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Tabarnia, or why Torra doesn't want to confine Barcelona

Catalonia is already immersed in a second wave of the pandemic, with a third wave forecast in September, while the French government recommends its citizens to avoid traveling to Catalonia and the Financial Times strongly criticizes the Generalitat's management, highlighting the slow reaction, the awkwardness of the act as if "the virus was going to respect the vacation period" and hostilities towards the Spanish central government. Barcelona and Hospitalet are breeding grounds for the virus and the only measures taken are the hourly regulation of certain sectors and the closure of others, while the figures don't stop growing. Many residents of the metropolitan area would be very annoyed by its perimeter confinement, but perhaps it would help contain this second wave. However, it doesn't seem that from Plaça Sant Jaume they will do anything other than put band-aids. And this fact, beyond being the result of the clumsiness of a government that has been overcome, also has an undeniable political element. Let's see some very revealing data. More than half of Catalonia   We have the first curious fact in the high-sounding figures of those affected by the threat of perimeter confinement in the area of ​​Barcelona, ​​the capital of Lleida and in Segrià. "More than four million Catalans". Surely you have heard that phrase. A huge spot in Segrià and a small spot that is the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona (fifth graphic), just a detail in the middle of the vast map of Catalonia. This last speck appears insignificant in an autonomous community that boasts of having 7.5 million inhabitants ("7.5 milions de futurs" say the slogans of the Generalitat). But in that little spot, in the Barcelona metropolitan area, more than three million Catalans live, half of all Catalonia.   The most populated area   The second curious question is why is this place the most affected area, but in this case the explanation is quite obvious: Population density. It's evident that the factor of the presence of the seasonal workers in the east of Huesca and the Segrià region has facilitated the spread in that area, but the affectation in areas such as the capital of Lleida has been facilitated by its population density, and It goes without saying that the huge ratio of inhabitants per square meter in Barcelona and Hospitalet has been the breeding ground for sprouts in the metropolitan area. In no way the affected nuclei have been because their inhabitants are more negligent. It's simply that they are more numerous, as we can see in the second graph.   Uncompromised protests   The third data, very significant, is given by the obvious protests of the population and the mayors of the affected municipalities. The Generalitat is very accustomed to the mayors silencing any criticism that may sprinkle their autonomous rulers and conveniently deviate it against "Madrit". It's true that the manifest incompetence of managers such as El Homrani, Vergés or Torra himself are capable of making even the mayor of Lleida come out to denounce (showing his yellow bow, of course) the abandonment to which the Generalitat has subjected its population, but street protests are possible because the majority of the voters in the capital of Lleida are constitutionalists. In the Barcelona metropolitan area the effect is even greater, because the mayors are also, mostly from the PSC, but also from the PP and the "commons", making it much easier for them to report the prevailing lack of control than if they were from the ERC or post-convergent.   Because we can't forget that both the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona and the capital of Lleida and the Vall de Aràn are largely constitutionalist areas, (as the third graph illustrates) in the same way that the 18 largest municipalities in Catalonia are (except Gerona), and in the cases in which they have finished off a pro-independence mayor (Tarragona and Lleida), it has always been due to the usual "pincer on the left" between PSC and Podemos to evict constitutional parties for the benefit of the so-called "sovereignist left".   The Tabarnian singularity   It's evident that Tabarnia (third graphic) doesn't exist as an official entity (just as the vaunted "Catalan Republic" doesn't exist either) but it's an indisputable reality at a social, political and economic level. Many may disagree with its territorial extent, or even with the name "Tabarnia", but the characteristics would be the same if instead of Tabarnia it was called "Eastern Catalonia" (like Northern Ireland). Because this reality has remarkable and different characteristics from the rest of Catalonia: It's a majority bilingual, urban and cosmopolitan population that, however, lives at the expense of the decisions of a minority whose vote is over-represented because Catalonia it's the only autonomous region in Spain without its own electoral law, which is why its vote is the least democratic, since it's based on an arbitrary disposition of the late President Tarradellas, who assigned seats by province and which in practice makes the vote of a Catalan from Lleida is worth twice or more than that of a Barcelonian. An undemocratic advantage that nationalism takes advantage of by pampering these unpopulated areas to defeat the "tabarnese" vote. The democratic utopia of "one person, one vote" would be poison for nationalism, and that's why they have blocked any attempt to approach it.   Quim Torra's fear   And it's for all this that I have stated that Torra can't apply the measures adopted in Segrià in the Barcelona metropolitan area. The reaction in the territories of Lleida, where the vote is worth twice, may have already seriously damaged their electoral prospects, but a mandatory perimeter confinement in the Barcelona metropolitan area (figure 6) would not only be a confirmation that their management has been the worst in all of Spain (as if more tests were needed), but would also unite the rejection of the entire Tabarnese area against the policies of the nationalist government that, among other things, has fatally affected tourism in Catalonia. The elections are going to be before the end of the year in any case, and the prospects are no longer good for nationalism, with the threat of uncontrolled outbreaks in September that would ruin the expectations generated, since an increase in participation and the punishment vote both in and outside the metropolitan area could make nationalism for the first time unable to gather an absolute majority even with the wild card of the electoral anomaly that has always favored it.   No. Torra cannot confine Tabarnia, at the risk of breathing new life into a rival he fears.  

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ERC has a problem, and this problem is called Oriol Junqueras

Two frustrated strategies   The two main nationalist forces had a promising plan for the upcoming and inevitable Catalan elections. On the one hand, the Torra's PDeCAT hoped to make profitable the bad management of the pandemics by Pedro Sánchez and, after receiving the desired regional competitions, hang himself the medal of the recovery or "represa". On the other hand, ERC had very intelligently played its role of interlocutor with the Government of Spain, with that air of "bilaterality" so sought and legitimized by Pedro Sánchez as sole representatives of Catalonia, silencing any discrepancies. His low profile in the confrontation (leaving histrionics and out of tone for those of the PDeCAT), the "dialogue table" and the reconversion of Gabriel Rufián from court jester to "statesman" seemed to be the way to usurp hegemony Nationalist of the old Convergencia. Heaven was within reach.   The PDeCAT slip   But the most impressive of the house of cards jumps through the air when a card fails. And for both parties, the very foundation of their strategy wobbled with perfect synchronicity. In the PDeCAT there was no management of the pandemic after the alarm state. The image of Torra was already "touched" and its evaluation was minimal for its role of "complainer" throughout the confinement, without counting on his absence from management during his entire previous term, but when his inaction began to have consequences (in the Segrià, in Lleida, then Hospitalet, Barcelona, ​​Barcelona metropolitan area and lately even Girona) his inadmissible claims that "with independence there would be fewer deaths" were evident. No one was managing it worse than him.   The ERC slip   But in ERC things were much worse, because Oriol Junqueras joined the management of the pandemic. Because in these times of health crisis the most delicate competences were in the hands of Esquerra, and the management of Health (Alba Vergés), nursing homes and work (Chakir El Homrani) has been disastrous, being very generous. In the case of Alba Vergés, her boycotts of army field hospitals at the time of the greatest losses due to the pandemic, using the most varied excuses, from that the fabrics were "inadequate" to her rejection of the color green, led to affected populations to protest her management and even to declare her "persona non grata" (Sant Andreu de la Barca). And let's not forget that Gabriél Rufián played a fundamental role in this crusade against field hospitals. It was easy to assume that the image of the Spanish military saving lives in Catalonia was something they were trying to avoid at all costs.   The opposite of Nelson Mandela   But if these ballots were not enough to destroy any pretense of moderation, efficiency and pragmatism, the very basis of their "dignity" turned against them. Because those whom nationalism calls "political prisoners" (against the criteria of all the human rights NGOs in the world) are already on the street and the first of them, Oriol Junqueras, wants to resume battle. Let's not forget that Junqueras is the main of them. The one who turned himself after the coup while Puigdemont fled. As much as the PDeCAT politicians also shine on their chest the coveted yellow bow (a noble symbol that automatically grants dignity to the one who wears it) really the nationalists who think of seeing the bow is in Junqueras, the new Mandela. The problem is that the real Mandela went from activist and troublemaker (at least) to a man of peace, who came out of prison with the mission of reconciling his people, of combining the symbols and wills of the two antagonistic forces in a peaceful coexistence . But Junqueras doesn't want that. He who has already told the government to "put that pardon wherever it suits them" (literally) is ready to blow up all the bridges with the socialist left-wing, which they consider to be complicit in their imprisonment (instead of questioning his own actions). Junqueras debunks the dreams of the republicans of that "left-wing tripartite" that would offer them a dignified exit in the face of the failure of the secessionist project. Junqueras doesn't want dialogue (he didn't want it at the time with Soraya Saenz de Santa María or at later times, so it's not strange that he continues to reject it). Both Junqueras and Puigdemont (each due to their own circumstances) have been far removed from the feelings of the street and from what the Catalans are concerned about today, and that's why the speeches of both focus on confrontation and vindication, without a single word for the pandemic, the deceased or the bloody economic crisis that plagues us.   An annoying old glory   Junqueras is today the undisputed leader that stands between his party and the future, the old glory that nobody wants to oppose to but whose presence stands between them and the future, blocking the rudder of his party and preventing him from turning the page when it really needs it, because those of Esquerra were already pointing directly at that nationalist voter tired of so much war, who doesn't want to admit defeat but instead to change one cause for another ("the nation" for social causes, for example), and now they are forced to obey that sacred cow whose symbol is displayed on the chest by nationalist leaders without being able to remove it under pain of social exclusion.   Because the so-called "political prisoners" were a formidable ideological weapon, but they are already amortized, and now that they are no longer "prisoners" or "politicians" (and never were "political prisoners") what they are is an obstacle to the future of nationalists who have already realized that Catalonia cannot live forever by throwing the "bow" on an imaginary 1714.

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Pandemic things that only happen in Catalonia

In Catalonia from a young age it's explained to us at school that Catalans have a differential "fet" (fact). The "fact" is supposed to be the language, although the funny thing is that this fact is often not specified and is simply reduced to the differential "fet". We Catalans have a something, a "fet". A "je ne sais quoi" that a French would say.   But it wasn't until this economic-health crisis that I finally wondered if we Catalans will not actually have a "something" that makes us different from the rest. Or maybe it's just about the nationalists.   Therefore, and without further ado, I'll set out the 6 "differential facts" that occur only in Catalonia but not in the rest of Spain, and that demonstrate to the entire world that Catalan nationalists are unequivocally special. We have our own infections different from those of Spain A lot of fuss with the blunder of the Spanish government when celebrating the 1-M demonstration, yes, but infecting the Catalans nobody wins us. The day before (29-F) our leaders put more than 70,000 nationalists on buses (the organization says 200,000), took them to Perpignan (France) very close together for several hours of travel to concentrate them in the municipality (whose population density multiplied by five) in order to adore Puigdemont, and once the virus had spread, they put them back on buses and returned them to their home towns. Yes, the WHO had already said that no more than 10,000 people should come together and the cancellation of mobile was already ancient history, but we Catalans are immune to any virus. Or almost, because 17 days later (virus incubation period) Perpignan became the main focus of the pandemic in the south of France and in the elections of a week ago the candidate for mayor of Perpignan supported by Puigdemont failed miserably and has won the candidate of Le Pen's party, which is as if in Solsona Santiago Abascal wins. Ungrateful. We like to confine municipalities and counties And if you don't believe me, ask in Barcelona or in the regions of Ódena or Segrià. First it was Igualada. There were very large outbreaks in the municipality and, although 12 of the buses to Perpignan (more than a thousand people) left from there, our beloved leaders said that the focus was a dinner of 40 people. And who am I to question my leaders? As in Igualada nothing was really happening and everything was very controlled so nothing was done until the entire region of Ódena had to be put under siege. Come on, more or less what has happened again in Segrià now that we have all the health competencies that we so much claimed. At least now we can blame the country workers (Oops, no! That would be racism). Well then we will blame our neighbors for the strip of Aragon (oops, neither, that we are claiming it as part of our "Catalan Countries"). What a mess. Luckily, our invaluable Health Counselor has told those affected in "the strip" not to come to the hospital in Lleida and to contaminate the one in Barbastro (Aragon), even if it's three times farther. And there's Barcelona. As we don't like the provinces, because they're a "Francoist" territorial division, we invented confinement by health regions ... until we realized that the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona is divided into three health areas, which we have closed ourselves in and that Barcelonians cannot go home from work and vice versa. The best way to fight the pandemic is to raise the retirement of our politicians And that has been understood by our "very honorable president" Joaquím Torra (first of his name), who has also included in the decree-law 7/2020 (of special measures for the fight against the coronavirus) a rise in his retirement that will surely begin to charge this September as soon as he'll become disabled for confronting democracy. But don't think that's an egotistical measure, no. Puigdemont, Mas, Montilla and even Jordi Pujol himself will benefit from the measure in the same way. Coronavirus is the most Catalan thing And that nobody dares to doubt it. Scientists at the UB (University of Barcelona) have shown that the fact that the coronavirus comes from China is flatly false. Some analyzes of the Prat del Llobregat treatment plant show beyond any doubt that COVID virus had already been in Barcelona a year earlier and it didn't want to spread then because it was so shy. A global impact issue that everyone talks about? By force it had to be Catalan! Sure, a lot of foreign scientists question our results, but what will they know? We're so cool that we don't even need hospitals So when the Spanish Army set up a field hospital in 24 hours we paralyzed it because it was green. That's what happened in Sant Andreu de la Barca and in Sabadell, since the mayors, unsupportive of them, when they saw that many people were dying, put the lives of their citizens first of "the holy nation" (incredible), but time to time... Because color is a very important issue, so instead of the (free) army field hospitals we have carried out a millionaire contract with a company of some trustworthy boys they will mount it in white (or yellow and with bows). It won't be ready in time to help, but it will be much cuter. Look at that one in the Segrià region! It's more basic than a brick and has cost one eye from the face, but it's so yellow that it makes you want to crown it with a bow. The pity is that the citizens don't understand these details and in Sant Andreu they have declared persona non grata to our eminent councilor for Salut, Alba Vergès. Shame on them! We are always in the lead Our President Torra was the first autonomous president to become contaminated with Covid (he announced it exactly 17 days after the Perpignan pilgrimage, let's be clear that he was not passed on by any person from Madrid). We're leaders in regrowths and the first to enjoy a second wave (and there's no doubt that we'll start September with the third). We have been the ones that have spent the fewest days in phase three and the ones that we are doing the most to return to it.   Seriously, Catalonia under the nationalist regime has something that makes it different. Or to put it another way, Catalonia has a special color.

