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Riots in Barcelona over ‘Expropriated Bank’ eviction

Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood saw violent protests this past Monday, after a demonstration against the eviction of the so-called ‘Expropriated Bank’. According to the police, after a peaceful rally, several people started making barricades, damaging urban furniture and several vehicles parked in the street and burning containers. As firefighters couldn’t control the different fires which occurred, the police decided to start a baton charge. According to some of the demonstrators, the agents were using foam projectiles and pictures of wounded people appeared on social media. The riots resulted in several wounded amongst the troublemakers and the police, and one person was arrested. The ‘Expropriated Bank’in Gracia was initially an office of the Caixa Tarragona bank. The building was occupied in 2011 and has since been integrated into the neighbourhood as a community centre. 

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24 May 2016 03:11 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona was the stage of violent protests this past Monday night. A peaceful demonstration over the eviction of the so-called ‘Expropriated Bank’, a former office of the Caixa Tarragona bank occupied in 2011 and turned into a community centre integrated into the neighbourhood, ended in street riots. According to the police, after the rally, several people started making barricades, damaging urban furniture and several vehicles parked in the street and burning containers. As firefighters couldn’t control the different fires which occurred, the police decided to start a baton charge. According to some of the demonstrators, the agents were using foam projectiles to disperse the protestors and pictures of wounded people appeared on social media. The riots resulted in several wounded amongst the troublemakers and the police, and one person was arrested. 


Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, “totally” rejectedthe riots. “Violence leads to nowhere, it is not the way”she stated. However, she also called on those involved to “look beyond the riots”and bear in mind that in the previous demonstrations several neighbours expressed their discomfort over the eviction of the building, which has been used for social activities and oriented toward the neighbours. Thus, she lamented that the eviction is “another example”of the will of “real estate speculation”as the owners aim to resell the properties to obtain greater benefit without allowing it to be put to different use.

In an interview with Catalan radio Rac1, she also emphasised that Barcelona’s City Hall offered both the owners and the occupants to find other uses for the building or look for other places to offer such services. Thus, she felt that City Hall “couldn’t do anything else”and the court ordered the eviction in response to a petition from the Catalan Police, Mossos d’Esquadra.

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  • Image of an overturned car due to the riots occurred this Monday night in Gracia (by ACN)

  • Image of an overturned car due to the riots occurred this Monday night in Gracia (by ACN)