To resist is to win: 10 years in the Forat

El Forat de la Vergonya en Barcelona. Foto Girard Girbes, 2005.

Saturday, july 5th, in the Forat de la Vergonya, Barcelona: 10th anniversary of the demolition of the wall! Here is the call to the party.

It has been ten years from that memorable night in which, after many months suffering the insolence of the city council, the continuous police harassment, and the arrogance of real estate investors, finally we returned them the blow. When various hundreds of inhabitants and sympathizers demolished the wall with which mayor Joan Clos ordered to encapsulate the Forat de la Vergonya, we understood that revolt is nothing more than the ultimate possible act of rationality against a governmental order based on the dispossession of the commons.

Just as now is happenning in Can Vies, the employees of slander jumped at our throats. The same ones that had been turning their heads while tens of nameless elders were evicted from their houses and send to die in some dark peripheric hideout, suddendly discovered the great anarcho-massonic plot, the sulfuric presence of the Devil, behind the rage of a bunch of neighbors. They rebuilt the wall, and we tore it down again, for three times. They followed us in the streets, their thugs threatened us and arrested on our doorsteps. They even encouraged an obscure mockery of social center on the very border of the Forat, the infamous Anarkopenya, an instrument and a source of benefit for the political-policial mafia, that costed life for Patricia Heras, and jail for Alex, Juan and Rodrigo.

To resist is to win. Photo: Jordi Secall, 2004.

But they didn’t make it with us. We say it without presumption: it is just the facts. Since then, the Forat never was a normalized space. Sometimes strange faces come back to the neighborhood, they write their reports, they oversee, they harass, and then they disappear. The silent war they are raging keeps extending from an year to the other, from a city council to the other, from a police body to the other. The slandering campaings go on, now it’s against the immigrants, tomorrow who knows. But, meanwhile, children keep playing on the ground that was won over planned concrete. Elders can take rest in one of the places with more benches in all Barcelona, the city of the “plazas duras”. The orchard reminds visitors that vegetables don’t grow in supermarkets. And there is a stage where everyone can climb. Simple things, obvious, transparent things we are forced to defend one day after another from the sect of megalomaniacal rogue well established in the armchairs of the city hall. Here is where the “Barcelona Model” shatters. And we will say it with the words of Esther, prostitute in Barrio Chino, who we met at a demonstration against police repression: To resist is to win“.

Calling to a party in solidarity with the arrested, October 17th, 2006
  • “Six years without shame”, special issue of the polyglot neighbor journal Masala, 2006 [PDF]
  • “El Forat: real estate speculation and neighborhood resistance in Barcelona”, mythical documentary movie by Falconetti Peña (2004) [in archive or in youtube]
  • Letter of complaint by Arquitectura y Compromiso Social (2006) about real and fake participation in Forat [PDF] :: A post by Manuel Delgado about political tourism in Barcelona, regarding a thesis about the Forat [link to his blog]