On Wednesday, April 13, the mossos d’escuadra began another series of raids at 5 in the morning, breaking in to two houses and ransacking the occupied social center Los Blokes Fantasma in the neighborhood of Salut, where they retained the twenty residents, including small children, for 12 hours, stole personal items, and caused extensive damages.
They also arrested a comrade who was already awaiting trial after being arrested in the fall of 2014 in Operation Pandora. The raids and arrests were carried out on behalf of a European Union detention order originating in a criminal court in Germany investigating a series of bank robberies in 2013 and 2014. She is currently being held in Madrid, appealing what might be a speedy extradition.
What follows are the translations of two communiques relating to the arrests and raids.
On Wednesday 13th April, the Catalan police raided three buildings in Barcelona, on a warrant ordered by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional (a special court in Madrid) at the request the German Courts. One person was arrested, accused of having participated in a bank robbery in Germany. As part of this operation the police raided Blokes Fantasma and searched the building for 12 hours. More than 25 people were held in the house during this time, three of them children under 5 years old; lawyers were not permitted to enter and no witnesses were present during the search of communal spaces. Many irregularities also occurred during the search of private apartments. The operation resulted in destruction to the house. All electronic devices (computers, mobile phones, USB devices, play stations) were seized, as well as people’s cash, and no receipt was given to any of those searched for their seized property.
Such destruction and irregularities are inherent in any raid on the homes of those of us who are not – nor want to be – part of the establishment. As Blokes Fantasma we would like to highlight the double standards applied by their justice, depending on who is being searched. They took advantage of this raid to search the homes of many individuals, not only communal spaces and those of individuals named in the warrant, just as they have done in other operations such as Pandora or Piñata.
We also want to express our support for the woman arrested and all those close to her, independent of the charges she faces or how the court case evolves. We defend those forms of reappropriation that aim to recover that which capitalism is permanently taking from us, whether that is an abandoned building or the profits of the banks. Let’s not forget that if some steal it is because others accumulate profits and control the basic resources that we need to live.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who mobilised and organised during and after the raids, showing their support outside Blokes and the other houses being searched, and at the police station in Les Corts; and organising and/or participating in the demonstration in the evening. We are grateful to the people who helped to rebuild the broken doors and clean up and repair what the police had destroyed in the house, making it possible to open the social space the next day and demonstrate, yet again, that when we say «if they touch one of us, they touch all of us» it is far more than just words.
Freedom for our companion currently jailed in Madrid.
Stop the extradition; solidarity with all those persecuted.
Wherever there is misery there will be rebellion.
In July 2015 our friend and comrade got arrested at a passport control at the Greek-Bulgarian border. The Europe-wide arrest warrant against her had been issued by the prosecution office of Aachen, Germany, on the 24th of June 2015. In Germany she got locked up under the ‘U-haft‘ (Untersuchungshaft) regime in Cologne because of a presumed involvement in an armed bank robbery that had taken place two years earlier (2013). On the 2nd December 2015, after months of investigation the prosecution formally charged her with bank robbery, hostage taking and weapon possession. On the 16th of December, the court called the prison instructing them to release our comrade because all charges were to be dropped, since the “evidence” that months of investigation produced was not sufficient for this case to be brought to court.
When we were writing the above statement (1) concerning the imprisonment and release of our friend, we hoped it would be the last. Unfortunately the German cops did not agree, and decided to appeal against the decision of her release. This resulted in, after first being rejected by the normal court, the higher court’s decision to reopen the case. Concretely this means that, after having spent nearly six months in preventive prison, our friend and comrade is now outside awaiting trial. It is still unclear when the court case will take place. Despite several desperate attempts from the prosecutor’s office to also get a new warrant for her arrest – at the moment we are awaiting the high court’s decision of yet another appeal – she is still outside with us.
However, on Wednesday the 13th of April the same prosecutor’s office ordered a series of house raids in Barcelona that resulted in the arrest of another comrade; she is said to have participated in a bank robbery that was carried out in Aachen in 2014. It is clear that the German and Spanish authorities have decided to join forces in the ongoing project of repression against anarchists in the European territory, supported by the ever obedient dogs of the media.
As expected the media are rubbing their hands together, intertwining “common crimes” with anarchists. This does not come as a surprise, especially in a time that more and more is defined by repressive blows against anything subversive. However, we think it is important to leave the distinction between “common” or “political” crimes to the cops, the prosecutors, the journalists. We do not need to provide the authorities with categories they are only too willing too accept. As has been stated in the communiqué published by comrades of the person arrested in Barcelona, expropriation of banks is “an ethically just and politically legitimate practice, a method of struggle that forms part of the history of every revolutionary movement.” (2) Whether the accused individuals have participated in the robberies or not is not important to us. What is important is that we express our solidarity with those persecuted by the authorities.
While the servants of the State are spawning their assumptions and accusations into the world with a lot of spectacle, we should remember our own perspectives and ideas. These are not times for speculation, neither on the “motives” of the robberies, nor on the presumed innocence or guilt of the arrested. Rather than being a moment for questions, this should be a moment of answers – clear answers directed at those who oppress us. As has been said before, “you touch one of us, you touch all of us”. More than anything this is a time for solidarity, in every possible form it can take.
Freedom for the imprisoned comrade now
Until all prisons and the banks that need them are destroyed
Amsterdam, 19th April 2016