Another comrade of Barcelona in prison for the case of bank expropriations in Germany

Pax-Bank – Seit 1917 für Kirche und Caritas

Tuesday, June 21 at dawn, the Mossos d’Esquadra Corps kicked down the door of the house of an anarchist comrade of Barcelona, where he lived with his companion and other housemates. All were awakened by guns pointed on them and were handcuffed for hours while police raided and devastated the home, located in the neighbourhood del Eixample. Eventually, the comrade was arrested and transferred to Madrid, where the National Court ordered his detention on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by the prosecutor of Aachen, accusing him of having participated in the expropriation of a branch of Pax Bank that took place in November 2014.


It is for this same action that the comrade arrested on April 13 in Carmel is also in prison. In this case, however, the police decided not to use the staging and media spectacle it had used during the April operation, not issuing any press release and not notifying the media of the operation.


According to what we have been able to find out, the arrest warrant is based on the supposed coincidence between a trace of genetic material found in the Pax Bank in Aachen and a DNA sample that Mossos had taken from the comrade, simulating a BAC control for alcohol. During this false control, the police got him to blow into a breathalyzer and kept the plastic tip to extract the genetic profile of the comrade from the remaining saliva.


After a relatively brief imprisonment in the Madrid Soto de Real prison, the comrade was transferred to the prison of Aachen – in the Land of North Rhine – Westphalia (in West Germany) – where he is in conditions similar to those of the comrade arrested in April: one hour’s air a day, held in the remand building, only a few hours visit a month, unable to call those close to him and control of all communications.


The visiting format is particularly degrading; visits take place in the presence of two police officers from the unit conducting the investigation and an interpreter who translates the conversation simultaneously.


However, this is not the first time that the comrade has faced the challenges of punishment and the prison institution. His current detention adds itself to a previous sentence of over 10 years served in Portugal – where he is from -, during which he was noted for his denunciation of abuse and violation of prisoners’ rights, for participating in hunger strikes, organizing with other prisoners to improve their living conditions, urging them to abandon the drugs with which the institution makes the enclosed population submit and personally creating a large libertarian library to promote awareness and the political formation of the prisoners, a continuation of the work as bookseller that he had developed before entering prison. His combative attitude and his solidarity put him in the firing line of the prison administration and finally he was judged as one of the 25 accused in the well known mutiny of Caixas*. Once outside, the comrade moved to Barcelona, where he has often been seen participating in meetings, street demonstrations and activities of the libertarian movement.


Today, along with the comrade arrested in April, he faces the upcoming trial where he will be judged for his alleged involvement in the November 2014 bank expropriation. We point out that with him three people are already implicated in what the German police describe as a “series of robberies” that took place in Aachen between 2012 and 2014, counting the Dutch comrade who is on provisional release pending trial in September. There it will be decided whether she should be re-extradited to Germany, where she has already served several months of preventive prison, accused of having carried out an expropriation in 2013.


We send all our strength and our solidarity, our respect and our support to who is being prosecuted in the name of the capitalist order and its foundations: exploitation between equals and the submission of the whole of life, social relations and territories to the blind logic of profit, the conversion of money into more money, and the enrichment of some on the impoverishment of all the others.


Freedom for the persons accused of expropriating banks in Germany! Freedom for all persons in struggle incarcerated and accused!


(*) In this mutiny, which occurred in March 1996, the growing wave of struggles by prisoners in the Portuguese prisons throughout the 90s reached a climax, giving rise to a generalised movement of protest in the Caixas penitentiary, one of the most overcrowded in Portugal where the non-respect of rights that continued after the overthrow of the dictatorship was the most obvious. The protest movement that demanded as a minimum the application of these constitutional rights, was stifled by savage beatings against the 180 hungerstrikers who participated in the mobilization.


Translated from Solidaritat Rebel