Anarchism has historically been essentially comprised of those who sought to live a world without authority and exploitation. The forms that this desire took, and continue to take, have varied greatly ideologically, organisationally, practically. The desire though has remained constant; it is a desire that has defined an ethics, a way of being in the world.
We share a modest part of an example of such an ethics, in the life of Lucio Utubia …
Lucio, The Good Bandit: Reflections of an Anarchist
Outspoken and charismatic, Lucio speaks like a true anarchist. When asked what it means to be an anarchist, Lucio refutes the misperception of the terrorist, “The anarchist is a person who is good at heart, responsible.” Yet he makes no apologies for the need to destroy the current social order, “it’s good to destroy certain things, because you build things to replace them.” Continue reading Lucio Urtubia: An anarchist, bank robber, forger, fugitive and bricklayer.→
Ephemeral re-squat before heavy police charges in a second night of protests
On Tuesday evening a new series of demos converged on the evicted autonomous social center, the ‘Expropriated Bank’ in Barcelona’s Gracia barrio. A group of protesters opened the welded steel plates and re-occupied amid wild cheering, just before the Riot Police commenced a series of brutal charges, that resulted in 19 injured. Fresh demonstrations are called for tonight, Day 3.
Mossos d’esquadra custodiant un accés a travessera de Gràcia a tocar del Banc Expropiat, aquest dimarts
On the evening of Tuesday, May 24, there were demonstrations and rallies in several districts of Barcelona, in a second day of fighting the eviction from the freed space in Gràcia. Among others, there have been meet-ups in Sarrià, Sants, Raval and Manresa. A concentration in Sants of 200 people joined the group of protesters and continued towards the Gracia district.
In several streets of Gracia there were spontaneous pot and pan banging sessions by neighbours amid cries of rejection against the performance of the Catalan riot police
At Gracia, about 400 people concentrated in the Plaza of the Revolution and moved down the Torrent de l’Olla towards the ex Expropriated Bank anarchist social center.
Once there, when the march had grown considerably in number, a small group of protesters managed to open the iron plated facade with hammer blows, while the rest protected them and visibly celebrated the opening.
At this moment by total surprise the Riot Police attacked, which resulted in a large number of wounded and bruised by truncheon blows. In particular, several participants have suffered injuries to fingers, arms and legs. Late at night, the balance was, of at least 19 people with varying wounds.
The riot cops cordoned off the building to prevent entrance and the protesters dispersed to various streets and squares of the neighborhood amid continuing police charges. There was tension back at the Revolution Square, where some of the participants in the protest re-gathered. And again they were able to overturn and barricade with rubbish containers near the Expropriated Bank, heavily guarded by agents of the ‘Brim’, riot Squads.
From balconies could be heard cries of condemnation and insults against the Catalan police and in several streets there has been more pot and pan drumming as a spontaneous rejection of the police. Among many others, they chanted the slogan “they are not officials, they are mercenaries.” in Torrijos street a person has been detained by the police for a while. (But as on Day 1 the cops apparently had orders not to make mass arrests)
Then there was a strange incident, the subinspector Jordi Arasa appealed to the people to disperse due to the presence of an abandoned suitcase described as suspicious. Shortly after the bag disappeared and the bulk of the police presence left the area.
The protesters approached the front of the premises in dispute, where workers completed welding tasks with new armor preventing access. Today Wednesday at eight in the evening the brave occupiers will again hold a demonstration in the heart of Gràcia
original in Catalan
Reobertura efímera del banc i càrregues policials molt contundents en una segona nit de protestes
El vespre d’aquest dimarts s’han produït noves concentracions de rebuig al desallotjament de l’espai alliberat de Gràcia. Un grup de manifestants ha obert la tanca de l’immoble, moments abans d’una actuació dels mossos que s’ha saldat amb 19 ferits
Al vespre d’aquest dimarts, 24 de maig, s’han convocat manifestacions i concentracions en diversos barris de Barcelona, en una segona jornada de lluita contra el desallotjament de l’espai alliberat gracienc. Entre altres, hi ha hagut convocatòries a Sarrià, Sants, el Raval i també a Manresa. A la concentració de Sants unes 200 persones han marxat pel carrer de Sants i al barri d’Hostafrancs s’han unit amb el grup de manifestants que pujava des de la Facultat de Geografia i Història de la Universitat de Barcelona, al Raval i des d’allà ha prosseguit en direcció al barri de Gràcia.
En diversos carrers de Gràcia s’ha sentit cassolades espontànies i crits de rebuig a l’actuació dels mossos d’esquadra
A Gràcia, unes 400 persones s’han concentrat a la plaça de la Revolució i han avançat pel carrer del Torrent de l’Olla en direcció al Banc Expropiat. Un cop allí, quan la marxa havia crescut notablement en nombre, un petit grup de manifestants ha aconseguit obrir la tanca de ferro a cops de mall, mentre la resta de concentrades els envoltaven i han celebrat visiblement l’obertura. En aquest moment s’ha produït una càrrega molt contundent, per sorpresa i sense avís previ, d’antiavalots dels mossos, que s’ha saldat amb un nombre molt elevat de contusionats i ferits per cops de porra. En concret, diversos assistents han patit ferides als dits de les mans, braços i cames. A última hora de la nit, el balanç era, pel cap baix, de 19 persones que presentaven fractures de diversa consideració a les extremitats.