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Many people are being left behind

When in a group like the unemployed in a situation of ERTE you find one of those errors capable of ruining a family, the situation is at least singular and worthy of attention. However, when that case is the norm and the exception is ERTE well managed, a situation of social alarm occurs.   Or maybe not.   Because the figures have not been released. As of today, countless beneficiaries have not received it, have received ridiculous amounts or have exhausted unemployment that should never have been used in this crisis. And as of today, in Catalonia and Madrid, the SEPE offices have not yet opened. In three provinces of Catalonia it has not even been made public on what date they'll open.   This situation of abandonment is not the same in all of Spain, nor the same in all groups, but what has become universal are the two main factors that have motivated this disaster. The enormous number of errors in the management of ERTEs and their opaque management protocols.   First of all, I want to make one thing clear, and that' that I'm not going to blame the SEPE employees for something that in principle would seem to be a major incompetence on their part. It would be very easy to make them the target of our criticism as the most thoughtless affected could do. That'is absolutely wrong.   We're talking about a workforce whose average age is close to that of retirement, management processes that were few and largely automated before the health crisis, and a personnel structure that was already at the limit and needed to hire new personnel. Then comes the crisis and those who are in charge say that the current benefit system is no longer applicable, that everyone is going to receive a new benefit, whether they have paid days or not, based on new withholding certificates that must be provided by companies, without discounting days, without applying the reductions of the previous contribution base, without the presence of those affected, teleworking each employee from their homes, with the material they have, in the midst of fear and uncertainty.   But this is not the drama nor are these the excuses. Things get more complicated when the small staff realizes that the automation of the efforts is over. If someone programmed an automation to grant all ERTEs automatically, the Spanish government would run out of funds within a few days. There's simply no liquidity to do so, considering the more than evident possibility that many companies sign up for the ERTEs and repeat the frauds of the "case of the ERES" making it the "case of the ERTES". Conclusion: All those files have to be processed manually, one by one.   And if that were not enough, there are instructions from above that have nothing to do with what Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias have announced by hype on television. For example, if an employee doesn't have enough days paid, the brand new benefit will be paid, but what if they do? Well, in a huge number of cases they are being paid an old, miserable and stunted unemployment benefit, discounting their paid days until they are exhausted. Because obviously SEPE can't aprove ERTEs so "cheerfully". The money is finite and it's not yet known what aid will come from Europe, or when.   But I'm going to illustrate this situation from the point of view of a real person, whose name I'm not going to give and whom I'll simply call Raquel.   The case of Raquel   Raquel worked full time as a monitor of several activities in a concerted school. She went to ERTE, and hoped to collect the benefit according to the certificates provided by her company and on a 70% basis, as the President had promised on television. She would have to tighten her belt, but she knew there was no other option because lives were at stake.   But a month passed, and she didn't get paid. And the next month she received a paltry amount of € 70. Stunned, she tried to communicate with SEPE. No one picked up the phone. She tried again and again, but it was useless. The offices were closed and there was no one to talk to.   Days later, a letter from SEPE came to her, and she discovered that they were not paying her the ERTE, but her former unemployment benefit, based on a company certificate from almost five years ago, when she was a dining room monitor and only worked part-time. In addition, since that unemployment was charged intermittently in the summers, the retention base was no longer 70% but 50%. And also the days were being subtracted. Now he only had 50 days left. In less than two months that unemployment would be exhausted.   Stunned, she commented on the event in her WhatsApp group. Her companions informed her that the same thing had happened to all of them. Except two who did not have previous benefits, all of them had resumed unemployment instead of giving them the benefit. The situation was dramatic. It meant ruin.   Raquel set the alarm clock every day to call SEPE from the first hour, until one day an employee answered the other side. The girl, very attentive, explained that this was more or less legal. That under certain conditions, you could choose whether to receive the new ERTE-COVID benefit or your old unemployment. Raquel replied that she was never offered any choice. The employee told her that SEPE had chosen for her. Raquel asked to change the old benefit for the ERTE-COVID. The official told her that nothing could be managed by phone, only queries. To make claims she would have to wait for the offices to open or do it online if she had a digital certificate. Raquel didn't have it and she couldn't obtain it, because the agencies that issued it (Treasury and the Social Security treasury) were also closed due to the state of alarm.   The same had happened in the case of her companions. Some communicated with other companies, with other schools. The case was widespread, and on a majority of occasions SEPE employees claimed that it was the companies' fault for misdelivering the documentation. The companies showed their papers and the acceptance of ERTE-COVID by SEPE. There had been no mistake.   The three and a half months passed in agony. The confinement ended. The state of alarm was lifted, and the SEPE offices were still closed. Raquel already owes two rent receipts. Her miserable benefit has already been exhausted. Now, no matter how hard she tries, nobody at SEPE picks her calls. A listing on the SEPE website tells that most offices will open soon. The day before yesterday only Madrid and Catalonia were missing. Today it's announced that Madrid and Tarragona will open next week, but she is from Barcelona and Barcelona, ​​Lleida and Girona have no opening date yet.   Raquel, without knowing what to do, turns on the television. A week ago, the Prime Minister announced that all ERTES files had been resolved. The news begins and there's no mention of what's happening. Raquel is invaded by a deep rage to which she does not know how to escape. She still don't believe what's going on. She are weighing options that she never thought possible. To pay off all her expenses and try to negotiate a settlement with the landlord. To call her family to ask them to take her in for a while ... But now she can only cry.   This is the case of Raquel, and as Matías Prats said in an advertisement, "..and that of more people every day".   This is happening. People are being left behind. Many of them.  

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The Convergence inheritance

The good old convergents They are the same as always. But they're not even the shadow of what they were. A party that was hegemonic and that, subjected to the enormous tensions of the process designed by Jordi Pujol and launched by Artur Mas, has been disintegrated into a handful of factions in struggle for power.   Perhaps they would dream of traveling back in time and returning to that paradise in which CIU had the absolute majority, in which the plot of 3-5-10% worked at full speed hidden behind the honorable appearance of its leaders and in the that the succession to the throne of the Pujol dynasty was assured. Happy times for a powerful caste that considered the reins of Catalonia to be theirs by right.   Chronicle of the fall   But an unusual event happened. The power agreement that (according to some) protected the Pujol clan from the action of the law was broken when a Galician judge uncovered the plot of the ITV concessions, initialed by the heir to the crown, Oriol Pujol himself. They say that the father was furious and made his docile protégé, Artur (whose mission was none other than to warm the chair for the heir to Pujol) put into action the plan that King Jordi had contrived in reveries. In this regard, I highly recommend reading the latest book by Miguel Angel Revilla "Why don't we love each other?".   This Convergence of the absolute majorities called early elections in order to grow, raising the so-called "right to decide" (a deceptively friendly concept to start the path to secession by ethnolinguistic supremacy) and instead of growing, it lost twelve deputies and their coveted majority. He had to join with Esquerra Republicana, a party far from his best moment, to stay in power. Rather than admit his miscalculation, Mas doubled his bid, now decidedly for independence. The sum of both parties doubled the previous failure and the absolute majority kept moving away. Twelve fewer seats in the Parliament (Artur Mas in France was called "the minus twelve") and the need to make a pact with the anti-system extreme left, the CUP. All the independentistas joined, from far right to far left, but despite this forced union they were still not enough to stay in power, with an agonizing 47% of the hyperstimulated independence vote. But there was the Catalan application of the D'Hondt law, already discarded throughout Spain in favor of more democratic and representative systems, except in Catalonia, because it multiplied voting power in small municipalities in which secessionism had hegemony, while that the most populated cities, with a mainly constitutionalist tendency, saw their voting power reduced. As in apartheid Africa, it was the domain of the privileged minority over the silenced majority, and as so often, that of the regime over the dissent.   And the agony of challenges without a social majority came, of the breaking of laws without the support of Europe. The Venice committee didn't consider the "referendum" democratic, the Strasbourg court supported the actions of the Spanish government, the democratic governments refused to recognize the "republic of the eight seconds", none of the human rights NGOs recognized "political prisoners" (and the most relevant such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch expressly denied them such a condition). The streets of Barcelona were burning and fragmenting under the disturbances directed from a mobile APP that nobody claimed to know who was controlling despite the fact that the regime's captains applauded the legitimacy of the attacks committed by the ironically named "Tsunami Democratic".   The forces of nationalism were exhausting while the increasing taxes of Catalan citizens were constantly being translated into astronomical subsidies for certain media. The nationalist machinery, despite everything, didn't stop ...   The end of the adventure   But then the pandemic came. And people began to worry about things much more important than "the nation" and "the people", such as health, work, food...  and the nationalist leaders, caught with the changed pace and five years of absence from management, they divided their efforts between trying to blame everything on Madrid and trying to hide the incidence of the Perpignan macrocontamination in those who died in Catalonia (easily verifiable by collecting public data, as the CatCovidTransparencia research has done).   Now people want to rebuild their lives, go on vacation (whoever they can) and raise the country, regardless of whether they call it Spain, Catalonia or whatever they want, but what people don't want is to keep doing the game to the battles of its political leaders. To continue paying subsidizing people who keep raising their wages in the midst of the biggest economic and health crisis since the civil war. Leaders who secure millionaire pensions by law (in the case of Torra, even camouflaging it in the measures against the health emergency) and politicians who only seem to care for people to the extent that it serves as ammunition in their heated speeches.   The struggle for lost glory   And that's why the old Convergencia is now where it is. The new Partit Nacionalista de Catalunya (PNC) has just been founded, led by Marta Pascal, with a convergent pedigree from the cradle, eager to green the laurels of that pactism imitating the profitable plays of that PNV (whose name it replicates without dissimulation) that constantly threatens an independence (let's call it self-government) that it doesn't really want, because it's easier to scratch unsupportive budget lines from the rest of Spain, taking advantage of the eternal confrontation between political blocs in Madrid. The Basque nationalists have passed their hands over the faces of the convergents, and they can no longer hide it, only give a belated blow to the rudder trying to bear the shame of admitting with deeds that defeat that they'll never admit with words. A party that now renounces unilateralism, Torra and Puigdemont (and surely Mas), which returns independence to the status of utopia so as not to unfreeze it in years. A falsely moderate nationalism, which doesn't renounce that mythical "agreed referendum" and which persists in continuing to call its imprisoned predecessors "political prisoners", "exiles" or simply "retaliated", more than anything so that their followers, astonished, don't get angry at them. The new party now defines itself as "liberal center" (wants to fish in the fishing ground of Citizens) and with "loyalty between Catalonia and Spain" (a deceptively bilateral phrase for a loyalty that will last exactly how long it lasts).   Meanwhile, Puigdemont el Vivales (Albert Soler dixit), already off the hook on new projects and totally alone, announces a new party whose description could be summarized as: "It's Puigdemont's party". The funds are depleted. The moneymaker called "Consell para la República" didn't collect the ten million Euros that the fugitive demanded and was never used for anything. Her previous personalist party La Crida has just closed its premises with little noise. His PDeCAT membership is already ancient history. He needs votes to keep him in Brussels, because only his current immunity situation saves him from answering to justice, but people begin to blame him for continuously asking them for money, and the pockets of the Catalans are no longer what they were. Not even those of the nationalists.   And it doesn't end up here, with more dances of acronyms, alternatives and struggles for the political space. Esquerra Republicana formerly considered intolerant radicals, have capitalized on convergent hooliganism to become intolerant radicals disguised as responsible and moderate. Lliures steps up to claim a Catalan independence union. Ciudadanos seek to rearm so that the emerging forces do not rob him of what was its space. More power struggles in the midst of misery and chaos.   And at this point is for now the sad story of the convergents, much sadder, if possible, because it has dragged down the entire Catalan society and to a lesser extent the entire Spanish society. A wound that would take generations to heal, if the nationalists had the slightest intention of allowing it to heal, something they don't intend to do.   That's the real heritage of Jordi Pujol, and not that of Andorra. And that's the inheritance of convergence.  

