Anarchist group threatens new attacks on tourists in Spain after targeting Barcelona and Mallorca

  • Posted on: 15 August 2017
  • By: thecollective

From The Independent (UK) (5 August 2017)

British tourists on bus vandalised by group protesting mass tourism feared a terror attack was happening

An anarchist group protesting against mass tourism in Spain has threatened further attacks after targeting Barcelona and Mallorca.

British tourists on board a sightseeing bus in the Catalan capital feared they were being attacked by Islamist terrorists when masked members of Arran slashed its tyres and daubed it with slogans.

The group published a video of the attack online with the caption “mass tourism kills the neighbourhoods, destroys the territory and condemns the working class to misery”, sparking a police investigation.

Arran later vandalised bicycles hired out to tourists in Barcelona, while a faction in Mallorca rampaged through waterside restaurants in Palma and ran over yachts, while protesting with a banner and smoke bombs.

On its official Twitter account, the group claimed it wanted to “stop the mass tourism that is destroying Mallorca and condemning the working classes of the Catalan Countries to misery”.

Laura Flores, one of Arran’s leaders, told The Times: “We cannot rule out more attacks. There have been assaults in the past and there will be more in the future.”

Noel Josephides, the chairman of Abta, said he feared more attacks using “dangerous tactics that shouldn’t be happening”.

“But reason it is happening is because the local governments haven’t been listening or taking the overcrowding seriously,” he added.

“The advice to tourists is use your common sense. Be vigilant and don’t go where there might be a risk.”

- Aturem el turisme massiu que destrueix #Mallorca, que condemna la classe treballadora dels Països Catalans a la misèria! #LaClau pic.twitter.com/6ehC7AVOM6
— Arran (@Arran_jovent) August 1, 2017

Founded in 2012, Arran has expanded through Spain and says it struggles for Catalan independence, the “end of the capitalist system and global injustice” and feminism.

It has gained support from far-left Spanish political parties and disaffected locals, with particular ire being aimed at companies including Airbnb that are blamed for shutting local residents out of the property market.

Arran’s supporters deny allegations of “tourist-phobia” but claims to resist a market that “capitalises on collective assets like the natural or social environment for nothing in return”.

“It is a general movement of citizens against an uncontrolled and predatory tourist model,” one supporter wrote on Twitter, while Arran’s chapter in Mallorca said: “Tourism has too many private interests, which are not the interests of the majority.”

Similar grievances have been rising to the surface at other popular destinations in Europe, seeing thousands protest in Venice over the damage caused by millions of visitors and radical measures aiming to reduce overcrowding by local authorities.

Ada Colau, the left-wing mayor of Barcelona who rose to prominence because of her campaigning over the Spanish housing crisis, announced Arran’s violent tactics.

“We denounce the attack on a tourist bus,” she wrote on Twitter. "Protesting over tourism should never mean intimidating people.”

Álvaro Nadal, Spain’s tourism minister, promised an inquiry into Arran’s attacks.

“We’re not going to tolerate this situation a single day longer,” he said. “A minority can’t ruin the decades of prestige for our tourist industry, which is the most competitive in the world.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not updated its travel advice for Spain, which advises British nationals to stay away from demonstrations.

“We are monitoring the situation and in contact with local authorities,” a spokesperson said.

Ti unrest came amid chaos at Barcelona Airport as security workers started partial strikes, causing lengthy queues for security during peak holiday season.

The workers' union called the periodic stoppages for Friday, Sunday and Monday after talks failed to end the dispute with the private company, Eulen, which runs the service at El Prat airport.

Staff demanding bolstered numbers and better salaries, have called an indefinite strike to start on 14 August if their demands are not met.

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Comments

Cheers from Spain

Arran and Endavant are not anarchists but left wing catalonian nationalists.

They didn't attack anybody, just made an propaganda act to reclaim attention to the tourism model that gentifricates Barcelona.

Barcelona social movements in general, anarchis included, and also a lot of Barcelona neighbors, are against it.

"Barcelona social movements in general, anarchis included, and also a lot of Barcelona neighbors" are against this propaganda act by Arran and Endavant, or against the tourism model? I think I can guess, but it is unclear from what you said.

Everytime I hear "social movements" I think about a bunch of armchair reformists filling written statements of support for some causes. Do social movements even exist!?

As for the headline, they aren't really threatening to attack tourists, are they?

I think there must be a lot of viable targets for this kind of disruption. I say focus on the yachts and hangouts for yachters.

First off anarchists would have to look outside of their neighborhoods/milieus... then they'd have to make the Great Leap of hanging out on the seaside. So unless you're in Greece or maybe Chile (or some place in California I don't know?), don't hold your breath.

To rectify, not entirely sure if I could be deemed an anarchist but on my own I've been hanging out A LOT by the beach and especially the luxury resorts/hotels/marinas when I was on the Spanish coast. But I DID find myself quite lonely over there as "anarchist presence". Maybe things changed... hopefully.

OMG what nonsense. The boy from Arran slightly damaged ONE TYRE of a tourist bus and graffitied on the glass so it wouldn't do any damage. What a cheek to blame the anarchists. Arran are a loose net of ''radical'' independence youth, we anarchists don't want yet another State.
This has been blown up by the Spanish press as part of economic war against Catalonia, with even 'Anarchist News' jumping on the bandwagon.
As for the airport strike, it's about privatisation, extreme wage cuts and massive firings. the company Eulen is in many airports but only in Barcelona is there a problem.. not surprising as it's directly controlled by ultra right, ultra corrupt Spanish nationalists intent on sabotaging the tourist boom in Barcelona. see article here... https://thefreeonline.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/dirty-war-aagainst-catala... ECONOMIC TERRORISM AGAINST CATALONIA: THE BLACK HAND OF THE SPANISH STATE?

Honestly, I have spent time in Barcelona and find the focus on "tourism" from the left as a bit silly and sadly uniquely Catalonian. I wish the anarchists would separate themselves from it a bit, the focus on Airbnb and things of that sort make them all look petty. Not that I don't get it but gentrification doesn't work that way.

If you can't see how Airbnb and such are force multipliers for gentrification, I don't see how you can et anything by yourself??

There's one or two good reasons why an anarchist would not care about gentrification, or fighting it. But for those who do, Airbnbs are a no-brainer.

Nah, it's an attack on for the most part, the precariat class. There are ways to fight gentrification and this just isn't it, it's not gonna work and people are going to choose surviving over a flailing protest.

Get the boring catalan identity shit out of it and start from there at the very least. Start making tourism work for the lower classes in the city. Etc.

As Spanish anarchist I condemn these actions and any attacks against of tourists. The tourists are just the same people, workers, international people who want to know other countries and integrate different culture to their self. The anarchists can be tourists too. The problem is real estate industry and private property, not tourists.

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