Monetary sovereignty, the mother of all sovereignties. (… Or what we should expect from #Salvados program.)

The Society of the Spectacle has these things to give us a show about two people who have faced the banking system and the status quo staging it as another episode in the war between different television audiences. Therefore, experts in public must have argued that what interests the masses are the stories of “bank robbers” proud of their mess, beyond the real causes of their actions. And especially they must have concluded that it would be juicy the fact that one of them, myself, be a “fugitive” of the Spanish justice.
It is not the first nor will be the last. And less than a month ago, in checked and edited article to we saw Nathan Schneider received from the Head, a title added last time the two ingredients that supposedly need to help the mass interest in reading good; They added “On the lam with the bank robber Enric Duran” as the title of an article that was focused on building cooperative alternatives to the dominant system which first original name  was “Be the bank that you want to see in the world”.
All this would be an anecdotal fact, in the context of the usual logic of mass media, if the main reason for that action in 2008 had not been reporting a fact that still remains critical for understanding the main economic problems the world faces today.
97% of money is created by private banks through loans and that I did not return. This money disappears in the moment when the credits are returned; This makes the system permanently require issuing more and more credits, to provide sufficient circulating currency.
The European Central Bank, like other central banks, manages how it has to be the creation of money based on a hidden political agenda, that wants to go reaching structural reforms that put an end to the welfare state and may impose the same neoliberal agenda that we can see actually with TTIP and all the secrecy that accompanies it.
Now we know clearly what steps are because we are living:
– First expansionary phase of the credit is given. This is lived from 2002 to 2008 and made possible my action. Richard Werner denounced in the documentary “The princess of Yen”, which had orders to expand this credit beyond that could be returned in the countries of southern Europe. (See: )
– Second phase of credit contraction accompanied by austerity policies to weaken the social policies of States and increase their dependence on the creditors. This is the phase that is taking place since 2008 until now.
– Finally, taking advantage of the weakness of states caused in the previous two phases, the third phase is the implementation of plans like TTIP allowing management undersell, privatizing essential services to become new sources of profit and new monopolies by large corporations. Even before we could see how are TTIP privatization policies were becoming a reality in many cases.
So, seven years after that action, the issue of control over money creation by an undemocratic minority not only remains a fact in force, it is also the main explanation that those forces called leftist and new policy , ignore or do not dare to tackle; and thus they renounce in fact to the power to advance a social agenda to free ourselves from the austerity policies.
What we are now seeing in Greece: Anyone can not be successful defending the sovereignty of a country if the struggle is not accompanied by monetary sovereignty tools. A healthy economic system needs to have money creation tools to support the productive economy and that money creation is not accompanied by impossible to pay interests or political conditions attached to neoliberal interests. Greece or any other people who want to release the yoke of austerity needs to create free monetary systems at the service of the common good and urgently needed. … And then is coming what we call Spain.
Without detracting from the courageous attitude to carry out the program, if the program Salvados does not give meaningful weight to the dialogue on this issue between what appears in an interview that lasted three hours, will have been complicit of this silence and unknowns.
And even if leave some answers, the media hardly allow this debate to the depth it deserves.
Still something we can do from the networks; therefore, coinciding with the broadcast, we’ll try to do the trending topic #DinerodelaNada to explain this hidden aspect of the current economic reality, and we will continue working with the aim related the strategic importance of this action is understood in the context of campaigns #OccupyBanking # ReturnWithFreedom.

Campaign #OccupyBanking #ReturnWithFreedom

We want to finance the team that is already working on the launch of the #OccupyBanking campaign with the intention of placing at the center of public debate the total lack of democracy of the European Central Bank (ECB) and large private banks who control the monetary system, and especially the creation of money. A perverse system based on debt with these institutions – who have never been voted in democratically – hijacking our sovereignty. The #OccupyBanking campaign also wants to be the spearhead for creating the conditions that allow the #ReturnWithFreedom of the activist Enric Duran.



Check all the information of this campaign in:

Today 2 years from not to the trial, 2 years from yes to freedom

Two years ago I left planted the judges, the district attorney’s office and banking, representatives of three of the most corrupt and obsolete estates of our epoch, that hide under a dark carpet the shames of a bank unworthy system, to try to condemn a few facts isolating them of the social, political and economic context. Before this my response was clear and simple: the disobedience is the only way.

It happened all kind of things in these two years , and it confirms that the old regime remaining days are numbered. More and more people everywhere becomes aware that our freedoms, our rights are not given by some authorities or can be removed by force. They are our nature as humans.

And as many men and women, i continue, we continue, using our creativity and determination to build a new world, to left behind the current outdated system. From freedom to freedom.

As i’m free, do not expect such a reckless action. No, I will not give the old system illegitimate power to decide on my body. We are no longer in 2009, is now the dawn of another era.

