Screen shot / RTVE

What do you do when your government won’t let you express yourself freely? Well, you turn yourself into a hologram, of course. At least, that’s what the group No Somos Delito (We Are Not Crime) decided to do over the weekend in front of a Madrid building that houses part of the Spanish Parliament.

It was certainly a creative way to demonstrate against Spain’s controversial “citizen security” bills. The draconian measures, which were passed by the Spanish government in March but may still be challenged by the European Union, would significantly limit certain forms of protest, and, furthermore, punish citizens who videotape or photograph police by fining them 30,000 euros ($32,189).

Fusion Media reports:

A protest group pulled off an undeniably futuristic stunt this weekend in Spain: they sent thousands of holograms parading past the lower house of the country’s parliament.

The augmented reality protest was just the latest in activist groups’ campaign against a series of “citizen security” bills, which received final passage in March. The new laws criminalize some forms of protest, such as gathering in front of Parliament…All in, the laws would create 45 new infractions, mostly centered on cracking down on dissent.

The new measures will go into effect July 1, if they survive national and European legal challenges.

No Somos Delito, which translates as We Are Not Crime, has been protesting what they call the country’s “gag law,” and in that context, the hologram protest is more than the stunt it might first appear. Under conditions in which people cannot put their bodies into the streets, the ghostly virtual projections serve both as protest and as a reminder of the protests that cannot occur.

The eerie holograms, which you can watch below, sent a strong message as they walked and chanted on the streets. And in some ways, the images also served as an ominous representation of what suppression of expression does to our humanity.

Learn more about the hologram protests here:

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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