Saturday, August 23, 2014

Robin Hood of the Banks: Enric Duran

Wikipedia:
Enric Duran Giralt, also known as Robin Bank, Robin Banks or the Robin Hood of the Banks is a Catalan anticapitalist activist and member of the Temps de Re-volts collective. 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. 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 on September 17, 2009.

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 his action one of 'financial civil disobedience', and stated that he was prepared to go to prison for his actions. He planned for the anniversary of his declaration (September 17, 2009) to be an action day where people meet, both in Spain and abroad, to share alternatives to capitalism.

Duran was involved in the "Look 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).

In April 2010, Duran began promoting the Catalan Integrated 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.

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