World, May 27th
In a demonstration of repressive policing, Seville cops attacked and destroyed the squatted space on the day it opened for community use – having spent six months largely ignoring it while it was cleared and made useable. The politically-charged eviction at a former concert hall targeted a site that was about to provide a community hub for challenging rampant gentrification in the city. In a statement the Lioness collective described the scene:
After several months of collective work and some very intense weeks preparing the space, on Thursday May 19th it was finally time to make it public and open the space to anyone who wanted to get closer and get involved. Many people came to show their support and joy. There was finally a Self-Managed Okupado Social Center in Seville, after so many years.
We didn’t lose our cool when the police approached, as we were prepared to face the situation, with about a hundred people nearby, with the assembly well organised and united, including a mediator and a lawyer. We told the police that the building had been occupied by us for weeks, so they would need a court order to evict us, which they obviously didn’t have.
After standing for hours in front of the doors, at around 10pm an officer asked to speak to the comrades inside. Then the disappointment became clear: the police put on their helmets, took an aggressive posture and went to the door. They pushed us back without a second thought, until we were in a position where it would be impossible to see what they were doing to the comrades inside. So, in front of everyone out on the pavement, and in front of many cell phone cameras recording and recording everything that was happening, they opened the door by force, with great violence. When they entered, threatening them with tasers, they forced comrades to lie on the ground to later identify them and force them out.
To put the icing on the cake of the series of rules they were breaking, half of the cops weren’t wearing identification badges, because “if there is a fire it burns” or because “I dropped it”, among other regrettable excuses. They refused to identify themselves, and told the lawyer that we should wait to receive the official police report (which was never given to us).
So they ended the space that had just been born, in a building which which had been abandoned for nine years and to which we were going to give a new life, as you can read in our opening manifesto. But, as we said at the time: They may trash the spaces, but never the ideas.
While the anger and frustration we feel at this situation is enormous, we are not surprised either. It is already common practice in our city that the powerful, and the repressive agents who protect them, ignore their own laws. Many spaces have already been illegally evicted, in the heat of the moment, without order and in an intimidating and violent way. We already know that private property is defended above everything and everyone.
All this only strengthens us in what we do, what we think and who we are. We will never forget the moment of unfurling the banner and reading the manifesto, nor the many hours that dozens and dozens of people spent defending our space, their space. Let’s keep squatting and resisting. WE RETURN.
ONE LOST, ANOTHER OCCUPATION!
I WOULD BE ASHAMED TO BE A POLICEMAN!
IN YOUR HOME AND IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD, LIBERTARIAN FEMINISM!
DEATH TO THE STATE AND LONG LIVE TO ANARCHY!