Enric Duran

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Enric Duran Giralt, anti-capitalist activist

Enric Duran Giralt (Vilanova i la Geltrú, 23 April 1976) also known as Robin Banks or the Robin Hood of the Banks is a Catalan anticapitalist activist[1] and a founding member of the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC - Cooperativa Integral Catalana) and Faircoop.[2][3][4][5][6]

On September 17, 2008, he publicly announced that he had 'robbed' dozens of Spanish banks of nearly half a million euros as part of a political action to denounce what he termed the predatory capitalist system.

From 2006 to 2008, Duran took out 68 commercial and personal loans from a total of 39 banks with no guarantees or property as collateral. He had no intention of repaying the debts, and used the money to finance various anti-capitalist movements.[7] In 2008, Duran released both an online article entitled "I have “robbed” 492,000 euros from those who rob us the most, in order to denounce them and build alternatives for society" (translated), and an online video, each explaining what he had done and that he had left the country to view the reaction and consider his next move. This was also published in the free magazine Crisis, in Catalan, of which 200,000 copies were printed and distributed by volunteers throughout Catalonia. A second newspaper, We can! Live Without Capitalism was distributed on March 17, 2009, and a third, We want! on September 17, 2009.[8][9]

Stated reasons for actions[edit]

Duran stated that he sought to create a debate about the financial system and the current capitalist system, proliferate protest actions against it and fund the social movements that seek to create alternatives. Duran called what he did an act of 'financial civil disobedience', and stated that he was prepared to go to prison for his actions.

Response of authorities[edit]

In 2009 Duran returned to Spain, and was arrested by Spanish police on March 17, 2009 at the University of Barcelona, as charges had been brought against him by six of the thirty-nine banks concerned. He spent two months in prison before being freed on a bail of 50,000 euros.[10][11]

For the first anniversary of the announcement of his “robbery", an action day was planned in over 100 cities on September 17, 2009, in which people met, both in Spain and abroad, to share alternatives to capitalism.[12][13]

In November 2011, a presentation was made to a civil judge requesting the annulment of his contract with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. On November 25, 2011, the state prosecutor requested that the judiciary pass down an 8 year prison sentence for Duran, for the crimes of presenting false documents (in securing his loans) and continued insolvency. The defence attorney based his case on the fact that imprisonment for unpaid debts has been abolished in Spain. Duran himself responded by maintaining that "I do not think that the judiciary is entitled to judge" (translated from Catalan). He questioned the state's lack of response to the financial speculators who inflicted great suffering on much of the European population, and to the September 2011 changes to the Spanish constitution which made the repayment of debts the absolute priority of the country. He also claimed that his actions were an act of social justice - an attempt to redress in some small way the injustices perpetrated by those in power.[14][15][16]

Duran cited the pardon granted to the chief executive of the Banco Santander, Alfredo Sáenz Abad, in November 2011, as an example of the bias of the judiciary towards the powerful and well-connected, and argued that "when the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of our duties" (translated from Catalan). He called on his supporters not to waste time campaigning for his acquittal or release, but rather to follow his acts of civil disobedience towards the banks with their own. In March 2012 he released a video explaining his legal situation and continued to encourage others to civil disobedience.[17][18]

Life in hiding[edit]

Before a criminal tribunal scheduled for 12 February 2013, Duran decided to leave the country rather than stand trial in Spain. "I don't see legitimacy in a judicial system based on authority, because I don't recognise its authority." The prosecuting attorney and 16 banking institutions called for an 8-year prison sentence.[19]

Since this timehe has been in hiding. A campaign under the hashtag #ReturnWithFreedom was started to enable Duran to return to Catalonia.[20]

Previous activism[edit]

Duran was involved in the "For the Abolition of Debt" campaign(1999/2000), the "Global Resistance Movement" (2000/2002) the "Campaign Against the World Bank"(2001) and the "Campaign Against the Europe of Capital"(2002).[21]

Catalan Integral Cooperative[edit]

In April 2010, Duran began promoting the Catalan Integral Cooperative as a practical example of the ideals detailed in We can! Live Without Capitalism. In 2011 the cooperative accepted responsibility for a former industrial complex, with a view to turning it into a centre for environmental activities.[22]

FairCoop[edit]

In April 2014, Duran began to develop an idea that was to become FairCoop , an open global cooperative. It stated aims are to “contribute to a transition to a new world by reducing the economic and social inequalities among human beings as much as possible, and at the same time gradually contribute to a new global wealth, accessible to all humankind as commons”.[23][24][25][26][27]

Faircoin was chosen as the cryptocurrency upon which to base its resource-redistribution actions and building of a new global economic system.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Barcelona prepares for terrorist threats, anti-globalization protests at EU summit" (fee required). Associated Press. 2002-03-13. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  2. ^ "El 'Robin Hood' español habla en RT de Fair Coop, la primera cooperativa mundial". RT en Español. August 17, 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Nathan, Schneider (May 27, 2015). "5 Ways to Take Back Tech". The Nation. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Nace Fair.coop, la cooperativa que combate el capitalismo desde dentro". Diario Publico.es. September 18, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ Duran, Enric. "Fair Coop: Objectiu Planeta Terra". enricduran.cat. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ Schneider, Nathan (April 7, 2015). "On the Lam with Bank Robber Enric Duran". VICE. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Robin Bank, héroe juvenil". El Mundo. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  8. ^ "I have "robbed" 492,000 euros from those who rob us the most, in order to denounce them and build alternatives for society". Crisis/. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  9. ^ "Enric Duran - video interview". 
  10. ^ "Enric Duran has been arrested". Crisi (English edition). 
  11. ^ "Disobeying the Banks". Institute for Anarchist Studies. 
  12. ^ "Enric Duran - video interview". 
  13. ^ es:http://www.17-s.info/es/grup/17s2009/guia-para-el-17-de-septiembre
  14. ^ "The prosecutor asks for 8 years in prison for Enric Duran (translated)". 
  15. ^ "Disobeying the banks and the right of rebellion. An invitation to massive civil disobedience (translated)". 
  16. ^ "Spanish Government announces "express" change in Constitution, #15M movement demands a referendum". WL Central. 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  17. ^ "Banco Santander Chief Executive Is Given Pardon". New York Times. 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  18. ^ "Financial civil disobedience and the right of rebellion. An invitation to mass civil disobedience. (video w/ English subtitles)". Enric Duran. 
  19. ^ Kassam, Ashifa (20 April 2014). "Spain's 'Robin Hood' swindled banks to help fight capitalism". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Schneider, Nathan (April 7, 2015). "On the Lam with Bank Robber Enric Duran". VICE. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Enric Duran (inc. full references)". 
  22. ^ "Turning an industrial complex into a cooperative". 
  23. ^ "El 'Robin Hood' español habla en RT de Fair Coop, la primera cooperativa mundial". RT en Español. August 17, 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Nathan, Schneider (May 27, 2015). "5 Ways to Take Back Tech". The Nation. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Nace Fair.coop, la cooperativa que combate el capitalismo desde dentro". Diario Publico.es. September 18, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ Duran, Enric. "Fair Coop: Objectiu Planeta Terra". enricduran.cat. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  27. ^ Schneider, Nathan (April 7, 2015). "On the Lam with Bank Robber Enric Duran". VICE. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  28. ^ Nathan, Schneider (May 27, 2015). "5 Ways to Take Back Tech". The Nation. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 

External links[edit]