Spain: Urgent call for action in solidarity with protesters in Valencia

Murderers in uniform beat and detain young people for standing up for their rights, as ongoing protests of numerous students and supporters face an epidemic of police brutality.

On Wednesday, February 15th, 2012, large police force attacked a protest of school students outside the IES Lluís Vives (Institute of Secondary Education, with students from 13 to 18 years) in Valencia, the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. The cops brutally beat many of the students who had gathered to express their opposition to further cuts in public education and, in particular, to protest against the deplorable conditions in their schools. During the police raid in the concentration space and nearby streets, one young person was arrested.

^ School students chanting ‘ASSASSINS’ after cops’ assault

On February 16th, and while a massive protest was held in response to fierce police aggression on the previous day, the cops attacked once again demonstrators, who were cutting off traffic in the central Xàtiva street. To our knowledge, six people were arrested. Shortly afterwards, nearly 300 supporters gathered outside the police headquarters to demand the immediate release of all detainees. The law enforcement scum did not hesitate to launch another attack against the crowd, and this time at least three more people were kidnapped and taken into custody. After many hours, the detainees were finally released —several of them accused of misdemeanors.

Here’s an extract from a statement of comrades regarding their presence in the city’s streets on February 17th: ‘On Friday, for the third consecutive day, we took to the streets again, meeting at the door of an educational institute, showing solidarity with detainees and fighting against the measures of both the central government and the Generalitat of Catalonia that continue to suffocate us and provoke tension in Valencia. On Friday we went back to see people’s faces, on the street where we enjoy creating our own space and resisting the blows of police. It is said that not all of us were students from the IES Lluís Vives, and it is in fact true; some of us were students from other facilities, and others were exploited part-time workers; but each and every one of us was astounded by the lesson of dignity from the school kids of this secondary institute, who were self-organizing and struggling by their own means. And the thing is that the struggle must not only be about the heating in classrooms, or repairing a crack. The struggle must be for our dignity, about regaining our lives and building our future.’

The pigs in uniform were obviously not content with last week’s crackdown on pupils as well as young demonstrators of all backgrounds. So, the repressive operation continued on February 20th, during new education protests in the streets of Valencia.

^ February 20th: Riot squads assaulted youths in downtown Valencia

^ Cops chased after demonstrators in Jesús street

Thanks to comrades from the territory ruled by the Spanish State, we were able to confirm updates from the streets of Valencia on February 20th–21st. But also the video documents speak for themselves. The police had brutally attacked demonstrators from 15.00 (Valencia time), and the protest scattered around the city. At about 21.30, several trash cans were reportedly set on fire in Blasco Ibáñez Avenue and other downtown streets. Meanwhile, hundreds of students and many teachers occupied the faculty of History in the university campus, where people held an open assembly. The occupied building was surrounded by police vans, while the assembly revolved around the question of violence or nonviolence, aiming at an ultimate decision on civil-disobedience actions for the hours and days to come.

People’s assembly in the occupied faculty of History

Shortly before midnight, there were reportedly (at least) 21 arrests and many injured protesters, as numerous rubber bullets were fired by cops, who had practiced extensive physical violence and beaten up people with police batons. To make matters worse, the arrestees were not allowed to communicate neither with lawyers, nor their relatives (many of them are under age, so it’s even more dangerous to be deprived of legal rights). Solidarity gatherings were immediately called for in Madrid (Puerta del Sol Sq) and Barcelona (Laietana Av), while a cacerolada — a noise demo, with people banging pots and pans or other utensils — was carried out in Valencia.

The entire place had been under siege, with helicopters flying over the city and sidewalks cordoned off by police; the same armed assaulters who go unpunished each time. In the early hours of February 21st, more bad news came out, as people could estimate a total of 50 arrests —although it was still impossible to pin down a figure, because any attempt of supporters to get even close to police stations in Valencia seemed suicidal at the moment. The IES Lluís Vives was surrounded by police, yet a sit-in of mothers, fathers and school teachers was announced for the upcoming hours as a firm denouncement of brutal police repression.

Cops were called ‘gray’ when the dictator Franco was alive, that’ why this cry has echoed across the city: ‘The gray now go blue! The cops torture and murder you!’

Join anti-repression protests across Spain!
Some of the solidarity calls are:

León – 21/2, at 13.30, Ayuntamiento
Valencia – 21/2, at 15.30, IES Luís Vives
Granada – 21/2, at 18.00, Subdelegación del Gobierno
Alicante – 21/2, at 19.00, Plaza de la Montañeta
Madrid – 21/2, at 19.30, Puerta del Sol
Cáceres – 21/2, at 20.00, Subdelegación del Gobierno
Barcelona – 21/2, at 20.00, Plaça de Catalunya
Badajoz – 22/2, at 20.00, Delegación del Gobierno

No prosecution for the abductees by the police
No aggression must be left unanswered

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and solidarity actions, adding your comments here