Barcelona Squat Repression

Not content with banning hanging washing outside of yer flat or eating in parks (eh? ) the Barcleona authorites continue to cause shit for squatters using money grabbing drug dealers to infiltrate the politcal scene.

A cautionary tale for politcal squat-party goers over here in the UK as well – Trouble at t’ party. Watch out for crack-dealing pig-squealing wankers in your collective???

Following Report from the fabulous Schnews…

Whoever told you that being a “cool”,”trendy” europunk squatter in Barcelona

was a barrel of laughs lied. It might be the middleof winter, but last Saturday morning (4th) the pigs in Barcelona turned up the heat, leaving in their wake an all-too-familiar tale of state violence, repression, mistruths, and scapegoats. It all started with a special party. Special because it?s location was a squatted house in the city centre, in a barrio that?s already seen years of police repression, rampant, greed-inspired gentrification, and racism against a largely immigrant population. But this barrio has also seen something else ? an inspiring, ongoing struggle against the above by an unlikely mixture of renters, squatters, people young and old, foreigners and Catalans alike.

But this party wasn?t special only because of the neighbourhood in which it was held, but also because of the squat in which it was held – “Anarko Penya Cultural” – which for the past four years has been controlled by a mafia-style boss who used the name “Anarko” for his own personal projects – selling crack, throwing huge commercial raves, and, it has been rumoured, to pass on information to police about the activities of the other, more political elements of the barrio.

During the party at the Anarko Penya, for some unknown reason, the police decided theyweren?t in the mood this time around. After making their presence heavily felt in the barrio all evening, they came to Anarko Penya at 6am on Saturday morning (4th) to put a stop to things. Unsurprisingly, they waded in with typical brutality and the whole thing kicked off big time. At some point one of the cops was seriously injured (rumour was he?d died, but now it appears he?s in a coma) and when this happened, the other cops flipped out even more, calling for reinforcements and closing down the entire area, arresting and beating the shit out of anyone who looked like a squatter. There had been another squat party going on nearby, so a lot of people were on the streets at 6am that morning: people on their way home, or on their way to another party. They had no idea what was about to happen to them. They simply walked by Anarko Penya and got swept up in the whole thing, terribly beaten, arrested, and now charged with the attempted murder of a policeman. It happens that fast and was totally unexpected.

There are other parts to the story that would almost be funny, if they weren?t so fucked up. Of the nine persons arrested that night (three charged with “attempted homicide”, six others facing lesser but still serious charges), two were not even arrested anywhere NEAR the city centre. These two had had bicycle accidents in totally different parts of the city on Friday night, and had gone to hospital to be treated. Early Saturday morning, the police did a sweep of all local hospitals and arrested these two people based on their injuries and the fact that they look like squatters. Moral of the story: don?t fall off your bike in Barcelona if you look like a squatter, unless you relish the idea of facing a long jail sentence.

Then “known facts”, “confirmed information” and “eyewitness testimony” about the event began to stray wildy. Directly afterwards, the police, the mayor and the press were all reporting that the cop had been injured by a fl owerpot thrown from a balcony of Anarko Penya. Then suddenly the flowerpot became a stone. And then the stone had NOT been thrown from a balcony of the Anarko

Penya at all, but had been thrown by people on the street. And so after three rapid, head-spinning changes, we have the new, sanitised “offi cial version” – which ensures that the police?s favourite neighbourhood informers can walk free, and helps them, and the local council, to cover up any unsavoury facts (such as their possible ongoing relationship to the drug mafi a in Anarko Penya), which could have been uncovered with a more indepth investigation. The offi cial version provides the police with easily accessible, ready at hand “criminals” who they can send down without bothering anybody powerful or infl uential. And lastly, and maybe most importantly, the official version is a cover-up which allows the police and local government to screw thelives of three people who they view as part of a movement that has been fighting against gentrification and police repression in the barrio for years. The worry is that the ?offi cial version?smokescreen will get used to justify further repressions, violence, and evictions….

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