Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Justice vs Fascism in Spain. Or not.

September 13th, 2009. The Catalan city of Arenys de Munt wakes up on that Sunday, two days after the National Holiday, being the first city in the Country to convoke their inhabitants to a plebiscite where the question is: “Do you agree that Catalonia becomes a State of right, independent, democratic and social, part of the European Union?” The two and only possible answers are “Yes” or “No”.

Everything seems peaceful, in order, until two coaches arrive in the city. Those two coaches are not welcome in there. Heavily protected by anti-riot police, they bring unwanted people to the city, people whose sense of evolution has never moved from the darkest ages and who bring sad memories of war, exile, bombings, censorship and fear.

They stop at the Placa Catalunya in Arenys de Munt and start unloading the object of such protection, fifty-eight militants of Falange Espanola. They are next to nothing in Spanish politics nowadays, but they were the only political party allowed in Francoist Spain (1939-75). Ideologically fascist, openly in favour of any Spanish dictatorship and against anything that questioned the unity of Spain. They do not accept any diversity of thought, “One Spain, not fifty-one”, they say. Obviously, they do not apologise for the crimes committed during the dictatorship period nor they show remorse for not doing so. Why? They were the winner side of the war; they had the power during that regime. Spaniards had the chance to make them pay for their crimes, and lost it thirty years ago. Catalans lost, they must feel the consequences.

Despite being allowed by the Spanish Supreme Court, the fascist demonstration only counted with fifty-eight members of Falange Espanola. In front of them, a crowd of thousands of Catalans, kept by the police at long range. Despite one megaphone, the voices of the thousands of Catalans for independence suffocated the fascist’s claim for unification.

The day went by with no remarkable incident, especially after the fascists packed up, jumped up the coaches and turned back to Spain. We did not want you here in the first place, goodbye.

While the Spanish Justice authorized the fascist demonstration, did not permit this poll to occur. So that the organizers had to put in practice the "Plan B".

However, there is an unsettling feeling that seems to keep flying over Catalonia every time and never disappears completely. It comes from the so-called Spanish Justice. Now, the Superior Court in Catalonia has made public a note where the judges do not understand why “the freedom of speech has been criticized”. From Catalunya Acció we ask the Judges of such Court to wander what the hundreds of thousands of people shot by Francoist forces during the fierce repression that followed their victory in 1939 would have said. And ask the hundreds of thousands who had to exile the same question too.

At the same time, a pacific poll –an expression of democracy- is forbidden. Double standards? No, exercise of freedom of speech, say the Judges. I understand that you have freedom of speech in Spain only if you follow the official discourse and do not pretend to see a Free Catalonia; otherwise there is silence, or prison. And the –Constitutional- threat of being sent the Army without request.

As you may see, all was very democratic. And freedom of speech was protected. The winner's side's freedom, the other does not deserve it. Because they were the losers, they must feel –and fear- the consequences.

Luckily, several MEP’s from different European countries pointed at the not-so-free Spain and its flawing Justice. Why is only one side allowed to speak and show symbols and ideas that are forbidden in most European countries? From Catalunya Acció we know it is because of lack of cleansing of the roots of the Spanish system after Franco’s death, which is still full of characters directly involved with the regime that killed and obliged to exile millions of Spaniards. To clear the whole Spanish system from undesirable elements, it is necessary a full and deep regeneration. Several very important Catalan politicians have tried to reform Spain over the last hundred and fifty years, clearly unsuccessfully. Therefore, we know for sure at Catalunya Acció that the only way that Catalonia will be free to speak is with independence, which Arenys de Munt voted massively for (96%). As in this case, it will be achieved by democratic means. The trend is unstoppable, nothing will refrain us from reaching freedom, and then, Catalonia, after three centuries, will stand among the free nations of the world.

Monument at the Montjuic Cemetery (Barcelona). In memory of the executed during the Francoist regime (1939-75)

Jordi Margalef Turull
Catalunya Accio UK

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