Barcelona: Third Statement of El Banc

We’ll try to enter again
May 27, 2016

Whatever might be said by the City Council about this conflict, it does not take place between private parts, it is a conflict between two ways of living: those who want a common life and to relate through mutual support networks, produced among equals, and those who defend private property – regardless of its use – and the supremacy of some over others.

Barcelona en Comú is not and will not be a representative of those of us who have been here these days, first because we do not have representatives – and simultaneously do not aspire to represent anyone but ourselves – and secondly because their institutional choice is not and will not be our’s neither. We refuse to serve as an excuse for the various political parties, that have been throwing electioneering darts between themselves, while spreading lies about us. We have never negotiated with no one, regardless of the untruths spread by politicians: those who signed a contract to maintain social peace – CiU –, paid over €65,000 of an unjustified fund to the well-known speculator Bravo Manuel Solano, an amount that almost fully covers for the buying cost paid by him for our space.

They justify this contract by appealing to our alleged social work, trying to build a distinction between the Bank and other occupied spaces, but do not be mistaken: we are the same people. We do not do social and humanitarian work, what we strive for is the generation of networks of mutual support and the creation of a world exterior to the mercantile logic. We do not want to cover up the holes of misery that capitalism created, we want to put an end to them. And, to achieve this, all tools are valid and necessary.

Those that are weaving networks, those that retrieve houses for those who suffer evictions, those that occupy to create homes and meeting spaces, those that make parties and other activities to pay all the costs of judicial repression, those that cut off streets so that popular protests can advance, those that face up to the police: we are all the same because these are different paths of a common struggle.

There has been a lot of talking about violence, our’s to be more precise, but whoever pretends to criticize all forms of violence is refusing to recognize that this society is impregnated with violence in its very foundations: the violence that occurs over evictions, the violence of the homicidal Mossos that remain unpunished, the violence of the persecution of street-sellers and of the rejection of refugees, but also the violence that, beneath the unquestionable excuse of anti-terrorism, shatters the doors of our homes at five in the morning, and kidnaps our companions. If someone really wants to talk about violence, let’s talk about it, but basing ourselves on the fact that if the inequalities of this society do not disappear, it’s because there is an organization specialized in acting violently in order to maintain them. This organization is called the police, whatever the country, the color of its uniform, or the government who commands it.

The police is the visible and explicit part of this structural violence. But this violence can also be found in blackmailing in the workplace, when we accept to be humiliated and robed out of fear of misery; it can be found – as we already noted – in foreclosures, when home ownership is more important than the necessity of a roof; it is found in the sexism that denies the feminicide that is taking place; it takes place in this Europe that turns its back on the refugees of the wars that were caused by our own countries. This capitalist society is based on violence, any serious discussion must start from this premise.

The conflict over El Banc Expropiat, that is taking place in the streets, has begun when we got evicted, and it will finish once we get back in. We have nothing to negotiate because we do not aspire to anything else than reopening the Banc Expropriat at the same location where it always has been; if they want to negotiate, they can do it among themselves, Generalitat, City Council and Solano Bravo. It is not our problem. We do not want another space, we want this one, where it is, with its neighbors. El Banc is ours because we have constructed it second by second with all the people that has passed by and have made it vibrate with hundreds of different experiences; El Banc is ours and we will defend it until the end.

It’s quite simple: the only solution to the conflict they have opened is to let us back in.

May 27, 2016
Vila de Gràcia