Operation Pandora: Demonstrations in Solidarity with Spanish Anarchists

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After an international call for protests on January the 16th, anarchists in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin demonstrated in solidarity with the anarchists arrested in the Operation Pandora raids in the Spanish state, along with Basque political prisoners (16 lawyers of Basque activists recently being arrested, and tens of thousands of euro in donations stolen by police).

11 anarchists were arrested back in December in Operation Pandora without any evidence being presented, but the Judge Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future.”

In a letter of protest which was handed to the Spanish ambassador in Dublin, D. Freeman for the Workers Solidarity Movement said:
Of course the current prime minister of Spain, Mario Rajoy, was front and centre in Paris for the staged photo-op around the Charlie Hebo march for freedom of expression, whilst back in Spain people are being arrested for being who they are.

Not much evidence there of freedom of expression. In fact what we are seeing now in Spain is the opposite; we are seeing people targeted because of the ideas that they hold are deemed unacceptable to the Spanish State.

On Tuesday, December 16th, at 5am, hundreds of cops broke into several houses, social centers, and ateneos in Barcelona, and also an apartment in Madrid. It was part of Operation Pandora, an anti-terrorist initiative carried out by the the highest level of the Spanish court system. Several houses were searched and eleven anarchist comrades were arrested. They did not know what charges they were accused of when they were arrested, just given a vague “anarchist terrorism” charge.

On Thursday, December 18th, seven of them went to prison and the other four were released under surveillance. All of them are now accused of the participating in the GAC (Coordinated Anarchist Groups), a group of people who held some meetings and edited some books.

The coordination between the police force and the media during Operation Pandora was very apparent. Together, they created panic and justified the repressive operation in terms of “criminal groups”, “terrorists” and “violent ones”. These police raids happened one day after the enactment of the “Ley Mordaza”, a very restrictive law that criminalizes disobedience and protest in the Spanish state.

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