Archives for posts with tag: mossos d’esquadra

This set of photos comes from a series of murals put up by residents of the Raval (known in Catalan as “Ravalencs”) in protest against the alleged police brutality case which resulted in the death of a man by the name of Juan Andrés Benítez in early October. So far, eight officers have been implicated in the case. Many people are skeptical of the fairness of the justice system in these cases as nearly all police who have been investigated in the flurry of excessive force cases have been let off the hook. Feeling powerless in the face of such impunity, residents have used art to vent their rage and frustration. The case is still open, though the officers are supposedly back on the job after a brief suspension. Footage of the incident filmed by neighbours is, to put it mildly, disturbing, and makes the famous Rodney King beating look quite mild in comparison. While I imagine this case will end like the many others before it, the internet and proliferation of phone cameras make it very difficult to cover up evidence.
The day I heard about these murals I raced down with my camera, as these types of murals generally don’t last very long.

Stuck in the middle

This pierced rodent has endured for months on this doorway which lies hidden in a dead-end alley somewhere in the Born. The name of the street escapes me, but at the entrance of the alley is a skinny, Charlie Brown-Christmas type tree, with a handwritten sign reminding passersby that it is indeed a tree and neither a urinal nor a trashbin. I’ve got a few shots of this rat, but I think this is the one that most deserves a place here. As the sociopolitical cauldron in Spain/Catalunya continues its back and forth between simmer and near boil-over, the rodent finds himself trapped in a scene that’s become quite common on the streets of downtown Barcelona: the rubber-bullet wielding riot squads and their targets. The targets in this case are armed with tennis rackets. In reality most street protesters aren’t as well prepared, and the results can be quite tragic, as in the case of this unfortunate young woman.