Is It Reality or Virtuality?

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Madrid witnessed demonstration against the violation of civil liberties, more than thousand of people gathered together. Surprisingly none of them was actually present.

The group Holograms for Freedom used projectors in order to depict the marchers’ holographic forms holding their placards in front of the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the national parliament. In this way their message was channelled crystal clear: holographic people will soon afford greater freedoms than their real-life counterparts. Watch the video.

The imaginary demonstration came as a response to the new Citizen Safety Law, described by activists as “the Gag Law.” Under this law, that is set to come into effect in July 2015, protesters will face the risk of a range of fines by gathering without permission outside of government buildings, from the parliament to universities and hospitals.

According to the official text of the law that was passed by the governing Popular Party, organisers could be fined up to €600,000 and protestors up to 30,000. More a fine of €600 is planned for those who disrespect police officers and €30,000 for whoever films or photographs them.

The law “restricts citizens’ liberties and criminalizes their right to protest,” support the organizers of the hologram demonstration, “turning a right into an offense for which you can be pursued, detained and judged.”

The “No Somos Delito” (“We are not crime”) movement united more than 100 different organizations, all seeking to challenge the Gang law. Volunteers were asked to participate in the hologram by simply allowing a webcam to film their face through the website of the campaign.

“Our protest with holograms is ironic,” cited Carlos Escano, spokesman of the campaign to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “With the restrictions we are suffering on our freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, the last option that will be left to us in the end will be to protest through our holograms”.

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