I am free and time plays in my favor. Thus, the pieces of my return are putting in line, side by the other, to build together the way back.
#ReturnWithFreedom is therefore not a call to ask for freedom, but for making my return compatible with the freedom which i take inside.

PD1:  To remember the link of my statement two years ago:

PD2: I leave here an image to go preparing the road for the return:


A call to unite and build support networks online and on-the-ground.

After 2 years of living underground and out of the public eye, the time has finally come for me to get ready for my journey back to freedom. The journey won’t be easy, and will require a lot of work to build widespread support. This is the reason for making this appeal to create teams for the ongoing collaborative effort needed in order to make this happen.

Before getting into the details, a few opening remarks:

>>My legal and personal background >>

I’ve spent roughly 2 years living underground after failing to appear at a criminal trial on the 12th of February, 2013, in which the prosecuting attorney and 16 banking institutions called for an 8-year prison sentence for the acts of bank-related civil disobedience  which I carried out between the years 2005-2008. An arrest warrant has been in effect since then, but never has been enforced as the authorities have not found me.

Before the trial began, the provincial court dismissed each and every one of the 30 witnesses that my defense had presented to testify against the banking system, especially regarding money creation, was (and is…) such a significant factor in our society that it justified the actions taken.

That means that what they wanted to do at the hearing was to silence all my arguments and put me in jail for common crimes, completely disconnected from the charges made which had proven all the damage, for many years, that the banking system has done to the lives of the majority of the population of Europe and the world.
This and the proven complicity between the judicial and executive branches and the banking powers gave me reason to reject the official judicial process, and I began to search for alternative ways to find justice. With the situation as it stands, I think it’s easy to understand why I chose not to cooperate with their farce.

About 1 year ago, the court suspended the case until such time as they found me, and more than a year ago, an independent mediation group began to undertake a process of restorative justice, which has gone nowhere due to the unwillingness of most of the banks involved to build bridges through dialogue.

Now, all that’s left is dissemination, mobilization and social pressure.

an image of the welcome party 21-05-2009 after two months in jail

>Current social and political context>>
Many things have changed since these events, and in the context of the historical rate of acceleration we’re living in, there have been many changes in the last two years.

People are unmasking the corrupt powers that, until recently, seemed as if they could do whatever they pleased.

The political class fears the people; this has not been the case for decades.

The repression and impunity of the police and courts are all over the covers of news and magazines (thank you #ciutatmorta).

To sum it up bluntly, this isn’t just a time of change, this is a whole new era …

Along with other powers, for years now the banking system has been discredited, and much of the extortion of the central banks is being responded to by citizens and new political actors. Every day there is more support as shown by the election of SYRIZA to govern Greece.
However, the very root of banking’s privilege – the unjust system of money creation – persists, and has little impact on public opinion, although significant cracks have appeared in the status quo, as can be seen in the discussion that took place a few months ago in British Parliament.
As has been achieved at other times in history, now is the time to multiply these fissures and transform the monetary system, once and for all, to respond to the needs of the ordinary people instead of the minority’s lust for power.

Therefore, among other things, I would prefer to link my freedom campaign to place the question “How money is created?” at the center of public debate, in line with the initial action which was meant to reveal this sort of thing.

>In-person group to prepare my return and to activate FairCoop >>
The most concrete and important part of this call is extending the invitation to proactive and motivated people who are available to travel for a period of time. I want to form a team of 6 or 7 people, exceptionally confident and available for in-person cooperation directly with me. We will change locations as necessary, in order to achieve our goals: #returnwithfreedom and #faircoop

After two years, and faced with the significance of the challenge, I feel that in order to launch a campaign with an adequate sense of assurance, we must form a nucleus where we can contribute with steady strength, against all odds and contingencies that may arise.

Only from this pivotal position can we take the necessary steps together and make this happen!

This group will also manage the dynamic extension and future projects of FairCoop, the global cooperative. This challenge requires a high level of pro-active ability to handle the upcoming goals and projects.

Remember the goal: to enable the transition to a new world, reducing economic and social inequalities among human beings as much as possible, and simultaneously contributing to a new global wealth, accessible by all humanity in the form of the commons. Find out more here:

So, just as we decry the banking system and current political system, we’re also constructing a new economic system based on cooperation, decentralization and the inherent right of everyone to have their basic needs covered. All this is based on centering the objectives of our economic activities on human beings and the planet.

If you’re a motivated, pro-active, courageous person interested in social justice, respect for human rights and the implementation of new, post-capitalist economies (among other forms of activism), and you find yourself free and available in this moment, without any job responsibilities…you’re invited!


  • The possibility of living and working in an environment of collective activism (good vibes, mutual support, love for the revolution), based in the integral revoltion, the commons transition, and the construction of a new economic and social system with the human being at its core.

  • Your expenses for lodging, trips, food, etc., will be covered based on your active participation.

  • The possibility of infinite connections with other networks and activist collectives, through which you can share, grow, and learn so much.

