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Enric Duran Released on 50K Euro Bail

Enric Duran, the Catalan 'Robin Hood of the Banks' has been released on 50,000 euro bail after being held in preventative detention for two months on fraud charges. Enric's upcoming trial for 'financial civil disobedience' offers another moment of publicity to Spain's 'We Can Live Without Capitalism' campaign is gearing up for its September 17th launch.

Communiqué: Free Again…We Keep Working to Live Without Capitalism

Enric Duran May 25th, 2009

After 65 days of incarceration without trial, the Court of Barcelona has acknowledged that the decision of the 29th court to hold me in preventative detention without bail was excessive.

The order of the Court insists, however, that I’m a flight risk, referring to contradictory statements of mine—without recognizing that were part of a process in which I decided to return, assuming the consequences to coincide with the publication of ¡Podemos! on March 17th.

This Court clearly contradicts what was said by 29th Court of First Instance: one said, without shame, that a motive for me to flee was that I didn’t have any social roots; this one now says that I have a “network of connections” at my disposal to put myself in ‘whereabouts unknown’ without leaving the country.

Therefore the Court of Barcelona has invented an “excess of social roots” as a reason to take precautionary methods. What are we left with? Although the Court has conceded to us, no one can give me back the 65 days of incarceration.

At any rate, my time in jail has been an enriching situation that has helped me learn a lot for myself about the penitentiary system and the reality of prisons.

On a personal level, the day-to-day has been very calm and not that hard on me; partially by my nature, but also due to the level of social support I had when I entered, something 99% of the inmates— treated like anonymous people marked as pariahs—didn’t have. They’ve wanted to avoid me seeing the reality of prison, but my observations and the shared moments with other comrades helped me have a basic idea of the life defenselessness and degradation of fundamental rights that thousands of incarcerated people live in our country—a lack of rights far beyond what is dictated by the laws in force.

Prisons don’t fulfill the function of reintegration like it’s claimed; rather, they accentuate the social disconnection and limit the perspectives of those that are incarcerated.

I hope that this experience helps me contribute to the defense of the fundamental human rights of the incarcerated and create a debate about prisons and alternatives.

In addition to criticizing the fundamentals of the decision to put a price on my freedom, I consider a bail of 50,000 euros excessive. It’s only necessary to look at the record of bail deposits in other supposed crimes to realize that it’s a discriminatory because of my ideas. Even so, among the people that have helped me, some individuals don’t want it to be known who has deposited the bail so quickly. The people that support me consider me more useful in the streets than in jail and that’s why I was bailed out so quickly. I thank them for that and assume this confidence deposited in me.

Despite this, it’s worth clarifying that the banks will never see any of this money because it isn’t mine and furthermore—being a bond—they aren’t donations but rather deposits that will be returned to these people after the trial. Next, these deposits will be transferred to the ethical bank cooperative Fiare in such a way that the court will only be left with a bank guarantee that we are arranging with this entity. This will be the way that we make our response to this economic measure coherent with the objectives of financial civil disobedience: taking advantaging of the situation to reinforce the first financial project in our country that is both ethical and a cooperative.

The court proceedings are ongoing and could be long. If the banks want to judge me, the people will judge the banks. As was demonstrated in these 65 days that I was incarcerated, with each blow from the banks they amplify the force of our condemnations, the significance of our arguments, and the coherence of our actions. In looking for a model punishment, what they’ve really done is reinforce an inspiring example.

As the greed and unscrupulousness of the banks are uncovered and as it’s realized that they’ve triggered the current economic crisis, a majority of the people will come to consider the banks to be the thieves and will want my acquittal.

From now on, a new era is opened, one in which I will defend my ideas in freedom, as I was going to do from March 17th on. Two months later, I’m reincorporating myself into social movements as actively I was before, especially in the Network for De-growth and the Crisis collective. We have a lot of work ahead of us to extend the projects presented in ¡Podemos! With hundreds of comrades, we’re calling on all of our forces so that the next September 17th can be a new turning point, demonstrating that we can live without capitalism. We’re seeing a great number of people—more each day—that want a different way of living from the one imposed by the dominant system…and we’re staring to make it happen.

At the global level, time passes rapidly and, no matter how strong the arguments are, how clearly the evidence is presented, or how many social groups demand it, no one in the political class dares to publicly enter into the debate about the perpetual growth economy. Instead of changing the economic model so that it doesn’t need to grow continually, they speak of changing the model of growth and propose measures that only tend to perpetuate it. The purchase of cars is subsidized while each day more unemployed suffer from not being able to eat or have a place to sleep. An opportunity to initiate a transition toward an economically and environmentally viable model is being passed up. If they don’t do it, we’ll do it ourselves.

If they political class is averting it’s attention, we should focus ourselves. Enough already of the false promises, corruption, and insults among parties. Enough of cowardice and short-term electoral calculation. Why don’t we talk about how we can make our society visible by 2012, in the same way that it’s done for 2020 and 2040?

While public institutions don’t react and continue following the law of silence toward all that isn’t part of capitalism’s ‘unanimous thinking,’ we only have one option—that of acting directly and transforming society from below with social self-organization.

Repression won’t clip our wings. Power is nothing without obedience and without fear. Every day there are more and more brave people…and we are organizing ourselves.