Thousands march in Barcelona against police violence

10970348_10153145713716719_900132213_oWednesday, the 4th of February was a day in which thousands of people demonstrated across Catalonia for the reopening of the 4F case, following the broadcast of the well known documentary “Ciutat Morta” in the Catalan public television. They were also demanding the review of other cases of torture.

The most important event took place in Barcelona.

19:00 Plaça Universitat (Barcelona). Meeting point.

Under the slogan “is not just a rotten apple, it is all the basket” thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Barcelona.

The director and many actors from the documentary, friends and concerned authorities also attended the demonstration. All of them were supporting the protests, which demanded justice – a justice which seems to never come.

Demonstration began with Marina Huidrobo, Rodrigo Lanza’s mother, reading a manifesto. Rodrigo Lanza, 9 years ago, was wrongly convicted to 5 years of prison – acussed of throwing a stone at an agent of the Guardia Urbana.

She explained, with pain, how those events changed their lives. Everyone listened in silence, some in tears.

She also explained the response the media showed after the broadcast of the documentary. She claims that there were more focused on “who threw the object that struck the police” than on the acusations of police torture.

The manifesto ended on the memory of Patricia Heras, an activist who committed suicide after her arrest regarding the case. Her memory was present all the time.

Different people shaved their head as Heras had done in solidarity.

The demonstration then lead to the Via Laietana cinema, closed in June 2013, which was occupied by the documentary premiere of Ciutat Morta – people paste a poster with the name Patricia Heras. At the same time an image of her was projected onto the building.

The demostration was overseen by BRIMO (riot agents of Mossos d’Esquadra).

Later arriving at the City Hall, Diana Torres – a Friend of Patricia Heras- scattered the ashes of the deceased across those present. This symbolic act was followed by ‘one minute of noise’ in memory of her.

And the list of cases is still increasing:

Last week a young man was beaten by four agents of the Mossos d”Esquadra. The boy, who asked the identification number of the agent, was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground. Video was taken by a neighbor of the area, in which the boy is seen to offer no resistance.

Police authorities defended their actions, claiming that the actions taken were within protocol and so justified.

The mainstream media, as usual, only took into consideration the police version. They justify that, the young man, minutes before stole an electronic device, and somehow justifying the violence from the agents.

According to MediaCat (critical observatory) in the period between 2004 and 2014 833 people have died in police custody throughout Spain. In 2012 alone 11 Catalan police were responsible for 11 deaths.

Amnesty International shows that torture cases usually end up being stored without thorough investigation, thereby violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the UN Convention against Torture 1984.

***

Albert Maurí is a Euroclash contributor from Barcelona. He has an interest in human rights in the context of capitalism and is a self-trained student of anthropology and sociology. He is also an avid photographer. You can view more of his work in photography here.

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