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Nationalist Handbook for Using a Disaster to Campaign

Catalan nationalism (or Basque or any other nationalism) faces with COVID-19 one of its greatest challenges. And although this statement might seem gratuitous, it is not for the leaders of the "procés", as a tragedy as relevant as this brings a series of consequences that, without being the most serious for citizens, are lethal for "the cause".   In the following paragraphs I'll list the consequences of this crisis and the apparent nationalist response as if I were an independentist, and with that "sarcasm" to which Clara Ponsatí refers:   These are the factors that can harm "the path to independence".   - People focus their attention on the current crisis and leave political tension behind. That can't be allowed! Secession is the most important thing and nationalism has not spent so much money (from citizens) on TV3 and other propaganda devices so that people do not pay due attention to it now. The focus on pressing problems such as salary, food or health makes lose force to these high-sounding but abstract demands like "dignity" or "fundamental rights" (whose violation the nationalist has not really suffered), "freedom of expression" (which for the nationalist are not only guaranteed but also subsidized) or the cause of the "political prisoners" (who aren't nor are they currently prisoners, but living much better than the "oppressors").   - Madrid is the command center. "Intolerapla", that some would say. It may seem logical to centralize the management of the crisis (however deficient and late it may have been) on the capital city, but that causes many nationalists to tune in to "spanish" channels when it comes to reporting to hear ministers say things that really affect them in the daily life, and while they tune into channels not controlled by the CCMA, they can learn that there are other voices and other versions of the news, and more importantly, they stop listening for a few minutes that "Spain steals them" (the masks, for example), that Sanchez has gone "from negotiation to repression" (for taking command of the police forces), or from the "invasion of Catalonia" (because the army helps in all the CCAA), etc.   - Feelings of unity are awakened. And that's lethal. Where are we going with those slogans? What's that of "united we'll overcome it" or "united we are stronger"? The word "unity" is forbidden! "It's a"fascist" word! How can we fight that?   But nationalism knows how to react to these things. New slogans need to be created. Luckily, the media muscle of nationalism is impressive. A handful of television channels at our service (practically all those in Catalan are from the CCMA or subsidized by the regime), and the same can be said of radio channels and the printed press. An army of paid community managers watches and counteracts #hashtags that are trending on twitter and denounces until they block the unrelated accounts and probably hundreds of false profiles on Facebook are dedicated to spreading the regime's slogans and discrediting dissenting voices (recent cases of Esquerra Republicana and the hundreds of false profiles that promoted the manifestations of the "procés" point this way). We just have to be clear about what slogans to promote:   - Madrid is to blame for everything. Of course, since most of the deceased are from there (although Catalonia is in second place). This must obviously be because Madrid residents are bad people and worse managers, not because Madrid is the main hub that everyone goes through while Catalonia, although larger, has greater extensions of empty space. The people of Madrid are so bad that they die to annoy and infect us. That the virus entered mainly through Valencia is only a detail, that Valencia is only "Catalan country" when it suit us. That the people of Madrid had not come to Benidorm.   - To protect ourselves we need our borders. And if Torra says so, he must be right. Madrid wants to "centrifuge its infected" to Catalonia. From there comes death. "From Madrid to heaven", as our beloved Clara Ponsatí says, the one who "plays the bluff". And, of course, the best solution, the only one, is to separate Catalonia from Spain. If that's what has always been asked for! What difference does it make that confinement must follow medical and not political criteria? What difference does it make that there are municipalities like Igualada, or nursing homes or homes like that of any neighbor? And what difference does it make that the first infected regional president was Torra himself? (Ep, we are the first!) Of course, Torra is the least suspected in the world of having touched a man from Madrid. But we must also put borders around Catalonia, because "Spanish" viruses are worse than nationalist viruses, that our viruses are yellow in color and have a Pompeu Fabra accent.   - Let's protest against the King. After all, his father has put it on a tray for us. Don Juan Carlos has been caught in the act, charging illegal commissions and evading taxes like any Pujol or Puigdemont. Casseroles at nine o'clock (with a very beautiful mobile APP that makes a tremendous noise and saves you from having to actually hit a saucepan) and a special broadcast on TV3 at ten o'clock. A special one on ETB "The last king of Spain" (thank you, Otegui and your government partners). Messing with the King is profitable because we already know that he'll not replicate us on TV. In addition, we already did it when we used the attacks in Barcelona as a starting gunshot in the October 1 campaign. Everything is manipulable.   - Never together: separate. We are trying. The hashtag #EsteVirusLoParamosUnidos makes us sick. Let's try to capitalize on isolation, seclusion, loneliness ... we like the Hashtag #EsteVirusLoParamosSeparados better. Let's see if it sneaks, even subconsciously.   - Let's complain about everything. It doesn't matter that people are dying. It doesn't matter that this is serious. Let's complain that on the "This Virus we stop it together" sign they have written "This virus". In yellow !!. (That's soo "fascist" ..!) Let's notify Rufián right now so he can give Sánchez a phone call. What have masks seized in El Prat? Surely they are to be distributed among "non-Catalans", or as Torra calls them ... well, better not to say that, it doesn't look pretty. Let's accuse Sanchez of the irresponsibility of allowing the 8-M protests, but let's not mention that Torra, Puigdemont and Ponsatí ("from Madrid to heaven", remember?) Brought in 100,000 nationalists (although we prefer to say "Catalans", because the "real" Catalans are nationalists) crowded into buses and they were concentrated in a wasteland in Perpignan in the midst of the coronavirus crisis (perhaps Torra and many more people were infected there). Anyway, France has already closed their borders.   Will it work? Can we twist the concepts enough to make the undecided believe that "Fascispain" is to blame for the virus as we convinced them that it was to blame for the Jihadist attacks? Because we already have the faithful convinced. But that damn 53% of Catalans who still resist voting nationalism ... if it weren't for the D'Hondt law, nationalism would never have come to power. And we can't afford to lose a vote.   For nationalism, the pandemic is the battlefield, but the enemy is not the virus, but that its bases come to think that what they believed to be so important is not really what matters the most.

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Women, watch that nobody steals your feminism

It has happened with refugees, with LGTBI rights, with social rights ... and feminism was not going to be less. The appropriation of concepts has found it and now, as important as saying "I'm a feminist" is to say "you are not". Women, don't let yourselves be manipulated as easily as we men are. Show that sensitivity that we sometimes lack. Because feminist movement has been created by all of you, without exception. Let no one pretend to direct you or divide you. Don't get out of the control of "patriarchy" to fall into that of certain politicians for whom feminism and equality are only a means to get to power.   Let's review: We have Unidas Podemos. An undoubtedly feminist far left party in its postulates (the only party that bears the feminine gender in its name) although with a fairly patriarchal power structure (not to mention the fact that its leader has always had as second in command the woman with he has been sentimentally linked, a fact that in any other party had raised blisters). Podemos (for short) have attended the demonstrations on their own, wanting to appropriate your cause as they wanted to appropriate 15-M thanks to which some long-standing ideologues were able to found their "new" party, and now stand as your defender without wanting to share their pretended feminist leadership with their government partners.   Which brings us to the Partido Socialista. The degree of appropriation of this party is marked by Carmen Calvo. Nobody forgets her response to a journalist who asked if feminism was a conquest of all women: "No, pretty", was the expression with which the secretary of socialist equality denied that fact, "we have worked it in genealogy of progressive thinking, of socialist thinking". And so, with that carelessness, she denied the contribution to feminism of any woman who wasn't a socialist. Imagine a right-wing leader, for example Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, saying to a journalist: "No, pretty. Feminism is not every woman". They would describe her at least as "condescending", when not "fascist". And let's not say if she were a man ..   But the great professionals of the appropriation of social causes are the nationalist parties. Following a tradition inherited from fascism that says that all social conquests will come with the advent of the dream nation, nationalism has sold us a "cozy" (for immigration), "tolerant" (for LGTBI rights), "anti-fascist" republic, also "antiracist" and obviously a "feminist republic". That most of these struggles are based on equality when nationalism is based on difference and the supremacy of one collective over another doesn't seem to prevent them from bringing any ember to their pan.   Meanwhile, the entire spectrum of center and right becomes the great excluded, as if the women who belong to that sector were mere slaves without self-esteem, traitors to the cause. Ciudadanos are forced to flee protected by the police before the masses spurred by the extreme left. "They pacted with VOX!" A woman screams. ("How dare you!" Greta Thunberg would say). Meanwhile, the Popular Party smiles and thanks for somehow they are allowed to attend despite having carried out the same pacts. Who knows what dark interests consider a party less rival than another? And then there's VOX itself, which in one more among its many nonsenses denies the feminist cause to everyone's shame.   And so a sector of politics intends to "exclude millions of women from equality" because they think that feminism has to be leftist, combative, furious, unleavened, staged with the shape of the vagina and with a cry of rage "the rapist are you!"   And don't misunderstand me. Feminism has the right to express itself in anger. Women have endured and still endure obvious sexual and salary discrimination, but also a painful invisibility that causes their problems to be less addressed than those of the male gender. And the passivity, the painful passivity of so many men who believed (we believed) that full equality would come bi itself, gradually, as by inertia, perhaps in another couple of generations ... But the changes don't wait, and don't occur by itself. This is the moment and the world has to move. And to move it, that rage is justified.   But anger is easily manipulated. That's why it's important that there's an equally combative and inflexible feminism, but more critical, focused and thoughtful. A feminism that remains alert to the forces that seek to capitalize it on their own interests. A feminism that when it sees certain political forces pointing the finger at women from rival parties and shouting "Get out of here! You can't be a feminist!" Stands and say that feminist is who wants to be feminist, who defends gender equality, regarding the color of its vote.   Elena Maseras was the first Spanish woman to study a university degree. Clara Campoamor was one of the main drivers of universal suffrage in our country, Concepción Arenal fought for equality in all areas of her life and Rosalia de Castro changed the world for the better with her prose and poetry. The political inclination of each of them is totally indifferent to me, because each one made its own contribution to the cause of equality.   Don't allow, women, that any party tells you that, in order to achieve equality between the sexes, we have to build walls between the people, that for women to break the glass ceiling, a political party must be expelled from the streets when on the day of the women has chosen one of them as her leader by overwhelming majority. That the struggle of all is only the struggle of a few.   Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to me. But, above all, don't let the rage induced by those who spur you prevent you from thinking for yourselves, because that sin is ours, of men.   And we expect much more from you.  

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What can Puigdemont achieve in Perpignan?

This Saturday Carles Puigdemont, former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia and a fugitive from Spanish justice, has taken his challenge to the French town of Perpignan, which the most expansionist nationalism pompously calls the "Northern Catalonia." The performance has beenattended by tens of thousands of Catalan nationalists taken on buses subsidized by "civil entities" subsidized as well by the Generalitat of Catalonia with money from all Catalans. Beyond the usual dances of figures, which may range between a few tens of thousands and the round and unbelievable 100,000 attendees promised by the convening entities, the big questions are: What do he really want to achieve with this new challenge? And above all, what can be the real consequences of it? Here are some thoughts.   What's he looking for?   Self affirmation. The first and most obvious purpose is a new claim of the image of the escaped leader. Of course, to appear in France a few kilometers away from the Spanish border, moving freely and showing his MEP status is a blow of effect. "Eh Spaniards! I'm in Catalonia and you cannot touch me! Europe is more democratic than you and doesn't share your persecution!" That's the message to be transmitted, even if isn't true (France is not Catalonia and Europe has yet to rule on a possible suspension of the Puigdemont MEP Act that would allow its extradition), but such a challenge will undoubtedly be a hit of catartizing effect, much to the liking of the most radical independence, which needs more than ever new stimuli before the dialogue stance of Republican Esquerra.   Blow to dissent. Another of the objectives of the former fugitive president would be to end the discrepancies within his party with a call to order to the different currents, and especially to those ex-convergents who long for that pactist Catalanism that Esquerra seems to have taken from them and whose return they linked in the image of Artur Mas, whom after expiring his disqualification some saw as the hope of a new leadership further from the confrontation. However, the presence in Perpignan of which launched the 2000 Program of Jordi Pujol (and in doing so ended the convergent training) is a slap for this moderate sector, since all the pactism has already been left to Esquerra, leaving an orphan to the most possible and bussiness-friendly nationalist spectrum, which occupied the center-right and now has literally no one to vote for, forced to choose between a left-wing and anti-system nationalism or a non-nationalist right-wing center that until recently pointed out with the finger and they called "fascist".   Start of campaign. In Catalonia we are constantly campaigning, but this performance would be a badly concealed start in full rule for the next and not yet scheduled Catalan elections.   What can it cause?   Let's analyze the several consequences that this encounter could have on the current political landscape.   Evidence the division of nationalism. As I said before, the meeting has been perceived in the rest of the nationalist parties as a campaign act, which has led to criticism of Esquerra Republicana and the rejection of the CUP, which doesn't even want to appear, although it's among the three nationalist parties the one that with more impetus vindicates the expansionism and annexation of the so-called "Païssos Catalans".   Response from the French government. We can't ignore that the Puigdemont meeting aims to attract European media attention to Perpignan in what is going to be considered a claim from that area of ​​southern France as part of the "Catalan Republic". France is a much less tolerant state to nationalist formations than Spain, so this expansionist challenge is hardly going to be overlooked. The French still remembers the recent damages caused by the cuts in the Jonquera and the clashes of secessionist radicals with the Gendarmerie, and the Macron government already has enough problems at home so that nobody comes to excite possible peripheral nationalisms in territories that already by themselves they are complicated to manage from the distance.   Rejection of the European institutions. Europe considers nationalism one of its main problems. However, until now, European diplomacy has avoided meddling in the Catalan nationalist movement because it is considered "an internal affair of the Spanish government". From the moment that the Catalan nationalist challenge exceeds the Spanish borders to claim a part of another member country, as is the case of France, the problem ceases to become an internal affair of the government of Spain to become a challenge to the cohesion of the member states. This could cause Brussels to finally have an alibi to finally get involved and take the bravado of nationalism seriously. This new climate would facilitate the revocation of the MEP act of Puigdemont, whose expansionist desire already threatens to destabilize two of the oldest states in Europe (or three, if we take seriously their statements about the Italian town of Alghero). In Europe, the fight against Nationalism, Fascism and Racism is already being unified as a combined struggle against the three axes of the same problem (demonstrated by organizations such as United for Intercultural Action www.unitedagainstracism.org). In this sense, Carles Puigdemont's self-indulgent whim could be very expensive for his cause.   Reaction from Perpignan. Perpignan is a small municipality, with just over 100,000 inhabitants, as many as the people who intend to bring Puigdemont by bus. Most of the Perpignan speak French (their only official language) and according to the latest survey, only 2% of the population feels exclusively Catalan, since 11% feel as Catalan as French and 86% completely French. Therefore the claim of Puigdemont on Perpignan has hardly any support in that locality, so almost all the applause that begins his appearance in the "Catalunya Nord" will be from the people who have been brought by bus. Many Perpignan who patiently endure the interference of Catalan nationalism in their area may begin to think that the thing is serious and denounce the situation, as has happened with the mayor of l'Alguer (Italy) who has denounced Omnium Cultural for "colonial practices".   Reactions to the coronavirus threat. It seems a trivial issue but the explosive spread of this pathogen is now the main concern of European citizens. The World Health Organization has recommended limiting travel to a few kilometers and mass meetings to just over 1000 people. It's a very bad time for anyone to try to move 100,000 people from one country to another for hundreds of kilometers and several hours of travel, locked in buses to concentrate on a town whose number of inhabitants barely reaches the amount of people Puigdemont intends to gather . A full-scale "invasion" that not only intends to flood a nationalism with a locality in which support for its cause is a minority, but can also concentrate and spread the Covid-19. Apart from the manifest irresponsibility of not canceling this act out of pure personal pride, the possible consequences of a massive contagion would be regrettable in terms of public health and catastrophic if we talk about the image of the nationalist leader. Headlines such as "The nationalist virus invades France" would obviously be very superficial reading, but also a very powerful subliminal image of the danger that nationalism poses to the cohesion of European states.   Only time will confirm the impact this challenge will have on the political scene.

