SPAIN: Report on the criminalisation of protests

(Translated from Spanish with DeepL – Defender a quien defiende) Red Malla is a network of solidarity and denounce to confront collectively the repression and criminalization of the protests. Defender a quien defiende has been designing and improving it since 2015. This tool has been shaped collectively and is conceived as a defence network that protects through interlinked ties. In this case, those links are the territorial nodes, without which a network does not have a proper functioning. In this sense, Malla is still alive and growing at a slow but steady pace.

Red Malla’s first report is part of a year of mobilizations in all spheres of social movements in Spain. The report systematically represents the cases collected by the nodes between October 2, 2017 and October 3, 2018. The report detects an increase in repression that is reflected in the territorial conflict resulting from the independence movement in Catalonia; the housing movement, increasingly powerful across Spain; and, of course, the societal transformation that feminisms are creating.

The nodes of Red Malla have a fundamental role since they are in charge of the observation, monitoring and analysis of the cases, contacting the person and offering legal support through their local group/organizations of support. Facilitating contact between victims of reprisals and these nodes is a priority action of Malla. It responds to a need detected by the collectives: during the last few years there has been an increase mobilisation of people who are scarcely or not at all politically organised and who, faced with repression, often do not know where to go.

Psychophysical violence by the security forces has been severe, both in terms of qualitative and quantitative data collected in this report. The implementation of the Citizen Security Law and the reform of the Penal Code established a new legal framework to further legitimize the repression of the right to protest. This report highlights for these reasons that the monitoring and systematization of violations helps us to establish guidelines for repression and to be able to advocate for a change of legislation, understanding that without protest we cannot defend rights or conquer new ones.

Read the report in Spanish here