Repression in Barcelona – Enric Duran arrested

On 17 March, three vans of riot police pulled up before a student-occupied building of the University of Barcelona and arrested Enric Duran, who six months ago publically admitted to stealing 492,000 euros from various financial institutions using fraud and giving this money to the social movements.

Enric justified the action as a form of civil disobedience but also linked it the Spanish anarchist tradition of political bank robberies. Enric announced his action in an anticapitalist newspaper, Crisi, 200,000 copies of which were distributed for free throughout Catalunya the day he went into hiding. Enric had publically announced his return to Catalunya, and at the time of his arrest, another newspaper was being released en masse, also presumably published with money taken from the banks. The two newspapers have had experienced great popularity and success in communicating anti-capitalist analysis and perspectives to people outside the anticapitalist movements. Enric was arrested while giving a talk in the occupied university building.

A judge has subsequently declared that Enric must wait for trial in preventive prison, without bail. Accused people can and often are held in prison for up to two years awaiting trial.

At 6 in the morning on 18 March, riot police returned to the university to violently evict the students occupying it. 58 people were forcefully removed. Later in the day police charged and beat students gathering for a protest, and in the evening riot police brutally attacked a large protest march in the center of Barcelona, beating and hunting demonstrators throughout the city.

About 18 students were arrested. Perhaps because a large number of journalists were also beaten, the capitalist media also harshly criticized the police.

The students have been fighting against the ‘Plan Bolonya’ reforms for over a year, organizing protests and sometimes occupying university buildings. Several students from the Autonomous University of Barcelona were expelled and threatened with prison time for damages resulting from an occupation.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 2:09 pm and is filed under Social Control.