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What is more 'Catalan culture'? The sardana or the Spanish language?

Mariàngela Vilallonga, Minister of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, has starred in a recent controversy by stating that the sardana, the dance of Catalonia, is part of the folklore that defines "the Catalan race", a statement that the current counselor made the last September and has tried to make it happen as a "lapsus" although he affirmed the same thing in January 2010 in a conference, referring to a phrase written by herself in a book she published in 1986.   And it also happens that the counselor Vilallonga is a signatory of the so-called "Koiné manifesto" that defends Catalan as the sole language of Catalonia, following the anti-Spanish tonic of its predecessor, the now escaped Clara Ponsatí, who proudly asked for forgiveness (as only a nationalist knows how to do it) because she cannot speak correctly in Spanish. Because although Spanish is the most spoken language in Catalonia, for the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat it's not Catalan culture.   This raises an interesting question that we'll solve in this article. What is more Catalan? The Spanish language or the Sardana? Which of the two can be considered with more arguments "Catalan culture"?   The sardana dance   The word sardana appears for the first time in a 16th-century document recounting the prohibition that Olot's jurors made on August 5, 1552, considering it, like other dances of the time, a “dishonest” dance. However, there's no information on what it was or if it resembled the current dance with the same name (which can hardly be described as "dishonest"). Very later records already begin to define it as a circular dance, derived from those existing in other parts of Europe and, especially, of Greece. But in reality the current version of the sardana was created in the 19th century by the Andalusian José María Ventura Casas, from Jaén, who moved with his parents to Catalonia, where he was better known as Pep Ventura. Ventura considered the sardana too short (it only lasted two minutes) and very limited, so it completely renewed it with unlimited compasses and adding the popular cobla and wind instruments (which didn't exist before), inspired by operas of its time and something as Spanish as the Zarzuela.   I have not been able to find an estimation of how many people in Catalonia dance sardanas, although we could venture that several thousands across Catalonia.   The Spanish language   Although both languages ​​are spoken in Catalonia and although both have evolved from Latin, Catalan was the first in Catalonia, appearing in the twelfth century, while Spanish did not begin to be implemented until the fifteenth century. In 1490, when the first German printers settled in Barcelona they already published more in Spanish than in Catalan. In the sixteenth century the philosopher Cristofol Despuig said that in the big cities there was hardly anybody who could not speak Spanish, and in the early seventeenth century Miguel de Cervantes notes that Spanish is already a language of common use next to Catalan, and that the locals refer to him as "our language". Obviously all these events happened long before the war of succession, before the famous 1714 and, obviously, before Franco.   Currently the Spanish language, Castillian or Spanish, is the mother language of approximately 51% of Catalans (more than four million), compared to Catalan, which is approximately 36% (less than three million) according to the data of the Generalitat of Catalonia of a study carried out during the presidency of Artur Mas. In addition, the vast majority of Catalans are fully bilingual.   Analysis   If we are to compare both cultural expressions (and if it were not for the nationalist nonsense we wouldn't think of comparing them) we could stick to these criteria:   - Its antiquity in Catalonia: Spanish language arrived in Catalonia long before Sardana (fifteenth century versus the sixteenth century), and that being very generous and considering that the "dishonest dance" referenced in those writings kept some relationship with the current sardana. - Its popularity among Catalans: Spanish is spoken by almost all Catalans, and for more than four million it's the native language. Despite not being able to see how many thousands of Sardanists there are at present, it's not worth it or start comparing. - Its origin: The Spanish language was born in Castilla (although it could be specified that in the Rioja area), while the sardana has its most probable origins in the circular dances of ancient Greece and its current version was coined by a Catalan born in Andalusia. None, therefore it's a cultural expression created clearly in Catalonia by Catalans.   Conclusion   The one that each reader wants to take out. For the undersigned, sardana is as Catalan as the Spanish language. To consider that the first defines "the Catalan race" while the later is "the language of the enemy" is a thought that shows very little culture and that it can only be due to a deeply supremacist thought whose purpose is to amputate from Catalonia an essential part of its own culture for a feeling of superiority that hopefully would have died out in Europe after eight decades.

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Nationalist Cops wage a shameful battle for the "right to harass"

There are battles that would be embarrassing to win, and nationalism is fighting one. The association "Drets" (Rights) is defined on twitter as "Association of professionals in the world of law that is born to defend Catalan society from systematic attacks in the form of hate and insults". After such a victimist denomination ("they hate us, they insult us...") this nationalist organization (another one..) has spread with joy on social networks the dismissal of the complaint of the agent of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan regional police force) Inma Alcolea against another agent who posted photos of his children on the internet to point them out as children of a dissent.   The dismissal has been because, according to Facebook, sharing photographs of children by Facebook is not a crime if those photographs have been shared before by their parents on the same social network, an action that implies the dissemination consent.   Despite the dismissal of the complaint, the moral fact remains the same. Certain secessionist Mossos d'Esquadra, headed by the enfant terrible Albert Donaire (a young man who has got on top due to the impunity that any hooligan is supposed to be allowed if it's in the name of "the nation") feels that everything is worth and that they can point out and harrash the children of an agent who protests against the politicization of a police force that should serve everyone.   However, Inma Alcolea doesn't plan to let her be silenced. His appeal for reform and appeal is already underway and emphasizes both the invasion of the right to privacy of his children and the use of those images (extracted from a personal account, and not from a public and open profile).   Because nothing remains of that supposed moral superiority, of that "We are more demoratic", of that false honesty and dignity. The nationalists actions against the family of Inma Alcolea is no more legitimate than the harassment of Frank Cuesta's wife and the children for protecting wild species in Thailand. But all this seems fine to nationalism, and this is shown by the congratulations and support of nationalist followers throughout the social networks (Congratulations, Albert!). At no time are the methods criticized or the outcome disagreed, as discrepancy or self-criticism would place any nationalist on the side of the "botiflers" (traitors).   There are the triumphant comments of Donaire himself (Another one! She only chains bad news), but the truth is that the vast majority of the complaints lodged by Inma Alcolea against the harassment maneuvers of the nationalist Mosso and against the Mossos force itself they have ended up in sentences favorable to her.   The problem is that Mosso Inma Alcolea has a serious enemy in the form of the Internal Affairs Division (DAI), an allegedly politicized institution for fear of wich most mossos who disagree with nationalism choose to remain silent. This organization, according to testimonies of some agents interviewed by this media, does its best to free agents such as Donaire from the complaints, causing the numerous open files to expire and remain without effect, from those related to their participation in the illegal voting of the 1/10/2017 to those related to the application of the article 155 agains the coup d'etat or the political activism in which he is involved as an agent of the law in a way that is clearly incompatible. The sources consulted have told us that on some occasion the DAI has come to communicate to Donaire that, in order to keep the forms, they should apply some sanction "so that favoritism is not so obvious" but that they would try to always be slightly.   On the other hand, the mossos that do not follow the nationalist slogans, such as Inma Alcolea or that mosso that was recorded pronouncing the phrase "The Republic does not exist" are reprimanded with a bombardment of files, unjustified transfers ... There are also sentences condemning the Mossos D'Esquadra institution for such practices.   As much as it tries, nationalism fails to demonstrate the moral superiority it wants to show. The yellow tie that many show doesn't mean what they want anymore, because the symbol has been perverted, as the swastika was before it. Those who raises the victimhood are now executioners. In war, they say, everything goes. And nationalism is waging a unilateral war without moral limits against a rival who doesn't consider them enemies. A war, therefore, as abusive and shameful as be gratified to go unpunished of harassing the children of those who don't think as them.   We'll be following closely the evolution of this cause and the future sentence, which will surely be in favor of democracy and, above all, of the rights of these children.

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The spirit of the law

After the negative results of the socialist party two general elections ago (that's yesterday, in a manner of speaking), a man who commented on the outcome of his party with coherence and common sense appeared on the television. That man seemed centered, logical, honest. His name was Manuel Ábalos, and I have rarely been so wrong with anyone.   Today that same politician, already in the government and prey to the need of every politician to defend his actions and those of his party whether they are coherent or not, is delivered to an argumentative juggling capable of making even the most clueless of shame blush.   And all this comes to account of his statements regarding his alleged meeting with Delcy Rodríguez, the Nicolás Maduro second in command.   First we have the string of contradictions as to whether he saw her or not. If he didn't met her, if who he went to see was the Venezuelan tourism minister, Felix Plasencia, but Delcy was on the same plane ...   But if that wasn't enough, the contradictions increased when dealing with the fact that Delcy Rodriguez is banned from accessing the European Union. Ábalos insisted vehemently that, not getting off the plane, since it was he who approached her, technically Delcy didn't set a foot in the European Union. In fact, the law supports this point.   Is this an excuse for the minister to swell his chest of pride for his exemplary compliance with the law? Obviously not. And we'll not go into the subject of witnesses who claim that the Venezuelan diplomat was walking to the VIP lounge of the airport. Ábalos will probably say with the same cement face that Delcy hasn't touched Spanish soil because she wore high heels.   The real problem is that when you look around the letter of the law to circumvent your intention, you are being dishonest. When the European Union banned the entry of the Minister of Maduro into its territory, it wasn't because it preferred to carry out international relations in airports, or in yachts anchored in international waters, but because it was intended to close a door of Europe to a representative of a government. The behavior of Ábalos (with the approval of the Government of Spain) is therefore dishonest, when looking for traps in the law to violate his spirit. He can congratulate himself, as Artur Mas did every time he boasted of his "cunning" by using the legal ins and outs to his advantage. Winning a play this way is losing democracy.

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"Only the people can stop me" and other famous fascist phrases

Not once, but many times has stated the Catalan nationalist leader Quim Torra that "Only 'the people' can cease him because it is 'the people' who have chosen him", and with it he has endorsed the words of the Nazi leader Hermann Goering. A few words not free of irony, since they draw a closed circle around these three axioms:   1. The leader leads the fight for the nation. 2. You are only 'the people' if you love the nation. 3. The nation is only loved if the fight is supported.   It's clear that the case of Torra differs a little from that of Goering, since in Germany nationalism won by absolute majority of votes, something that independence has never achieved, and Goering was voted for the position he held, while Torra was practically a stranger put by Puigdemont (who had been second after Arrimadas) and the only votes in his favor were those of the CUP, as in the case of Puigdemont.   In any case Torra was made president by a Spanish law, which allows a party to change an elected leader by someone else. And the same law that has invested him and that he has broken can lead to his removal.   But this isn't the only unequivocally fascist phrase that has found an echo in our days.   "I'll only accept the outcome of these elections if I win". This phrase was said by Donald Trump in the final stretch of the electoral campaign that led him to the White House. With this undemocratic background no one can be surprised for all the scandals that have happened or the current "impeachment." Accepting the law only if it suits you is one of the main features of fascism.   "What is decided in this parliament cannot be invalidated by any higher law". This phrase belongs to the famous "enabling law" that granted Hitler plenipotentiary powers, but also to the famous "disconnection laws" enacted in the Parliament of Catalonia during the attempted coup d'etat of September 6 and 7, 2017. Of such laws it was clear that what was decided in the chamber was not subject to the Statute of Catalonia or the Spanish constitution, nor to European laws or the Human Rights Charter or other laws, human or divine.   "Beasts with human form that drink hate", the famous qualifier used by the now president of the Generalitat Quim Torra to refer to Spaniards who were not Catalan was written in his famous article "The language and the beasts". This qualifier and another dozen permutations were used profusely by Nazism to dehumanize the "other" and make empathy impossible. Few phrases so clearly represent fascism.   Obviously, current fascism no longer shows off its name. The new fascists flee the word "fascism" as from a plague because of their undeniable negative connotations, but the ideas, actions, feelings ... that has not changed.   It doesn't hurt to review the main features of fascism in this video.  

