Black Lives Matter events in Madrid

The following account, by Ryan Turner (Democrats Abroad Spain and member of the global Affirmative Action Committee), demonstrates the spirit of protest and social justice within Americans who live abroad.

In December of 2014, a New York grand jury decided to not indict the police officers responsible for Eric Garner's death. After the earlier shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice at the hands of police, the announcement in the Garner case sent a resounding call to protest around the globe and throughout social media and I knew that I wanted to be part of it.

That very night, four friends and myself got together in the emblematic center of Madrid, "Puerta del Sol" and protested with makeshift signs. After realizing that we could maximize our turnout with better planning we went home, set up a facebook group and announced a date (December 14th) that we would be holding a protest. Within 24 hours we had 120 members in the group and by the day of the protest we had secured protest permits, signs, a full program and notoriety from Spanish news media.

The protest turned out more than 300 people and since then, I've scheduled movie screenings like "Fruitvale Station", "Eyes on the Prize" and "Home of the Brave" trying to create space for meaningful dialogue on race relations around the world and how to fix our problems.