To qualify for participation in this group, you must first do the following:

  • Send a letter explaining your motivation to
  • Fill out this form:

Once you receive this, if in-person cooperation is possible, we will share encryption keys (and if necessary, tutorials) to enable secure communication. If it applies, we may ask for more details and references to establish the trust necessary for participation.
Our priority in forming this team is that people have the appropriate skills and experience for the work we must do together. We value specific knowledge and experience, as follows:

  • Website edition and administration
  • Communication in digital media, social networks, etc.
  • Good writing skills
  • Creating social movement networks on a transnational level
  • Graphic design for digital media
  • Project expediting / organizational abilities
  • Proficiency in multiplelanguages
  • Programming ability in languages such as PHP, Python and C++
    As you can see, we need to assemble a team with diversified skills, covering much of the above-listed expertise.

The trips will only be within Europe; there may be several trips back and forth to a space where we can collaborate, as long as doing so ensures consistent participation and helps achieve the group’s goals.

You can come join this working team beginning February 10th, but we will also consider bringing in additional people a little later, if necessary.

>> Call to create local support groups >>

For the better part of our colleagues who won’t be able to participate in-person, we invite you to create your own local support groups in your area, autonomously. The group you create can help spread and develop the support initiatives proposed and made public by the in-person support groups.

If you intend to create a group or would like to participate, send an email to and we’ll see how we can get started collaborating.

More information at:

Enric Duran – January 28th, 2015

Fairness and the commons, an interview with Enric Duran

Here we present a Commons Transition interview with Enric Duran. Prior to co-founding the Catalan Integral Cooperative ‚ – a Commons Transition partner project creating a cooperative, self managed public system in Catalonia ‚- Duran became famous for his 2008 “bank action” an act which involved defrauding 39 Spanish banks of nearly ‚€500,000 and subsequently distributing these funds to a variety of activist movements and social causes. He presently lives as a fugitive outside Spain, and is currently busy organizing the FairCoop Open Cooperative, a community-built effort to alleviate global economic inequalities through the use of mutual credit, reputation systems and cryptocurrencies.

FairCoops "Coop Forest"

FairCoop’s “Coop Forest”

Regarding Commons Transition, the first question is, can you define Commons Transition, and what it means to you?

Well, for me, when we are talking about transition and developing commons, what we are talking about is moving away from a capitalist economy based on private incomes and private profits, to a new kind of economy, where the main focus is the commons.

Do you see some existing examples of Commons Transition today?

There are more and more examples of commons resources. Free knowledge is a commons and it’s expanding; every day there are more and more tools for this. But what‚Äôs more difficult is to organize as a whole system or way of living related to the commons, no? This is not yet so widespread, perhaps because these commons are being created as volunteer work by people, or with some kind of specific funding, but not connected as a systemic whole.

You are one of the co-founders of the CIC, the Catalan Integral Cooperative. Can you tell us a little bit about the CIC, and in what ways it already embodies Commons Transitions, and how it will continue to do so in the future?

Yes, the Catalan Integral Cooperative is a transition movement to build an autonomous system of organizing our lives, outside of the government and capitalism, and in that sense it is building not only alternative economics but also alternative politics and alternative public spaces. It’s already working on building commons as a central priority of different actions, yet it’s not so connected to other global commons that are being created. So, one step for the future is to connect this local and regional work to the global, world-related commons.

Why do you think it’s important to carry out this work outside of government?

Well, there are a lot of things that are important. It’s important to put together people with knowledge, people who are skilled, to do what needs to be done. Also, economic resources are needed in order to share these things for the commons, and not for private profit. It needs to be done in a sustainable way, so that it won’t be broken after beginning a broad process. We need to have sustainable ways of funding and making it all possible.

How realistic is a Commons Transition at the local, national, and global levels?

It’s realistic when we start to do it – it’s not about theoretical propositions, you know? It’s about doing real actions, and at all of these levels there are already different initiatives – at some levels, a lot – that are in process. What we really need, I think, is to put all of these existing things in a framework, structured in a way that they can be recognized and understood together as a systemic, commons creation, not only as isolated projects.

What practical steps, both at the personal and collective levels, can we take to enable Commons Transition?

Hm. One of the practical priorities could be to create general layers – general in their interconnections – that make it possible to decentralize an autonomous initiative so it could be connected at the practical level. This is, basically, a technical infrastructure job, but it also means combining ways of thinking and acting that make these things happen. It’s not only about every network doing things for their internal needs, but also for some of these people to be doing things with the vision of the whole system that can be created, related to the commons. We also need to create ways to invest in related commons, in making the projects possible, and in a way that‚Äôs sustainable for all parts involved, to make it possible in the long-term ‚Äì because other ways of funding related to private profit are still more widespread, but we really need to do a lot of work on funding the peer-to-peer, commons society.

So, imagine that we achieve a commons-based society, or, a first example of one. What do you think could be the risks, what should we be on the lookout for?