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Upcoming demonstrations against Pedro Sánchez for breaking his promises

Pedro Sánchez has a huge face. A face made of cement, or reinforced concrete, in case anyone doubts its hardness. Because politicians saying one thing in campaign and another when governing is already something usual, but that of our eternal acting president exceeds all limits. And many people have lost patience. Never in the history of Spanish democracy had a president broken all his electoral promises before being invested. Sanchez has done it, and is fully aware of it. The acting president who has held such a condition for the longest time minimizes his exposure in the media, and when he has no choice but to appear he admits no questions. Their spokesmen have to swallow the shame by "selling" to the media arguments contrary to those they defended a few days ago and the socialist barons turn uncomfortable in their armchairs for fear of protesting and losing them. Minority parties also shut up and look the other way while giving their YES in exchange for crumbs from their own country. Only the example of Revilla, regionalist president of Cantabria and until recently one of Sanchez's greatest supporters, shows some dignity by withdrawing his support in the face of such nonsense.   Let's review some of Sánchez's most flagrant rudder turns:   "I will not sleep peacefully with members of Podemos in the government, and most Spaniards will not."   It's the phrase with which he justified the elections in which he not only lost power, but also reduced the block on the left. The embrace of Pedro and Pablo, as if welcoming the far left within the government had always been the objective, was an image to lead the definition of "hypocrisy." Now you can sleep, Pedro?   "I cannot allow the government of Spain to depend on the independentists"   Also with this phrase he justified the last electoral repetition. Well, at the present time, not only does the government depend on the independentists, but the socialist party has assumed the entire nationalist mental framework, from the "judicialization of the political conflict" to the "bilaterality". The concessions to nationalists are fast and scandalous, while pensions and salaries have to wait until the throne is insured.   "I plan to get a law that outlaws illegal referendums"   With this phrase Sanchez intended to ensure that national sovereignty would not be questioned, but in a matter of days he changed his mind and, juggling, has gone directly to raise a legal referendum on what is discussed in the "bilateral" table with those who gave the coup d'etat. Limits? "Legal and democratic means", says the agreement. No mention is made of the constitution. And here we have to remember that for the Catalan nationalists the illegal and unilateral referendum of October 1 was democracy and the attacks on "Democratic Tsunami" in Barcelona were also. Remember that for them some laws are to follow and others are not. "Yes, but Esquerra has renounced unilateralism", said Ábalos that day and Esquerra replied, minutes later "No. We haven't given up anything".   To a politician hypocrisy is supposed, as much as to a bullfighter the value. It's impossible to maintain 100% coherence with your own ideas when you drag a whole party structure, when you want to please everyone and when a ruler faces the reality of pacts, favors payments and budgetary limits that make up the political arena But no one in any political party in Spain has reached the levels of hypocrisy in which our current acting president moves.   And because of this, in the next few days prior to the investiture, several demonstrations are prepared in the main capitals of Spain against the decisions of a presidential person who, before being invested, has taken a 180 degree turn to the policies for which he has been voted.   On January 3 in Madrid, on January 4 in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza, on January 6 in Barcelona, ​​and on January 12 again in Madrid. Many indignant people, (we'll see how many, because the dates are not conducive to the demonstrations) will tell Pedro Sánchez, without politicians involved, that "this is not what we voted you for".

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When they say "Sit and Talk" but they do "Hit and Burn"

I came to think that the Tsunami Democratic boys would disappoint me. At the end of the day their demands were the freedom to hang vindictive banners in the play field and that the government sat down to talk to the coup plotters, and both were guaranteed. Pedro Sanchez the non-sleeper had a negotiating team leaving his buttocks on the chairs of the negotiating table shared with ERC and had genuflected by telephone before Torra, the delegate of the Waterloo escape, while Barça gave in to blackmail and allowed the banners Claims wave insulting in the stands.   But what the hell! As they said in Braveheart, "We haven't painted ourselves like this for nothing". So the "Tsunámic" (the hashtag of the day was #Tsunamicdemocratic) began with half an hour of chants and kumbayás. All the funny performances orchestrated (presumably) from Waterloo were intended to give a safe and festive image of the event. Launch of "democratic" inflatable (yellow) balls, posters, masks of Messi .. but immediately that pacifist formula was running out. Soon among the choirs of peace began to sneak the usual "long live" to a certain terrorist band that has the shameful record of being the most inefficient in history (Terra Lliure caused more deaths among its own members than among its objectives).   Several "surímic" dedicated themselves to harass to the assistants, before beginning the match. Some tried to hinder their access. Many sang "Els segadors" loudly, as if each of the words could hurt. "Bon cop de falç!" (Good blow of sickle!) "Esmolem ben bé les eines!" (Let's sharpen the tools well!) "Que tremoli l'enemic!" (Let the enemy tremble!) You know, love and smiles. Among the people some ask themselves "When are we going to make a real mess?"   So once the moods warmed up, the "tsunamics" changed the boring mantra of "Sit and Talk" to the funniest "Hit and Burn". They started shyly, surrounding and harassing the Spanish Television journalist, who ended up being throwed "democratic" droppings for her boldness of wanting to report what was happening. Then they started throwing objects at the cops' vans, but they didn't respond, so it wasn't that fun. They returned to the journalist, and as another live connection was prepared they waited for the signal to burn the first thrash container. There, some attendees began to cheer up, because until now they had only achieved a good pain of their feet and missing the football match. The smiles appeared on their faces with the purifying fire. And they started doing what they like. As there's no one to hit, they engage the "Boixos nois", but these radicals are not newbies at the time of violence. So the "tsunamics" have to run away. That's not what they have prepared for. They returned to known terrain.   Burning containers .. challenges to the cops.. "Run everyone, they are storming!" The hormones fired while hooded youth live epic skirmishes that later TV3 will emit in slow motion exposing the most glorious images in a vidiwall on a discussion table full of indignant independence fighters with no discrepancy. More attacks on journalists (pity, now they wear helmets). Well, after all, that won't be broadcast on nationalist TV3 ... and the game is not over yet.   And inevitably the wounded arrive. The charges of the mossos fill some people with bruises. In the heat by the attacks of "the brave" some agents give more blows than the strictly necessary .. although nothing we don't see in any other demonstration with people facing the police. Many of these young people are surprised or outraged, without understanding that the police cannot be beaten with impunity, that they will respond. Others, more daring, attack a police van and manage to open it even if they fail to enter it. Chaos. Terror.   And little else happens (as if the avobe description wasn't enough) because after a night of burning and breaking things, even that is not news in Barcelona. Thanks to Sánchez, Torra and Colau, the true invincible trident that has swept through Barcelona. Hate has returned to the streets. There has been a tragic news that is no longer news.   0 - 0. It's the end of the match. And it's also the result that Tsunami Democrátic has achieved. It hasn't drawn international attention to Catalonia. He hasn't shaken the foundations of anything. Just a day of local glory, a Trending Topic to take to their dry lips, a blowout for vandals with a withdrawal syndrome after a month without burning things. But a victory for no one. Some commentary at the bottom of the page on how a few thousand nationalists calling for dialogue and respect for human rights and then broking and burning things as usual.   It's easy for me to imagine two Europeans commenting on the topic while having lunch:   - "How was the match?". - "Boring. There were no goals. And I think they said something about some nationalist riots". - "Are they still with that? And what is the government of Spain doing?". - "You don't know? It's been a year since they've had a government". - "I think this summer I will visit Rome". - "Weren't you going to Barcelona?". - "I don't know, we'll see".

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All the bad decisions of Pedro Sanchez

I would like no one to take this article as an attack on the opponent from an opposite position, but as the deep disappointment of someone who once voted repeatedly to the socialist party as the most reasonable center-left political option. And what I want to convey with it is a great fear for the future that awaits us.   The acting president who has retained such a condition for more time in our history is taking in these months of latent power all the possible bad decisions and repeating the worst mistakes of all his predecessors in the Moncloa. Only in his case they don't seem to be mistakes, because he makes them fully aware of what he's doing. And he stands firm in his positions despite the fact that his plan A has failed, as well as B and C, but the tenant of the Moncloa faces the future with the smile that would have anyone to whom luck smiles.   The conflict in Catalonia: In recent months Mr. Sanchez has disarmed all the moral advantage that the Spanish government had over secessionism. The first mistake has been the shameful acceptance of the nationalist mental framework, which, as happened with Basque nationalism, describes as "political conflict" an illegal challenge that has caused a social breakdown, hatred, wounded and dead (from hispanophobic crimes such as those committed by Rodrigo Lanza until the deceased Frenchman while carrying his luggage along the road during the siege of the Prat airport, counting also the police agents and Mossos of Esquadra seriously injured by CDRs and "Tsunamis" encouraged from Waterloo and the Catalan Parliament..) This "political conflict" has caused an unprecedented business exodus, a collapse of domestic tourism, the incalculable loss of business opportunities and prosperity (the European Medicines Agency, possibly the Tessla's European Gigafactory and who knows if the Mobile World Congress will be renewed.. ). Apart from that he has legitimized the imprisoned and escaped coup plotters, sending his emissaries (from Pablo Iglesias to the union leaders) in unfortunate pilgrimage to Lledoners to beg the intercession of Junqueras, who threatened to paralyze the economy of his land and pressured Puigdemont to consummate the coup when he doubted). Without needing it, he also gives legitimacy to the "summit" in Waterloo between Torra and Puigdemont, two recognized leaders of the far right who only European right-wing nationalisms support and who are for him legitimate interlocutors while all constitutionalist political forces, from the center to the right, don't have that legitimacy that nationalism seems to give. And half of Spain remembers the embarrassment everybody felt when the president affirmed before the media to have control of the prosecutor's office, and stumble that secessionists quickly took advantage of to claim that in Spain there's no separation of powers. Regrettable.   Corruption: The EREs scandal has largely overcome the plundering of citizens that were the shameful cases that caused the downfall of the Popular Party. Those democratic "scruples" that made Pedro Sánchez unable to bear to share a hemicycle with someone who is "not decent" have dissolved like sugar in the water before the scandals of his own formation, which uses without blushing the arguments he once rejected from his political rivals. I don't even value the double standards of the leaders of Podemos. Nothing new under the sun.   The alliances: Continuing with Podemos (or should I say "United We Can"), Pedro the incoherent repeated elections because "he couldn't sleep" having members of Unidas Podemos in his government and conditioned by separatists. Well! Now Pedro continues smiling as everything was fulfilled according to his designs.   The strategy: The electoral advance took place just at the time of the judgment of the "procés" trial, when Torra unleashed the rage concentrated over two years in an explosion of hate that had date and time. The government of Spain, aware of what was going to happen, remained absent while Barcelona was burning, at the time when greater strength was necessary and the consequences of that fact have not yet been accounted for. Of course, the elections not a day later, it won't be that the ruling of the ERE diminished the campaign.   Consistency: We have already mentioned it. No politician in his life has been more mistreated by the newspaper archive. His phrases from a few years ago (or only a few months) spit in his face his current cynicism, rebut his excuses, shave his low values. There's no worse enemy for Pedro Sánchez today than yesterday's Pedro Sánchez.   The state vision: It doesn't exist. When the vast majority of Spaniards (and among them the majority of Catalans) rejects nationalism, Sanchez discards all but those who have proven to play outside the democratic board. His "novel" strategy: content the beast by feeding it. An error that the rest of the political forces have learned. The nationalists (and not Catalonia) already have the competences in education, in health, in transport ... but here's Pedro Sánchez, valuing also to grant key infrastructure such as ports and airports. New "state structures" for nationalism, which doesn't even pretend that with that it will be appeased, since they are only new conquests on its irrevocable path to rupture.   This is our immediate future. Spaniards abandoned by their government, and among them millions of Catalans who remain loyal to their country even though such loyalty is not reciprocated from their government, because fortunately neither Spain is Pedro Sanchez nor Catalonia is Quim Torra. Although from the outside it seems.   Spain is led by a politician whose behavior only shows a clear objective: Power at all costs. And the Catalan community has been kidnapped by politicians who don't govern by political slogans, but by faith.   A combination that can't bring us anything good.

