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plastic bullets in Barcelona

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday March 18, 2006 02:50author by ooooooooooooooooooooooo Report this post to the editors

what began as an innocent piss up on Paddy's day, with hundreds of irish and other tourists present to enjoy a weekend has (at time of writing) turned into the most serious urban disturbance in recent history.

The Police have brutally repressed the revellers and have in the last hour resorted to clearing the old city with rubber bullets.

Over 100 have been fired so far. serious injuries have been photographed.

This aint good for the tourist trade.
I suppose there will be more.., when its over.
but I don't know when it will be over.
its like poor kids go to the street and burn the bins.
If they are muslim and french - we don't say its political.
it they are university students and french - we say its political.
if they are italian and poor - we say its hooliganism.
if they are barcelonan...

they're facing fascists.
& thats it. this writer was one of the last people left in the cleared zone. He left with blood on his hands after carrying kids to the ambulances.

shona la padraig.
when I fly a flag its black.

author by jayzhuspublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 05:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they always seem to work up to them. This is because we believe we can keep an eye (((i))) on them, and they won't just use the guns the taxpayer gives them to shoot us instead. Still.., they do seem to bond when they work as a team under stressful conditions. oink.

I blame Garda management.

author by hangoverpublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Commercial press report 58 arrests and 68 injuries. ( I saw 4 injuries I considered serious enough for an ambulance. typical blunt trauma to head, heads are soft things you hit them a few times with a truncheon they go mushy & they do bleed profusely which puts the wind up by standers)
no-one is really going into how many rubber bullets were fired. It probably wasn't 100. But it was more than 20.
Meanwhile, Granada a city in Andalucia saw 20,000 young people assemble to celebrate their "piss-up" without any incident Some proud Grenadans are boasting an attendance upto 34,000. Saragoza in Aragon also saw brutal police repression. Yet again the residents of the old city of Barcelona and in particular the Raval district are complaining bitterly at the hypocrisy, mismanagement, and stupidity of it all. And with good reason. From early evening their little streets filled with cop vans of 2 the two seperate police forces. That neighbourhood has the highest % of non-regularised migrants (or those waiting on full regularisation) We can not underestimate the intimidation felt by the neighbourhood at having its right to circulate freely (without a bag search for the "dhrink") being taken away, and then some hours later their bins on fire, their streets scene to chaotic and confused escapes from rubber buller firing police. As the scene of disturbance moved (and was moved by the police), yet more and more people who really had no idea what was going on came into the equation. Residents, ordinary Friday night people returning home from an expensive drink in a bar, other innocents entering the district in search of a cool bar with some music, and of course Tourists. The piss up itself was a rather muted affair, not many people having suceeded in getting cans or bottles of beer into the designated area. One loud man decided to become the focus of attention by stripping and taking the piss out of the cops, & of course features in the photos taken by commercial press at the link below which also shows the happy tranquil piss-up in Grenada.

That much said, it wasn't France. it wasn't even Dublin.
The Basques are set to try their "botellón" on the 31st of March.
I do hope this puts people off visiting Barcelona especially if they are thinking of buying a retirement flat or holiday property.

Related Link:
author by very reliablepublication date Sun Mar 19, 2006 01:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

aunty beeb the BBC has presented this :-
they think Spain is Barcelona in bbc land. But they also offer timely links to other articles they've done in the past on alcohol. All under the fine directorship of their european editor Mark Mardell. (((say hi to mark please our dear "mark's secretary" cheers!)))
Al Jazeera!!!!!!!!!!
the indians this-

so it would seem that the paddy's day piss up and thoughtful use of rubber bullets by the security forces, has reverberated around the civilised world ranging from muslims to hindus.
We're worse than Danes. & to get really technical, Barcelona is Catalonia. The Spanish "botellóns" passed peacefully and without injury or arrest. Its the Catalans who are anti-alcohol. thats because they're calvinists. I suppose we could go really horizontal and ask someone to post an article on http/ in the name of either the FG or PD ógras & demand McDowell bans alcohol and works closely with Mary Harney in the health department - to convince us that banning alcohol will serve our long term interests more than .:. hospital beds or liberty .:. .

author by ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 01:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

well the ruckish goings on in Barcelona last Paddy's night really weren't the number one international story. But it has produced politics. Both at micro and macro level. The biggest theme amongst young documentary makers at the moment is "anti-social laws" and "police brutality". The council led by mayor Juan Clos at first accused "organised" antisystem groups, (meaning the anarchists and okupe assemblies) but has of today retracted it officially. Its been the usual "micro/macro- political shite". And curiously enough the police force have started to go easier on the street vendors, be they pirate CDs, prostitutes or simply selling cans of beer after closing time. Most of those who engage in such street trade are the poorest of the poor.

Yet the threat implicit in the statements to the press that "200 experts" were behind the disturbances has compounded the anger felt at the mis-management of police resources. 2 seperate police forces were involved. 1 directly answerable to the council, whose mayor was in NYC promoting BCN's award winning modern architecture, baton charged a group of *not very hostile people* in a largish square, pushing them into the adjoining neighbourhood's narrow streets whilst the other (for some reason previously admonished on constitutional rights) did very little to control movement. The result was ( in garda speak) a non-effective dispersal. Or (in simple speak) you hit people on the head and send them down side alleys don't be surprised if they then burn bins two streets away. Aha!
Thats the moment you need ambulances and fire brigades.

What "the experts" and "political spin-doctors" are now communicating through the commercial press is a "phenomonal surge in street violence along the lines first seen in the Basque and northern Ireland but this time for apolitical or nihilistic reasons". For our part, the people who were "first accused" of planning this night of confrontation, are continuing our campaigns for less intimidatory policing, transparent decision making by the municipal authority, an end to classist and racist restrictions of youth culture, more playgrounds and more facilities for the young to channel their energies. That much said, after campaigning and indeed litigation against the Council so many times, there is not much affection from "a@rcho-circles" to cover the municipal's authority's ass on this one.
They made the mistakes, not just on March 17th but by drafting the "anti-social" laws in the first place.

here was the english language coverage of the night-
(((please note that only in english for a crucial 48 hours was any mention made of the firing of plastic bullets. Happily the "horizontal relationship" seems to work, of not always with local media, you will get space in media further afield, and thus have the same if not greater political effect on your local regime. The press eager to fill whatever pages are not now devoted to ETA, have reminded the public that tourists including young Irish tourists on their paddy's weekend were innocently caught up in a street battle which effectively cut one of the three old city districts in two for four hours.)))

BBC "those dirty masses"
BBC European press review
"In Barcelona, police plan to stop anybody bringing drink or glasses onto the picturesque Las Ramblas street."
oh well it was New Zealand.,2106,3608615a12,00.html
Taiwan ( Capitalist China)
Al Jazeera!!!!!!!!!!
and naturally the catalan nationalist press :-
video of BCN's oldest pub get its door burnt

We still await information on how many plastic bullets were fired.
That seems normal information to request.
In a democracy, you get that sort of data.

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