Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Well, the damn squatters have committed their first overt terrorist act here in Barcelona. They planted a homemade bomb in front of the Italian Institute of Culture, a language school and cultural center, as a protest against a bunch of anarchists being arrested in Italy. Yeah, great, that's brilliant, we're pissed off so we'll attack high culture. Total anti-intellectualism. Bombing a school, for Christ's sake.

Here is what TV Catalunya is reporting:

The bomb went off at about 8:05 AM. A bomb-squad police officer was injured and a trained police dog was killed. The Italian Institute is on Paseo Mendez Vega, between c/Aragon and c/Consejo Ciento in downtown Barcelona. The police had cordoned off the area after they received a warning of a suspicious artifact deposited at the front door of the Italian Institute. The Casa Italia in Barcelona said they had received various threats. The bomb was homemade, consisting of explosives packed into a steel coffee brewer, you know, one of those Spanish things that's basically a pressure cooker. The explosion damaged the Institute building and the building across the street. Fortunately, there was nobody in the building, since summer intensive courses begin at 9:30 AM.

The Institute's accountant and the cleaning woman, arriving for work at about 7:45 AM, saw the coffee-brewer with cables sticking out of it sitting in front of the door and called the police, who sent several vehicles and the bomb squad and cordoned off the area. The dog, trained to detect explosives, approached the coffee-brewer with his trainer at the other end of his long leash. When the dog touched the coffee-brewer with its nose, the bomb blew up. The dog was killed by the blast and the police officer was wounded in the arm and the side. The area is still cordoned off. The cops are still analyzing the debris, which seems to indicate a "more potent bomb" than others of the same sort, which have often been planted by squatters and their ilk in places like phone booths and bank cash machines.

The Italian consulate has not commented yet. The Institute and the consulate had received various threats, which is why the coffee-brewer was taken seriously and reported. On the Institute's wall graffiti, consisting of the word "llibertat" and the anarchist symbol, can still be seen. The building contains the Italian Institute, the Casa Italia, and the Amaldi high school, where Italian students living in Barcelona go. The police believe the act is the work of an Italian "anti-system" group that several weeks ago called a protest demonstration, which was really a riot, several weeks ago here in Gracia. I've personally seen their posters and their graffiti all over the walls.

My guesses:

1) It probably was who the cops think it was.
2) These guys were definitely sheltered by local squatters.
3) The cops will now bust up the squats since they've got an excuse to do so.
4) I will cheer loudly. Go Cops! Whack 'em, club 'em, let's go, Cops!
5) These dopes will get caught because they're not professionals.
6) But they're getting too good at this.
7) I will bet they've been getting basic training from Jarrai.
8) To me, the police dog's life is worth more than those losers' lives all put together.
9) Because they came damn near killing several people. What if the cop had been closer to the dog when the bomb went off? What if the area hadn't been cordoned off when it exploded? What if the accountant had given the coffee-brewer a nudge with his foot, wondering what it was? What if the cleaning woman had thought it was just garbage and picked it up in order to throw it away? What if nobody had paid any attention and the thing had blown up when the students arrived at 9:30? Murderers aren't worth shit and these guys are murderers, since trying to do the deed is just as evil as actually doing it, and this was obviously premeditated.
10) These guys will get done for attempted murder, killing the police dog, wounding the cop, and terrorist activity. Then they'll get sentenced to a total of 300 years in jail each but get out in 12 on good behavior.

Al Qaeda must be destroyed.

And if the squatters ever do this again they'll be added to that above little wish of mine.

I've always been live-and-let-live with squatters as long as they didn't trash the squat and turn it into a rat's nest, graffiti up the neighborhood, run illegal bars with punk-rock concerts until four in the morning, vandalize the local bank branches, phone booths, and garbage containers, provoke the local skinheads and start gang fights, and every couple of months square off against the cops in an alleged demo that's really a full-blast riot. Oh, yeah, and clear out peacefully when the cops come with a warrant to kick them out rather than using that as another excuse for a riot.

Actually, I've never encountered any bunch of squatters who didn't do all those things. So I've never really been live-and-let-live with squatters, but I would be willing to if they acted like civilized people. This, however, is about as bad as anything they've ever done.

Don't go around blowing up shit in my town.

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