Trains of Workers, Trains of Death: Some Reflections after the March 11 Attacks in Madrid

  • Cristina Sánchez-Carretero


Madrid was transformed after March 11, 2004. The following day the streets were filled with massive numbers of mourning demonstrators. Since the day of the attack, spontaneous shrines had appeared in the train stations and other emblematic sites in Madrid. They blanketed sidewalks, platforms, squares, and subway corridors. Spontaneous gatherings and shrines flowered not only in Madrid but also in many cities throughout Spain as people mourned, memorialized, and prayed for the missing; and they also confronted the conservative Government headed by Jose Maria Aznar from the Partido Popular (PP). The Government had immediately blamed the Basque terrorist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna [“Basque Homeland and Liberty”]) for the attacks. Finally, after two and a half days of evidence to the contrary, the government confirmed what had already been stated in international and nongovernmental by controlled media: the attack was perpetrated by Islamist terrorists. The voting public punished the government’s apparently deliberate omission, manipulation, and distortion of information at the polling booths the following Sunday and, contrary to all predictions, the PP was nor reelected. Civil society had confronted, reclaimed, and affirmed its right to accurate information from its elected officials.


Civil Society Train Station Undocumented Migrant Flashbulb Memory Cleaning Service 
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© Jack Santino 2006

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  • Cristina Sánchez-Carretero

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