Friday, 12 February 2016

Tourist-Terrorist, Interchangeable?

       Day and daily we come across examples of the Spanish state's lip-sealing, action freezing, draconian anti-terrorist legislation. How it engenders an element of fear in the public and allows the police to take extremely violent action in mundane trivial matters, while the public look on, usually with a mixture of fear and confusion.
       Of course the Spanish state is not alone in this continuous repression of people's right to protest, it is an ever tightening noose around our necks in an attempt to breed total subservience, allowing them to get on with the plunder of our wealth.
       The following is a rather poor translation from the Spanish, but you get the picture of what is going on in that beautiful, sunny land of our neighbour.
 From arrezafe:
     "I'm a tourist, a tourist!" - I protested somewhere in the dungeons of the Guardia Urbana, discreetly situated on La Rambla.
"No way!" Replied the policeman shouted, shaking his finger. "Terrorist!"
       On the street, right above me, just minutes after the alleged terrorist act, all the other tourists sauntered, ojeaban postcards and tapas menus, threw out posts mounted books for the festival of San Jordi 23 April or watched artists who always line the walkways typical of Barcelona. There was no stampede of panic, just everyday agglomeration always flooded the city. But now he was not exactly arguing with the voice of reason. The police were sure that I was a terrorist because he was sure it was a squat, and I was sure I was a squatter because he thought he had looked so (wearing a shirt with a political slogan and some slogans scribbled on shoes ).
      The truth is that it was the Assembly Squatters which had organized the little protest from La Rambla. They had a sign with balloons in which one could read in Catalan: "A city without squats is a dead city" and distributed leaflets against gentrification in which the reasons were explained to occupy. The small ceremony ended with the explosion of a firecracker of those throwing leaflets into the air. Did a tremendous, perhaps more than what was intended noise, but after all it was just that: noise. The police, however, always trained for the worst, he came and worse. They loaded the act screaming and incorporated the element of panic that the firecracker had not provided. I was in the area and saw the police running-in that currently pursuing one of the demonstrators, and did what I would have done in the United States: follow the cops to see if they arrested someone, if that someone needed help or was hit. A couple of blocks away, the police had thrown into one of the protesters against the wall. I kept watching until ordered the crowd to disperse, but when he returned to La Rambla, a cop looked at me suspiciously and asked me a question. I explained that I did not speak Spanish very well and showed him my passport; He picked it up and took it. I had to go after him to the police station where he was told that he was arrested on charges of participating in an illegal demonstration and public disorder. And since they argue that the disorders were carried out with explosives, he faced a sentence of between three and six years in prison.
        After two days in police cells, I was privileged to shout me a judge who described the protest as "urban guerrilla" and at the same time, as a "paramilitary" action aimed at attacking La Rambla when more people I was in it, thus releasing the message that the squatters were a military force. At one point during my statement he interrupted me to yell that in the United States and such an action, it would have killed my bones at Guantanamo. I set bail at 30,000 euros (a secretary later told me that, in the 25 years he had worked there, she had never seen a bond and on charges that accused me) and sent me to the Model.------
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1 comment:

  1. It is very gratifying to see this translated. Good work, Comrade
    The current Spanish government is taking its last breaths. Much of the party leaders supporting this government are on trial for corruption, "business" are running away from their hands and this leads them to use the levers of power with great despair.

    note: "The Model" is a prison in Barcelona.