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Three posters outside

This Saturday I went to visit some friends in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, and during the short journey between the place where I had parked the car and my destination I found profusion of posters, images and graffiti. Since I toured the area of ​​influence of the town hall, almost all the claims were pro-nationalist ("anti-repressive" days convened by those who repress the freedom of discrepancy, claim of Catalan culture by those who forbid the most spoken language of their land, etc..). However, three images somehow caught my attention. The first had nothing in particular at all. It was just an electoral poster of the last campaign of JuntsXCAT. Here you can see it.     This first poster showed the grim and confident image of the Waterloo escape. In the lower left corner the legend "Laura Borràs represents us" could be clearly read (the sample enlarged next to the poster). Indeed, the challenging, radical and incisive character of the neoconvergent represented the "values" defended by Messiah Puigdemont and his delegate on Earth, Quim Torra. But the passage of time (even if it's only a few weeks) makes the poster can now be seen in a new light. The light of the investigation that is carried out on the weavings of the neo-convergent leader, which include charges for embezzlement, documentary falsification and prevarication, favoring the awarding "by finger" of irregular contracts to a friend of her, arrested for drug trafficking and fake notes through the "dark web". This case awakens echoes of other cases of her neo-convergent colleagues. There's not enough space in this article to refer to Pujol and the Banca Catalana case (which started it all) or to Pujol's son and the case of ITVs, or expired prostheses, or investigations to Puigdemont for the Aigües de Girona or the diversion of subsidies to pay for his stay in Waterloo through Víctor Terradellas (and his alleged link with the Russian plot) .. Anyway, apparently, Laura Borràs, indeed, represents them. I couldn't stop photographing that poster.     The second poster had much more bad intention, and I doubt that it was the work of nationalists, because if so, it would be necessary to affirm that its criterion is much more damaged than it seems. This poster, made in the manner of those who claim the freedom of detainees for the attempted coup (Junqueras, Forn ..) or the siege of the courts of Vía Layetana (Los Jordis) demands freedom for the "political prisoner" Oriol Pujol. The dolphin of the Pujol clan convicted of influence peddling, bribery and documentary falsity, is in fact in semi-freedom after serving less than 60 days of the two years of conviction that correspond to him for frauds such as those of the ITV case. I insist: Surely the cartel is not the work of nationalism, but of someone who wants to expose the hypocrisy of a party that usually covers its corruption under the starred flag. And to me that he succeeds, so I considered this poster worthy of another photograph.     And arriving near where I had parked my car I found not a sign, but a graffiti. One of many that demands "Freedom", made precisely from the freedom that has who knows that his neck is not at risk for making that graffiti, or for burning a container or for insulting the police or going outside with a yellow ribbon, as would happen if they really lived under a repressive regime. However, another artist had expanded and nuanced the original graffiti with the addition of the word "Tabarnia" (although it's evident that a third person has tried uselessly to erase it). A concept that was born as an intelligent essay on constitutional marketing, became an ingenious revulsion that put the shame of exclusionary nationalism on display and then seemed to decay and fester among the scathing boats of Boadella and the debate between those who see the concept as a distorting mirror and those who consider it a real option. The truth is that Tabarnia, that imaginary and undefined territory, is also a reality that resists disappearing (like the graffiti itself) because the causes that have originated it are still present. Tabarnia is a social and cultural reality, despite its curious name and its imperfect definition. An utopia that will probably never come true, since it's just as inevitable but at the same time as impossible as the "Catalan republic" itself. The photo was indeed inevitable.   Three posters that provoke different sensations. Only after verifying that I had taken three photographs I remembered that Oscar-winning movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", starring an excellent Frances McDormand and which I recommend to anyone who has not yet seen it. That movie also revolved around three posters placed on a tour and its influence on those who saw them.

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December 6 - When Catalans and the rest of Spaniards exercised the right to decide

One autumn day the Catalans went to vote. They did it festively and with joy. They were exercising their right to decide. They had lived for years under the gray shadow of a dictatorship, and finally they could raise their voices to give their opinion.   The referendum allowed them to vote "Yes" or "No", but the way of voting of this people gave the result its own character. The Catalans not only said yes, like most Spaniards, but also gave a more forceful YES than the average of their compatriots. And not only in the proportion of their affirmative response were they noted. Being able to maintain their participation in the national average, they exceeded it widely. The answer was notorious and unambiguous.   They had voted YES to that post-Franco Spain. They had exercised their right to decide. They had voted and won.   That's the day that is commemorated on December 6. The beginning of illusion, of the common contract signed by our parents (that's why I speak of them in the third person) so that their children had a framework of coexistence that would protect them from future tyrannies.   Today the grandchildren of those who won the then distant civil war (Puigdemont, Marta Pascal, Lluis Llach and so many others who exchanged Spanish nationalism for Catalan nationalism and the Falange for Convergencia or Esquerra) want to take us back to the gray shadow of exclusive nationalism, to monolingualism and directed culture imposed from a fascist regime, to protectionism and isolationism that builds walls between us and our dreams.   That's why they deny feeling obliged by the constitution voted by their parents, as they deny the damage they inflict and the totalitarian nature of their methods and ideology, such as those who deny the holocaust, climate change or gender violence.   But the constitution voted by my parents also obliges me, as does the human rights letter that I did not vote for the curious motive of not being born then.   And that's why today more than ever it's a day to recognize the importance of what several great men, of all the cardinal points of our country and endowed with a sense of state, made possible to park their differences and their political tacticism and act to avoid let out that unique opportunity to achieve not only peace, but also coexistence for those they represented.   I look at today's politicians, particularly the leaders who lead the majority of formations, and they pale in comparison.   It was shown 41 years ago that we were capable of something else. We need to prove it again.   For our constitution.

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The battle for language begins

The hegemony of the language is one of the key objectives of Catalan nationalism, to a much higher degree than the case of Basque nationalism. The use of language as a differentiating tool has always been a priority for the independence movement, and only the need to broaden its social base has made it possible for a party as firmly monolingual as ERC (just remember when the former ERC leader Joan Puigcercós refused to respond in Spanish to another Catalan, live and on television, arguing that he "did him a favor") to tolerate the presence of the Spanish language to the point of making it possible for the party's main spokesman to be Gabriel Rufián, a Spanish-speaking "charnego", something that its barely tolerated by an important part of his party and that the nationalist politician tries to be forgiven day and day also defending with fury the marginalization of his own mother language.   But this objective, which is rarely questioned, discussed or even mentioned, has been officially questioned now by the party that so far less could be expected to do so: The PSC.   Because the Catalan socialists, with Iceta in front, had so far been characterized by defending linguistic immersion in Catalan. Such legislation, imposed by nationalism and which has never been endorsed by the citizens of Catalonia, had been possible thanks to the powers assigned from Madrid by the majority parties, and until now it had only been confronted by Ciudadanos, although this opposition was made increasingly weaker according to the party of Albert Rivera, he ceased to focus all his efforts on refuting nationalism and dedicated them to compete with the Popular Party for its electoral space, with the results we all know.   However, this past week the leader of the Catalan Socialists has unexpectedly picked up a proposal to "ammend" the "immersion" so that the Spanish language can once again become a vehicular language in some classrooms and in some schools making Linguistic Immersion "more flexible", reinforcing Catalan in some centers (although if it's already 100% I can't see how it can be possible), reinforcing Spanish in others and English in all cases.   I don't know if Iceta's motivations are genuinely to improve the quality of education in Catalonia or if he's assuming some of the premises of Ciudadanos to expand his electoral base. If it's the latter, I can't deny that the play is smart. It's well known that the Linguistic Immersion has as its defenders the most identitarian Catalan-speaking nationalists, but that if voted on in a referendum it would surely be rejected by the majority of Catalans, many independentists included, because they don't want their children to be deprived of a powerful Communication tool such as the second most spoken mother tongue in the world after Chinese. And that lack of consensus is the reason why nationalism has never allowed it to vote.   Iceta's proposal would improve the current situation, but it's not by far the ideal one. Allowing each center or each municipality to regulate the application rate of the Language Immersion would only increase the difference between Catalans. There are many better formulas, such as the trilíngual teaching proposed in its day by Ciudadanos in which Spanish, Catalan and English had the same weight. Other more asymmetric proposals could grant 25% to each of the three languages ​​leaving the remaining 25% freely available to each center. Such a proposal would allow 25% Spanish, 50% Catalan and 25% English in deep catalan villages, while in Hospitalet or Castelldefels the Spanish could reach 50%, with 25% of Catalan and 25% English. Special cases such as the Aran Valley, which has an additional language could have 25% for each language and dedicate the remaining 25% to Aranese. If Iceta's proposal were in that direction, asymmetric but with solid minimums, we would be faced with a proposal with the ability to establish itself as an adaptive but not divisive educational model.   Another intelligent movement is not to present it to the nationalist parties as a repeal of the "immersion", but as an "adaptation" or "flexibilization", since the hardest and most identifiable nucleus of nationalism has as one of its most sacred axioms "Don't touch the language".   Those who have run out of words are the constitutionalist parties, possibly because they didn't dare to propose this initiative (or to defend it adequately in the case of Ciudadanos). Many Spanish-speaking parents (more than half of Catalans, according to the Generalitat itself) would welcome this flexibility, which would allow the PSC to scratch a good percentage of Spanish-speaking votes from Ciudadanos or the "Commons" in the next Catalan elections thus overcome Esquerra Republicana.   Be that as it may, the doubt is that putting the linguistic question back on the table has several interesting consequences in the immediate future:   - The spiral of silence on the subject of language has been broken, something that must be reflected in the associations of parents, political parties and associations for the rights of Spanish speakers such as "Hablamos Español".   - It'll make the nationalist parties react fiercely defending their territory and denying their claims of "this is about democracy.." because this really is about cultural supremacism.   - It'll make the constitutionalist parties enter a struggle to defend something as sensible as the right to bilingualism in Spanish communities that have that cultural wealth.   Finally, and given the pertinent of the subject, I'll allow myself to finish this article with the recent video of the monographic series #HablemosClaro in which we analyze the use of language by nationalism.     And given that in this medium we DO apply trilingualism it's worth noting that both this article and the video are made in Spanish, Catalan and English, so you only have to change the language in the top menu to read or view the content In the language of your choice.

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Torra, don't leave us

If we go back seven years ago, to that festive day and "kumbayá" of 2012 in which hundreds of thousands of smiling Catalans took to the streets flying stelae and defending "the government of the best", the "Catalonia without corruption" and the "revolution of smiles", it would be very difficult for us to anticipate what this movement has become today. But one of the reasons we can now see it has been the progressive degeneration of the leaders who have led it, the best of which was Jordi Pujol, the alleged corrupt and confessed evader, followed by Arturo (Artur) Mas, the opportunist convert which made its own party disappear adding a suicidal turn to the increasing corruption. Puigdemont came to succeed (with the imposition and blessing of the CUP) to fill the role of replacement and useful fool, being somewhat less fool than expected, but also much less useful. And the story became a tradition when the flight of the "legitimatepresident" (although no one had voted for him) gave way to Torra, another great stranger, after the mandatory "white smoke" from the CUP.   And it's to Torra to whom we all owe the knowledge we now have of that totalitarian phenomenon known as "Catalan Nationalism". Here are some of his milestones:   - He has demonstrated his supremacism in press articles, tweets and statements. His racist qualification of the Spaniards as "Beasts with human form", his claim that the dissenting Catalans "have a tare in their DNA" or that "it's not natural for Catalan children to speak in Spanish" would make Goebbles cry excited.   - He has demonstrated his lack of respect for the fundamentals of democracy, executing in first person the occupation of public space with political symbols, self-incriminating for the crime and declaring himself to be above the law that prosecutes him. He has claimed the Slovenian route to Catalonia. Any totalitarian would cheer him.   - He has made clear his commitment to violence and non-democratic ways, supporting the attacks and sabotages of the repression commandos (self-proclaimed CDR), which he considers "friends" and "family" and that he has personally led in their road blockade, whose wife (also CDR) has participated in the siege of the Prat airport, her daughter Helena's car was spotted at the border cuts, and her son Guillem is a liaison for the CDRs detained in the "Operation Judas". His commitment to the commandos created in the Puigdemont era is such that everyone links them to him. When the CDRs have shouted "Independence or Barbarism!" Torra has seconded them.   - He has made public his admiration for the Badia brothers, creators of fascist paramilitary militias, something very present for the highest supporter of the CDR. Recall especially Miquel Badia, "Captain Bollocks", racist and violent at maximum, and also a torturer. A true example of life.   - It has boasted of boorishness and bad manners when threatening between laughs to fart at the judicial headquarters. It's a minor fact, it's true, but it gives us an idea of ​​the real level of the "ambassador of the ratafía".   - He has refuse to work. Likewise. During the first year his government did'nt aprove any law and the second year he has hardly done anything. The parliament has been basically closed and Catalonia remains operational by pure inertia. If he's not the most inept ruler who has occupied the office of "president" it's because he has also given up occupying it, since he has it reserved for the fled ex-president of Waterloo.   In summary. That such an individual is president of the Catalan Generalitat and his faithful on the street go "President, President!" offers a terrifying and shameful portrait of Catalan nationalism that no one in Europe can overlook. All the supposed virtues, all the pacifism, that moral superiority ... everything is on the ground. Many nationalists (I know it) give up talking about him, upset and embarrassed. They don't like how this epic is developing, which one day seemed like a dream for them.   That's why many constitutionalists want Torra not to leave, to endure a little more.   I hope your disqualification is late. I hope that you endure the months necessary to be forced to call autonomous elections, instead of throwing yourself into the dubious epic of being sentenced to a golden retirement, that the "Spanish State" do you the favor of snatching a charge that you have never wanted.   Stay with us one more time, Quim. May all Europe see who you are and what you represent.

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Fascism has changed sides

Today there are many people in Spain worried about the rise of the far right and fascism. And it's a logical concern, only that they are looking in the wrong direction.   I don't mean that VOX, the emerging party that has swept the votes in the last elections, doesn't have some characteristics of the far right. That Trump protectionism (with wall included), that questioning of feminism, that nostalgia for a glorious past, its exacerbated patriotism and the blessing of the ultra-rightists of the Salvini's Lega Norte... those are features that point in the wrong direction, and certain tone outflows of their leaders, such as the reference to the "thirteen roses", are not needed. But its voters probably don't share all their postulates, but instead go to VOX in response to the excesses of nationalism and the far left. Unfortunately, for now, political formations have to be voted as a whole, not just the characteristics that interest us. So far VOX has behaved democratically. We'll see later.   However, it seems that until now there has been an enormous blindness towards a far right that has been oppressing Catalonia for almost eight years. A far right also blessed by the Lega Norte, who recognized his equal without hesitation. A far right that not only thinks in fascist terms, but takes years acting according to the postulates of fascism, but which (as predicted by American Senator Huey Long) it calls itself "antifascist" (and some of them "leftish"). I'm speaking, of course, of Catalan nationalism.   Why now several voices begin to call the monster by its name? What has suddenly changed so that many of us realize something we didn't see before? The answer is nothing. The proposals and methods of Catalan nationalism are the same as always. Their positions have simply been radicalized and, in doing so, the disguise of democracy has broken down, clearly showing the purposes and methods that it really hides.   Thus, nationalism, which in the past denied violence, indoctrination in schools, the propaganda use of TV3 and the persecution, signaling and harassment of the dissenting, now encourages all these unequivocally fascist practices, even if it still try to justify them under concepts like "freedom of expression". All these practices have been denounced last week in the European Parliament.   So it's true: Fascism, authoritarianism and repression threaten Catalonia. But let's look in the right direction, please.   And to be clear about the concepts, nothing better than watching this video in which (in six minutes) it makes clear what fascism is, so that word is not misrepresented again.     Because fascism is our enemy, and to defend ourselves from it, we must know it.

