The National Police have arrested 22 activists from the environmental organization Futuro Vegetal in various parts of Spain, including Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Cádiz, Murcia, Elda, Zaragoza, Granada, València, Soria, Santander and San Sebastián, among whom were their three leaders say. They are accused of forming a criminal structure and causing damage to assets worth more than half a million euros. One of the organization’s spokespersons, Bilbo Basaterra, assures that the arrests referred to by the police took place in December and all were released within hours.

The police attribute 65 acts considered criminal to the Futuro Vegetal collective, including damage to works at the Prado Museum, when two activists, Sam and Alba, stuck to the frames of Goya’s majas and painted “1.5 degrees” between them. “, the crucial limit of temperature rise to which it was hoped to limit climate change although there is no longer much hope of achieving this. They are also credited with throwing paint at the façade of the Congress of Deputies, blocking roads in Madrid and accessing the runways of the Ibiza and Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airports, causing their temporary closure.

“We are more afraid of not having a future than two nights in jail,” declared the young activists of Futuro Vegetal Sam and Alba, who have been part of the detainees, after their action in the Prado, part of a broad movement throughout the West of throwing liquids against iconic works of painting, such as tomato soup against Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London

From Futuro Vegetal, Bilbo Basaterra highlights that “this accusation by the National Police is made with a political objective of preventing us from carrying out our protests and, incidentally, getting the courts to facilitate arbitrary arrest warrants, entry into our homes and that they confiscate materials such as mobile phones and computers. They accuse us knowing that the accusation is ridiculous. Proof of this is that no detention lasted more than a few hours; if we were really responsible for a criminal organization they would not have let us out so easily “.

And he emphasizes that “the police accuse us of belonging to a criminal organization, something absurd and that would be laughable if it were not a serious matter, because it is what the mafias are accused of, when it is clear that our objective is not to commit crimes: even when We throw paint, it is a water-washable paint. It is a way to scare us, to tarnish our name. We do not have any conviction from any court but, when the accusations reach them, the first thing they normally do is reduce them from a crime to a minor crime.”

The police assure that the investigation that ended with 22 detainees began in January 2022 after the throwing of paint against the facade of the Ministry of Agriculture and confirmed that the organization was made up of a large number of members and that they established international relations with other groups. similar, even committing actions abroad, such as the sabotage of a gas station in the town of Laruns (France) in September.

Due to these events, the 22 arrested are considered alleged perpetrators of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, damage, damage to historical heritage, damage to road and air traffic safety, attack on a law enforcement officer and public disorder.