Barcelona: The only solution – re-open El Banc Expropiat

[Statement of May 31] If you agree with our demands you can sign, either individually or collectively, by writing to us to us via email (elbanc [at] riseup [dot] net) or by sending us a direct message on Twitter.

A week has passed since the Catalan police evicted the Banc Expropiat last Monday, on May 23th. Since then we have seen it all: confrontations with the police, trash containers used as barricades, and banking offices with their windows wrecked. But we have also seen the Catalan police firing head-shots with their new foam ammunition, politicians of all kinds lying and going off on tangents, criminalization of protest in the media etc etc.

Many things have happened during these last few days. These facts will need to be evaluated quietly to assess who’s responsible. Everyone, including ourselves, is saying that this situation is lasting too long.

The conflict began with the eviction, and since, everyone has tried to take advantage of the situation to start their own battles: the quarrels between various political parties do not interest us, our reality is different than their’s. We have always maintained our autonomy from political parties and we want to keep it like that, regardless of the support or the attacks that various political formations have conducted these last few days.

In order to be unblock the situation and find a solution, the different actors that have started this conflict or have some responsibilities in it are the ones who can act. As far as we are concerned – we will say this as many times as necessary – we only want to re-enter the Banc Expropiat. When this happens, the protests will end. We consider that moving to a different space, leaving the current one to the speculator Bravo Manuel Solano, would be a collective defeat.

For all these reasons, we demand:

  1. The immediate withdrawal of the riot police from Vila de Gràcia. It is their interventions, each time we have made an attempt to re-open the Banc Expropiat, that have prevented this conflict from coming to an end.
  2. Immediate withdrawal of the charges against the two arrested persons and the guarantee that no further arrests are made. The repressive cost of these days, and the eventual costs that we might have to bear later on, are clearly politically motivated. The current police strategy has consisted of not making mass arrests, but instead to conducting identifications. By doing so, the police prevents a popular response taking place in the streets and in the current context. They are quite clearly waiting for the attention over the Banc Expropriat to drop, and then to arrest protesters with greater impunity. We will defend the people who might be repressed further on with the same firmness as we are now defending the Banc Expropiat.
  3. Re-open the Banc Expropriat. This project must be continue where it stands, and in the same conditions that did until last Monday.

May, 31, 2016
Vila de Gràcia