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Catalan nationalism goes from "self-kidnapping" to losing control of its CDRs

It remains to be seen if it's a performance or an authentic alarm, but the case is that the Generalitat warns that it "no longer controls the CDRs", according to information published by elconfidencialdigital.com. The recent statements of one of the detainees confirming the plan to assault the parliament with the complicity of Quim Torra himself and the so-called "CNI Catalan" has raised the alarms in the nationalist dome. The statements of the CDR interrogated (which was presented by Junqueras at the beginning of his career in Esquerra Republicana) have made the Generalitat confirm that they fear that the CDR will carry out their threats to boycott the general elections of 10-N in Catalonia occupying the polling stations and sabotaging the electoral device. Therefore, and preventively, the Catalan government are now disconnected from the Commands that they helped to create and promoted ("We are all CDR") until yesterday. Now, as you can see, neither "our CDRs" are their CDRs, nor "infiltrators" are infiltrated nor "our police" is their police. The truth is that neither of the two possibilities is positive for nationalism, let alone for their international image. The defense from their political elite of autonomous cells that were already born radicalized and its progressive violent escalation is something that cannot be understood either here or on the other side of the Pyrenees, and the weak apology of the Government affirming that "CDR is not the same that Tsunami Democrátic" doesn't help them either, since the Government continues to close ranks with "Tsunami Democrátic", the secret organization that controls nationalist demonstrations and is accused of promoting terrorist acts.   Finally, this is a call for help that the CDR will interpret as a "free bar" to act at will without damaging the image of the government that created them, although the loss of control of nationalism over its radicalized commandos may simply be a strategy to acting without a clipper (such as the alleged self-kidnapping of Torra alleged by the detained CDRs) or if the Golem fable is repeated, in which the created monster escapes control and unleashes its fury without control, which would show the world an image of the Catalan nationalism far from the one they are trying to sell.   In this desperate situation, the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, now uses the questioned Minister of Internals Affairs, Miquel Buch, to mobilize the Mossos d'Esquadra to guarantee the votes.

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Does Catalan nationalism finance vandalism?

The week in which Barcelona burned under the actions of nationalist radicals was a week of certain news, but also of urban legends. Some of them, such as the "violent infiltrators" sent by the Spanish government, were quickly denied by the force of the evidence, since all the detainees turned out to be independent activists, many of them attached to radical organizations. However, there was other news that couldn't be credible because it wasn't sufficiently documented. But one of them is acquiring reality visas as a result of the latest arrests made by the Mossos d'Esquadra.   First I'm going to tell you the rumor, the urban legend to which I refer. That legend was based on an audio that was viralized by WhatsApp claiming to be the testimony of a woman who spoke in Catalan and recounted how in a disturbance at the height of La Roca del Vallès a friend of her niece joined the groups of protesters, covering his face with a black hood and doing what he saw others do. After seeing the police, the boy fled with the rest and they all took refuge in a hall. Then two people appeared on a motorcycle, covered, and delivered an envelope to each. As his niece's friend was covered like the rest, he also received one of the envelopes. What wouldn't be his surprise when he returned home, in the envelope the boy found 3,000 €. The author of the recording concluded that some groups of radicals were charging for their violent actions. That someone dictated the objectives and was in person to pay them anonymously, with money envelopes, to make sure they met what was agreed.   I insist: What I just narrated is a WhatsApp audio without supporting evidence, so the first time I heard it, my automatic reaction was to discard it. It was necessarily a fake audio. A fabrication of some "patriot" to feed conspiracy theories (as if secessionism needed more). The fact that no further evidence appeared made me forget the fact.   However, yesterday the Mossos de Esquadra, (and now this is real news) stopped a group of CDRs that intended to cut the AP-7 highway in La Junquera. And the surprise to all was that at the time of the detention the kids carried envelopes of money that added up to the amount of € 9,900. The content of each envelope was very similar to that described in that anonymous audio, with 10 and 20 euros bills. The young detainees, all members of a nationalist organization known as La Forja, affirmed before the Mossos that the money was destined for social projects, they even mentioned that it would be used to "improve the regional public transport", but the Mossos don't believe that version and have proceeded to open an investigation to try to locate the source of the money. Apart from the money, activists were also seized other materials such as helmets and flammable liquids.   The news is worrisome, and the alibi wielded by the detainees is nothing short of incredible. Because the truth is that when someone is going to demonstrate illegally, the last thing they think about is to take with them the funds of a social project, distributed in envelopes without marks and in small bills. If you are riding a barricade with flammable liquids and carry 3,000 euros on top, one of the few things that would justify it would be that someone just gave them to you. And if that someone hasn't given them to you before, it's because he wants to verify that you are where he wants you to be, doing what he wants you to do.   In any case, my previous paragraph is nothing more than an elucubration. A hypothesis, probably very similar to some of those that the Mossos must be shuffling. Now more than ever it's necessary to differentiate between a hypothesis (as likely as it may seem) and a proven fact. The future will tell us if the hypothesis is fulfilled or if there is another reason (more innocent or perhaps much more sordid) for a handful of activists performing acts of vandalism carrying in a pocket what for many youngsters is the salary of three months.

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"The classrooms belong to everyone!"

Youth is the most fragile group in Catalonia, and not because their minds are more permeable to radical ideas or their hormonal revolution makes them more prone to violence. The fragility lies in the fact that young people, and especially university-grade students, are trapped by a clamp formed by teachers (many) and classmates (some) who tell them that they have to defend the ideas of nationalism because that's the right thing to do, without any chance to reply or debate. The discrepancy is very badly seen in the nationalist environment, but the discrepancy in adolescence and youth age can be dramatic for the alienation of a young adult. Thinking for yourself, if your conclusions take you away from hegemonic thinking, it's something you can't afford. Requesting your exam in Spanish, even if the law allows it, may lead to your name being on a list. Having a photo on Facebook where you go out celebrating Hispanic Day can lead to a nationalist boss discarding you by default in a selection process in the future, something that is very difficult to happen if the situation is the reverse.   But when the injustice is so manifest that not only many students are showing up, but also many teachers who had remained silent are freed from the bond of fear and compromise their jobs by telling that the future of their students can't be kidnapped by any ideology.   This Wednesday the outrage finally crystallized in protests at the Faculty of Law of Barcelona when those responsible allowed (as so many other times) that four hooded boys (and it's not a manner of speaking, they were four of them) were entrenched in the faculty and prohibited students from attending to class "until the republic arrived". The collusion of the management, which at the smallest incident opts to close the facility, caused more then a hundred students to protest at the entrance of the faculty "The classrooms belong to everyone" and "We want to go to class".   In this video published by Cronica Global we can see how this Thursday other hooded people block access to the faculty of economics.     The association of young constitutionalists S'ha Acabat, which during these days has organized protocols to try to allow students to attend class, has denounced this situation on the Diagonal campus, which has been extended to other faculties in which students refuse to continue losing classes because some radicals impose it on them.   Meanwhile, secessionist groups repeatedly demonstrate under the slogan "Don't touch our kids", although what they talk about is to free the detainees for executing the acts of vandalism in Barcelona, ​​because those and not others are "their kids" . Young Catalans whose life remains paralyzed at the expense of radicals do not seem to be "theirs".   Finally the students have managed to overcome the barricades of the hooded and have gained access to the faculty. A small victory that surely will not be seen on TV3. A victory against totalitarianism that aims to kidnap not only their present, but also their future.

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"Infiltrated Spanishists" or "Family and friends"?

If Torra's "hot autumn" has revealed something, it is the large number of contradictions in Catalan nationalism. Not only does the arguments have a lot of holes, but the strategy shines for its absence and the secessionist parties fight each other while their former faithful now reject them. Let's review the main contradictions.   Are they "infiltrated Spanishists" or "family and friends"? Because both things are impossible. During the altercations that turned Barcelona into a pitched battlefield "with violence never seen before" (according to statements by agents deployed on the ground) hundreds of violent vandals were arrested using urban guerrilla tactics. The story that both President Torra and the Mossos chief, Miquel Buch, repeat, insists that such vandals are completely oblivious to the independence cause, since the nationalists are, according to their leaders, "implicitly pacifists". However, independence has not taken long to surround the police stations of the mossos to request the "immediate release" of the arrested, since they are their relatives and friends, innocent demonstrators who "passed by" and obviously "political prisoners". Because it turns out that the majority of detainees have turned out to be young independentistas from the Arran environment, followed by independentist students and a very small proportion of unaccompanied minor immigrants and finally some foreign anarchists residing in the city. This category, that of "political prisoners" seems to be valid both for a leader arrested for violating the rule of law (Junqueras) and for those who besieged the courts of Vía Layetana (the "Jordis"), for whom they beat two couples in Alsasua for being civil guards, for those who made bombs to attack in Catalonia or for those who throw pavers to the police and set fire to the Catalan capital. The truth is that if I were Junqueras I wouldn't like to belong to such a select group.   If the protest is about the sentence, why only "dialogue" is required for "self-determination"? The most obvious answer would be that the so-called "political prisoners" are only an excuse. Nationalism doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that, now that they have transferred juristiction in prisons, their "Jordis" may be at home with their families within two months. They have taken great care not to emphasize that reality. Thousands of young people have been sent to take to the streets, a hundred have been arrested and a handful of them have lost the sight of one eye due to the impact of rubber or foam balls for demanding the release of some prisoners who will still be in their homes in two months (the Jordis) or two years (Junqueras). And the president who encouraged them to "push" now says that the violent "are not his own" and instead of asking for their release (or opening the prisons himself) he asks for the only thing he really wants: to be recognized for Catalonia a "right of self-determination" that the UN has already said by all means that it's not applicable.   If all nationalists are peaceful, why did Torra's wife participate in the siege of El Prat? I'm sure that Torra considers the closure of El Prat airport to be peaceful, with the cancellation of hundreds of flights, the loss of hundreds of thousands of euros, the impact on business, damage to infrastructure and the thousands of passengers who had that fleeing by road dragging their bags, although possibly one of these passengers, the French citizen who died of a heart attack due to anxiety and overexertion, probably wouldn't have considered that as "peaceful." For nationalism? A "collateral damage", like was the policeman seriously injured by a cobblestone.   If the October 1, 2017 referendum was "representative and democratic", why does Torra want to do another one? Junqueras from prison must have opened his eyes wide (and I don't intend to make a joke) knowing that President Torra, the delegate of Puigdemont, now says that we must "re-exercise the right of self-determination in this legislature". Poor Junqueras, that already when the 2017 referendum was raised he described it as a "past page" because in the illegal 9-N consultation the Catalans had already "decided". And now Torra goes and tells him that he'll be jailed nine years (which will actually be four counting since 2017, so he only has two left) and that everything has been for nothing. That the best way to reach a different end is to do exactly the same once again.   In short, the argument of nationalism is seriously touched, and probably the scriptwriters of TV3, the Catalan nationalist television, are going to have it quite complicated to bash a story capable of convincing the most reasonable and critical nationalists.

