Spanish authorities have again targeted anarchists, arresting 13 on the grounds of belonging to criminal organisations with terrorist aims and 25 others for resisting the police. Early morning, on the 30th of March, on orders from the Juzgado Central de Instrucción de la Audiencia Nacional (a spanish court that specifically addresses crimes of terrorism, lèse-majesté, etc.), police carried out actions in Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Grenada, raiding occupied social centres and private homes.
In the Lavapiés neighbourhood of Madrid, the CS(r)OA La Quimera was invaded, with documents, literature and computer hard drives confiscated. In the neighbourhood of Vallecas, same befell the okupied space La 13-14.
This follows an earlier police arrest of anarchists, under the name of Operation Pandora, on the 16th of December, which led to the detention of 11 people. All of these persons have been released pending trial and with a 3,000 Euro bail. The exercise thus repeats itself.
What is at stake in this hunt are not actions against terrorism, but the persecution of those who contest the State and Capital; a politics of fear that holds up the arrest of the “violent” anarchist as the price for dissidence. The intervention in La Quimera, for example, is in no way coincidental, for it has become, since its creation in May of 2013, a central point passage/organisation for numerous collectives in Madrid.
Anti-terrorist legislation, the recent approval of the Ley de Seguridade Ciudadana (Law of Citizen Security), or the Ley Mordaza (the muzzle law), and recently proposed changes to the penal code, all provide the spanish state with the legal cover for rendering all unauthorised public protest illegal. In June of 2014, the director general of the national police, Ignacio Cosidó, affirmed before the media, that “anarchist terrorism had established itself in spain”. At the same time, he guaranteed the “firmness” of the police in the face of violent demonstrators and stated that “no one could challenge the social peace in the streets”. The struggle against “anarchist terrorism” is, in the words of Cosidó, “a priority for the police”.
In Operation Pandora, in the accusation of membership in a terrorist group, reference is made to the anarchist collective Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados. But no relevant evidence is provided for the claim except their use of an internet site, Rise up, and the published text Contra la Democracia. We we have to deal with then are thought crimes, to employ Orwell’s expression.
Anarchists are by no means the only ones being sought out by the authorities, but their criminalisation serves to legitimate an ever expanding state of exception that reaches out into the whole of society. Dissidence is made itself a crime. And since all are potential dissidents, all are possible criminals. A reign of permanent insecurity is thus established, with the author of the insecurity, the State, offering itself up simultaneously as the only force capable of stemming it. The proposed reforms to the spanish penal code include, for example, the criminalisation of visits to web sites of groups classified as terrorist, the prolongation of the punishment for the apology of terrorism, and an amplification of the very concept of terrorism, which would include any crime against the law carried out with the goal of “subverting the constitutional order, or suppressing or significantly destabalising the functioning of the political institutions”.
Protests were held throughout spain against the arrests …
What cannot be denied of the spanish authorities however is their poetic sensibility in baptising their police violence: the current action falls under the name of Operación Piñata. However, from the broken piñatas surge surprises, the unexpected, perhaps the only path that remains open to us: to create true disorder.