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Over 18,000 “People” Join the World’s First Hologram Protest in Spain

Spain’s “Holograms For Freedom” movement drew thousands of virtual protestors rallying for their all-too-real rights.

image via youtube screen capture

On the night of April 10, the streets of Madrid swarmed with protestors. They were demonstrating en masse against a series of highly-controversial Spanish laws which, once in effect, will severely limit the ability to protest in that country. But, while the rally was both well attended and vociferous in its opposition to the new legislation, it was perhaps most noteworthy for the fact that nearly everyone in attendance—reportedly 18,000 total—were not really “there” at all. They were, instead, holograms, projected in front of Spain’s Cortes Generales parliamentary building for the first holographic protest of its kind.


The event was organized as part of Holograms por la Liberdad, a movement designed to demonstrate widespread opposition—reportedly as high as 82 percent—against a trio of dramatically restrictive laws set to go into effect on July 1. The laws would impose steep fines on anyone caught engaging in a number of activities, including photographing the police, protesting outside government buildings, and even wearing a hoodie while engaged in public demonstrations. The laws come at a time when freedom of expression throughout Spain is seen by many as being under attack on multiple fronts.

In the weeks prior to the holographic protest, Holograms por la Liberdad encouraged ordinary citizens to join the cause by recording themselves on webcam. Those videos were then converted to hologram and virtually added to the April 10 rally.

Using the hashtag #10AHologramasLibres, activists and technophiles around the world watched as thousands of angry holograms took to the streets and made their voices heard.

The Madrid rally is the second time this month that holograms have been used as a protest tool. On April 6, activists projected a holographic Edward Snowden in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene park to protest the removal of an unlicensed statue of the NSA whistleblower.

[via Quartz]