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Police install a spy camera at a Barcelona squat

A camera hidden in a dark box on the roof of a restaurant monitored the activity of a squat house in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, at least since December 22 when it was detected. As disseminated by the group Ègida -Defensa Collectiva Anarquista, the video surveillance team focused directly on the squat door, which is why they ruled out that it is the restaurant’s security system.

Neighbourhood witnesses have told La Directa that during the last weeks, they had observed the presence of “strange” individuals and vehicles parked with people inside the house all day: “I saw them in front of the house; I am convinced that they were plainclothes policemen,” says a neighbour. One of the restaurant managers, where the state security forces had placed the camera, told this media outlet that they had “nothing to say”.

The uncovered camera, which allows external control of the images, is a Dahua CA-HZ2030T and has been connected to the power grid and a Telefónica distribution box for real-time recording transmission. Through a statement published on Indymedia, signed by Ègid, they made public photographs from the camera. They denounced that “the state and private companies, in this case Dahua, profit at the expense of our limited sense of freedom, creating common enemies.”

In the text where they denounce the facts, they recall that the inhabitants of the squatted house under the spotlight were arrested on August 23, following May Day, 2023. As detailed by the press service of the Mossos at the time, the detainees were accused of “damaging establishments with blunt objects” that day. Specifically, these would be ATMs and the headquarters of Zara, Primark and Starbucks in the centre of Barcelona, among others. The Central Research Unit of Violent Extremism of the Mossos d’Esquadra was responsible for the operation. Those affected say that since then, “the presence of members of the secret police has been seen in the vicinity of the building”.

Video surveillance of the Kasa de la Muntanya

It is not the first time that the anarchist and squatter movement has been spied on in Barcelona, nor specifically in the district of Gràcia. In July 2013, the installation of a chimney that did not draw smoke from the roof of the Turó del Cargol school with a hidden object inside raised suspicions. The object turned out to be a video surveillance camera that focused on the CSO Kasa de la Muntanya’s interior courtyard in the La Salut neighbourhood.

A few weeks later, a group of workers went up to remove the device to reassemble it, days later, inside a false ventilation tube on the roof of the Hospital de la Esperanza. Facing directly on the façade and the entrances to the social centre, the new perspective allowed the camera to record who entered and left the building at all times. Eventually, a group of activists dismantled the spy system.

This article first appeared in

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