Eviction Delayed Again: The Expropriated Bank, Barcelona

The ‘Expropriated Bank’ is one of 7 occupied social centers in  ex banks in and around Barcelona.  Though long overdue for eviction the State has hesitated, perhaps a bit nervous after failing to evict Can Vies last year due to huge solidarity.

Maybe they don’t want to coincide with widespread public anger at the jailing of 7 activists for being anarchists.  (Mass Demos vs. Gag law and Arrest of Anarchists)

Perhaps they wish to avoid more opposition to their corrupt banks which have presided over the eviction of up to half a million people to balance their crooked books.

Whatever the reason the ‘Expropriated Bank’ in Gracia barrio is still going strong. Here’s a translation of their latest communiqué…..

New Eviction postponement period till 31 Jan.. Pandora’s box starts to flow over.

The latest extension of our Eviction Date window runs until 31 January: the vessel begins to spill

Once again. the police and bailiffs have not shown up .

The execution of the order of eviction, that had been extended until December 31, has been extended again: throughout the whole month of January. They have not yet understood that the ‘Expropriated Bank’ must  not touched.

During the month of December they preferred  to set off the ‘Pandora’ anti anarchist raids and the following  reprisals.. reminding us what is the modus operandi of the Power, the Catalan police and the media.

We answer back with our solidarity and we show the strength that we have, together. If youtouch one of us you touch us all’, but now there are too many companies that have been ‘touched’.

Only by rising above our fear can we  defend the Expropriated Bank , our streets, our squares, our neighborhoods, and our lives.

Thanks again to all the people who are joining us every day to defend the Bank, we feel stronger and eager to battle against this eviction.

Thanks to the many of you who make us feel te heartbeat of the New World born here in the Expropriate Bank   it beats every day and has no intention of stopping.

Everything is hotting up for Pandora’s Box to start  overflowing.

BANKS Expropriate Homes.. Neighbours EXPROPRIATE BANKS !

 The financial dictatorship that has been in existence across the Spanish State since 2008 has a proper name: the banks. The bailout that the government has given to the banks has been countered by a new wave of occupation in the city of Barcelona: bank occupations.

Currently, there are 7 bank headquarters occupied by residents in downtown Barcelona. The variety of occupations is wide. Some were occupied following a demonstration with music, parades … etc. while others have preferred the anonymity while the occupiers were reforming inside the bank headquarters.

There are a lot of activities within the occupied banks: from free-shops to language schools, sewing or music workshops, documentary screenings, and even urban agriculture.
The opening-up of urban spaces has always been a constant in Barcelona. ​The particularity of these 7 banks is that the expropriated spaces are transformed to cater for innovative activities. If this proliferation of alternative spaces and enriching activities goes on, it would be achieving one of the greatest challenges of the city of Barcelona: the autonomy of their neighborhoods.


Ateneu Rosa de foc  is an action and critical thinking space in the heart of the Barcelona’s neighborhood of Gracia. Rosa de foc (Rose of fire) was the name given to the libertarian anarchists in the beginning of XXth century Barcelona, when uprisings often took place in the city. Ateneu is a traditional name for a self-managed center dedicated to specific issues and it also raises social and political involvement in the community. It has a long history with its foundation dating back before the Civil War and some of them were restored after the death of the dictator Franco.
Ateneu Rosa de foc, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, has been promoting different initiatives in the neighborhood becoming a reference space for critics of the capitalistic and patriarchal system which tries to connect local and global struggles.

Its effort to address social transformation has been giving some positive results: agro-ecological consumption cooperatives (La Tófona and Verduretes), a network for knowledge exchange (XIC), a platform against transgenic products, a library, groups focused on gender, a social kitchen project and more initiatives have been developed in the Ateneu during these years, some of them still exist.

One of the projects born in this Ateneu is the XAINGRA network (network of exchanges in Gracia). As per the people involved in Xaingra, the economy should serve the citizens, to help them to have a better life, not as proven in capitalism but the other way around. For that, the network works online on a daily basis through a mailing list, strengthening the sharing of goods, knowledge and services of all kinds. At the moment it has gained more than 1000 members. Xaingra organizes a face-to-face exchange market with no money involved every three months in which not only products, but also services can be found. It was open from 11am to 7pm.

During the market days, the collective La Olla mòvil (the mobile kitchen) cooks a popular lunch with the food ingredients that people bring. They are trying to promote the use of a social currency, the “gràcies” (which, besides being the name of the neighborhood means “thanks”). Now the Xaingra network is a part of the assembly of the neighborhood and they usually meet in the occupied office of the bank known as el banc expropiat (the expropiated bank) which now is under threat of being evicted.


Ateneu Rosa de Foc blog  [CAT]

Xaingra network [CAT]

Exchange network in Gracia video by Amiconi 


Aturem el pla paral.lel (Let’s block the Parallel project) is the name of a citizenship platform established in Barcelona’s Poble Sec, Raval and Sant Antoni neighborhoods that – its name also being its slogan – wants to stop the City Hall’s new gentrification project.

Lately Barcelona has been suffering a “tourist problem” which means that the city is seeing a huge increase of mass tourism and the risk that the city will become a big theme park is growing radically. But the local government is only interested in making more money through the tourism business which means that the project only serves the interests of private industry. The latter demands it wants to connect the neighborhood with the “strategic” (and strongly overcrowded!) points of the city. The estimated budget for this transformation, which totally ignores the needs and the requests of residents, is 9.6 million euros. Part of this is public money.

The platform strongly asserts that an alternative Pla Paral.lel is possible: a different project, acting against the urbanistic design that facilitates private occupation of public spaces and only serves private profits and commercialization, which negatively affects collective needs and the interests of the majority. Therefore Aturem Pla Paral.lel proposes a project which, taking into account the needs of the people living in the neighborhoods involved must be the result of a participative, democratic and open process.
In particular, they are asking for the immediate interruption to licensing approvals for hotels, hostels and any touristic accommodation such as the permission for bar terraces on streets and squares as well as for the use of public property available in August and in the weekends. It also aims to ban permits for promoting proximity of culture to small local trade and business. Likewise, changes are suggested to the design: rectangular squares at the crossroads to facilitate temporary pedestrianization; better and safer bicycle paths; places with more natural elements; more recreational green spaces… In general, a redefinition of the urban landscape, including less expensive street lighting – the Pla is considering buying hyper-technological lampposts, for a 2.8 millions of euros budget.


  1. The platform is very active and determined to stop this project. In Barcelona lately other platforms are working to stop the gentrification of its neighborhoods, as Gracia cap on vas? (Gracia where are you going?) located in the Gracia neighborhood. Many platforms settled at the Barceloneta (the harbor neighborhood of Barcelona) joined during last month to protest against the “low-cost and drunken tourists”  that crowd the area.
  2. Aturem el Pla Paral.lel website [CAT]
  3. Manifesto Aturem el Pla Paral.lel to sign  [CAT]
  4. Pla Paral.lel: next stop of “Barcelona Brand” [SP]
  5. Naked Italians spark protests against antics of drunken tourists in Barcelona [EN]What is the Pla Paral-lel? video  [CAT]