March 9, 2010
Amadeu Casellas walked out of Girona prison this afternoon after 24 years behind bars.
Justice Department sources revealed that a 2008 Constitutional Court decision, in which it was ruled that time served in preventive detention should count toward a prisoner’s final sentence, has finally been applied to Casellas’ case. After a sentence recalculation based on statutory discrepancies between the old and new penal codes, authorities concluded that Casellas had already served eight years too many, and released him today—some six years ahead of his scheduled 2016 release date.
Sources close to Casellas explained that his defense had long been petitioning for a sentence reduction that would correspond to the years he spent in preventive detention, but the Justice Department “always denied” that Casellas was serving any excess time.
While behind bars, Casellas engaged in many lengthy hunger strikes (including one just last year) in order to protest the “unfulfilled promises of Prison Services” and “poor condition of Catalan prisons.” In addition, he actively participated in a number of prison riots.
Casellas discovered anarchism at age 14, and was originally imprisoned in 1979. He was in the midst of serving several sentences for a series of bank robberies, the last of which he carried out in 2006 while on leave from prison. The money from the various robberies was used to finance labor and social struggles, with Casellas dividing the money among people and organizations that, in his own words, “needed it.” He eventually came to be known as “the Spanish Robin Hood.”
February 12, 2010
In a letter from Amadeu dated February 5, 2010, he tells us that, together with the Girona prison warden and a legal expert, they have figured out the number of days of preventative detention that should be subtracted from the 37-year sentence Amadeu is serving for several bank robberies during the 1980s. Amadeu’s sentence was set for 2016 after an earlier reduction due to credit earned for work.
After calculating the amount of preventative detention that must still be deducted from his sentence, it was determined that, not counting the time he’s already been credited, he is still owed over 4000 days.
His lawyers have already petitioned to credit him some of these days, and Amadeu himself has written a report to the courts detailing the total number of days he feels he should be credited. If one were to compare the years already logged by Amadeu to the time he should be credited, it would reveal that the general administration of Catalan prisons has made him serve a sentence several years too long.
According to Amadeu, they owe him almost 12 years of credit for preventative detention served. That’s why they need to add six more years to the six years they’ve already subtracted from his total sentence.
Amadeu has been demanding his freedom for years, but the Councilor of Justice and the General Administration of Catalan Prison Services have not only denied him all possibility of release, but have also intensified the conditions of his imprisonment by depriving him of contact with his friends and comrades, both outside and inside prison.
Given the circumstances, Amadeu has been forced to go on several long hunger strikes in order to be heard. Just a little more than three months ago, Amadeu abandoned a hunger strike he had maintained for 99 days, and in the middle of January he planned to begin another, but dropped the idea in the hope that he would be credited with the days of preventative detention he is owed.
After sending several letters to the court, Amadeu has become aware that the prison has been notified about some of this credit, yet it has nevertheless still not been applied. For this reason, and after waiting more than a month for some response from the prison that would break the stalemate, Amadeu is considering beginning a new hunger strike on February 20, 2010 in the event that he is not set free.
Therefore, via this document, we want to bring the current situation to the attention of everyone who has expressed their solidarity. Keep an eye out for further information we will be disseminating in order to demand, once again, freedom for Amadeu Casellas.
December 23, 2009
Leaflet distributed during the demonstrations of support for anarchist prisoner Tamara
It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. It happened two days ago, on December 15. The police went to our comrade Tamara’s home in Madrid and arrested her on an order from the 25th district court of Barcelona. She is accused of sending a letter-bomb to the infamous Albert Batlle i Bastardas, Secretary of Prison Services for the Generalitat.
Regardless of whether or not our comrade is the perpetrator of the act (it makes no difference to us), the reasons why someone would want to attack Mr. Batlle are obvious to anyone familiar with his activities. As the one directly in charge of managing Catalunya’s prisons, his responsibility for the injustices that occur inside them can’t be denied. Nor can one deny his responsibility for the deaths, the secret life sentences, the torture, the terrible sanitary conditions that create physical and mental illness, the many types of abuse, and the very essence of prison as a tool used by the system to punish the poverty and rebelliousness it produces. It can’t be denied, because even though Mr. Battle didn’t invent prisons, he expressly decides what happens in them.
