Community Centre in Sarrià is burned and vandalized with Nazi & fascist graffiti

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Photo: The burned out community centre in Sarrià (Credit @APSarria)

By Marta Escobar Martí
From 29th March 2018

While the Spanish government and the Madrid press have been running a near constant campaign about supposed violence on the part of the Catalan citizens and pro-independence groups, between three and four this morning [March 29th], an arsonist (or several) set alight ot the Atheneum community centre in Sarrià, and left a trail of Nazi, Fascist and anti-Catalan graffiti.

The Ateneu, as it is known, announced this on twitter this morning, where they uploaded several images showing the state of the building. As they re-stated on twitter, months ago they had reported fascist attacks “and the danger they pose.” Although it was patently clear this was an arson attack, this was not confirmed by fire department until 12 noon.

As explained on social media, residents around the building were evacuated, and several lamented the fact that they live in “permanent danger in the streets from a group of Spanish neo-Nazis, who behave very aggressively.”

For this reason, the residents are now demanding a “rigorous investigation” and took the opportunity to repeat that there are plenty of cameras nearby which could be checked, but that despite “various fascist attacks and aggressions”, “nothing has been done”.

But the most perturbing of all the elements of the incident, is not the Nazi, Francoist and fascist slogans tagged on the walls of the burnt out centre, but the painted death threats against civil pro-independence groups, such as “Death to the CDRs” [Committees for the Defense of the Republic].

According to youth organistion Arran Sarrià, “the Atheneum is beyond repair – totaled”, and despite having suffered several attacks in the last few months, they have already made it clear that “we will never lower ourselves to respond to their violence in kind”.

Media of the Regime?

The anti-capitalist Popular Unity Candidacy Party (CUP), in addition, has expressed solidarity with the victims of this event and the Barcelona city council councilor Eulàlia Reguant lamented “Persistent fascism in the city.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor, Jaume Asens, stated on Catalunya Ràdio that this arson is very likely “fascist attack” whilst asserting that this place had already been victim of at least ten attacks in the last few months, many of which established a precedent the “apparently fascist or ultra-right” content found around the ruined building.

Rapper Pablo Hasel, sentenced to two years and a day of imprisonment for “incitement to terrorism”, has fought hard against the “media of the regime”, expressing that it was clear this would get no publicity in the Spanish press, but that if the headquarter of Ciutadans Party was burned down instead of the Atheneum of Sarrià this would be the “lead story on every news programme”.

The good news is that the fire has not hurt anyone, but sadly it is a building that “is not just a space”, but rather “a collective project for the neighborhood’s youth”.

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