Ecotopia Bike Tour en Kan Pascual, Can Masdeu..

9 de juliol 2012. Thirty bike activists begin the Ecotopia Bike Tour from Centre Social Can Masdeu, in Barcelona to another rural squat in Collserola mountain, called Kan Pasqual. La primera etapa…

La primera etapa de l´Ecotopia biketour ( surt de Can Masdeu cap a Kan Pasqual amb un lema:

 En Defensa de Collserola i contra Eurovegas!

An introduction to Kan Pasqual

July 13, 2012 Posted Image

Kan Pascual was originally occupied by a group of students and young people who were occupying various places in the late 90′s. They were interested in primitivism and the zapatista movement, and they began living basic with wood fires.

They use solar energy complimented by wind energy – a combination which serves them well. They have experimented with biogas from the manure of their neighbour’s horses. They could produce 2 hours of gas per day. however, they had trouble controlling the gas and have stopped for the moment.

They use water from the well and rainwater from the roof of the house. There is also a brown water river nearby which helps for watering the garden. They have some trouble from wild boars eating their crops though!

They make bread once or twice a week, a portion of which they sell. They also brew beer and keep 30 chickens.

Although they had initial legal problems, the owners – the town council – lost interest in the case. they’ve now been on their site for the past 15 years with no problems from the police.

An introduction to Can Masdeu

July 12, 2012 Posted by mandolinquent under 2012, on the road

Can Masdeu is an abandoned leprosy hospital in a nature reserve on the outskirts of barcelona. Building and surrounding land was occupied in 2001 by a group of 7 people and slowly transformed into a social centre, allotments and a home.

The building itself is owned by ‘hospital de la pau’ – a combination of public and private bodies including the council, the hospital and the church. They planned to make money from the building by turning it into luxury flats for the rich – not a popular plan amongst local people! In catalunya it is both a civil and a criminal offense to occupy a building. This means that a court case can result in fines or prison time. The occupiers were issued with an eviciton order (beginning 2001), but when the bailiffs arrived, they decided to resist the eviction non-violently. They attached themselves to the sides of the building for 3 days and 2 nights. at this point, their legal team convinced the judge that the occupiers were in such a critical condition that their lives were in danger. Lives have more importance than the right to private property, they argued, and the bailiffs would have to leave. They never came back!

The social centre
The social centre opens on Sundays. There is a cafe which usually feeds 60 – 120 people with a meal cooked by four people. It also supplies local, home-made, ecological and fair trade goodies. different collectives run each element of the social centre – the bar, the freeshop, the infoshop, the library, the noticaboard, the cafe… The idea of the social centre is to be a bridge between urban and rural struggles. They have a corner of the social centre called the ´window to the countryside’ with information about rural projects and a list of abandoned villages around spain.

Other spaces in the social centre include the wood-pannelled room, which was built for meetings and physical workshops like yoga. There are beautiful dry toilets with a view of barcelona and a urinal block. Groups like the Ecotopia biketour can camp on the small camp site under the house, next to the garden.

The garden
The stunning allotments are divided into 50 parcels and are maintained by 80 people. People of all ages have allotments there, although most are local retired people which makes for an interesting intercultural exchange.

When people were invited to work on the land, they decided on two basic principles for alltoment holders:
1. natural growing – no chemicals or genetically modified plants.
2. collective participation – they would attend the monthly meetings, and help out with workdays

The house
Part of the building is a private home for the occupiers. This decision was made after the first few years of chaos when there was no clear division between social centre and home. Many people would visit as can masdeu became more well known. The building itself has four floors which are now divided up as follows:
1st floor: workshops and bike / party room
2nd floor: private area for residents only
3rd floor: social centre
4th floor: terrasse
In total this includes 40 rooms!

The site
The can masdeu collective have had to put a lot of work into making the site a welcoming and ecologically friendly place to be. Even getting there was initially difficult as the site was blocked with breezeblocks. There was flooding and small avalanches because of mining in the past in the mountains.

For water, the group restored the 70 metre well. They now have a grey water system under construction which takes the water used in the kitchen, shower and washing machine down to a pond. This water contains too many nitrates to go directly onto the garden, but can be allowed to filter itself in the pond. at the same time it provides a home for a diverse range of insects, plants and amphibians.

They use solar panels which they built themselves to heat water for the shower and kitchen. They also use wood burning stoves for heating. however, they still rely on electricity from the grid.

The 20 collective members own one van and one car, which they share between them. other projects onsite include a solar oven, a world-famous bicycle powered washing p, a strawbale house, a thriving medicinal herb garden, a solar shower, and a brewery (whose experimental roof unfortunately fell down!).

The biketour has finally started

July 9, 2012 Posted by biketour under 2012, on the road

The first people were meeting on friday, preparing the camp at Can Masdeu and later joined the biggest Critical Mass ever in Barcelona.

On saturday more people arrived constantly. For about three hours, Biciclot offered us their workshop, tools, spare parts and knowledge in order to prepare our bicycles for the tour. Since there is a water shortage (it’s summer and it’s the mediterranean!) and the campsite didn’t gave us the possibility to shower, a short detour to the beach on the way back was a welcome refreshment. We attempted to form our first circle in the evening but ended up eating dinner and talking informally until the daylight had totally gone.

On sunday morning the approximately 15 people sat together in a first circle and clarified the most important issues of group organisation. The biggest part of the day was dedicated to the topic of degrowth, under which the whole tour is heading towards the annual degrowth conference in Venezia. In combination with the usual open sunday at Can Masdeu, about a 100 people joined during the day, coming for lunch, takin part in discussions and presentations or workshops, such as the one about making a rocket stove – a necessary piece of equipment that will accompany us on our tour in order to cook.

On monday we (almost) left Barcelona by heading for Kan Pasqual in a critical mass (bicicletada) under the header “let’s defense the Collserola” (a natural parc between Barcelona and its suburbs in danger of being “developed”) and against the Eurovegas project threatening the neighbour Delta de Llobregat. On the way, a squat in the hills looking on Barcelona provided us with refreshing self-made ginger ale and bread.
At our campsite Kan Pasqual we were welcomed with a giant paella and got a tour around the house/project.
Later, Franklin Lopez presented us his film “END:CIV – Resist or Die” and discussed with us.
We tried to organise the next longer route, which will finally lead us out of Barcelona, in another small circle in the evening, before going to sleep on real mattraces again – or in the Yurt.

Bon Voyage Ecotopia Biketour

July 4, 2012 Posted by alice under 2012, Announcements

Ecotopia Biketour is now on the road and we are looking forward to all our adventures together!

The shiny new biketour booklet 2012 is ready, print off a copy and bring it with you.

We also have a day-by-day calendar and a page on which projects/campaigns we are visiting so you can see where we are and where you will join us.

If you want to join us it’s still good to register, find out all the info you need here.

If you are coming to Barcelona this weekend, check the wiki for information about where we will be when:

We need to set up shade, water, toilets etc at Can Masdeu on Thursday so if you are around Barcelona and can help, give us call to check that we are there.

Our contact number when we are in Catalunya is 0034657087067 (João) and we will post numbers for France and Italy when we have them.

From now on all emails should go to, which someone will check from time to time.

…I think that’s everything :-)


Monday 9th July: Critical Mass in defence of Collserola and against Eurovegas

June 26, 2012 Posted by alice under 2012, Announcements

What? First day of biketour!
When? Monday 9th July
10h. Leaving from Can Masdeu
12h Meeting Vallvidrera, Pl. Mont d’Orsà (for brief information about the fight to defend Collserola and the struggle against Eurovegas).
14h. Communal meal at Kan Pasqual (bring something to share with others).

An introduction to Ca La Fou

July 14, 2012 Posted by mandolinquent under 2012, on the road

Ca La Fou is an ambitious ‘eco-industrial postcapitalist colony’, a day’s cycle outside barcelona. The group first visited this site in october 2010, and only moved here in july 2011. The enormous space was bought as a housing cooperative by the group with a loan from an ecological bank and support from a wider network.

It was originally a ‘colonia,’ a factory workhouse dating back to the 13th century. The river running through provided energy for various mills, including a paper mill and a textile mill. this was replaced by a powerful hydroelectric plant after the site was abandoned for a few years in 1975.

The site was a self contained colony with a school, a church and a shop. Only four person families were permitted to come and live and work on the site and those families were thoroughly exploited. They could be paid in vouchers for the shop instead of money and rape, even of pregnant women, by the bosses was not unheard of. The colonia was cut off from the rest of the world and contact with the local village was limited. Things are a little different now!

The thirty permanent collective members work at a slow pace but have achieved a great deal by making the space livible and have already built a number of functioning workshops. These include:

  • An impressive hacklab where broken computers are recycled into new ones
  • A collaborative car workshop where engines are fixed to run with vegetable oil
  • A Ukelele workshop
  • A chemistry lab where soap is made from recycled vegetable oil mixed with caustic soda, (and sometimes recycled animal fat)
  • A chicken-run and chick creche.

The Chickens house

The chickens are allowed to roam free, but always come back to the chicken house thanks to a few little tricks. First of all they know that the chicken coop is a safe quiet place for eggs. The residents never take all of their eggs and some are allowed to hatch. If they still keep laying out of the coop, they “kidnap the chickens” for a few days and keep them in the coop!

Unfortunately, they can’t grow much food here because the river which flows through the land is now the fourth most polluted in the european union. They are downstream from a leather treatment plant and other industries. For water they have had to pay for a connection to the town water supply. This was an expensive process involving 300m of piping. They also qualify as a industrial property – this means water rates are very expensive!

Other difficulties with their situation include flooding problems which cut off access to the site. The council came to build a road, but it is often too dangerous to use during flooding season. There is also a high fire risk in the area, so they cannot make fires in certain months.

However, they were lucky enough to inherit a grey water system originally plumbed into the housing quarters. The system catches water from the roof for body washing, then washing clothes, then goes to the garden in front. Not so newfangled after all this permaculture thing! They’ve also experimented with a compost water heating system, but unfortunately it still doesnt work.

Many of them are new to equal ways of making decisions in big groups. They try to use consensus and have one meeting a week. They also use an internal mailing list and are connected to Cooperativa Integral Catalunya and are hoping to build an exciting space which challenges capatalism and provides a space for community development.

see more veure tots.. guarapito Films..

6 pensaments sobre “Ecotopia Bike Tour en Kan Pascual, Can Masdeu..

  1. Retroenllaç: one week on the road… | The Ecotopia Biketour

  2. Retroenllaç: ‘Free University’ squat evicted for 4th time « The Free

  3. Retroenllaç: Can Piella » Blog Archive » one week on the road…

  4. Retroenllaç: V Fira Agrícola de Collserola i III Fira Xarxa Catalana‏ de Graners | KanPasqual

  5. Retroenllaç: Occupied Barcelona Centre and Playchool -La Rimaia- resists 5th Illegal Eviction | The Free

  6. Retroenllaç: A New World in our Hearts: ‘La Rimaia’ Squat centre Evicted for 5th Time | The Free

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