Operation Pandora: Spanish anarchists organise the resistance

In solidarity with all of the imprisoned anarchists of spain …

We share below a partial translation of a report that appeared in Periodico Diagonal (30/10/2015) and originally published in the Catalan newspaper La Directa (29/10/2015) of a press conference held on Thursday by different anarchist and libertarian groups in Barcelona in support of the nine activists arrested by the security police of Catalonia earlier in the week, apparently the latest stage of Operation Pandora.

Today, anarchists and libertarians spoke.  After the avalanche of information this past Wednesday coming from police (los Mossos) sources, today four collectives in which are active some of the nine people arrested in the new phase of Operation Pandora organised a press conference.  The event took place this Thursday morning in the plaza Bonet i Muixí de Santos, in fron of the stairs of the Santa María de los Santos church.  A representative of the Ateneo Libertari de Sants challenged the use of the word “terrorism” against the daily activity of this organisation on María Victoria Street,  that was yesterday searched and registered by the police and from where the police took flags, books, posters, magazines and tins of spray paint.  “If terrorism means being a space open to the enire neighbourhood, where weekly we organise activities and workshops in sign language or role playing games, we are terrorists.  If terrorism is to offer a space for different collectives to organise, then we are terrorists.  If terrorism is supporting those with housing problems, then we are terrorists.  If terrorism is offering a library and organising cine-fora, then we are terrorists.  And if terrorism is creating feminist spaces that struggle for liberation from patriarchy, then we too are terrorists.”  A spokesperson from the neighbourhood assembly of Sants also spoke.  Behind those who spoke, were some thirty people, representatives of social movements in Barcelona present in solidarity.

Emili Cortavitarte, professor of history, activist in the CGT and spokesperson for Procés Embat emphasised that the “the arrested libertarians are people who participate actively in social movements” and that they have to do with people who “struggle against evictions, the closing of companies, job firings, precariousness; we are people who struggle for the dignity of persons and we do it in the neighbourhoods, in local places and in the closest way possible to people.”   Cortavitarte believes that yesterday’s operation is a consequence “of constructing a different discourse, of putting forward economic, political and social alternatives based on the dignity of persons and not on the interests of capital and the Spanish oligrachies.”

Llibert, as a member of the recently created Support Group for Joaquín – arrested yesterday on Peligro de la villa Street in Gràcia – stressed that “even though there are some voices in the Government who wish to hide it, yesterday’s actions originate in Catalonia, the brain of the operation is an intelligence agency with the Mossos, it is an operation against ideas, there are neither signs nor accusations of specific crimes, everyone arrested in this case and in other phases of Operation Pandora have been arrested for ideas.”  He added that the things seized “are political material, at no moment did they find what they were looking for, explosives, waepons, things belonging to a supposed terrorist organisation which until now we have no knowledge of.  What they confiscated was political material, books, magazines, flags, computers.”  And he gave one example.  “The most dangerous thing that they could find were kitchen knives.  Think of the fantastic imagination that animates the brains behind this operation, the fantasies that are in the heads of some of the Mossos that are behind these operations against the libertarian movement”, added  Llibert.

“We know that the libertarian movement at this moment is growing and is directly responding to problems of housing and work through mutual aid, is confronting sexist aggressions and patriarchal society.  And it is above all a movement that organises an endless number of cultural and political education initiatives, and this is never reported in the media, there is always this rhetoric of anarchism and violence. We are not afraid, our weapon is to continue to struggle, is to continue in the streets and continue to confront these disproportionate and harmful actions”, he concluded.

Andrés García Berrio, lawyer for three of the detained – who are still in the prison cells of the of the police stations of Terrassa, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Sabadell y rubi –, denounced that “a red line has been crossed, that of using the tools of the penal code against enemies, that of the exception, at the moment that a rhetoric is constructed through which we categorise a part of the social movements as terrorist.”  And he took the opportunity of the press conference to call upon the bar association of Barcelona and the organisations of judges and public prosecutors “to reflect on whether this extension terrorist crimes is logical in a society like ours.”  In relation to this, he added that “they seek to link a whole series of persons to a supposedly terrorist anarchist organisation without directly acusing them, in the whole legal process, of any concrete act; we believe that this is out of place.”

García Berrio recalled that cultural and social centres “are political spaces protected under he right of assembly and protest” and the entry of the police to register and record “should not be done with so much ease.”  Lastly, he emphasised that the first phase of the Pandora case, in which seven people were held in custody for a month, “is paralysed, it has had no development for months, all of those imprisoned find themselves free because I believe that the judge of the Audiencia Nacional saw that all of this construction of a large criminal terrorist group had no basis.”  The nine detained during the police actions of Wednesday were transferred to Madrid this Thursday afternoon and will appear in court Friday morning.

Solidarity/protest demonstrations were held in Barcelona, Madrid and other cities on the evening of the 28th …


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