Metzineres provides a safe haven for womxn who use drugs who are also surviving violence in Barcelona. They are not passive victims to be rescued – we can learn a lot from them about community empowerment. Watch our new video produced together with INPUD!
Repressive drug policies fuel violence in multiple ways. Directly, by punishing people who buy or sell drugs, and indirectly, by creating a violent black market for illegal drugs. Police repression usually targets poor, marginalised communities. Those people who are already vulnerable based on their gender, sexual orientation, or race, become even more vulnerable as a consequence of the fear of criminalisation and discrimination.
Our new video features Metzineres, an organisation in Barcelona that organises communities of womxn (here the ‘x’ means that they include trans and non-binary people) who use drugs to recover from systemic violence and to fight back.
They provide safe environments for the survivors of violence to escape street environments where they are often abused and attacked. They provide shelters to sleep in and wash their clothes, and safer spaces for consuming their drugs, without the risk of infections and overdose deaths. They also offer psychosocial support for those who struggle with homelessness, mental health issues, and family problems, as well as putting on creative community activities, dance, yoga, cosmetics etc to make them feel that they belong.
Metzineres is more than a service provider – they are a community, with more than 300 members. Half of them are homeless, 30% have been imprisoned before.
These womxn are not passive victims to be rescued – they are creative and resilient human beings. We can learn a lot from them about how we should stand up for each other.
This video was produced together with INPUD – The International Network of People who Use Drugs.