27 February 2020
Fire in a city police-Guàrdia Urbana van with an agent inside
Twelve days after the start of the protests over the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél, and after a couple of days of truce, the riots again took over the center of Barcelona. And they did so, as usual, after a demonstration that took place on the margins of normality and employing, yes, a new tactic, that of avoiding face to face with the police forces. A ‘burn and run’, in the case of ATMs of financial institutions or some containers or “knock down and run”, for rental motorcycles and street furniture on the Rambla de Catalunya. The most serious incident occurred on the Rambla, when a group of hooded men set fire to a Guàrdia Urbana van, with an agent inside, who had to leave through passenger door. The damage caused by some protesters in Eixample, after being dispersed by the police on the Rambla itself, resulted in 14 detainees.
The concentration that began this Saturday in the Plaza de la Universitat cannot be located only in the field of freedom of expression of the Lleida rapper. In fact, the organizers, among them Arran, the CUP (in full negotiation to become part or not of the next Government), Endavant, the Sindicat d’Estudiants dels Països Catalans (SEPC) and the CDR and demanded “total amnesty , dissolution of the riot police, self-determination and bread, shelter and work “. A ‘totum revolutum’ that under the slogan “Without a future we have nothing to lose”, accompanied by the hashtag #Until they fall, gathered in front of the historic building of the University of Barcelona and where three columns of protesters who had parted a hour before Plaça de Lesseps, the intersection of Gran Via with Carrer de Marina, and Plaça de Sants.
In addition to Barcelona, there have also been protests in the rest of the Catalan capitals, in which there have hardly been any incidents. In Tarragona, a group has broken the windows of a bank office and painted various slogans on furniture on the city’s university campus. In Lleida, a municipal police patrol was stoned and significant damage was recorded in the main commercial hubs of the city. In Sabadell, at the end of an act of protest, a group of people have raised containers on the sides of Gran Via. Previously, they had thrown pyrotechnic material and cans of black paint at the agents of the ARRO brigade that guards the Sabadell court building. Sources from the Mossos d’Esquadra have reported that no arrests have been made in either city.
Condemnations of facts
Acting President Pere Aragonès has declared his condemnation of the events with the following message: “Always alongside the exercise of rights and freedoms in a peaceful way, never vandalism or violence. Looting or destroying businesses, the burning of furniture or the attack on public workers are neither freedom of expression nor of demonstration. ” Like the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who recalled that “the right to protest is totally legitimate. Violence and vandalism are not”, and adds “a strong condemnation of today’s violent events in Barcelona after a pacific demonstration “and its” support for the Barcelona Urban Guard and the agents of the Las Rambles police station, the neighbors and business affected by the riots. “
The regional ‘Minister’ of Interior, Miquel Sàmper, has indicated through Twitter that he has spoken with the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and that he condemns all violent acts that occurred in the Catalan capital, “especially the serious fire of a van of the city police of Barcelona Urban Guard “. “There can be no space for this repeated violence. Support for the Barcelona Urban Guard, Mossos, the SEM and Bombers,” concludes the regional interior minister. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has also joined the sentence. “The acts of vandalism and violence that Barcelona is suffering tonight are unacceptable. All our support to the city police-Urban Guard, Mossos and Police agents,” the chief executive tweeted.
The condemnation has also come from the police unions that have expressed their indignation through messages on Twitter, in some cases questioning the parties that are negotiating the formation of the Government with the CUP.