Barcelona: How solidarity and mutual aid saved Barcelona’s Can Vies Squat for eviction and destruction

bcn27m_9The Can Vies social centre in Barcelona made headlines around the world when its eviction led to five consecutive nights of rioting in late May 2014. But the social center has a longer history than this.

Can Vies, originally built in 1879 to stock construction materials for the city’s subway, became the headquarters of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT transport union during the 1930s Spanish Revolution. Following Franco’s victory in 1939, the building became the center for a fascist, hierarchal labor union.

In 1997, the building was abandoned by its owners, Barcelona’s transport authority (TMB), and was subsequently squatted by the neighborhood’s youth. Since then, the Centro Social Autogestionado Can Vies has become a well-used and well-loved community space providing a variety of services to the people of Sants, a neighborhood with a strong tradition of cooperatives. [Read More]

Barcelona: 3 CanVies Defenders declared Innocent of Attack on Police

we-are-can-viesVICTORY. The sentence condemning three young defenders of Can Vies to 3.5 years in prison has been revoked #EfecteCanVies (en español abajo)

Now the Provincial Court of Barcelona has had to revoke the sentence and absolve them  of all charges.

The police wanted revenge after losing the amazing 4 day resistance and street battles against the eviction and wanted to lock up 84 arrested. These three were accused by police witnesses of throwing bottles from a rooftop , later the alternative paper ‘Directa’ proved the identification was absurd as there was no vision from where the police were. [Read More]

Defenders of Can Vies Squat Center sentenced in Barcelona

CanVies (pronounced ‘vias’) is an Occupied assembly-run Social center, set by the railwaytracks in what was once a CNT Union Center 80 years ago. The occupation has lasted 17 years, surviving multiple eviction attempts due to strong local support. [Read More]

Barcelona: El Banc Expropiat de Gràcia resists!

After the botched eviction of Can Vies in late May, squatters have been preparing for the new offensive of the Catalan state. The riots that now taking place show how the new forms of occupation that are emerging in Barcelona in response to the austerity crisis have managed to gather massive popular support.
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Barcelona: The inspiring example of Can Vies

Can Vies social centre in Barcelona recently hit the headlines across the world when its eviction led to five consecutive nights of protest and rioting. But the story is much bigger than that. At the time of writing, the social centre is being peacefully re-constructed and a Can Vies crowd-funding campaign has gathered more than €17.000 already. The goal is to gather €70.000 in solidarity with those arrested during the protests and to buy all the materials necessary to re-build the Social Centre.
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Barcelona: Rebuild Can Vies!

The #ReconstruïmCanVies process was launched on May 31 when more than a thousand people worked on rubble removal in the demolished chapel. That day, the collective boost made everyone dream about recovering what the City Council and the District of Sants-Montjuïc, through TMB (Public Transport Corporation) wanted to take us away. We recovered the street, lost our fear and empowered ourselves to stay there: to rebuild in peace what they violently destroyed.
Why do we want to rebuild Can Vies?
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Barcelona: Can Vies re-occupied! Rebuilding Begins!

The morning demo on Day 6 was a huge success. After 5 nights of rioting Barcelona Council had declared the ‘demolition of Can Vies suspended’.

In reality the protestors had already stopped demolition work by burning the machinery on day 2. However when we arrived on Saturday morning the 1ooo’s of riot police were nowhere to be seen.
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Barcelona: And on the seventh day fires subside

What happened in Barcelona this past week isn’t over. In the present circumstances it would not be a cliché to say that the fires that were set from the 26th to the 31st of May, and they numbered in the hundreds and several of them were as large as the wide avenues they built to prevent our revolts, live on in our hearts. Tens of thousands of people have won transformative experiences. When they see a cop, an intersection, a construction site, a dumpster, a bank, a surveillance camera, a journalist, new meanings and new possibilities appear unbidden before their eyes.

Though it isn’t over, the struggle here has entered another phase. If things kick off again in the next days, if streets are wrested away from the forces of order and columns of smoke pour skyward once more, it will be different people who have taken the initiative, and for different reasons.
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Riots in Barcelona after Can Vies eviction


[Days two and three below]

On Monday, May 26, police from the Mossos d’Escuadra evicted the 17-year-old squatted social center Can Vies, starting at the atypically late hour of noon, perhaps due to heavy morning rains. Can Vies had an open eviction date, but the choice of day was to be expected as Sunday was elections for the European Parliament (which, incidentally, saw a sharp increase in the presence of far right and far left parties). The party in power never wants to start unpredictable conflicts in the weeks before an election, and the day after an election, the media is full of related news.

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Barcelona: Can Vies evicted after 17 years

More fotos here:

Barcelona: Can Vies Victory?

Evidently the authorities dont dare to risk a community uprising in their Barcelona pot of gold. After a big local demo and a host of community resistance it was announced the eviction of the iconic Can Vies centre, occupied now for 17 years, was cancelled. … or was it??
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Barcelona: Let’s combat Police State with local Self-defence

CanVies is an Occupied assembly run Social center, set in what was once a CNT Union Center 80 years ago, The occupation has lasted 17 years and has local support. In calling for ‘local defense’ against eviction the occupiers refer to the successful Gamonal community uprising in Burgos just 2 weeks ago. The evictions of 4 other Catalan social centers are coinciding in the next weeks… [Read More]