front.
A Dutch friend took an incredibly meaningful photo. I don’t even need my semiotics books from college to shiver with the abundance of the senses. SEE THESE PEOPLE TAKE SELFIE BEFORE FOGUEIRINHA IN ASPHALT, MEO DEOS!
People take selfies in front of burnt trash cans during a protest for the release of Pablo Hasél (Kay Mulder / Folhapress) A protester takes a photo of a trash container set on fire during freedom of expression protests in Barcelona, in February 2021. wants a shareable teco # of the revolution (Nacho Doce / Reuters)
Blazing streets, banks, police stations and even plastered newspaper facades (like that of the Catalan newspaper El Periódico, whose dawn was spray-painted and blown up). Designer stores like Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel and Nike looted. Egg. Cans. Rocks. Corrada on one side and the other, as if life were one of his (i) playable video games.
Protests have continued uninterrupted for ten days in different parts of Catalonia and Spain.
Of those detained to date, a third have a criminal record – among them, more than 150 previous offenses. In addition, a third of the detainees are minors and the majority are not over 25 years old.
Public spending with all the heck here in Barcelona can reach 1 million euros. Thanks to pyromaniac asphalt burners and trash cans.
Already the losses estimated by the commercial sector are around 750 thousand euros.
To what extent must the revolt against the system shatter it and ignite?
Calima, also known as “Saharan octopus (powder)”, gives a truce after a week of balakobaco.
In parts of the Canary Islands, the dust concentration has exceeded 600 micrograms per cubic meter of some larger particles considered harmful to health – a figure well above the 50 micrograms considered “safe” by the World Health Organization. health.
In the coming days, weather services forecast, a new wave of sandstorms imported from the desert will come, which could even reach the UK and France.
Although the calima creates a thousand problems for humans, like canceled flights and a lot of allergies and discomfort (besides dirt everywhere), there are animals that love it: marine life. The minerals, iron oxides and clays that transport calima are nutritious for this population. Life, life in brown….