Unprovoked arrests of “March to Athens” activists in Syntagma Sqare (may 2012)

Activists from “March to Athens (French, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Greeks), slept in Syntagma Square yesterday as the two previous nights, without any tents, only with sleeping bags and blankets.

At 3:00 am, the police tried to remove them, but eventually they withdrew and left them alone.

In the morning during 8:00, they were asked again to leave the Square, and when they refused to do so, the police made massive arrests, using excessive violence, if you consider the group of people was peaceful, not large, lying on the ground.

They are currently located in police headquarters. At 18:00 today they are being brought to trial (in flagrant) . They are accused of environmental pollution and resistance to authority.

The concert at 20:00 in Syntagma Square, will take place as arranged, in order to collect money to cover court costs of those arrested.

Communique from Sol’s Law Comission regarding the eviction from Puerta del Sol (2012)

In the night between May 12th and 13th, after the mass demonstrations organized by the 15M movement in over 80 spanish cities, police units proceeded to remove demonstrators from various squares in Valencia, Palma, Cadiz and Madrid, among other cities.
Regarding the eviction from Puerta del Sol in Madrid, we would like to state:
1.We witnessed this eviction live at the square. The images, videos and online streaming provided by the 15M movement’s Media Center, as well as numerous testimonies that we received, clearly prove that there was no disturbance of public order that could justify police intervention. These testimonies also indicate that the police agents even assaulted people who immediately followed the orders to get up from the ground.
2. During the disproportional police intervention yesterday, we clearly saw yet again how the UIP [Police Intervention Units] agents consciously and with premeditation do not comply with the current laws that require them to show their identification.
The police units that took part in the Puerta del Sol´s eviction covered their identification badges with a vest, which made identifying them impossible for the numerous people that were injured during the night. Similarly, during the afternoon´s demonstration, the deployed UIP units -in the best cases- carried tiny and unreadable badges. We are very concerned about the impunity with which the police officers have acted, and so we have reported them to the Home Office, to which we demand the the application of sanctions regarding this completely unlawful behavior.
This comission considers that the lack of identification not only implies a serious infringement for the officers in carrying out their duties, but, more importantly, it also may impede the prosecution and subsequent imputation and punishment (as the rest of the citizens are treated) of felonies or offenses that they could commit while on duty, thus remaining unpunished and leaving the victims utterly defenseless.
3. Arbitrary and indiscriminate arrests occurred. Many of the people that were arrested had no relationship whatsoever with the demonstration. This was the case for a freelance photographer and several people that were just walking on the streets nearby the Puerta del Sol square.
4.- This commission is aware of numerous testimonies of police violence in the operations which the agents carried out at dawn, as well as in many of the arrests made. The police violence was especially excessive in the operations in the Puerta del Sol square. We condemn the brutality and disproportionality of these operations. We also condemn the loss of the guarantee to protect citizens’ rights, which have been violated without any justification.
Similarly, we wish to mention that during the entire period of mobilization there has been no incident which could have justified the adoption of said measures, which affected, either through agression or arrest, twenty percent of the people who were in Puerta del Sol.
5- We are also aware of the problems many people had to exercise their right of assemly in the squares surrounding Sol during the morning of the 13th of May. The municipal and national police are identifying citizens who are gathering peacefully, impeding them from holding the lectures and activities that were to take place. They are also impeding the use of audiovisual communications, and, in short, arbitrarily restricting the right of assembly. Despite all of this, the 15M movement will continue all of its planned activities in the squares for today and until the 15th of May, the anniversary of its inception. Concentrations have been organized for 5:00 pm in numerous squares in protest of last night’s evictions. We invite the citizenry to participate without fear, freely exercising their fundamental rights of assembly, freedom of expresson and political participation without allowing themselves to be intimidated by the restrictions imposed by the Government’s Delegate. Once again, our rights are won by exercising them. Public space is the citizens’ heritage, an agora for the exchange of ideas about what affects us in order to collectively construct a common future. This is one of the premises upon which a state which aspires to be democratic should be established.
Comisión Legal Sol

L'autre côté de la ville