Then the message is very clear: Don’t you dare respond to the state’s abuses, because the state is untouchable, and whoever acts against it must be crushed, confined, isolated, or destroyed. We know the lesson well; they have spent years teaching it to us. This same idea has been explained in many different ways: by beating us during demonstrations, by blackmailing us with astronomical fines and bail amounts, by torturing us, by threatening our families, and by killing us, like they did to Xosé Tarrío and Paco Ortiz. But even so, we’re stubborn and we refuse to learn it.
Nor can we or do we want to accept that, in the face of everything going on in our lives and our world, only resignation is possible. We can’t cross our arms in the face of the violence of wage-labor or the anguish of being on strike. We can’t be quiet in the face of misery, immigrant detention centers, beatings by police and security guards, or projects that destroy the Earth. And we certainly can’t be quiet in the face of prisons. In the face of all this destruction, we take our positions on the barricades that divide the world, face to face with those who promote and benefit from that destruction, like Mr. Batlle. Therefore, we are with Tamara, because that is where we have to be. And if they beat us down, we will not budge. We will simply get back up.
Solidarity with Tamara! Freedom for anarchist prisoners!
More on Tamara:
- Demonstrators at Wad-Ras prison on Thursday found out that Tamara could hear them and that she was “filled with strength” just knowing they were outside.
- Tamara’s closest friends and comrades live in Madrid, some 700 kilometers away from where she is imprisoned. Therefore, Barcelona anarchists are mobilizing to make sure that she lacks nothing, whether material, emotional, or in a revolutionary sense. Space has been set aside at the Besòs Anarchist Library so that people can leave things to be sent to Tamara. Her basic needs include books, clothing (nothing navy blue, and no gray pants), and new, sealed music CDs.
- Tamara’s mailing address is:
Tamara Hernández Heras
C.P. Brians – Dones
Carretera de Martorell a Capellades, km 23
08635 Sant Esteve Sesrovires
December 19, 2009
Early on Friday morning, as two small acts of solidarity, we set fire to two banks in Guinardó (Barcelona).
First, we want to claim this action in support of Tamara, the young Madrileña arrested this week and accused of sending a letter-bomb to the director of Prison Services―the politician responsible for the current situation of prisoner Amadeu Casellas.
Regardless of whether she is the perpetrator of this act, we know that this arrest signifies an attempt to stop all demonstrations of support for Amadeu. This assertion is corroborated by various reports that the Mossos have been presenting in order to sound the alarm about the dangerous connections being woven around the anarchist prisoner’s hunger strike. It is in this sense that we understand her arrest, and it is in this sense that we understand our solidarity.
Second, we want to show our most heartfelt support to the comrades arrested in Chile. Our enemies may not understand borders―as evidenced by the Italian collaboration with the Chilean police―but neither do we as internationalist proletarians. You are not alone!
Where there is struggle, there is repression!
Where there is repression, there is solidarity!
Since many of the details of this story (see here and here) came from mainstream/mass media sources, the story itself is riddled with lies. In order to keep TIOJ readers as up-to-date as possible about the situation, we’ve put together a list of recent developments that have surfaced (mostly via Klinamen and Punto de Fuga), some of which are completely new, and some of which serve to contradict what has already been reported.
- It was initially reported that a demonstration in solidarity with Amadeu Casellas began in front of Prison Services Headquarters after the letter-bomb had been detonated by the TEDAX bomb disposal unit. In actuality, TEDAX detonated the explosive inside the building while the demonstration was going on outside, without warning the demonstrators or the workers in the building.
- The building was never evacuated, and the quantity of explosive used in the letter-bomb was apparently so miniscule that no one besides the TEDAX agents involved even noticed its detonation. Much doubt exists regarding the letter-bomb’s capacity to even cause physical injury, much less kill, which means that Tamara’s attempted murder charge is, as usual, totally out-of-proportion with the facts.
