Can Vies Protests
In the summer of 2014 Barcelona erupted in riots, fires in the streets, and protests across the city. All of this was due to the city trying to demolish a building that was an important cultural centre in the Sants neighbourhood. Built in 1897, the building Can Vies was squatted in 1997. Since then, the occupants had transformed the long empty building into a community centre that young and old in this poor neighbourhood use. After long drawn out negotiations with the city to prevent the destruction of the building (to make way for green space and gentrification) talks broke down and the city sent in police and demolition teams with a bulldozer. What happened over the next week was documented in media and news worldwide. Massive protests in Barcelona and as far as Valencia and Mallorca in support of Can Vies. Violent protests at night with the bulldozer being set aflame and media vehicles torched in reaction to the forced eviction, protestors being brutalised by police and biased reports not telling what had really happened.
These photos are from the day and evening following the worst of the riots. A local activist and poet atop the still smouldering remains of the bulldozer, the Cassolada that evening calling for the rebuilding of the centre following the decision by the government to halt the demolition, and a community fighting for autonomy.