Well, if we achieve this, I don’t see any risk – this is what we are going to enjoy, really, making this happen. The risks are in the ways we try to do it. One risk could be if we weren‚Äôt able to put together different related initiatives that can be duplicated…and so, really, to not be able to work together with people that have the same focus and the same goals.

Enric Duran and Nuria Güell during the 15-M occupation of  Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona. Image by Zoraida Roselló

Enric Duran and Nuria Güell during the 15-M occupation of Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona. Image by Zoraida Roselló

How can the commons movement defend itself from hostile outside pressures?

I think that when we focus on creating peer-to-peer based commons production, with a project that has the possibility of being globally useful, what is important is to create a plan to make this for everyone, and not only as an experiment, or as a minority action. Because sometimes people that are, perhaps, trying to do things for the commons come up with experiments, theories, ideas, but then later, a private company… because they’re not going to do all the work…later, a private company does this in a private, for-profit world. So we need to be more ambitious at this level. We know we have good ideas and we know that this can work. We must also try to make the economic plan and decentralized cooperative plan to make it happen with our values. If we make it happen with our values, others can do their projects but we will already be there with these big projects.

Where do you see a Commons Transition taking place?

I see that this is working at the global level. I can also see this in different movements, like for many years in the free software movement and now, the maker movement. And also there are more grassroots movements related to housing that are working in an ecological way for the commons…but in some instances, we are more autonomous and we’re making a transition, and perhaps at other times it’s more of a fight to defend against private powers.

Could you give us a concrete example where a commons-based dynamic would solve a present day problem?

One of the challenges that we have in this process is how to create distributed systems of organization that work, not only technology-based, but human-based. And these human-based projects are very important, because without these we run the risk of moving from central government or money-based governments to full technological dependency. So, one interesting bit of commons-related work which is applies to a lot of initiatives is a commons-based reputation system. I see this as a human-based way to create and maintain distributed projects related to commons, so it’s not only technological nodes that maintain networks, but human-based, and our ability to do it together depends on our human values.

I love that. Okay, so let’s talk about the CIC and FairCoop as related but different things. How did they each relate to Commons Transition and what are the differences between the CIC, FairCoop, and Commons Transition?

Well, regarding the CIC, I think that the first four years have been very focused on the local and regional levels and not so much on the global. That‚Äôs okay for the physical network of people and connections that we have in Catalonia, but at another level it’s not so okay – at the level of sharing technological tools and knowledge tools with people that are on the same path around the world. So, one of the things I see as important for the CIC is to take in the vision and the knowledge of other people working on the same things, and also to share better, or in easier ways, ideas about things that could work from the CIC to others – to share both ways.

What about FairCoop?

Well, FairCoop, as a more recent initiative created with a direct connection to the commons movement, has had a focus on the commons and the global from the very beginning, and that complements the work the CIC has already been doing. So FairCoop can cooperate with the commons by building or being involved with other groups also creating commons projects, as well as helping regional transitions happen around the commons by connecting them through this global initiative.

What do you think of the concept of the partner state, do you think it’s possible that with new initiatives like Podemos or Syriza, something like this may happen? Or do you think it will be a totally grassroots, bottom-up process through initiatives like the CIC…or, maybe a combination halfway point between both?

I don’t see the states becoming partners at the levels of innovation because they are working for the majorities, they are working for success. Sometimes they are populist, and what is populist is not so innovative, because people don’t understand it. So, at this level, these innovations are going to be autonomous; sometimes we are working in a commons-based way and at other times, in private enterprise, in order to be innovative. But after this, it depends if we are going to expand, if we‚Äôre going to achieve more mass at some point – if we can have more relationships, but I think this is still very far off. So I don’t see…perhaps at the level of research in universities things are working, but that doesn’t really have any direct relation with the government, it‚Äôs related to public funds but not really with how the government is. And to have more direct relationships and to think about public in the hands of the government, political relations to the commons, perhaps we will need bigger success stories at the global level with the commons, no? Perhaps before, we will need some kind of Facebook or Twitter or more kinds of Wikipedias ‚Äì although Wikipedia is a commons ‚Äì in different sectors, not only knowledge but also economics, that are successful and create change.

Back to the CIC and its adoption of the Commons Transition Plan, what led the CIC to incorporate the plan and in what way it is being modified?

We‚Äôve seen the Commons Transition Plan work done in Ecuador with the role of the partner state. Because we‚Äôre not thinking of this kind of relationship with government, one of the main changes was to eliminate this partner state and to see this as a creation of autonomous institutions that can work at the local and regional level as well as in relation to other regional or global institutions around the world that can help. So we are thinking here, perhaps part of the process of the CIC could be…to be not only physical assemblies based on physical consensus, but also to have some of the tools more distributed in a way that could be more easily extended to people that are not organized politically, but people that want to change their way of living but for different motives; maybe they are not so political, or, so involved in being in assemblies. That is one of the problems we have with the CIC, there is a big difference today between the people who go to assemblies and people that only use the services.