Els mossos han acordonat l’immoble per impedir-ne l’entrada i les manifestants s’han dispersat per diversos carrers i places del barri on han prosseguit les càrregues i corredisses. Hi ha hagut moments de tensió de nou a la plaça de la Revolució, on s’havien reagrupat algunes de les participants a la protesta. I de nou contenidors bolcats i càrregues a travessera de Gràcia, al voltant del Banc Expropiat, fortament custodiat per agents de la Brimo. Des d’algunes balconades s’han sentit crits de reprovació i insults del veïnat cap als mossos d’esquadra i en diversos carrers s’han produït cassolades espontànies de rebuig a l’actuació. Entre molts altres, s’ha corejat l’eslògan “no sou funcionaris, sou mercenaris”. Al carrer Torrijos una persona ha estat retinguda pels mossos durant una bona estona.
Davant del Banc Expropiat, en una estranya situació, el sotsinspector Jordi Arasa ha fet una crida a la dispersió de la gent per la presència d’una maleta abandonada que ha qualificat de sospitosa. Poc després la maleta ha desaparegut i el gruix del dispositiu policial ha abandonat la zona. Les manifestants s’han apropat a la façana del local en litigi, on uns operaris finalitzaven les tasques de soldadura per a blindar de nou els accessos. Aquest dimecres a les vuit de la tarda han tornat a convocar manifestació al cor de la vila de Gràcia.
byJulius Gavroche en español abajo) In Spain, the “La Esperanza” okupation on the island of the Gran Canaria is an amazing example. In early 2013, at the initiative of the Federación de Anarquistas de Gran Canaria (FAGC), some twenty apartments were occupied, providing housing for dozens of people unable to meet their most basic of needs; today they are some 71 families, made up of 250 persons, the majority of which are minors, occupying a residential complex baptised “La Esperanza”/”Hope”, the largest residential okupation in spain and the largest experiment in libertarian self-management in the country, carried out by people who are not for the most part anarchists.
On March 14 twenty residents of the 250 in the Community “La Esperanza” (the state’slargest occupied and self-managed community) received an administrative notice in which they were informed of the decree of the mayor of Guide Pedro Rodriguez: This decree gave them one month to leave their homes and threatened them to cut off water and light.
The community has always demanded the comples become public housing with a social rental scheme to compensate the dozen buyers who have invested in the building. We have also claimed that the electric supply be regularized, so that we can put a counter and pay for the electricity, and running water be connected so as to stop paying expensive barrels daily. Since mid-2014 we have put on the table these claims the mayor Pedro Rodriguez has always turned a deaf ear…
They can not evict 77 families, 202 people, with more than 100 children without guaranteeing us decent and affordable housing as a low-income alternative. Their policies, which have left us for years unemployed, have made it impossible to access to housing….
We will not allow them to take our homes with impunity. We demand that we be given a housing alternative and or let us stray where we are. Until either thing happens ..the Streets will keep on Shouting!
Let no eviction go unanswered.
In early 2013, unemployment on the Canary Islands stood at 35%, with house evictions during that same year reaching 4,000. Today, more than 30% of the population of the archipelago lives below the poverty line, with some 16% of the Islands’ families having all of their active members unemployed. This poverty then manifests itself at various levels, among which housing; on the Islands, there are 130,000 unoccupied houses and some 21,000 families in need of homes. The role of the FAGC has nevertheless been central throughout this whole process and this in a context of extreme economic hardship…. La Columna.Cat 27/12/2015)
The Nuit Debout movement in France takes on no single form, even behind the ritual of the general assemblies in Paris and now other cities. It is plural, chaotic, fed by the multiple protests against the country’s new proposed labour law and a diversity of organisations and collectives coming from other social movements. Yet it is precisely in this absence of order that the square occupations become spaces of convergence and of proliferation (rather than of enforced collective decision making), susceptible of generating lines of resistance/creation beyond State-Capital.
The events multiply and the voices speaking also become many. We share below two texts that contribute to further understanding, the first from The Acorn (number 23 – 08/04/2016) and the second from open Democracy (08/04/2016), by Geoffrey Pleyers …
1. March 39 and counting… Nuit Debout and the new French uprising
The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiralled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares.
The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on Thursday March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.
Carrie Reichardt is a contemporary artist, who works from a mosaic-covered studio in London. A member of the Craftivism movement, she uses murals, ceramics, screen-printing and graphic design in her work. She is a dedicated advocate of the movement and curated one of the few exclusively Craftivist exhibitions in the UK. She talks about the ‘Disobedient Objects’ exhibition at the V&A, Angola 3 and much more!
In Transition 2.0: A Story of Resilience & Hope in Extraordinary Times
This film is still the best inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There are stories of communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies and setting up community power stations.