We have quite a few articles written and translated into english, spanish, catalan, and even some stuff in german!! Stickers, posters, etc. etc. etc. which we can send to you via email (or they will soon be available on the web as well).....
thank you for all of the support that you've already shown!
(leeds abc, you rock!)
amor y rabia,
F4 support group
On the 4th of February, the police arrested nine people in Barcelona, Spain, of which six were released pending charges and the other three are still being held on remand, one accused of assault against authority, and the other two of attempted homocide of a policeman. All three that are still held are of South American origin.
In the early morning hours of February 4th, a group of young people left the house of some friends after a party. After leaving their friends' house, they passed through the closeby street of Sant Pere Mes Baix, in the city centre of Barcelona. Some were on their way to the metro, others were on their way to another party that was being held in Sant Pere Mes Baix. Once in Sant Pere Mes Baix, they saw a group of people having a discussion with the Guardia Urbana (one of the many police forces in this area) outside of the Anarko Penya Cultural, a squat where the other party was taking place. As the group approached this discussion, the police charged suddenly and without warning. The young people tried to leave the area, but were unable to, as the police were beating them severely. In the midst of all of this, all kinds of objects were being thrown at police from the balconies of the Anarko Penya. When the initial chaos of the situation had passed, seven people had been arrested and a copper was in a coma. Two more people were arrested later in hospital, where they had gone to seek treatment due to bicycle accidents. They had not been in Sant Pere Mes Baix at all that night, they were simply arrested due to their "squatter-like" appearence (or so perceived by the police) and the fact that they had injuries. All of the nine who were arrested were tortured by two different police forces-- the Guardia Urbana and the Mossos d'Esquadra.
The first "official" press release from the city council said that a flower pot, thrown from the balcony of the Anarko Penya, had hit the policeman. The "official" version then went through a variety of changes before arriving at the final conclusion that the three people still in prison had supposedly thrown stones at the police from the street with the intention to kill.
The only evidence--stones--were chosen in an arbitrary manner, as stated by the police officer in charge; there were no fingerprints, tissue, or blood taken as evidence. The "crime" scene wasn't cordoned and the local city cleaners actually came and cleaned the street before scientific evidence could be taken. Furthermore, specialists opinion is that the wound received by the policeman is too serious to have been caused by a stone thrown from the street.
How can the police keep three people in jail with such a lack of evidence? The police blatantly lie in their declarations about the incident in order to cover up the responsability of the Council, who is the owner of the Anarko Penya building. If the policeman was actually injured by an object thrown from the building, this too would be their responsibility. Another factor is the Anarko Penya itself. A mafia-style operation more than an "anarko" squat, the building had been controlled for some years by two or three individuals who had used it to frequently mount huge commercial raves with the primary aim of making money for themselves. Furthermore these individuals had little or no contact or interaction with political squatters in the area. Despite these mafia-style practices, or maybe specifically BECAUSE of these mafia-style practices, the Council had spent nearly four years turning a blind eye to the ongoing complaints from neighbours fed up with the constant problems caused by the raves. How convenient that this same passivity on the part of the Council now allows them to criminalize the more political part of the Barcelona squatting movement, of which the Anarko Penya formed little part.
Shortly before the 4th of February, the Council gained new legal powers in the form of a new set of so-called "civic" laws, aimed at eleminating unsightly elements of the city such as skateboarders, squatters, prostitutes, graffiti, etc. These laws give new impunity to the police to act in whatever manner they choose against people who they are suspicious of (see above list of undesirables).
The City Council has taken advantage of the suffering of four families (the three families of the detainees and the family of the police officer) to advance their political agenda. The president of el Partido Popular de Barcelona, Alberto Fernandez Diaz, together with the mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos, are trying to rid Barcelona of the "squatter menace" and whatever other group of people who goes against the established order.
What happened in Sant Pere Mes Baix is a "carte blanche" for increased repression in Barcelona.
What happened in Sant Pere Mes Baix could have happened to any one of us.
We are all guilty of being poor, immigrant, excluded, dispossessed, exploited, and marginalized.
FREEDOM FOR THE PRISONERS OF THE 4TH OF FEBRUARY!!