Why was the Commons Transition Plan chosen?

I think the values in this plan are very close to the values of the CIC. We also saw that the main ideas are related to the self-management and self-organization that the CIC supports. For this reason, the work is very connected; we can benefit from it and adapt and enrich it with our work. It was also a good excuse to make this connection with the P2P Foundation and to see how from a grassroots level, from the bottom up we can make this kind of process possible.

What are the next steps both for the CIC’s adoption of the Commons Transition Plan, and the ongoing relationship with the P2P Foundation?

I think that the short term steps are to decide on how to work the collaboration, what are we going to do when we are working together on the Catalan situation. Next steps will be organizing this work: how we are going to research, how to start having discussions and reaching conclusions at some point about the roadmap we can create for this Commons Transition Plan.

Now, back to FairCoop, how is it promoting the principles of Commons Transition with its member projects?

I think, informally, there is support at the level of sharing information and knowledge related to Commons Transition, but right now the main focus is not yet on this sharing and extension, because we need to focus on building and identifying the best tools and projects for this Commons Transition. So what we’re doing now is choosing and prioritizing projects to work with. What is especially interesting here are projects that can be transversal to a lot of decentralized and open projects that can use this infrastructure we want to build.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for making this Commons Transition website, and we will try and help to keep it up-to-date.

Certainly, it’s a deal!

New interview in depht about CIC and Integral Revolution

I share the interview about Cooperativa Integral Catalana and Integral Revolution that have made with me, ​​Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation, Neal Gorenflo of Shareable, and author John Restakis and has been made ​​possible by the team of guerrilla translation.

Thank you for making possible, this content on the Internet!


Come back, A story which we made together

In this documentary over twenty people who had so far remained silent explain how they lived the facts of which they had firsthand knowledge before they became public, and recall the projects and initiatives in which those resources were allocated.
The documentary has been released today, 6 months after the statement of the last 17 of September which said:

Today, taking into account that the Spanish legal system includes a law by which all crimes punished by less than 5 years of prison will go in to prescription  five years after they happened, I can say that this action would not have been possible without the contribution of many people . Of paramount importance have been all the processes of consensus decision  which allowed us to collectively choose  how to use much of those funds and how to carry out the projects. Being aware of the origin of the money gave it a revolutionary political meaning with which we aim to develop alternatives to the established system which it would not have had if it had only been an individual action.


Perhaps now, taking advantage of the time gone by, it’s be more feasible for other people to share how they experienced this action and about  how those  funds were allocated.

Answering that call, many people begun participating in a process which made it possible to share this documentary today, 5th anniversary of PODEM, and of  my arrest at the University of Barcelona. Come Back is a collaboration between about 20 people, many thanks to all of them, those who were present and thouse who, for various reasons, couldn’t be.



One year later, we are closer to creating a fair trial

It’s been a year since February 12th, 2013, when I was brought to trial without witnesses, with no time for preparation and pre-condemning the defence case, and they weren’t able to get away with it.

Since then it’s been more than 365 days living underground, protecting from the trenches, the freedom which means not being subject to the designs of a state that I never wished to be a part of.

From a distance, I still observe the banks which continue unperturbed, maintaining the same privileges and destructive practices towards humanity which prompted me to take action years ago, and that the states not only continue making cuts on social rights, but also on the most basic individual and civil rights.

I will not go further in to this because the social networks are already full of material on the subjet, but I find that every day which passes gives more legitimacy to the actions we have taken in the past and the ones we are planning for the future.

I would not change the decision of not turning up at the trial one year ago. This has given me the chance to follow through the internet, without interruptions, the historical and revolucionary process of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana of which we have already published the yearly review:

The CIC’s path is facing new challenges and objectives for 2014 such as:

  • Supporting personal empowerment in all areas of life. Comprehensive protection of persons participating in the integral revolution.
  • Care of human relationships in all areas of the CIC (workspaces, living spaces, affinity based shared spaces…)
  • Empowering local self-management processes. Special emphasis on the promotion of productive projects in the territory.
  • Strengthening the process of creating a cooperative public system.
  • Independence from banks, strengthening the means of doing payments, consolidation of the internal economy between the CIC’s members and coordinated marketing of shared production.
  • Expanding the number of people with comprehensive knowledge of the CIC and with active participation in the process

These objectives are important enough to keep prioritizing my energies towards them and because of this I do not wish to risk my freedom as we move forward, step by step, creating a new world, one which might fit on our planet.

Meanwhile, in the cave of the old world, the background motivation for my action continues to be ignored, while the system continues exercising the monopoly of force which the very same privileged ones, who never get caught, have bestowed upon it, but it will not work with me.

There have been some developments since the last update.

