The Barcelona city government has halted plans for the demolition and redevelopment of Can Vies, a building housing a squatter’s civic centre, following four nights of rioting in the Catalan capital last week.

The building was abandoned and then occupied by left wing activists in 1997, after which it became the venue for concerts, training courses and community activities in the run-down area of the Spanish city.

The Spanish police forcibly cleared the building on Monday 26 May using the authority of a court order issued following the breakdown of negotiations between the city and the squatters. This triggered the night-time riots, which saw rioters launching bottles and other missiles at police barricades, with the police in turn responding with baton charges, the firing of rubber bullets and the use of sound emitting devices in attempts to disperse the rioters.

The protest won support across Spain and peaceful demonstrations had been planned in other Spanish cities over last weekend to show solidarity with the protestors in Barcelona. At an emergence meeting, the city council announced that it would attempt a new dialogue with neighbourhood leaders in an attempt to reach a peaceful agreement.

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