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Home » Content » Those arrested by the altercations: young people, Catalans and no criminal record
Teenagers who celebrate violence and appear to have dehumanized police officers participate in the demonstrations

Guillem Sànchez

Barcelona – Jueves, 17/10/2019 – 20:57

Picture – Ferran Nadeu

There are groups of aggressive protesters who act together although they are not as connected as it seems.

The Mossos d’Esquadra have arrested 71 people after three days of violent altercations. On Monday they arrested 3, Tuesday at 30 and Wednesday at 38. They are very young men, between 18 and 25 years old (and some minor), of Spanish nationality and without a record for similar events, according to sources consulted by EL NEWSPAPER. A sample that a priori allowed conclusions to be drawn about the profile of the “violent groups”, in the words of the Interior Minister, Miquel Buch. But it has not been possible because the conclusion, after identifying and questioning them, is that it is a “disparate and heterogeneous” collective.

Some of those arrested are part of pro-independence groups, not all. And there is no framework that connects them. “They commit very violent actions and they communicate to carry them out in the main cities but they are not as organized as it seems,” underline police sources, despite the collapse of El Prat Airport, the rampages after the attempt to reach headquarters of the Delegation of the Government or the generalized disturbances in the Eixample after the protest in front of the Department of Interior do reflect a not insignificant degree of planning.

What the Mossos observe within these scenarios of urban madness is that there are diverse groups, without a link between them, that add up their actions. They are the ones who choose which streets to cut and where to lift barricades, wear products to accelerate the flames, wear dark clothes, cover themselves with hoods and even protect themselves by wearing a helmet and gardening glasses from the rubber balls fired by the National Police. “There are not so many, what happens is that they drag the majority, inexperienced,” they argue.

Hard punishments

This small group that lights the fuse is aware that such actions can result in very severe judicial cases. Several of the detainees are already in pretrial detention. After the protests of Can Vies, in 2104, there were young people who faced trials with requests for 5 years in jail. Now, according to the prosecution’s reading, they could be higher penalties if, for example, the card is played that the Airport is a critical infrastructure whose siege is severely punished in the Criminal Code. Some are aware that in all these mobilizations there are civilian agents collecting evidence and that the police have many cameras, also in a helicopter that records everything from the sky. And they cover.

But the rest, the one that “lets itself be dragged”, ignores it. This second profile of protesters throws stones, attacks the police cordon or burns a barricade with an open face. A sample of unconsciousness that indicates that they participate in nightly chaos festively. Last night, when a pyrotechnic rocket was launched against a police helicopter from the Gran Via, many of them squealed. Although it was not a cry of panic in case the device fell and the pilots died. It was euphoria. Not by cruelty, they emphasize municipal sources, but because they give the impression of perceiving agents as an inanimate enemy. They do not see behind the helmet a simple official with family, a guy with whom they coincide in the supermarket.

To these seconds, they lose the desire to show off the adventure in social networks. On Wednesday, two friends approached beer in hand to the police cordon and asked a third party to take a picture of them. It is a historical episode that they feel that generationally belongs to them and they want graphic proof to capture it. Nor are they allergic to journalists, who are often approached to ask what they think about the matter.

Last night they shot down a biker who didn’t want to stop in their path. Many approached to shave the gesture and lift the man off the ground. That dichotomy beats within a pluriform mass that claims to be “outraged” by the harsh sentence against the leaders of the ‘procés’. And that flirts with a violence that could overflow.


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