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Pic: Guy Smallman
EU SUmmit Barcelona 9-16 March
For 10 days in March hundreds of thousands of people took to
the streets of Barcelona for a series of actions, demonstrations,
debates, cinema forums and other festivities called by the Campaign
Against the Europe of Capital to oppose the EU Summit that began
on the 15th.
The week started with 3,000 people holding a reclaim the streets
party on Saturday the 9th which escalated to a 400,000
strong protest on the 10th against further privatisation of the
water supply and the National Hydrological Plan - planned to re-route
Spain's biggest river. On the 14th, 100,000 unionists
marched against the summit and on Friday the 15th 20,000
people took part in 25 decentralised actions around the city.
'Lobby busters', prisoner solidarity activists, and many other
groups highlighted important issues around the summit, banners were
hung at the Sagrada Familia church and other locations, critical
mass bike rides clogged city streets. In the early afternoon, tensions
increased as police surrounded the convergence centre and stopped
and searched people all over the city. Police charged a large crowd
of protesters on Las Ramblas (main avenue) and violently 'cleared'
the area. In the evening they attacked another demonstration in
Gracia and arrested several people. Prisoner solidarity protests
went on all night, many were attacked by riot police.
On Saturday the 16th up to 500,000 people marched through the city.
Protesters faced widespread police violence, including rubber bullets
and tear gas, despite the majority of protesters being peaceful.
Participants described premeditated, brutal and indiscriminate police
attacks, that resulted in 80 people being arrested, bringing the
total to 109 arrests in two days. In spite of the repression, spirits
remained high and most considered the day a success. While much
of the planning for the week of events had sought to minimise confrontation,
the denial of basic rights that is now becoming commonplace in Europe
was widespread - although not wholly unexpected - in Spain.
Campaign Against the Europe of Capital