[English] Operations Pandora and Piñata: Setbacks and Advances

On June 1 we got the great news that three of the five comrades being held in preventive detention, accused of being part of a terrorist group under Operation Piñata (including one who was already arrested and imprisoned in Operation Pandora) are being released without bail. They still have all their charges and have to sign in frequently at court, and two of them are prohibited from leaving the country.

Operation Pandora was launched in December in Catalunya, and Operation Piñata on March 30 all across the Spanish state but focused in Madrid. The operations resulted in the arrests of 26 anarchist comrades (plus the arrests of over a dozen more for resisting the raid on a social center) on anti-terrorism charges, the raids of dozens of houses and social centers, the theft of cash, and the seizure of computers, harddrives, phones, etc.

The 5 Piñata arrestees had just been given “dispersal”, sent to high security prisons as far away from their friends and families as possible, when the Audiencia Nacional ruled in favor of an appeal by defense attorneys, agreeing that the judge in charge of the investigation, the megalomaniac Eloy Velasco who is a crusader for the use of anti-terrorism laws and who is already infamous for his repression of the Basque struggle, did not show any direct connection between the detainees and specific acts of sabotage (“terrorism”) nor any connection between the public anarchist group GAC (Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados) and the FAI-FRI, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the European Union.

The other two detainees still being held pending trial might be released shortly.

In worst news, the same day, the Spanish government put an embargo on the bank accounts that were opened to collect solidarity money for the lawyers, commissary expenses, and transportation expenses (for family members to visit those imprisoned) around Operation Pandora. The government continues to criminalize solidarity, following the same model it used to repress the Basque independence movement (with the difference that the anarchist movement in Spain has not killed anybody, nor among its diverse currents can support be found for the type of actions that inevitably cause collateral damage or kill and maim random people, a practice the Spanish government has had no problem with in its wars in other countries). If it is able to succeed, it will be able to prosecute sabotage as terrorism, portray the struggle against domination as terrorism, and even imprison those who write or raise money or protest in support of detainees as terrorists.

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