Tension in the Cabanyal, a district of Valencia, Spain

We present this account of the conflict in the district of the Cabanyal (Valencia, Spain). It is written by residents involved in the struggle against the construction of a big avenue which would cut the district in half.

Submitted by grupo_ruptura on April 12, 2010

For several years there has been a conflict in the valencian district of the Cabanyal going on. The mayor council wants to destroy a lot of houses in order to make a big avenue right through this traditional popular and fishers´district with its special arquitecture where relationship between the neighbours isn´t yet destroyed by the effects of modern metropolitan life.

This week, tensions escalated as a result of the decision of the mayor council and the regional government of Valencia to start last Tuesday the first of several demolitions of empty houses in the middle of the political and judicial dispute beetween those (of the PP) and the central government of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party) about the legality of the mentioned demolitions. Inmediateley, between neighbours of the district and supporters from elsewhere, a resistance to this aggression has been organised in order to defend the houses and to hinder the demolition works to the utmost.

So, during the till now three days of siege there were actions like gathering in front of the buildings to be destroyed, climbing up to the roofs and intentions to slow down the diggers in different manners. All that didn´t serve to prevent the demolitions due to the forceful behaviour of the local and national police forces which led to several minor injuries and four arrests (all of them now released) and provoked clashes when the security forces were responded to by demonstrators throwing stones and other objects.

A special mention is deserved of the socialist government which on the one hand pronounced an order supposedly suspending any proceedings relationed to the urban project in question declaring to be amongst its opponents, and on the other hand, by its Delegado de Gobierno Ricardo Peralta (who represents central government in the Valencian province), orders the National Police to protect the machines and to press charges against everyone putting themselves in front of them. In this way it converts in spite of the hypocritical pronouncements in an accomplice of the district´s destruction. The critical point of this we could see last Thursday when the big bosses of the Valencian Socialist Party expressed in front of the cameras their rejection to the plan while on the other side of the street, not even 50 metres away, the National Police was dispersing with truncheon blows the people sitting on the ground. In these moments the atmosphere in the district is charged with uncertainty and alert. While police control and tension partly nourished by the media sensationalism it isn´t clear yet if they´ll keep on with the demolition works and the repression of neighbours and their supporters.

As we´re proving, the only way to face up with dignity to the devastating plans of the district´s destruction passes by the organization and determination of the directly affected, without expecting anything from anybody but ourselves and all those who are supporting us, not counting on this list those who have other interests behind (electoral, economical, etc.).

With this aim we add a list of places where everyone who wants to can show solidarity with this fight in the manner thought to be appropriate.

That their plans don´t cost them nothing



Tourist offices of Valencia around Europe:

Brussels: 227 Wetstraat, tel. ++32 (0) 22824160

London: 34 Seymour street, tel. ++44 2075637132

Munich: Sonnenstrasse, 4.Stock, tel. ++49 (0)89 15989840

More info (in Spanish):