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The operation, ordered by the Audiencia Nacional (High Court), has ended with 14 arrests for ‘membership of a criminal organisation’ and 14 more for resistence.
From 6am this morning the National Police, in collaboration with the Information Brigades of Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Granada, carried out an operation resulting in the arrest of 14 people (9 in Madrid, 3 in Barcelona and another 2 in Palencia) accused of membership of a criminal organisation with terrorist aims, according to a press release. A further 14 people were arrested for ‘resistance’ during the identification of people at 17 addresses in Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Granada.
In Madrid, Self-Managed Squatted Social Centers (CSOAs) La Quimera, located in Nelson Mandela Square in the neighbourhood of Lavapies, and La 13-14 in the neighbourhood of Vallekas were searched. According to several sources, including Diso Press and people with links to La Quimera, the National Police Riot Control Unit (UIP) blocked access to the square with three vans and entered the building, confiscating IT material and preventing access to the building. La 13-14 in Vallekas was also searched.
The operation was ordered by Audiencia Nacional Judge Eloy Velasco. According to the police press release those arrested for membership of a terrorist organisation are members of the Co-ordinated Anarchist Groups (Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados, GAC). They are also accused of ‘criminal acts consisting of sabotage and placing explosive and incendiary devices’.
This round of arrests comes just three months after the Audiencia Nacional ordered a previous operation against the anarchist movement in Barcelona, which ended with 11 arrests, also for membership of the GAC. The operation involved a violent raid on the social centre Kasa de la Muntanya by the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan Police. On 30 January the detainees were charged and released on bail of €3000.
La Quimera was born in May 2013 in a block of abandoned flats that had previously been the site of another social centre, the Laboratorio 2. After a closure of several months for organisational reasons, its doors reopened last week. ‘La Quimera’ is located in a building which already had a history of squatting, having functioned as a social centre for 12 years, then being evicted and re-squatted. According to people involved, it was a space for ‘projects of a political nature’, including a squatting office, a self-organised library, a queer assembly, political theatre and a range of workshops – including IT, self-employments, sign language, spoken languages, etc.
At the time of going to press the police operation is still ongoing and further arrests may yet be made.
Protest rallies against the Operation on March 30th:
- Madrid: Tirso Molina, 19h
- Barcelona: Plz. Mercado del Clot, 20h
- Palencia: Subdelegación Gobierno 20h
- Zaragoza: Plz. Madalena, 20h
- Salamanca: Subdelegación de Gobierno, 19h
- Girona: Pç. del Vi, 20h
- Cuenca: Carretería, 20h
- Granada: CSOA La Redonda, 20h