The cops started an operation of intimidation and stigmatisation today (04/04/2014) against all those who participated in the demonstrations of March 22. There were 11 arrests and 9 more people were charged with the offense of being involved in the clashes that took place that day in response to the police’s attacks against the crowd. Among those arrested is Miguel who was arrested with 21 other people on March 22. Miguel is still in custody despite the lack of evidence. Also some of those arrested were detained on March 22 and have already been called to testify before the prosecutor on April 10 2014.
Of course the Public Prosecutor hasn’t started any criminal prosecution against those responsible for the loss of a 19 year old’s eye, neither for part of the genitals of another demonstrator.
The large scale repressive operation which stated this Friday has been named “Operation Puma 70”, named from the riot cop squad (group 7) who carried out the most brutal and persistent attacks against protesters and led to the previously mentioned losses. The police stated that among those arrested are anarchists and people who are actively involved in anti-fascist activities as well as members of the group Bukaneros [T/N: Bukaneros describe themselves as a group of Rayo Vallecano football fans and are against racism and organised or modern, as they call it, football]. The arrestees so far are all adults and are facing charges of disrupting public order, attacks against authority and damages.
Note that the police, the government and their snitches, that is, the mainstream media (especially the newspapers ABC, La Razón and El País) have been hounding for long all the antifa groups to which those arrested participate in. Operation “Puma” should be seen from the perspective of the general state repression. It should be understood as part of the repressive mechanism’s intention to arouse fear within the ranks of those who are actively engaged in the fight against fascism and to criminalise the social struggles and in particular the movement for dignity (i.e. the 22-M).
The so-called “evidence” that the police has against the people arrested are some “anonymous calls from citizens”. In “their descriptions” those identified as the responsible for the 22-M clashes are somehow connected to political spaces and organisations which the state has been struggling to criminalise. Said in other words, the cops follow the typical nowadays method of repression through stigmatisation. According to the police what happened today was no more than just the first phase of the whole operation, which indicates that there may be more similar arrests in the future.