Barcelona Bars Raided During Pride
Pride ended poorly for the patrons of La Bata de Boatiné and El 23, two bars in Barcelona, Spain. At 3am on June 29th the gay bar La Bata de Boatiné was raided by about 20 Mossos, the civilian police force, as they broke down the door to the bar. According to News Vine, the Mossos wore bulletproof vests and masks but no identification, which is illegal in Spain. The Mossos in turn only asked for the ID of the bar owner, Miquel, and performed a cursory search for drugs with a police dog, which found nothing. Customers found the raid to be unecessary and violent, and done only to intimidate. Miquel told the El Diario newspaper:
[...]he believes the tactics used by the agents were due to "homophobia" otherwise "it makes no sense to have all this police presence just to ask me for a document," especially when the bar passed a city inspection only four months ago.
The night went even worse for El 23, the straight bar next door. One of the patrons, Sergi Boal, complained loudly during the raid and as a result was kept in the bar as the rest of the patrons were escorted out. When left alone with the Mossos, things allegedly turned violent as Boal was then grabbed by the throat, called cowardly scum, and beaten until the thought he "was going to die." They examined the contents of his wallet and then left. It is suspected that because El 23 shares an address with La Bata de Boatiné that the Mossos thought it was a gay bar as well. This suspicion is supported by one of the Mossos calling one of Boal's friends a "maricón," which as we learned from the holy Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez is a slur that generally translates as "faggot." Across town other gay bars such as El Cangrejo were the victim of similar raids.
El Diario's sources at the Mossos and at the city police force Guardia Urbana say that these incidents were routine and merely a coincidence that they happened at a bunch of gay bars during Pride. Barcelona city counselor Mercè Homs offered a weak "apology" for any "inappropriate attitudes." Bar owners are considering legal action and liberal political parties are asking for investigations. The Mossos would do well to look at the history they are repeating that happened at Stonewall or, more recently, The Rainbow Lounge and the fallout that they may well be bringing down on their own heads.