Save people, not banks, Spanish firefighter says


This 4 September 2014 video from Spain is about firefighter Roberto Rivas, getting applauded for refusing a command to evict an old lady from her home.

This 2014 video from Spain says about itself:

Spain: See riot police crackdown on activists in forced eviction

Riot police used force to evict a 72-year-old grandmother from her home in the Spanish city of A Coruna, Thursday, with activists clashing with the police.

Spanish firefighter Roberto Rivas joined the activists in trying to prevent the eviction of Isabel Lopez, chaining himself to the roof of the property along with two other men. Rivas was previously fined €600 for refusing to participate in the eviction of the elderly woman in 2013.

The clashes with the police broke out when activists refused to clear the area, allowing bulldozers in to destroy the property.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

FBU Conference: Hero’s welcome for comrade Rivas

Friday 15th May 2015

FIRE BRIGADES should be at the forefront of resisting attacks on communities from the ruling class, a Spanish firefighter behind the viral “we save people, not banks” slogan told his British counterparts yesterday.

Roberto Rivas, a firefighter in Galicia in northern Spain, was sent to evict an 85-year-old woman who had fallen behind with her rent in 2013 but refused to enforce the repossession, instead joining a crowd of about 600 activists protesting against ordinary citizens being made to pay for the financial crisis.

Mr Rivas, who was fined €600 (£433) by the Spanish courts for his actions, was given a hero’s welcome at the FBU conference yesterday as he urged his profession to honour its ethical obligations.

“Our problems aren’t just with fire and rescue but with our communities,” he told the hall via an interpreter.

He said a building boom, unemployment and falling wages in Spain had led to a “funny paradox” of “lots of homes without people and lots of people without homes.”

And he said a fragmented partially privatised fire service in Spain had put lives at risk.

“Emergency service hotlines have been privatised too, and the private [fire service] companies are given priority responding [over public-sector fire engines],” he said.

“So we see private fire engines pass by our [fire station] doors. It would take us two minutes to respond whereas it takes them 20 minutes.”

Delegates at FBU conference have repeatedly raised concerns about proposed mutualisation of fire brigades being pushed by right-wing fire chiefs as a back-door route to privatisation.

Spanish city’s locksmiths say they’ll no longer assist with evictions: here.

Five major international banks are expected to plead guilty as soon as next week to criminal charges in the US related to their deliberate manipulation of global foreign exchange markets, which allowed them to rake in billions of dollars at the expense of retirees, university endowments and municipalities: here.

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