More than 740 nigthlife venues have come together in a bid to reduce noise produced by their clients during the night (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Last night, the Ayuntamiento launched the 10th edition of an initiative against noise in the street generated by nightlife, under the slogan, 'In Barcelona, at night, turn it down.' The campaign, promoted by the Department of Control and Reduction of Noise Pollution already has the support of more than 740 establishments in the city. The campaign will run throughout the summer and use professional actors and environmental advocates who will travel to plazas and streets which have the highest number of nighttime bars and nightclubs. The promoters inform people about the existence of the initiative, promote and develop civic behaviour and solicit membership from the nightlife establishments that are responsible. The professional actors will perform scenes that are meant to generate empathy and encourage the public to reflect on their behaviour at night in public spaces. In Gràcia and Ciudad Vella there will be a specific campaigns with 16 actors and 20 promoters, as these two districts have been declared 'Zona Acústica de Régimen Especial' (ZARE). Meaning that these areas are more affected by a concentrated number of bars and nightclubs and therefore suffers from a more intensive use of public spaces. The actors and activists will be in place from July to August, and then a smaller team of 10 will remain in September to November. From 11pm to 3am the actions will be implemented around the areas of bars and pubs but around the surrounds of nightclubs the hours will be extended to 11pm to 6am to cover people arriving and leaving the clubs. The campaign will be reinforced by banners and in Gràcia, ads will be screened in cinemas.
The Mossos d'Esquadra have arrested a group of 49 people who between them had accumulated more than 650 reports of thefts on the Barcelona Metro system (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). In recent weeks, Catalan police have detained 49 people accused of theft, who together had accumulated more than 500 previous arrests and more than 650 criminal charges. The arrests were made in two operations carried out on the metro lines L3 and L4. Sources at the Mossos d'Esquadra reported that the first police operation, which was conducted in late May, resulted in the arrest of 23 people, and was carried out in the stretch between stations Passeig de Gràcia and Barceloneta on the L4 line and the Sants Estació stop on the L3. All points that had been detected as having a very active group using a method of robbery known as the 'tapon'. This happens when a group gather around the victim as they are going up or down the escalators or when they try to enter or exit the carriage. To do this, one member of the group stands in front of the victim and drops an object, which they then bend to pick up. This causes a large number of people to back up, amongst which the accomplice will seize the moment to steal wallets or other valuables. The second run of arrests resulted in 23 people being detained and was conducted on the L3 line from stations Espanya to Lesseps, a popular route for tourists.
The closure of a mosque in Lleida due to overcrowding has opened up a conflict as Muslims prayed on the street yesterday (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The mayor of the town argues that it is not their obligation to provide places for worship, who said "I pray at home when I want." But his ruling has forced Muslims to pray on the street and between cars following the closure of the main mosque in town. The Ayuntamiento of Lleida ordered the precautionary closure of the mosque due to a violation of regulations on local authorised capacity. Local police, on June 25th, found 1,200 people inside the mosque, which is five times more than allowed by the license. The location of the mosque, in the basement of an apartment building in a narrow street has created problems sine its inception nine years ago, and is a constant source of conflict with neighbours. Lleida, which has around 140,000 inhabitants, has seen an increasing number of immigrants arriving, mostly from North Africa and Romania. At the moment the percentage of immigrants registered in the town stands at 20 percent. Yesterday the Muslims came together to pray in the special facility given to them for their Friday prayers, the most busy day. Àngel Ros, the mayor said the city will be tolerant but from next week, that facility can only be used on Fridays. The associations that runs the local Islamic Union and Cooperation has 15 days to present their arguments against the measures. The mayor warned that the Muslim community can not use the closed mosque in the mean time. He advises the community leaders to make a push on the project to build a new chapel, but this has abandoned for three years due to lack of funding.
Also in the news: 26 employment offices in the city will remain open in the afternoons until September to deal with orientation and individual assessments (read full article in Castilian here, El Pais). The Passeig de Gràcia is undergoing a growing resurgence after a reported commercial paralysis, with seven new shops opening up on the street (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia).