A week of sabotage in Barcelona

In Barcelona, anticapitalists unrolled the red carpet for May Day with a week of sabotage actions against banks, real estate offices, and temp agencies.

A week of sabotage against real estate offices and banks, under the slogan “We have lost our fear”

Fran Richart
Directa No. 137 6 May 2009
translated from Catalan by Porlos

“We have lost our fear: we won't jump through the hoop” is the phrase with which the actions against banks, real estate offices, and temp agencies in the city of Barcelona during the week of April 24 to May 1 have been claimed. According to manifestos posted on Indymedia, the actions were intended to “point out those guilty for the crisis” and motivate the people to take part in boycotts and disobedience against these entities “responsible for our misery.”

On the night of April 24-25, 400 cash machines were sabotaged in the neighborhoods of Sants, Gracia, Poble Nou, Clot, and Ciutat Vella. The action consisted of covering the screens with stickers that read “ATM out of service. No cash withdrawals possible. Please forgive the inconvenience.” Many cash machines also had the card slots glued so bank cards could not be introduced. Two days later, during the morning of April 27, a branch office of the temp agency Adecco in the neighborhood of St. Gervasi was attacked with paint and stones, causing damages in the entrance of the office. On the night of the 29th, an office of Manpower, a bank of La Caixa, and a Social Security office in Gracia encountered the same fate. That day, in the neighborhood of Clot, during the morning unknown persons attacked a Tecnocasa real estate office with paint bombs. In a communique they remarked that their daytime action was “to reaffirm the legitimacy of our means of action against gentrification and capitalism.” In Sants, Thursday the 30th of April, the entrances to 16 supermarkets in the neighborhood had their locks glued shut and were painted with the phrase, “responsible for the crisis.” They were also left with stickers explaining the reason for the closure.

According to a communique made for one of the actions, this campaign was intended to be a tool of “social communication and direct action to denounce those who, having generated the global financial crisis, are provoking a serious social crisis.” The objective of the supermarkets, as stated in the communique, was to oppose the monopolization of the food supply by the major corporations, to denounce the pressure they impose on the food producers to lower prices, destroying local and sustainable production.

The communique ended: “We will do away with their circus and the clowns that defend it.”

Translator's note:

The full text of a communique referred to by multiple of the groups that participated in the week of sabotage, appeared on a color poster that appeared in the hundreds throughout Barcelona in the week leading up to May Day.

The text of the poster reads:

We have lost our fear. We won't jump through the hoop.

Since we were born they have taught us that the world is as it is and we have to resign ourselves to it. Those who repeat this to us in their classrooms, in their media, in their public announcements, are the same ones who benefit from the situation. And this won't change as long as we don't violate the norms they impose on us and as long as we don't realize that the first step towards freedom begins with a NO.

We'll do away with their circus and the clowns that defend it.

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