Spanish police close down social centres in ongoing attack on anarchist groups

The Almudena Cathedral, Madrid, was the apparent target of a terrorist plot in 2013.
The Almudena Cathedral, Madrid, was the apparent target of a terrorist plot in 2013.

Spanish authorities have this week raided a further six social centres and 11 homes as part of an ongoing crackdown on local anarchist groups which began in late March.

27 people in total have been arrested in connection with anarchist groups. Many of these were detained during raids which were undertaken on several sites across Spain. In total 14 of the people were arrested for resisting police authorities.

In Madrid, raids this week closed down two autonomous social centres that were run by anarchist groups. La Redonda, one of the centres targeted, reported that police entered the squatted area without search or arrest warrants.

Police claim that arrests made are part of a crackdown on the ‘Coordinated Anarchist Group’, who they claim have been linked to terrorist plots in Spain. Anarchists across Spain however have denied their involvement with the group, or any violent activities within the country.

In Feburary 2013 a home-made nail bomb was discovered at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral. Police at the time claim that the plot was linked to to Coordinated Anarchist Group – which later dissolved. Police also investigated the group’s possible in the vandalism of over 100 cash machines in Madrid, as well as unclaimed bomb attack which damaged a church later that year.

Shortly after the plot was uncovered many Spanish anarchists were quick to distance themselves from the group, with many coming out to publicly condemn the use of violence.

Anarchists now claim that the crackdown on the group has given police an excuse to also attack unrelated peaceful groups and that scaremongering tactics have been used to legitimise what they see as political repression.

In response to fresh arrests the Confederal Committee of the CNT-AIT, the Spanish arm of the International Workers’ Association, publicly condemned the authorities’ actions, labelling them as an attempted ‘criminalisation and repression of the anarchist movement’.

Anarchist-organised demonstrations also took part across the country, calling upon the immediate release of several individuals. These protests were joined also by individuals across the political spectrum, who are concerned with the police’s involvement in what many see as political repression.

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