- Prison Services Secretary Albert Batlle was in his office on the day in question, and a group of demonstrators―including Casellas’ mother―stormed into his office and demanded a meeting with him. At the time, he just so happened to be meeting with Justice Councilor Montserrat Tura, and both were assured that the letter-bomb contained very little explosive material. Neither Battle nor Tura took any special measures in response, and their meeting continued as planned.
- The distance between Getafe, where Tamara lives and was arrested, and Barcelona, where she was charged and imprisoned, is some 700 kilometers.
- Tamara’s family and friends showed up at Wad-Ras prison to visit her on Friday morning, only to be told that she had already been transferred to Can Brians prison. A solidarity demonstration is still scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 20, at Plaza Can Felipa, near the Poblenou metro station.
One of the very first stories we covered here at TIOJ was about a letter-bomb deactivation in Barcelona. We thought it would be irresponsible if we didn’t follow up about an arrest that our enemies claim is related.
December 15, 2009
Anarchist arrested for sending letter-bomb to Prison Services
The National Police and Civil Guard arrested an anarchist in Getafe today for allegedly sending a low-strength letter-bomb to the Generalitat’s [Juvenile] Justice and Prison Services Headquarters in October.
According to sources close to the case, the suspect is 25-year-old T.H.H., who is accused of sending a letter-bomb containing a small amount of explosive material to 332 Calle Aragó on October 7. The package had to be deactivated by the Mossos d’Esquadra’s TEDAX bomb disposal unit.
After evacuating the building, TEDAX confirmed that the suspicious device contained only a small quantity of explosive, and they set off a controlled explosion. There were no injuries.
Update from TIOJ: We now know that the accused’s name is Tamara Hernández Heras. She has been charged with attempted murder and is currently being held in preventative detention at Wad-Ras women’s prison in Barcelona. According to mass media, the intended recipient of the October 7 letter-bomb was Albert Batlle, Secretary of the Generalitat’s Prison Services department. Evidence against Tamara was apparently obtained via a Mossos analysis of the handwriting in the letter included with the explosive.
On Thursday, December 17, there was a demonstration in solidarity with Tamara in front of Wad-Ras, and on Sunday, December 20, there will be another solidarity demonstration at Plaza Can Felipa, also in Barcelona.
As more information surfaces, we will try to keep this story as current as possible.
By Rafa Julve & Antonio Baquero — Barcelona — October 7, 2009
At around 11:00 a.m. today, the Mossos d’Esquadra detonated an envelope containing a low-strength explosive at the corner of Calle Aragó and Calle Girona, according to police sources.
The Justice Ministry’s Juvenile Justice and Prison Services Headquarters are located at that corner.
Agents were deployed to the scene after receiving a telephone call announcing the presence of an explosive package.
Experts confirmed that the envelope contained a low-strength explosive substance, which they proceeded to detonate in a controlled manner.
Shortly after the controlled explosion, an anarchist demonstration demanding the release of anarchist prisoner Amadeu Casellas took place at the same location. Casellas has been on a hunger strike since July 15.
The 49-year-old Casellas has spent 23 years in prison for a number of 1970s bank robberies undertaken in order to fund labor struggles. He also held up another financial institution in 2006 and has committed several crimes over the past few years.
Article at El País
From El País:
Low-strength explosive device deactivated in Barcelona
Package found at Prison Services Headquarters after an anarchist protest
By Pere Ríos & Jesús García — Barcelona — October 7, 2009
The Mossos d’Esquadra have deactivated an explosive device found at the Generalitat’s Prison Services Headquarters, right in the middle of downtown Barcelona. At 10:30 a.m., police received warning that a suspicious package had been discovered inside the building, located at the corner of Calle Aragó and Calle Girona.
Agents verified the warning and determined that the quantity of explosive in the envelope was very small. For that reason, they decided to set off a controlled explosion inside the building. The Mossos are investigating the composition and materials used to make the explosive.
The discovery of the envelope occurred shortly after this morning’s anarchist demonstration in front of Prison Services Headquarters, protesting the situation of prisoner Amadeu Casellas.