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actions & protests | homelessness

Spanish bank squatters evicted

Following their successful occupation of the offices of BBVA bank over 200 members of SAT (Andalucian workers union) spent the night there, resisting police and council efforts to force them to leave.
For background please see earlier report:

At 2am the squatters remained inside the BBVA offices many sleeping on the floor or in chairs. Earlier that evening the police had cottoned on that they were there for the long haul. This caused them to adopt a tougher stance which involved restricting entry to the building. Meanwhile, significant support for the squatters grew outside the building despite the chill of the evening. Donations of food were offered but these along with essential supplies of toilet rolls and water were not allowed through the police line at the doors of the bank. A number of supportive comments were made by members of the public, a middle-aged Spanish lady who asked me what was going on commented "Pues, vamonos" which roughly translated means "what are we waiting for- lets go!"

At 10pm the police had come inside to tell the unions members (the majority of whom are from the countryside) that they had one hour to leave since the council had issued an eviction notice. With no visible sign of compliance with the directive this was extended to 7am.

Hence on Thursday morning at 8.15 after an 18 hour long occupation riot police entered the bank to evict the squatters. One by one they were shown to the door although they had demanded as a condition of their withdrawal an appointment with members of the National Government posted in Granada. Five members of the union attended this meeting although their demands for a greatly improved social fund for the unemployed and the provision of genuinely affordable housing were merely noted without any commitments made on the part of the government.

After this the protest returned to the offices of developer/ estate agent Osuna which was quickly protected with a large cordon of police backed up by the riot squad. Following this the union called it a day although they are planning a major anticapitalist reclaim the city demonstration on December 14 in Seville which marks the 20th anniversary of the last general strike.

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