After spending many months in breach of as basic a right as being able to defend myself in a court proceeding, towards late October I finally was informed that they had already appointed a lawyer, more than 7 months after the minutes announcing the date.

The latest developments in the judicial process, are that in this month of January it is being suspended indefinitely due to my absence, (see minutes of the second section of the Provincial Court judgement:

It has also been announced that I have been placed on the register of rebels managed by the ministry of justice! In truth it is the only state registry that I can feel at ease in…

In fact I have already declared myself in rebellion, and I did it in the posting of the 20th Februray 2013 in which I questioned the current legal system:

In the same statement, I argued that it was necessary to build an alternative to the prevailing judicial system, and since then we have worked on and continue to work on the resolution of the conflict between the worlds that my case brings with it, be it through the spreading of a new way of carrying out justice.

For all these reasons it is an important development that with the support of the restorative justice working group with which I already have been working since before the summer, I requested a restorative mediation to a group of people who have training and experience in this field, and the proposal has been taken on and they are working to generate a process of direct dialogue between complainants, banks, prosecution, etc, and people related which will defend the action of expropriating from banks.

Stay tuned to my blog, because in a few weeks there will be more news!

Enric Duran
February 17, 2014





Interview to Enric Duran. CGT Catalunya Magazine. October 2013

Enric Duran Giralt, a Don Quixote of utopia for a new society.

Enric Duran is an example. An example that we can do it. An example that each one of us, each group, even a minority union like ours, can. And we are called to transform the world. How? Enric uses the enemy’s mistakes, therefore we need to know the enemy well. And to think big, with no fear.

Enric Duran struggles for the impossible, to turn it into a reality. He has the strength to believe in himself and chooses to create another world instead of fighting the old one. One of the lies told by the State is that one person alone can do nothing, and neither can a small group or a small community. This is our frame of mind in Catalonia, our self-esteem always underground, except lately.

There is much information online about Enric Duran: personal blog, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and publications such as Crisis, We can, Go rebel, Catalonian Integrated Cooperative, and his book Abolishing banks.

Will we abolish the banking system?

The title I meant for the book I wrote in 2009 was Disobeying banks. The word “abolish” was a consensuated decision with the publisher. From my point of view our power lies in organizing ourselves away from the power structures, rather than trying to transform them. And we have increasingly more tools to do it.

Abolish consumerism, hyper-consumption? Especially consumption of oil, mass media, etc.?

We can change our consumption habits, and we need to, for many reasons: ensuring planet sustainability, managing our own economy, enjoying good health, are among the most important. Changing the way we consume is one of the simplest tools available to us to decide with our acts which world we want.

You are being very productive, despite your hiding. How is it living in clandestinity?

Actually, you could say clandestinity helps me to stay focused by having fewer external inputs. In this sense I can be, so to speak, more productive on different projects, at the expense of reducing my social life. This situation is not new, I was already living like this for six months after publicly declaring my action and I know that I feel well enough to keep going as long as necessary.

What did you learn in this time of hiding?

I’ve been updating many projects and ways of thinking that are meaningful to the change we want to accomplish. It was maybe 10 years since I spent some time observing what is happening in different parts of the world, because I was very focused on the Catalan situation. This new perspective helps me to learn many things and to be able to connect to what’s being done at home.

One of your ideas is to prioritize the creation of alternatives to the system, self-organization, to protest and denouncing power abuse. Can you tell us more about it?

It’s not just an idea, it’s what I’ve been doing, as I said, in the last 10 years, but the last three, with the Integrated Catalan Cooperative, have been the most successful.
When I experienced in person the cycle we call the anti-globalization struggles, I could feel the weakness it means to spend months organizing a one-day event, without then having the ability to repeat or maintain it… I realized in order to confront power, we have to prioritize self-management and self-organization, rather than generating self-empowering single-day street events every now and then, thus including our rebellion in our daily life.

Your bank expropriations were a well aimed shot to the banks, and very meritorious. Did you think this action up collectively, to find out if it worked, before making it public?

People had many doubts as to what would be the possible reactions from the decision makers, and even though they supported the idea in diferent ways, no one felt ready to do it at the same time as me. In addition to the risks and the non-reversibility of insolvency, one also has to consider that the interaction with bank employees and the paperwork are heavy tasks for many people who, although assuming a disobedient and political commitment, did not feel they could also do it.

Was yours an individual act, like a Robin Hood, or was it the action of an affinity group?

It was something in between. Individual in the more detailed aspects of the action itself, credit, documentation, etc. Collective in the political participation and self-organization to make an appropriate use of the resources for the goals we had at that time.

Have there been imitations, or similar expropriations? Are there new security flaws in banks? Can we continue to expropriate those who are robbing us?

For all I know there have been other actions, but they have not been made ​​public. Several people have written me asking questions related to this. There are still security flaws in the banking system, there will always be, because humans make mistakes, this means that although certain protocols exist, there are also holes because in practice these protocols are not applied.

