Pere: A squatter and anarchist who participated in the solidarity protest in Barcelona on the 20th December.
A week ago, after we first heard about Greece and kept hearing about it and understood that it was real, we quickly organised a solidarity protest. With all the rage and urgency and excitement, the people managed to get past the police for the first time in a long time in this fucking city. They smashed up some luxury shops and banks, nothing heavy but better than we’ve had in a couple years, and then scattered. A couple people, I think they were from out of town and didn’t have anyone looking after them, got arrested.
On the 20th of December, the day of international solidarity we organised another protest. Seven people had been arrested in Madrid after the solidarity protest there attacked a police station and they were facing heavy charges, so this protest was for them too. About three hundred people convened in Plaça Universitat, where we always convene, and where the police are fully practiced in surrounding us and controlling us. By Plaça Catalunya the mossos started signalling their aggressive intentions and evidently no one wanted to fight. On Indymedia they’ll write about how weak the movement is, but they never come to a protest prepared to start a fight. What, this is something the magical masses initiate, some insurrection that comes about through a scientific dialectic or mystical process? The mass is just another person standing next to you, waiting for you to start something. I had brought some paint bombs, not much, but early on my compañeros ran off to avoid any inconvenience so I never had anyone to watch my back so I could throw them.
Anyway, the march started running, more or less, as the cops came up hard behind us. All they had to do was look at us like they wanted to beat us, and we dissolved. On the way a few people were causing a little damage to cash machines, spray painting a little, but it was hard to do more with the cops breathing down our necks and the fleet of a dozen riot vans behind them. At Urquinaona we hooked back left, as usual, and ended up on Passeig de Gracia, where it was easy for the police to surround us, in this case right in the middle of a big intersection. At least we were blocking up traffic?
Then one cop fell into the fountain there, got himself all wet and hurt his leg, and no one had even pushed him. He just fell in! Naturally we all started laughing our asses off, saying how stupid the cops were, congratulating Comrade Fountain. They were seething. The injured cop was helped away they waited a minute, glaring at us, and then started pushing and beating us from all sides. Anyone who got close enough felt their batons. A few of us pushed back but we paid for it in bruises. At least we didn’t let them arrest anybody; but they were mostly interested in pushing us to the side of the road. At this point there were only a hundred of us because so many people started to scatter early on. Some of those came back to watch, and at one point the police picked through the crowd and grabbed anyone they thought was an anarchist, pushed them in here with us.
The fucking cops were pushing on all sides until we were packed like sardines. I knew the paint bombs were bursting in my backpack and I just hoped the paint wouldn’t start leaking out. You could see a few people dazed, their heads bleeding, while others screamed at the cops to let an ambulance get in. They kettled us up tight for a while, maybe half an hour or more, and then let us go. But there was one injured woman, I couldn’t see so close, and they wouldn’t let the medics get close to her, so more scuffling started, someone threw a glass bottle, they attacked again, and everyone scattered through the city while they hunted us. I think a couple people got arrested. I walked all the way home to avoid using the metro, just in case, and all through the city police cars were tearing around looking for us. And we hadn’t even managed to do anything.