(Eng) UPA Bulletin - part 5 (Cast)

Luis Prat (prat@chem.ucsb.edu)
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 15:53:43 -0800

XENOPHOBIA IN RENFE (spanish railway system)
Madrid.Bocet(o)s 3/6/96

According to CGT, there is a special wagon for north african travellers in
the trains that link the french border and Algeciras, where they take the
boat that crosses the strait (of Gibraltar). This attitude that RENFE only
shows towards travellers of north african origin has been denounced since
last month by said union (CGT) without response from any official organism.

It all started with a pamphlet issued by Direccion de Centros de Viaje
(Travel Centers Directive), in charge of commercializing and the train
stations "as the Estrella train "Half Moon" doing the Algeciras-Irun-Hendaya
round trip has been suspended it is necessary to redefine international
traveller's traffic with a list of certain train tickets". The suspended
train as well as the tickets are the ones normally used by north africans
residing in France. The redefinition RENFE is talking about, in force since
10/30/95 consists of adding a special wagon for the holders of that
particular type of ticket in the express trains that do the same itinerary
but with a change in Madrid. The special wagon doesn't have any external
identifying signs, likewise for the tickets, but they do have a computerized
key (#11). In reality the redefinition has been carried out only for those
passengers from North Africa (though they may not have the kind of tickets
mentioned in the pamphlet). Nothing like this has happenned with the rest of
the travellers that have such special tickets. With the exception of
railroad employees who have, at their own risk, not applied the rule and the
delegates from the CGT union, nobody seems to care about this racist
discrimination. The official RENFE answer is to deny any discriminatory
intent giving economical and logistic reasons "to facilitate their journey
... and so that they can store their usually voluminous baggage". This
measure which is not applied in any other itinerary according to the company
is "for their comfort and that of the rest of the passengers".
Extraofficially managers of RENFE have admitted their "mistake" and they are
said to be worried about the situation fearing it might get out of hand.

According to CGT, RENFE has a long history of imposing discriminatory
measures against various collectives, a lack of prevention in dealing with
religious or social facts (during Ramadan there's an increase in North
African travellers) and a lack of attention (there isn't even one sign in
arabic in the installations).

RENFE has limited itself to setting up mini-courses in north african
passenger sensitivity for ticket inspectors.

Madrid.UPA 3/6/96

Social center "David Castilla", okupied in December 1993 has become, after
little over a year functioning, one of the autonomous projects most active
in Madrid. There they do a large variety of activities and workshops
(theater, library, nursery, gym, dining room, flamenco, labor legal aid
...), which has resulted in the social center taking deep roots in the
popular Tetuan neighborhood, in the Estrecho area, where apartment okupation
predominates. This space has also become a very important reference point
for all kinds of collectives from Madrid's scene. Right now they are under
threat by the owners (the well known speculation company LIBER 2000 S.A.)
which has asked the judge to demand from the social center bail in the
amount of 3 million ptas to be able to take part in a judicial proccess
which will at least prolong the life of the center for two years. During
that time they won't be evicted, a time the center considers precious to
consolidate themselves even more in the neighborhood as well as
strengthening other political structures.

The attorney defending the social center believes it possible to obtain a
bail reduction to a more affordable, but nevertheless still outrageous
500,000 ptas. At the moment they're starting a support and financing
campaign with fairs, support from other collectives etc. The problem
presented to the center is the urgency with which they must collect the
money, a matter of weeks or perhaps days. That's why they ask for economic
support from different collectives, which could be deposited in the
following account:

CAJA MADRID Clave SICA: 2038.1093.8
in the name of F.M. Martinez Pertinez
ACCOUNT # 3003156248

Their address is: Centro Social "David Castilla" c/ Villaamil 46, 28039 Madrid.


The polemical show of paintings by political prisoner Sanchez Casas, which
was closed by the Civil Governor and the Mayor of Puerto de Santa Maria
(Cadiz) and which benefits went to the cuban people, was reinstated between
February 5 and 12, under the motto "Freedom of Expression" at the Ateneo
Libertario "Germinal" in Cadiz.


With the occassion of the elections there were several acts in Burgos. At
dawn of February 23-24 several hooded persons threw rocks and destroyed the
glass windows of PP's electoral headquarters. Also the signs at that party's
headquarters were torn down. Besides, there were stickers announcing the
postponement of an Aznar meeting set for monday 2/26, to cause confusion
among his (Aznar's) followers. All the publicity signs appeared splashed
with paint.

On 2/29, 2 people from UPC (Union de los Pueblos Castellanos) had to declare
due to the issuing of posters conmemorating the 20th anniversary of the
firing squad executions of September 27 1975, accused by judge Baltasar
Garzon of a crime against the crown. The following sentence appears on the
posters: "This king was nominated by Franco and is an accomplice in the last
crimes of franquism". Another three people linked to UPC have been called to
declare in the national court on April 15 for a possible crime of
collaborating with an armed band. According to UPC, this is due to an
attempt to criminalize the forces that do not share the system's view.

On tuesday March 5th the Ventas (Madrid) bullring suffered an attempt in
which one of its doors was sprayed with gasoline and burned. Responsibility
for this sabotage has been claimed by means of a phone call as an act of
protest against the savagery implicit in bullfights.


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* /\ *
Luis J. Prat * /__\ *
* / \ *
University of California * *
Chemistry Dept. ****
Santa Barbara CA 93106
(805) 893-3295
(805) 893-4120 FAX

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