Catalan police evicts rave party in Llinars del Vallès
The three organizers are arrested, and can be fined up to 600,000 euros
Llinars del VallèsAmong dozens of caravans, some abandoned tents, dogs and the attentive gaze of those who have already left the party, the Mossos d'Esquadra began the eviction of the rave that has been held in an abandoned warehouse in Llinars del Vallès since New Year's Eve. While the identification of the attendees is being made, the police have arrested the three organizers of the illegal party, accused of disobedience and resistance to agents of authority, in addition to the administrative act for breaching of the health law, which could lead to a fine of up to 600,000 euros.
Currently there are about twenty vans of the Catalan police, along with other local police vehicles, a helicopter and members of the Emergency Medical Service (SEM). From the scene, the general director of the Mossos d'Esquadra, Pere Ferrer, explained that inside the warehouse in Llinars del Vallès there were "more than 300 people" and has assured that all "will be punished" administratively for breach of the restrictions. "Everyone will leave with an administrative sanction of the health law, including the organizers", he said, and justified having allowed the rave to go on for 40 hours in order to have enough agents available and avoid "improvising a plan" that would have led participants to run away without any further responsibilities.
Around noon, the agents cut the electricity that illuminated and allowed music in the warehouse, and thus ended the party. There are still about a hundred participants inside the premises, surrounded by the strong presence of the agents. Despite the tension, there were no serious incidents, other than a small police charge when the agents entered the venue and the participants of the party responded by throwing small objects, the witnesses explained. The Mossos are identifying the hundred or so attendees who are still there, before letting them go with a fine for not having respected any of the restrictions imposed against the coronavirus, the head of the Mossos' superior territorial coordination police station, David Boneta, has advanced, stating that those responsible for the rave will be reported for organizing a party without permits.
Antonio and Tae, who are 18 years old, arrived on foot from the train station at 12 noon, shortly before the police intervened, because they were confident that the eviction would be delayed. "We've been postponing it, we had to come on the first day". Antonio, a mechanics student, says the essence of this movement is "to be against any imposition, against anyone who tells you what to do" and, he adds, he does not care much about possible contagion, but he will avoid coming close to his grandmother, who is over 80 years old, with whom he lives under the same roof.
Tae is the daughter of a producer and rave DJ, and she began to frequent them when she was only six years old with her mother. "Now with the covid she doesn't go to parties anymore, but she's looking forward to it", the young woman says, who also makes it clear that she will try to keep her distance at home. At the party, they explain, mostly techno is played, but "depending on the DJ, different types of electronic music can be heard". They say they don't use drugs or alcohol, "just joints", Antonio points out, but they claim that MDMA and speed are the most common substances.
Inside the warehouse, however, a 23-year-old says he has only used cocaine. He has been at the party since the first day and, despite the fact that the Mossos are inside the warehouse, he stays in his car repeating: "I hope they don't shut it down". An English girl who is hosting the party (they are mostly foreigners) explains to the ARA that "the distances here have been met more than in a train car, and besides, it is not a closed place". She clarifies that the organizers do not earn money for this type of party and, as for drinks, "everyone brings their own".
"I'm not against the rave, I'm against it being held in this context of the pandemic we're experiencing", Montse, a neighbour of Llinars who has come to observe the eviction, says. Any neighbor of Llinars already has at this point located the place where the party has been held. "It is not logical that while shops and bars are complying with the measures and closing, these parties are held", Enrique said, who claims to have heard last night the "boom-boom", as if they were drums, of the party from his bed. He is, however, sympathetic to the fact that the police have not intervened before "to avoid a greater evil". What he does believe is that "it should have been prevented, because officers had this information".
In the last few hours, the Departments of Home Affairs and Health had reproached each other for the lack of response to end this illegal party, which fails to comply with all health and safety measures against the pandemic. Many of those attending come from countries such as France, the Netherlands and Italy. Called through social networks, they have come to Llinars to say goodbye to 2020 and planned to stay celebrating the new year until Sunday evening. The mayor of Llinars, Martí Pujol, has reported on Catalunya Ràdio that the residents began to detect movement in the area of the warehouse in the mid-afternoon of the 31st and that the municipality already sent a patrol of local police and cut accesses with concrete blocks, which were removed by participants of the rave in order to enter the party.