Arcadi Oliveres: In Memoriam

To friend, colleague, teacher and estimated Arcadi Oliveres.

Arcadi Oliveres has dedicated his life to building a world free and emancipated from any kind of violence, devoting the maximum of his efforts to the promotion of human rights, social justice, aid for people development and construction of peace. In addition to these four major areas, Arcadi, economist by education, notably specialized in the two that were the closest to him, which are development and military economics. To these areas he devoted his greatest efforts.

He was able to develop goals and tasks thanks to the shelter provided by Justícia i Pau, together with another exceptional person, Joan Gomis. It was a place that allowed him to carry out his aspirations for social improvement. It was there that a large group of us enjoyed his mastery, his friendship, and his joy and his kindness, which he provided for us. People, who had the good fortune to work with him, learned by his side all the tools that are hidden, some, in the economy for development, and others, in the military economy.

Centre Delàs for Peace Studies, was born as a result of his mastery, because with Arcadi we had worked on what he called the military economic cycle: defense budgets, military industry, military R&D, arms trade and the financing of the whole cycle. Also, because Arcadi had specialized in working on the defense economy to condemn this as a loss of opportunity for the real economy that occurs in the civilian sphere.

It was thanks to him that the first Campaign for 0.7% development aid to what was then called the “Third World” was born. It was also the first campaign against the arms trade in Spain. And from him we learned that promoting disarmament allows us to achieve two goals: building peace and developing an economy that contributes to the common good, which cannot be built with armies and the production of arms.

There were some areas where he stood out as an excellent lecturer with great oratory skills, which led him to travel to all corners of Catalonia and Spain. There was an activism that made him an essential personality in many social movements, giving speeches and participating in seminars and conferences throughout Catalonia and the peninsula, and in this sense, he became the starting point indicator for the most active social struggles.

He would be associated with the 1986 referendum campaign for Spain’s withdrawal from NATO. He would support the fiscal protest against military spending and the 2000 campaign against the foreign debt of poor countries. He would be associated with the anti-globalization movement and he would go to Seattle in 1999 for an alternative and protest summit at the World Trade Organization (WTO). He would participate in the World Social Forum, initiated in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which proclaimed that “another world is possible”. He would participate in all campaigns against all wars: the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. And he would be linked with numerous conferences to the movement of the outraged that 15 months of 2011 filled squares in Catalonia and Spain to protest against the Catalan and Spanish governments’ cuts policies.

Arcadi has had the virtue of being a person well-loved and recognized in all social movements without distinction, opening his arms until the end in all the just struggles that arose.

Arcadi Oliveres, has been linked to multiple peace organizations: Justícia i Pau, Universitat Internacional de la Pau de Sant Cugat, Fundipau, la Federació Catalana d’ONG and our Centre Delàs for Peace Studies.

The repercussion and influence of Arcadi Oliveres’ discourse was fundamental for peace, human rights defense, solidarity and development aid, and have been spreading throughout Catalonia, and today these values are widely recognized and present in Catalan society.

Arcadi can rest in peace because he leaves us with an example of life that his friends and disciples will follow.