After surrounding the camp in early morning, the local police forces in Barcelona evicted the people staying in Plaza Catalunya at around 11:00 AM with the excuse of cleaning up. The reason, they say, is that because Football Club Barcelona plays the Champions League Final (an important football match) the area might be flooded by a massive celebration if they win. They stated that if this happens, then the tents and objects placed there could be used during the celebration for violent purposes, which they say is a “security risk”, making it necessary to evict so as to let cleaning brigades in the square. They also said they want to make clear it is not an eviction and that the protesters will be allowed to return after the operation is ended. While the police violence was taking place on the outskirts of the square, 300 people were surrounded in the center and sitting down peacefully they called for non-violence and asked the police to explain themselves. Official government channels have stated that 15 people suffered minor injuries during the operation, although this number could be much larger, as much as 45 or 65 according to El Pais and other independent media. Ironically, the spokesperson for the Catalan police said, on national television that the operation had been non-violent. On Twitter the #acampadabcn and #bcnsinmiedo hashtags have been very active and many videos as the ones below have been posted to show the un-called-for brutality with which the police evicted the peaceful protesters. In response to these actions, social media sites have been buzzing with anger, with many people around the world sending their support and others swearing they will return.
A few minutes ago, at around 14:00 pm thousands of protesters broke the police line around the square and have reclaimed what is left of their camp. Most of it, including computers with valuable data and donated furniture, was taking away in trucks that were part of the cleaning operation. The different sections of the 15M movement (@acampadasol, @acampadavalencia etc.) have called for a unified protest around Spain at 19:00h to support people in Plaza Catalunya. The hashtag for the protest is #confloresalas7 (which means with flowers at 7).
2 responses to “Police forces crack down brutally on #acampadabcn: protesters return in thousands and take back the square #spanishrevolution #bcnsinmiedo”
What amazing me is the self-composure of the crowd. No on lashed back, and that is amazing.
Yes it is amazing. They had been preparing consciously for weeks on the way to act (sitting down peacefully and linking arms together) and all of them followed through, it was great.