Barcelona: from pyrotechnic spectacle to violence

20.10.2019 - Barcelona, Spain - Raquel Paricio

This post is also available in: Spanish, French, Catalan

Barcelona: from pyrotechnic spectacle to violence

The city has been burned.
A new “Rosa de Foc “* floods us.
Shredding, debris, sirens, sporadic gunfire, scandalous helicopters and avalanche runs.
Security forces are ambivalent.

While the majority of the Catalan population takes part in mass events of a festive and family nature, violent radicals change the sign of this fifth day of protests in Barcelona and the rest of the Catalan provinces.
The numerous acts that have taken place in Barcelona since the trial on the 1-O case was cited and that began with peaceful slogans have increased the tone of violence and spectacle as the days went by.

There is nothing more showy than burning the city at night to create a pyrotechnic show that shows a city in flames as a radical protest. That sells the media and makes it nationally and internationally visible.

Barcelona remembers what happened a century ago during the Tragic Week and the “Rosa de Foc”.

The city smells of burning.

Despite the fact that the Catalan population insists that violence does not go with the solution of the current process, violent radicals have been increasing the tone until tonight, the fifth night and the most violent.

In the face of the radical groups that set fire to it, the actions of the security forces are disconcerting.

A new “Rosa de Foc” floods us.

The city centre has been on fire since 7 p.m. Barricades of containers that cross the streets and turn them on. They are provoked by groups of young people, very young, mostly teenagers, wearing sweatshirts and hoods. They are provided with bottles, pavement tiles and various objects to launch the security forces. They have destroyed the pavement to have between 6 and 8 kg of stones in their backpacks.

Some neighbours stop radical groups to protect the containers and others try to suffocate the fires with fire extinguishers.

Shredding, debris, sirens, sporadic gunfire, scandalous helicopters and avalanche runs.

While the helicopters do not stop flying over the center. National police vans and Mossos d’esquadra (autonomous police) coordinate in a line to disperse through the conflict zones. The accounts are settled with about 60 injured in hospitals, about three serious, more than 1,000,000 euros in containers in the 5 nights of riots and that without counting the damage to other street furniture and shattered asphalt.

The security forces act ambivalently.

But while the radicals are doing their thing, the security forces are baffled in their actions. This is demonstrated by the videos of some twitterers.
In the mouth of the population is the criminalization of the security forces. The double game is served.

*Rosa de Foc: The ‘Rosa de Foc’ (fire rose) was the nickname given to Barcelona during the Tragic Week, in 1909, when anarchist commandos set fire to the city and especially to churches and convents (21 churches and 40 convents were destroyed).

Translated by Pressenza London

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