You say it is legitimate to expropriate banks. What good is that, if it’s illegal?

The arguments for legitimacy are diverse, as I exposed in different texts. This legitimacy helps us to have a broad social support for actions that are detrimental to the banks, in order to generate a greater collective good, in contrast to the damage they are causing. The struggle against their abuse is another important and worthwhile cause in the confrontation with the banking system, more and more groups are doing an interesting work in this area.

You inform us that several of your rights have been violated and that you are going to respond to it. Which rights? How will that answer be?

I refer to the right to defend myself. Right to call witnesses, right to the information of the process, right to choose a lawyer, right to have a lawyer, etc.
The answer will depend on our strength as a legal support group, therefore it’s not yet defined, but in any case it is clear for me that we must respond when this happens, in order to stop people’s rights being stepped on by our current laws.

One idea I like is the one you stated about you not wanting to belong in any state, even in the hypothetical Catalan state.

I think the state as a concept implies violation of freedom, especially in the sense of being obliged to belong to a certain territorial jurisdiction. One of the key struggles of our time, I believe, is to question this requirement, and from the individual sovereignity of human beings, to practice our inalienable right to self-organize as we want, within a framework of respect for those who do not want to be part of it.

Living away from the state is difficult, we are stuck in since the moment we are registered, for example, with the imposed ID card. How do you do it? We can’t get rid of ID cards while the state is still there.

I believe we can actually get rid of the ID. In fact there are several movements in the world as the freeman, who are bringing this concept into practice. It’s a question of challenging this idea that “we can’t “, and put it in practice with every action we do.
Obviously this means giving up some of the facilities with which we are purchased by the modern state, but relating it to what I said before, as we increase our level of self-management, it becomes easier to lessen our dependance from the State.

Now you are also wanted for an smaller action. What is it about? When do you plan to come back?

This latest move will be explained at the right time, which isn’t yet now. The strategy regarding my return is the restorative project on which we are working and still doesn’t have a due date. I think restorative justice is a line of thought and practice regarding justice, which all social movements facing the legal system should discover, because it contains in its root the way of relating to others based on inclusion and respect that we all have inside, as opposed to the authoritarism prevailing in the official system.

Tell us about restorative justice and its advantages. Is this new proposal applicable with ultra-conservative governments such as CiU and PP?

Restorative justice represents a profound questioning of both the current judicial system and the penal policy that predominates in most states.
It suggests that instead of focusing on punishing the defendants if they are found guilty, it focuses on reparation towards the people who have been affected by the crime, and it proves, through diverse experiences, that in order to be effective this process needs to be fully participatory. This model is being applied in many countries around the world with very practical applications. It’s not so much a question of right or left, as a question of liberation from over 2000 years of Roman law and penance, for the benefit of methods that have survived since ancient times in many indigenous experiences and that still survive today.

You say that prison doesn’t benefit anyone. Prisons benefit the establishment. The threat of punishment and the punishment to those who break their law are needed to maintain this unfair order.

Exactly, that’s why we need to highlight those interests the power has on prisions, which are often not recognized, in order to show that those involved in a conflict have better ways to solve the problem than exemplary punishment.

What can be improved in the CIC, the Integrated Catalan Cooperative?

This is a very large project with many faces. Since it began more than three years ago, it has been a constant process of learning and improvement. However one can say we are just starting, although we have generated a significant economic self-management, which is one of the main goals. There are strategic areas where the room for improvement is very large and could be done in a short time such as facilitating and extending economic relations between all people and projects involved. We are also at an important moment for developing open source, sustainable fablabs.
The cooperative public system, in key areas such as education and health, is only beginning. Each project is large and complex.
Finally, I think it’s also important to go on extending the process at a local level, so that local groups can replicate tools and resources that allow us to decentralize everything.

What should we do to use social currency? What advantages are there, but especially in a practical level, how do we start using it?
There isn’t just one single social currency, there are several ways to implement social currencies and to use the existing ones. We use the ecos, which is the generic name that we have given to different coins created from diverse eco networks and the CIC. For me the most significant aspect of this tool is that it helps us to empower ourselves in the path of economic self-management, not depending on conventional money and discovering that currency may depend on a participatory process.
So there are no magic formulas and only when someone is producing something or is willing to work outside the system, can you really take advantage of social currency as a tool. Those who use it only as consumers are also passively supporting productive initiatives.
Moreover, I think it’s important to know and try to understand crypto-currencies like bitcoin, which although are not social, they can play an important role in liberating us from the banking system.

Is the Integral Revolution similar to the Zapatist model? Do you know the Zapatists? To what degree do you see resemblances?

