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Action and Illegal Protest in Solidarity with Imprisoned Comrades in Barcelona

Nieuws, gepost door: From Barcelona Indymedia op 23/12/2013 12:05:23

Wanneer: 23/12/2013 - 17:38

What follows is a translation of an article that appeared on Barcelona Indymedia and a brief summary of the Saturday, December 21 protest in Barcelona in solidarity with Monica and Cariñoso and against the latest anti-terrorism case targeting anarchists in Barcelona.

These happening take place against a backdrop of increasingly harsh laws targeting protest and direct action, an increasing use of the antiterrorism law against anarchists (the 5 arrested in Barcelona in mid-November and the 5 arrested for a website in Sabadell, Barcelona province, in May), and a huge presence of surveillance and undercovers following anarchists in several neighborhoods.

"We refuse to live in a prison" (translated from Catalan)

Today, the society in which we are obliged to live appears ever more like a prison. Our movements are registered and our conversations listened to and controlled systematically via our cellphones. Our emails are analyzed and maps of our social networks are created using, for example, Facebook and Twitter.

The national press gets indignant about the tracking of [European] politicians by the NSA but what's certain is that for a long time they have been not only complicit, but directly promoting the sharing of data on a large part of the population between European agencies and the NSA. And on the other hand, we have not seen the same indignation for the dozens of cases of spying on activists carried out by CESICAT [an extralegal or private security apparatus formed by the government of Catalunya, as part of its bid for independence].

An element of devastating quotidianity in this web of social control are the surveillance cameras. They seek to train us to accept "for our own safety" being filmed from the moment we leave our houses in the morning until the moment when we come home at night. Some cities are already installing systems of integrated surveillance with all the cameras in a region linked up to facial and other recognition software.

None of this surprises us, since the very nature of the State is to want to exercise absolute power over life. Freedom is not possible under a power that aims to control and surveille our lives in their entirety. Any attempt to transform this world in accordance with our needs or to recover control over our own lives will be surveilled and punished by the State as an act of criminality. For this reason the struggle for freedom must take the path of illegality.

We refuse to live in a prison. We refuse to be listened to and followed. We refuse to have our movements recorded. We refuse to allow anyone to be obliged to grow up in a world in which they will be recorded, filmed, Twittered, and localized 24 hours a day.

Our first contribution has been to attack several security cameras in the neighborhood of Guinardó. This is just the first drop, but to overflow the glass, many more will be necessary. Only with a true and common effort, will we be capable of severely obstructing this state of total surveillance.

To carry out this task we can: (1) pull down cameras with rope or cable (2) use a ladder and a hammer (3) cover the cameras with paint (4) use a few stones and good aim (5) take apart the cameras with a good tool box (6) cover up with paint, posters, or stickers the cameras that are behind thick glass (like the ones in banks). The task can be carried out in the night or during the day, thus winning the complicity of our neighbors.

Blinding the eye of the State, we can create a terrain safer and more fertile for the realization of many other actions, constructive and destructive, dedicated to the sinking of capitalism and the creation of a world free of any type of oppression.

Finally, we send a solidaristic embrace to Monica and Francisco and the other accused in the most recent repressive blow against the anarchist movement in Barcelona. The real terrorist is the State, which kills people in the [immigrant] neighborhood of Raval, in the immigrant detention centers, and in the police stations with impunity and then surveilles all of us to protect itself from the rage it generates.

We will only be free when we begin to destroy our own cages.

Protest, 21 December 2013

Only about 250 people came out to the solidarity protest for the five people arrested under the anti-terrorist law on November 13, two of whom are still in prison awaiting trial, accused of bombing a cathedral and planning another bombing. The protest commenced in El Forat de la Vergonya, a symbol of past struggles in the center of the city. The small crowd was bracketed by three large banners and several dozen people toting flag/poles. Many were masked. Heading up to Pl. Urquinaona, the crowd filled the air with angry chants and fireworks, while some painted slogans, put up posters, or handed out fliers. When some masked anarchists began to smash a few banks and phone booths along the route, a few young people from the street joined the march. Soon about 20 riot vans were following the march. As the march turned down Via Laietana, the anarchists drowned out, and in some cases caused to flee, the crowds of Christmas shoppers. The smashing increased on Via Laietana. Two riot vans and an array of riot police stood guard at a government building on the right side of the march. They were pelted with rocks and paint bombs. A couple anarchists came out of the crowd and threw two molotov cocktails at the riot police (detonation rate 0%). The low quality of the cocktails and the faulty aim of one of them (coming closer to a terrified pedestrian than to the cops) notwithstanding, this seems to have been the first time that molotov cocktails have been used in Barcelona since the anti-globalization protests of 2012. Their shoddy yet shocking presence is a testament to a generalized lack of practice and perhaps also of things to come.

At this point the riot police tailing the march had still not gotten out of their vans. Presumably, they had orders not to increase the level of disorder and violence in the midst of holiday shoppers 4 days before Christmas. On comparable occasions, when a crowd of anarchists exceeded the level of destruction that security planners probably expected, it took the riot police between 30 minutes and 1 hour to get their orders changed. This time, the crowd had already returned to the narrow streets of La Ribera before 15 minutes had passed, setting fire to a dumpster closing off the street behind them with a whoosh of gasoline. The march dispersed, apparently with no arrests.

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