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One dead and 12 arrested at the Mercè festivities in Barcelona


Colau disassociates the fatal victim from the altercations after the bottle in the Plaza de Espanya, where there has been damage and a delicatessen has been looted

La Mercè, Barcelona's main festival, looked calm this year.

Without a pandemic, without restrictions or limited capacity, or closed nightlife, everyone was sure that the three nights of bottles never seen in the city last year would be left behind, which ended with serious riots (22 arrested and dozens of injured in the surroundings of Plaza de Espanya).

This year, the first night of the party, Friday, went like silk: good vibes and tens of thousands of people recovering streets, squares and stages.

The next one was the same until the concerts on Maria Cristina Avenue ended.

First it was a young man who was stabbed to death in one of the subway entrances.

Later, riots between the police and a group of 500 kids who refused to go home and ransacked a delicatessen,

from which they took hams and the cash register.

There were 12 detainees and 45 wounded, adding serious and minor.

Eight months before the municipal elections, and when security and cleanliness are issues of extreme sensitivity, the opposition parties attacked the mayor, Ada Colau, accusing her of lack of prevention and minimizing incidents.

The municipal government team made an effort to disassociate the stabbing from the rest of the incidents and to emphasize that the security devices had been reinforced.

Together even warned that the


massive could be expected on Saturday afternoon on the TikTok social network, where young people were already talking about going to Maria Cristina.

ERC and Ciutadans also attacked the municipal government.

It is true that there was absolute tranquility in other scenarios that brought together tens of thousands of people.

As it is that, before the coronavirus, La Mercè had never been a time with conflicts of this caliber in the city.

The Deputy Mayor for Security of the Barcelona City Council, Albert Batlle, regretted the stabbing and the incidents that began later, but insisted on separating the two situations.

The incidents involving 500 people in small groups resulted in motorcycles thrown to the ground, damage to the furniture on the terraces, some containers burned (in the streets of Tarragona and Consell de Cent) and the charcuterie looted (in Creu Coberta).

The attack took place after three in the morning (3:16) and the young man was transferred to the Clínic hospital, where he died around four in the morning, according to those same sources.

The altercations began at 4:40 am, Batlle said.

Motorcycles thrown to the ground during the incidents of the second night of La Mercè, in Consell de Cent street.

The most serious incidents lasted until half past five in the morning, according to the Consistory, but the neighbors assure that at six there were still races, in which a group even challenged the agents.

And to the neighbors, despite the warnings that they were being recorded from the balconies.

“We are recording you!” Some shouted.

“He sweats us!”

the others responded, according to the story of a neighbor who lives three doors down from the La Muntanya delicatessen, in Creu Coberta.

The owner of the establishment, Sergio San Segundo, said that he was notified when the alarm went off.

Hooded youths and others who did not participated in the looting of the store, and it took place with amazing calm, as several videos of the neighbors attest.

The protagonists of the incidents also tried to break the windows of the Ros shirt store, which was completely destroyed last year during the most serious disturbances of the festival.

Ada Colau lamented the death of the young man in statements to

El Suplement

de Catalunya Ràdio.

She and she insisted that the fatality, "because of times and place", was not related to the main bottle of the night, in Plaza de Espanya, where the altercations later took place.

The opposition in the City Council reacted by accusing the municipal government of minimizing the events and of a lack of foresight.

Jordi Martí, from Junts, assured that on Saturday on the TikTok social network it was already possible to check how the bottle was being organized, and denounced "a situation of chaos with robberies with a knife" and that no prevention was carried out in the Creu area Cover, as the merchants had requested.

Martí called for prevention and improving "information and intelligence" through social networks.

Vàrem warn of the neguit nostre que tornés a passar.

We are going to sue the City Council and the police to reinforce security.

There is no beef service.

No hi ha autoritat, no capacitat, no shame.

– CreuCobertaShopping (@CreuCobertaShop) September 25, 2022

Barcelona comerç, the association of the neighborhood commercial hubs, demanded “immediate actions and measures to avoid new disturbances”, and asked the authorities “to open a careful debate and away from partisanship that allows to put an end to the problem of the lack of security in Barcelona.

From ERC, Jordi Coronas considered that the statements of the government team "have not been up to the task".

"You need a strong message and not excuse yourself by minimizing what has happened," he said.

Luz Guilarte, from Ciutadans, wrote on Twitter: "Barcelona is today the most insecure city in Spain thanks to Colau and the PSC, who look the other way while criminalizing the Guardia Urbana agents."

The scenes of disturbances are repeated a year after the very serious acts of vandalism at La Mercè in 2021. Colau agreed with Batlle in ensuring that the incidents have not been "as serious as those of last year".

"There have been massive acts without problems", pointed out the mayor, who lamented that "there is always a small group that wants to take advantage of situations of many people to carry out destruction".

On Friday, the rain was what marked the party, but there were no incidents and the concerts were well attended despite the bad weather.

“La Mercè is the last big outdoor party before the start of the school year”

Rodrigo Marinas

"If you don't clap your hands, we're leaving," Peret Reyes snapped at the audience at the Catalan rumba concert on Avinguda de la Catedral, in the heart of Barri Gòtic on Saturday night.

"It's like being in a tablao, but for free," comments Jacob Rodríguez, surprised, who has landed for the first time in Barcelona before embarking on a cruise.

The American, who was unaware that his trip was going to coincide with these festivities, highlights that these choreographies are what surprise him the most about Spanish music.

In the evening they also enjoy lifelong neighbors.

Anna, a retiree who has come from the Eixample with her friends, assures: "Even if I don't bring the little children anymore, because they are all grown up, I will continue to enjoy it."

The veteran conceives La Mercè, above all, as a varied musical proposal.

“These days we have seen both the Liceo orchestra,

Minutes before the concert ends, Cristina and Braulio look forward to the next show: Juan Perro's band led by Santiago Auserón, a former member of Radio Futura.

The couple, who have lived more than 10


, observe the passage of time with humour: “You can tell that the kids are on the beach or in the Raval.

Here are the veterans."

Braulio highlights how in this celebration "the old and the freshest groups are mixed".

The couple, who live outside of Barcelona, ​​never misses this date.

A few meters further on, on the Rambla del Raval, Max Martí celebrates with his fellow students who, this time, have been able to go to the BAM Festival concerts with artists such as the Moroccan rapper Issam or the sisters Contra and Eboshi.

When they met last year they could not coincide due to capacity restrictions in the venues, which later accumulated macrobotellones in the surroundings.

Laia and her friends from Badalona come ready to enjoy.

"La Mercè is the last big open-air party before the start of the school year," says one of them.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-09-25

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