3 nights of fire + rage in streets of Barcelona, no mention in International press?

Last night, for the 3rd consecutive night, there were violent riots in Barcelona. Yet there has been no coverage of what is going on in the English speaking international press… Why is this?


Twitter updates: #EfecteCanVies + #canviesnoestoca

The anger sparked on Monday over the destruction of Can Vies social centre in the Sants neighbourhood, just a few minutes from the cities main train station. The building was originally built in 1869 and served as a depot for the train company. Then, like many spaces in the city, it was abandoned and left to rot. 17 years ago, social activists occupied the space and turned it into a hub of social and cultural activity. Over the  17 years of diverse activities, it gained huge support from the neighborhood of Sants.

There were discussions between the city council and the Can Vies collective, but talks were broken off on Monday, the riot police were sent in, people were evicted and there were reports of, again, heavy handedness from the Catalan police, the Mossos. Anger spread quickly, people came to support the community and try to prevent the destruction of the centre. One image of the police violence further stoked the publics anger, as a mossos was caught on camera striking a youth on the head as he stood defenceless alongside. Luckily the youth did not sustain any head fractures, but his ear was split open and blood poured. The image went viral quickly on social media and the indignation in Catalunya grew. There were calls to support Can Vies.

That evening there were demonstrations and they quickly got nasty. Riot police swarmed and attacked, Barcelona radicals responded, as they often do, by setting up barracades with the plastic rubbish containers and setting them alight. A TV3 van was also torched. Perhaps the most striking attack and a clear sign of the anger of the crowd was the torching of the bulldozer that had been sent in to destroy the building. The crowds chant became “Si Can Vies va a terra, els barris en peu de guerra” (If Can Vies falls to the ground, the neighbourhoods will take to their feet in war).

By day 2 the head of the police had resigned, due to excessive force. The police had just recently been banned from the use of rubber bullets, after many people lost eyes. Also, some months back, police were accused of the murder of one of the cities main LGBT organisers, he was kicked to death in the street, in Rambla Raval. Most citizens have been out on the streets, due to the severe economic crisis, and they have seen first hand the extreme violence dished out by the police.

Tuesday, night 2, there were solidarity demonstrations in barrios (neighbourhoods) all over Barcelona and many of those saw riots between activists and riot police. Support was growing both within the city and outside. On both nights of trouble, much of the neighbours were out on their balconies banging their pots and pans, making noise, the local way of expressing solidarity with “their” neighbours, commmunity and centre.

Day 3 and there were calls for solidarity actions all over Catalunya. That night, again, violence between police and activists. 200 extra riot police were drafted into Barcelona from other parts of Spain, this puts another odd dynamic to the situation, as the majority of Catalans are in favour of independence from Spain and are set to vote on the issue in November, but this has been deemed illegal by Madrid. 

ROSA DE FOC (the rose of fire) is the old Spanish nickname for Barcelona, as many times its history the city has been in flames. Again for 3 nights there has been fire in the streets and anger is growing, who knows what this will lead to? It is both sad and a bit shocking though, how the international press still refuses to tell the world what is going on in the city.


#SomCanVies – English

Can Vies, before the eviction..



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La concentración en plaza de Sants, antes de empezar la marcha. /ENRIC CATALÀ

Protestes pel desallotjament per part dels Mossos del centre social Can Vies al barri de Sants / Enric Català

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21 Responses to 3 nights of fire + rage in streets of Barcelona, no mention in International press?

  1. fuspey says:

    NBC in the US are covering

  2. fuspey says:

    Cassolada is the name for the collective pot banging that goes on in solidarity with something…

  3. fuspey says:

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  9. fuspey says:

    Police brutality video angers Barcelona – New footage showing Catalan police allegedly beating a man to death in Barcelona’s gay quarter has made the case a major talking point in Spain.

    Two residents of Barcelona’s El Raval neighbourhood have provided a judge with footage of the events which may have led to the death of Juan Andrés Benítez last October 6th.

    The videos, filmed from two balconies high above, show how four Mossos d’Esquadra police officers hold down the man minutes after he was involved in a fight with a Moroccan couple for reasons which remain unknown.

    Spain’s El País newspaper has released the grainy footage which appears to show how four policemen kicked, punched and kneed the man as he “squealed like a pig”, as one of the neighbours who filmed the event put it…

  10. fuspey says:

    Via @TheLocalSpain 3 articles after each nights violence:

    1 – Protesters clash with police over squat eviction
    2 – Police make arrests over Barcelona eviction riots
    3 – 30 arrests after third night of Barcelona riots

    **** 3:

    “This is an attack on an alternative model for a neighbourhood and a city”, said a Can Vies representative going by the nom de guerre Pau Guerra.

    Spain has seen numerous protests against home evictions, hardship and cuts to public services due to the economic crisis that erupted in 2008.

    “These protests are not just about the eviction. The eviction was just one more blow after the crisis,” Guerra told AFP on Wednesday.

    “The people are fed up of taking blows and in the end they explode.”

    The colonial-style house Can Vies was built in 1897. Sants was an independent district until that year when it was annexed by the Catalonia region.

    It has kept its local, community-based character and is a “combative neighbourhood”, Guerra said.

    Local residents showed support for the squatters by leaning out of their windows and banging pots and pans during Wednesday’s protest.

    One local woman Olga Alcaraz, 45, complained of the heavy police presence in the recent nights of protest.

    “That type of deployment creates more anger among the locals who are already unhappy at the situation,” she said on Wednesday, referring to the first two nights of clashes.

    **** 1:

    Since being occupied by radical left-wing groups 17 years ago, Can Vies had been used to host concerts, film screenings, debates and training courses.

    The city transport authority plans to knock it down to develop the surrounding area.

    1 – Protesters clash with police over squat eviction

    2 – Police make arrests over Barcelona eviction riots

    3 – 30 arrests after third night of Barcelona riots

  11. fuspey says:

    Saturday there is a plan to return to what is now a partly destroyed building to begin to rebuild it…

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  13. fuspey says:

    Protests again in Barcelona, night 4:
    Lots of people, barricades and flames again in Sants for 4th night in a row

  14. fuspey says:

    front page again of main paper of the city
    article: http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/barcelona/los-vecinos-piden-que-frene-forma-inmediata-derribo-can-vies-3285754

  15. fuspey says:

    Night 4:

    23.45h. Primera carga policial y primer detenido.
    11.45 CET – first riot police baton charge and first arrest
    via periodico live updates http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/barcelona/situacion-generada-tras-demolicion-can-vies-minuto-3285567
    follow on twitter at #EfecteCanVies

  16. fuspey says:

    material confiscated from the violent ones during the riots in Barcelona (joke as all is police equipment; bullets, gas etc…)

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  18. fuspey says:

    via EL PAIS, in english:

    Barcelona sees third night of violence over eviction of squatter community
    – Around 1,000 organized protestors light barricades and clash with riot police in Sants district
    – Demonstrations against Monday’s clearing of Can Vies center spread across Catalonia
    – Occupied building was a hub for alternative social movements


  19. fuspey says:

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