Well, I know the Zapatists since long before working with the concept of integral revolution, in fact they are one of the most significant references for me since I am an activist. When I began to prioritize the construction of local alternatives, I immediately thought that what had to be done here was to build our autonomy like they do there.
In recent years, with the CIC and the concept of Integral Revolution which means going outside the limits of Capital and the State, we’re feeling especially close to the Zapatista proposal. For example, last summer we participated in a project called Escuelitas autónomas (autonomous little schools): they created one in Aurea Social, in winter the experience will be repeated, and there will be several people linked to integral cooperatives who will travel there.

Have you considered requesting exile in a dozen countries, like Snowden did, since your basic rights are not being respected?

That is not an option for me, because it would mean recognizing the legitimacy of any of those states, and even more, leaving my freedom in their hands. The last thing I would want is to become diplomatic exchange currency. So also, I found symbolically interesting the proposal of ZAD from Britain to communicate by public correspondence, accepting his proposal for asylum, from the autonomy of their struggle.

What are you preparing now?

We are consolidating many areas and driving some new ones. Among them, as we published not long ago, a global, decentralized digital communication channel to be called RADI.MS which will be the most visible project from the Radi collective, created at the time I started hiding. We believe that after the experiences with our paper publications (Crisis, We can, Go rebel), at the present time we’re more interested in creating a stable communication system which at the same time serves as a tool for building collaborative networking at planet level.
Besides I have already talked about restorative justice, and there is something more important, but it isn’t time to talk about it yet.

Are we moving towards an increasingly authoritarian and terrible market dictatorship?

The level of corruption shown in the highest levels of power has even exceeded what many had imagined. I think we have been in this market dictatorship for years and it is true it gets rougher in certain areas, but I also believe we can continue to generate more and more tools to get rid of it and not give in to its craving for dominance.

In the current class struggle, the rich (bank, transnational corps) are beating us by far, as Bufet put it, and are not even paying for the crisis they have created.

Perhaps from the point of view of traditional struggle it is like that. It is clear that the street response doesn’t match the harshness of the situation. But I think it has to do with us restructuring our strategies: mass movements going down, other answers based on social networks, decentralized actions in affinity groups, self-management and viral communication, although they are not effective enough, but I think they will be.

CGT’s confederal congress, which is currently taking place, has the motto “resisting is not enough, we build self-management”. That’s similar to CIC’s motto about constantly building community and self-management.

Of course, among other things, we have this concept in common, as well as much of the imagery behind it. Until now we have met at lectures, round-tables and discussion meetings, but it would be interesting to find more and more ways to do it in our self-managed daily life.

In an interview to Catalunya about five years ago you proposed CGT to organize a true general strike to get the richer ones to pay for the crisis. One-day general strikes have failed. How do you see it? How to organize an indefinite general strike?

I remember I was talking about a sustained social strike that could take place in all areas. It was part of the proposals from the We can fanzine. Meanwhile we lived the 15M movement which, besides some massive participation on particular days it became a sustained disobedience action led by tens of thousands. I think we learned that we have the means to perform sustained disobedience actions, but we should not expect the masses to be involved (which is the target in exchange for a single-day general strike), but let a “large minority” get a visibility that can multiply the effect.

What sort of training have you had in your life?

I had a self-taught training based on motivation to learn and also on research. Internet has been a basic tool for this, as has also been my practical experience in all movements and projects in which I have been involved, which gave me new challenges every time.

What events of your life have made you feel best?

Perhaps what satisfies me the most is the consistency and determination I have kept all these years I’ve been in activism, it’s almost 15 years of continuous involvement.

How do you see the current libertarian movement?

I think we are in a crossroad between practices based on an important historical tradition and other new ways related to libertarian culture, which work in unpredictable ways. In relation to that I think it is important to continue generating a framework of respect and willingness to learn from each other, because only then can we enjoy the wealth generated by this diversity and become stronger.

We present Dark Wallet

Some days ago, beguns Bitcoin’s Dark Wallet. It consists of a web browser wallet linked to an independent Bitcoin implementation that will work on added measures for privacy and security of its users.

It’s promoted by the unSYSTEM collective, that has a primary headquarters in the Calafou Hacklab. It’s a meeting space that’s helping some Bitcoin developers to meet face to face and participate in Bitcoin day to day.

Their promoters have my public support, as the project webpage states:

Why am I giving them my support?

Dark wallet intends to serve its users by providing simple tools to protect us Bitcoin users.

Their labour has the goal of providing a greater degree of anonymity and privacy for Bitcoin users, and in the long run, to offer tools to further decentralize and overcome any initiative to control it.

The goal with this is to make a leap forward in defending freedom of expression and financial freedom against the domination forces in the supranational political level, taking bitcoin further away from control from any state or repressive force, despite the efforts coming from central powers to control it.

Those of us who are working for an integral revolution, based on a cooperative and social organization aside from states, have a lot of tools to construct our vision. Some of them have the goal of protecting us, as is the case with Bitcoin.

Some days ago, Obama was asking the Google CEO if there are reasons to worry about bitcoins, our response is: sure…

More information:

You can get more information about bitcoin searching on Internet