Spain: Statement from the 9 anarchist comrades released from detention
statement drafted by all comrades who were detenidxs in the context of the last phase of Operation Pandora in Catalan cities of Manresa and Barcelona, where the comrades made several reflections on the matter of their situation and the repressive context that has opened before ellxs. —- On Wednesday October 28 nine of us were arrested in connection with a new anti-terrorist operation orchestrated by the Catalan Regional Police in collusion with court number 3 of the Spanish National Court. After the ransacking and looting of our homes and the Libertarian Ateneo de Sants (an anarchist social center in Sants) we were taken to different police stations on the outskirts of Barcelona. The next day we were delivered to the Civil Guard and transferred to Madrid. On Friday at noon we were brought before Judge Juan Pablo Gonzalez. The judge ordered two of us to be released with charges, 6 of us to be bailed upon payment of a bail surety and unconditional imprisonment for our comrade who is currently locked up in Soto del Real prison.
We the detainees who at present are back on the street wish to make a series of reflections and political positions:
The generic accusation against all 9 of us is “belonging to a criminal organization with terrorist aims.” Specifically we are charged with being part of ‘GAC-FAI-IRF,’ which as we all know is a concept that has been constructed by the police. A set of acronyms which they have quite calculatedly mixed together – the coordination of anarchist collectives (GAC) along with the ‘signature’ used internationally by some groups to claim acts of sabotage (FAI-IRF).
The construction of this organizational framework gives the police all of the repressive
resources that the anti-terrorism laws provide: closed courts, greater legal uncertainty, much tougher sentences for comrades convicted of carrying out certain actions, isolation, special prison regimes, the criminalization of personal friendships / partners and relatives, amplified media coverage and social stigmatization etc. It is enough to say that during the whole process of our detention – from the moment we saw our homes being invaded and looted right up until we were brought before the judge – we did not even know what we were being accused of.
With the invention of the acronym GAC-FAI-IRF the police forces have designed a network with which they can potentially catch everything that moves within anarchist and anti-authoritarian circles. In the context of this new organizational framework attending debates, taking part in assemblies, visiting imprisoned comrades or even simply having personal contact with a person suspected to be a member of the organization are sufficient reasons to be placed on a black list. It is this diffuse and extensive nature that gives real power to the anti-terrorist strategy: after each wave of repression, those who show solidarity with the detained will also be considered part of the organization and then arrested, and so on. The concept of the terrorist organization is intended to be extended indefinitely, perhaps with the perspective that eventually the environment currently considered as dangerous will become totally isolated and stifled by the repressive dynamics and the ability to act politically will be so diminished that it will no longer be necessary to attack it. The fact that this new operation contradicts the police’s own statements (they claimed previously that the Barcelona section of GAC-FAI-IRF had already been dismantled) is not surprising as this terrorist organization was constructed, modified and extended by this police action and not the other way around. The ‘fight against terrorism’ creates terrorism in the same way that the law creates the offense.
The attempt to fabricate the existence of a supposed anarchist terrorist organization is
therefore a qualitative leap in the repressive strategy against the social struggles, something that should not go unnoticed by anybody and that requires deep reflection within our movements.
We point to the Interior Ministry of the Catalan Government and specifically to the Comissaria General d’Informació of the CME (Catalan Police) as being directly responsible for this latest aggressive repression. The Mossos (derogatory term for the Catalan Police) claims that they are limited to following orders from Madrid is a cowardly and shameless attempt to avoid their responsibility and cover up their involvement, having driven and designed the operation that was approved by the National Court to the last detail.
In this sense when we see how the Interior Ministry of Catalan delivers Catalan youth to
the courts, prisons and law enforcement agencies that are still followers of the repressive Franco regime it gives a very clear picture of the real basis of the ‘sovereignty process’ and demonstrates the perversity of the liberation rhetoric that surrounds it. The truth is that some time ago the government has identified the Catalan anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement as an enemy to be crushed, the Pandora process has no other purpose than to achieve this goal. They attack anarchism not just as an abstract idea but because of what anarchism has been, is and can be in practice: a minority of revolutionaries who do not hesitate to challenge the system and it’s oppressive and corrupt foundations, a minority that encourages those around them to rebel and that refuses to be seduced by offers of political integration from liberal democratic capitalist channels.
During the last cycle of struggle fueled by the global financial crisis and the politics of
austerity that placed the burden of adjustment on the backs of the exploited, the revolutionary response that emerged in Catalonia has proven to be especially disturbing for the neo-liberal project of the government. Despite our limitations, errors and contradictions, in the last few years we have struggled to halt the attacks on the living conditions (work, housing, health etc) of all and we have spread a structural analysis of the crisis which shows that the problem is not just one or two aspects of the system, but the system itself. We have created networks and spaces for the resolution of our problems and needs via solidarity and mutual aid, autonomous structures that oppose the institutions and their paternalistic and charitable dynamics. Along with thousands of other people we have strengthened the strikes to defend the rights of workers, we have raised barricades to resist the destruction of the neighborhood social centers, we have taken to the streets to condemn femicide, to make visible the exploitation of women and to resist the anti-abortion laws that seek to control our bodies and our lives. We have denounced and broken the silence surrounding police violence and killings, about racist persecutions, the machinery of deportation, the CIE and prisons and we have not stopped identifying and attacking the people who are responsible for our misery – states, employers and local and international financial elites.
This is who we are and this is what they want to destroy. The political aim of these repressive waves is to spread fear and despondency in order to domesticate the social movements so that they are unwilling to disobey, act autonomously or break the rules of the game that are imposed by Power. Hence the repression against anarchists, communists, separatists, the strikers of 29m etc…the system does not want to sentence our guilt but to prove their innocence: they want to absolve themselves by de-legitimizing, isolating and neutralizing anybody who accuses them or stands up to them.
The solidarity shown in response to our arrests proves that our enemies are still a long way from achieving their goals. We want to thank and greet each and every one of the gestures of solidarity that were expressed in the last few days. Demonstrations, concentrations, actions, gestures of complicity and affection, the financial contributions…the tremendous support we have received has been invaluable to us, a value that far outweighs this bad situation and ridicules it. We do not believe in their laws nor in the assurances that they offer us, our only defense and our only guarantee is the solidarity response on the streets. The massive demonstration of support that you have given us, and that we previously provided to comrades who were detained in previous operations, is clear evidence of the failure of the anti-terrorism strategy to isolate us by spreading fear.
We are now on the street but only partially. Our comrade Quique (Enrique Costoya Allegue) is still incarcerated in the Soto del Real prison. That’s why solidarity must not stop and should multiply. We urge that the struggle for his release should intensify in the streets, and urge each and every comrade to write at least one letter and strongly endorse all the calls that are issued to support him and to be attentive to any request or information issued by the Acció Llibertària Sants collective or the Sindicato de Oficios Varios of the CNT-AIT in Barcelona. In any case we will not abandon him nor will we abandon Monica or Francisco or any of the other imprisoned comrades. No arrests, processes or prisons will break our bonds of solidarity or our political commitment. For us, the dirty cells where we have been these last few days will always be more worthy places than the luxurious offices from which they manage the misery of us all.
NOT EVEN A STEP BACKWARDS!
THE STRUGGLE IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD!
– Detainees of the recent phase of Operation Pandora that are currently in the street