Police evict students after weeks camped in Barcelona


BARCELONA (Sputnik) – The Barcelona Urban Guard evicted hundreds of students who have been camping since last October 30 at the University Square in protest of the imprisonment of politicians and independent leaders.

"This morning (November 20), the eviction of the University Square and the recovery of normalcy in the movement have been carried out," the deputy mayor of Security and Prevention, Albert Batlle, announced at an appearance at the Barcelona City Council.

The eviction, which took place in the early hours of November 20, caused some tense moments between the youth and the police, who had to charge against a group that was reluctant to leave the protest.

A device formed by 150 agents broke into the camp by surprise at 1:00 (local time) and managed to throw out about 80 students who were still on the street after three weeks.

The operation, conducted by the Urban Guard with the collaboration of the Mossos d'Esquadra, was carried out with the objective of recovering normality in the public space and resuming the circulation of Gran Via, Pelayo and Ronda Universidad streets, three important arteries that remained cut since October.

The eviction ended at 3:30 with the square "clean, empty and recovered circulation," said the deputy mayor.

During the operation there were two arrests of protesters, for crimes of disobedience and aggression against a police officer.

All the material available to students, including tents, was requisitioned by the police and deposited in a municipal warehouse, where protesters can recover their belongings.

Young people who were identified by the police will be notified of the corresponding sanction for having occupied the public thoroughfare.

Some 80 operators and 35 vehicles of the cleaning service proceeded to water and clean the square, which regained normality early in the morning.

"I sincerely appreciate the good and fast work during the operation of the Urban Guard and Mossos corps, for the work done tonight and during the last weeks," said the deputy mayor.

For three weeks, the protest camp added hundreds of people and several dozen tents, the number of which was reduced in recent days, although there was still a group of people willing to continue demonstrating.

The main commercial axes of Barcelona had criticized in a statement the permanence of this protest, which cut some of the busiest roads in the city by both vehicles and pedestrians.

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