The popular response was forceful when, on 14 December, a large police force – 18 vans and several dozen officers – tried to evict the CSOA L’Horta in Benimaclet (Valencia): hundreds of people responded to the call of the social centre to defend the space built by the neighbourhood, managing to paralyse it and reoccupy it. Today, the collective has announced in a statement that the criminal case that led to the attempted eviction, the illegality of which the CSOA denounced from the beginning, has been closed and the case acquitted.
According to the centre, on 22 February last, the 13th Court of Instruction in Valencia decreed the provisional dismissal of the proceedings that led to the attempted eviction of the CSOA. A few weeks later, on 3 March, this dismissal became final as the plaintiff did not appeal against the dismissal of the case.
The lawyers of the Benimaclet CSOA had already warned on the day of the events of the irregularities of the eviction: “The court order [to which El Salto had access] was true and existed, but it corresponded to a part of the 10,000 square metres that l’Horta has, so we are proceeding to recover the property from the usurpers and to challenge the order in court”, one of the lawyers told El Salto at the time. The order was very vague and did not specify which part of the plot of thousands of square metres was owned by Sareb.
The criminal proceedings against the collective have been shelved due to the absence of justification for the perpetration of a crime and the impossibility of Sareb to point out its alleged 100 square metres, according to the centre. “From minute zero of the operation, the legal team of the Centre warned of the clear illegality of the eviction, both the team of inspectors present in the operation and the Court of Instruction n1 13 of Valencia”, insist from the collective in a recent statement. A week ago, the newspaper La Vanguardia confirmed that the police evicted the CSOA l’Horta de València without Sareb having accredited its ownership.
During the attempted eviction, the access doors of the late 19th century farmhouse were boarded up and “every existing door inside the building” was destroyed, reports the centre, which is pleased that “in the face of the popular response, this space did not remain vacated for even twenty minutes and was quickly recovered, returning the Social Centre to its pre-existing state”.
From the space, they reiterate the value of community space and recall that SAREB “is guilty of hundreds of daily evictions, coercion of vulnerable neighbourhoods and land grabbing, real estate and property in total disuse”. “There is no usurpation committed by the Social Centre (11.000 m²), it is just a common recovery of degraded and despised land, which is under the vicissitudes of the former PAI (local urbanism plan) of Benimaclet (about 169.000 m²)”. The centre announces once again that it reserves the right to proceed with legal action in reparation and denunciation “of the defeat of 14 December 2020, which resulted in a popular victory for the whole of Valencia”.
Directory of squats in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES/squated/squat
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE/squated/squat
Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE
Events in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: : https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/ES
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XE