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Fake news - This is how Catalan nationalism manipulates reality

This week on Twitter the trending topics in Spain are #tsunamidemocratic, #Barcelona, ​​#155ya or #SpainIsAFascistEstate (by the way, someone should inform the activists the diference between state and "Estate"). But no matter what the trending topic is, an army of twitter profiles (some old, many newly created) are constantly dedicated to retweeting the new slogans that the Catalan nationalist regime's spokesmen continuously disseminate.   For example, the video went viral in which several independentistas, after raising their hands in peace, pushed an agent of the Mossos de Esquadra to the ground and kicked her. Instantly, a man with a backpack took out a baton and stood between the fallen agent and his assailants: it was a policeman who watched over safety. Well, far from hiding it, cyber-activists spread the video, saying that it was "proof that violent acts are being commited by infiltrators". Something that doesn't fit at all with the images, but that can make a foreign observer have doubts.   Other cases already enter completely into the fabulation field. Videos of the acts of vandalism carried out these nights by the violent activists, in which only bonfires and police vehicles are seen, are spreading with alarming comments like "Please help! The Spanish police are shooting FIREFIGHTERS trying to put out the fire!" Of course, the images have nothing to do, but some confused observer can relate the tense atmosphere of the video, at night, with bonfires and police lights, with the text and really think that a police officer could shoot a firefighter that tries to put out a fire. Other tweets, even more daring, try to "prove" that who really burns streets and cars is the "Spanish police" itself, although they really refer to the mossos d'esquadra, but they don't need to give that detail because they really go to the international reader, and therefore most of these comments are made in Spanish or in English, because the nationalist (mostly Catalan-speaking) are already convinced. Its main objective is the Spanish-speaking Catalans and, above all, European opinion, much more sensitive to fake news by being far from the facts.   One of the worst manipulations has been that of the "infiltrators". Since President Torra declared that nationalist violence didn't exist and that violent acts were carried out by "infiltrators", the cyber-activists of Catalan nationalism endorsed their slogan and filled Twitter with tweets about images and videos of violence in which the alarmists texts were trying to "prove" that the independence fighters who were causing fires were really "Spanishists" in disguise. "I'm not Catalan, but I'm seeing strange things", says a tweet with the hashtag #tsunamiinfiltrado "there are groups of young people who wear bulletproof vests under the sweatshirt". For credibility, the tweet seems to refer to an article that denounces some kind of Spanish conspiracy. A simple click reveals that there's no article, but only a cropped image probably made with a word processor. Material with the minimum quality for a "like & retweet". Unfortunately for them the profusion of detailed videos completely belies the theory of infiltrators. Young students wearing the nationalist flag as a cape while fanning the flames with cardboard, CDR comandos that made "selfies" with their bonfire after lighting it .. even some of the violent ones, outraged that they were considered "infiltrated" were going to camera and declare "we're not infiltrated, we are people who are furious". Twitter immediately reflected the opposite effect of the one sought by cyber-activists, that is, the hashtag #tsunamiinfiltrado began to fill with memes and jokes about the alleged "infiltrators", with mocking mounts ("Hey! I found an infiltrator!" announced a tweeter accompanying his words with a photo of a bonfire with a gross cut / paste of the effigy of Franco) or referring to the infiltrator was the woman of Torra (who participated in the "take" or siege to the airport of Prat).   However, and unlike what happened on October 1, 2017, this time the fake news are unlikely to prosper, because this time the violence has been much higher, because this time the police have maintained their interventions at minimum, despite the theatrical and heartbreaking regrets of some politicians who demand the head of the person in charge of the Mossos, this other essential change being that of making the Mossos d'Esquadra the main line of defense against terror, which makes nationalism stop considering them "our police" and becoming "invading forces". The images are clear, the videos are sharp. The cause-effect relationship of President Torra with the violent acts is undeniable without the need for the lift of the summary secret regarding the investigations of the 7 detained CDRs or the recordings in which he is allegedly heard conspiring with the CDR for infrastructure sabotage and offering to them institutional support. But the golden clasp is represented by his threat at parliamentary headquarters to repeat everything again, the illegal referendum, another challenge to democracy ... a "hooliganism" that nobody in Europe will understand and that not even nationalism itself (either in Esquerra or in the PDECAT) can already support. Not even the unfortunate violent confrontation of a small group of Spanish radicals with fascist symbols after four days of siege is capable of giving arguments to the nationalist parties. Since midweek, other hashtags have uprooted the previous ones and the trending topics have mutated to others as #TsunamiTERRORISTA.   This Saturday, as a final act, several of far-right ultras will come to Barcelona to support nationalism and feed the riots.   In short, the "story" is no longer held. The "fake news" not only will not be believed, but they'll probably open the eyes of those who believed those of two years ago.

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Violence open bar in Catalonia

The situation has gone out of hands for the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Because the much vaunted "Democratic Tsunami" is no longer democratic, much less Tsunami. Now it is an uncontrolled fire. This last night in Barcelona the streets have burned. And in Tarragona, Lleida and Girona as well. Literally. Hooded radicals have set fire to everything flammable in its path. Containers, wastebaskets, banks... Not in vain they had "open bar", Corsican patent, institutional complicity, in the form of explicit support from the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra and his spokeswoman, Meritxell Budó. The images of the aggression against an old lady and the attack on a young woman carrying Spanish flags had already circulated. The video of the lynching attempt to a mossa d'esquadra (fortunately frustrated thanks to the help of an undercover agent) had already been disseminated. The Via Layetana was already burning in front of the police station... and Torra and Budó were still supporting the Vandals with their "understanding, sympathy and support".   Message received, loud and clear: "Open bar".   That's why the residents of Barcelona have come down to protect their streets, not from the radicals, but from the fire that devoured their streets while the fire trucks were held by barricades.  They have come loaded with fire extinguishers and buckets of water, being then attacked by hooded radicals who wanted to see their fires burn.   The violence, present from the beginning, is intensified, conveniently directed by a mysterious entity called "Democratic Tsunami" whose instructions dismiss its given name. A source leads us to a trademark registered by the escaped former president Carles Puigdemont in the tax haven of Saint Kitts & Nevis, where the new brand coexists with the crowfunding websites with which he raises funds to maintain his living standards in Waterloo. The same Carles Puigdemont who yesterday claimed the Spanish government to return his privileges and re-enter his former president's salary to pay his "exile".   Have we gone crazy? How do Puigdemont and Torra justify encouraging their acolytes to go to the streets knowing that they are being led by a seemingly anonymous entity that tells them how, when and where to attack? If they admit to knowing who directs the attacks, they are facing a very serious crime, and if they deny it, they are showing the greatest irresponsibility of a living ruler.   It would be hard for me to believe this relationship, in spite of how obvious it seems in light of the facts. It can't be, there's no one so Machiavellian ... unless it fits perfectly with the plans revealed after the arrests of the CDRs, according to which they planned to attack with explosives, kidnap the Parliament (presumably with the connivance of Torra and Puigdemont) so that the president "would be forced" to a new declaration of rupture. Of course it fits.   The problem is that if a ruler allows and encourages young people to be recruited into "Commandos De Represión", to perform violent and intimidating acts, and tells them that they are doing well, and shows them that his own family is with them (as has been seen), and that "their rage is understandable" and that "they have his sympathy" and that "they'll do it again"... so the revolutionized hormones bursts for those young people whom their teachers send to confront "fascism" without even knowing that they are representing it. That "democratic radicality" does not exist, because democracy is not a Tsunami. Democracy is a calm but inexorable tide. And although Barcelona is at low tide today, high tide is inevitable.   Europe, always sensitive to shocking images, shuddered two years ago seeing the portentous photomontage of reality and fake news with which the independence movement sold its ideal of "people of peace" repressed for wanting to "vote". We'll never know how close a country was to swallowing the story and giving its support to a fascism regime disguised as pacifist, but today things have changed. Nothing can prevent Europe from witnessing as from a regional and almost-feudal power haranguing chaos and violence in a poorly disguised way, and not by voting, or by the sentences to an open trial that everyone has witnessed, but by identitarianism and hate, with insults (also recorded today) of "Go to your fucking country!". Something unjustifiable. Something that in the current climate of threat by emerging nationalisms can't be tolerated. No more borders. If anything, less ones.   Today as yesterday, and every day a little more, Torra demonstrates its enormous limitations as a politician, because he isn't one. Torra is a believer in a faith that demands sacrifices. From Pujol to Mas, from Mas to Puigdemont and from Puigdemont to Torra, pragmatism has given way to faith. No arguments are required, only the purifying fire that burns what he doesn't like, as other fascist regimes did before him.

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Torra leaves everything in idle talk

The example of October 1, 2017 is still very recent for Quim Torra, so the current president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, despite his incendiary speeches and his calls for disobedience, is avoiding saying or doing anything that could lead to same situation as his imprisoned colleagues. Let's put some examples: * He has not removed the Spanish flag of the Generalitat, despite the fact that hanging and unloading banners is his thing.   * He has not opened prisons to free his fellow prisoners, although he has the keys (metaphorically speaking), since prison powers are transferred to Catalonia.   * He has not declared independence, although it's what his faithful expected of him.   Catalan nationalism as a whole plays the double game this week. A power play between neoconvergents and republicans, with the mind set on the electoral board facing not only the next general elections, but especially the next (and perhaps final) regional elections, where not only the hegemony will be decided within of independence, but if this is capable of retaining the majority of seats (since they have never had the majority of votes).   However, there are two key issues that make the independence forces need to continue mobilizing the masses in the way they do.   * They have put all their media machinery up and running and it's not impossible for any support to be produced, however small, somewhere. At the moment it doesn't seem to happen, because the first supports (from France and Germany) has been for Spain, its democracy and its legal system.   * They can't admit to their faithful that the game has changed. The first party to admit it openly will have the rejection of the most radical sectors, those still convinced that their wishes, despite being chimerical and minority, can still be fulfilled.   At this point ERC and the PDECAT (or whatever they decide to call themselves) play that sterile game of our adolescence in which we were late at night at the disco and we wanted to go to sleep, but nobody wanted to be the first to recognize it.   At first sight it's ERC who has the numbers to embrace first the pragmatism that once belonged to his opponent, with the less aggressive attitude of Junqueras and the (relative) turn to a certain common sense of Gabriél Rufián, by which his followers are about to become their executioners. However, once this last cartridge of civil conflict is burned (and if we are lucky that no serious misfortune occurs) it'll be the moment of the politics of realities, and at that time the PDECAT probably will want to recover that space that the Republicans are snatching him.   Today the epic sweetening of yesterday's performances still resonates, but the graphic documents of a violence from which Torra is becoming increasingly difficult to disassociate are already beginning to gather. Aggressions against an older lady, attacks on a girl, kicking a female mosso on the ground by those who raise their hands as "people of peace".. Increasingly unfortunate (but not surprising) images that contribute nothing to dignify a protest that never made sense. The play is about to end, and soon the fight for control of nationalism (and for its own existence) will be fierce.

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Nothing happens in the next street

This article is of special interest to people who are not in Barcelona today. I know that neither this headline nor the accompanying photo will encourage many people to read the news avidly, as it would if I started talking about "apocalypse", "tumults" and "police charges", which probably I would end up telling something similar to things that other media are telling you, surely much better and in more detail. But in the current situation, I think it's a responsibility to do this approach as well.   I will not deny that nationalism is being burning its last cartridge. Young people evicted from their classrooms with firecrackers and smoke bombs, teachers harassed by teenagers imbued with authority by the harangues of the nationalist regime .. punches to a lady who (with very little intelligence, must be said) was shown in front of the independence fighters with a Spanish flag (Didn't that woman realize that instincts cannot be contained and that when a bull is cited, the bull attacks?). There are also true the "sitting" in the Renfe, the allegedly ingenious maneuvers to block the Prat airport (with massive purchase of airline tickets that you and I have somehow paid for), the charges with which they are answered and street hoolligans that blocked cabs and cars to "paralyze the Catalan economy" have filled pages and screens. I'll not denying any of that.   But as I usually say, every time you see on TV a street with disturbances, it's because there's nothing interesting in the next one.   And this statement is much more true today than two years ago. I remember how we lived at home and in the office the days of the enactment of totalitarian laws (September 6 and 7, 2017), the vertigo and embarrassment of the October 1 and its clumsy response from the spanish government and, finally, disbelief when the now "Very Fled President" Puigdemont was torn between the call to serenity of his colleague Iñigo Urkullu and the hooliganism of Junqueras, Rufián and his "155 silver coins" ... and he ended up giving in to the latter. In those days there was something that is not being seen this week. People on the streets wearing flags, yellow ties, proudly wearing lapels and a pre-revolutionary atmosphere full of illusive smiles, confident that the politicians haranguing them were sincere and that a tangible future was just around the corner.   Although many of you can believe that this is precisely what is shown in today's news, you should not call yourself to deceit. In the streets of Barcelona people let the day pass with weariness. Businesses open, people (nationalist or not) go to work without symbols and enduring restraint and vandalism. Every day routine weighs more than any symbolic revolution and basically everyone goes on with their lives wishing that the week finally ends and the storm ends with it, while the "procés" hooligans and the media chase each other in very specific areas of the geography of Barcelona without noticing anything else in the rest, while in many bars in rural Catalonia hundreds of countrymen gather in bars where only nationalist TV3 is tuned and elbows thinking "we're unstoppable".   This and no other is the true reality of the capital on its first day of siege. It's foreseeable (and hopefully I'm not mistaken) that throughout the week this pressure will be gradually reduced until reaching an almost calm Thursday, to fire again on Friday, when the "country strike" will take place sponsored by the pseudo-union of the exterrorist Carles Sastre, who along with the final push of the CDR will try to release the final blows and leave us undoubtedly with some unfortunate images that surely will contradict the peaceful mood that some still attribute to them. And, in this case, I hope to be wrong.   At this precise moment there are two Barcelonas. One is represented by a handful of violent people to whom the government of the Generalitat has given a free pass to cry havoc and who manage to collapse communications with the help of the nationalist government. The rest are the citizens, who try to go on with their lives.

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May the people disobey - Torra and his friends don't put themselves at risk

The wife of Torra already said the same week that the CUP voted her husband as president of the Catalan Generalitat: "We don't plan to go to jail". Because the harsh reality of seeing fellow judges tried and about to respond to their alleged criminal acts has made Quim Torra's strategy a boast of challenging gestures in which no plate is broken.   Because if we refer to the facts, the greatest disobedience of the delegate of Puigdemont has been to play to remove and return the banner in which he refers to the alleged coup plotters as "political prisoners". A game that always ends with Torra obeying with the right hand and with the left making some friend hang another different but similar banner.   The spokesman of the government (and involuntary humorist) Meritxell Budó already expressed it, when she said last week that they were in favor of "civil disobedience" but that they, as a government, could not practice it.   This, more than a timely positioning, seems like a joint strategy that has already attracted attention in cases such as the proclamation of Amer, the small town (about 2000 inhabitants) that saw Puigdemont be born and disinfects the ground with vinegar when Ines steps on it Arrimadas. The manifesto read in the main square came to say that the town was no longer considered part of Spain nor was it under its sovereignty. An epic, brave, risky statement, at least until they added the newsletter that, in any case, they would not commit any administrative offense. Come on, nothing at all.   And what is the purpose of this game? Surely the one we all think. They want that, like October 1, 2017, it is "the people" who go out to fight their struggle. They want others to put themselves under the batons of the police, but above all others who end their bones in jail, because the photo of Junqueras in a pacifist plan sells a lot, but freedom is worth more, and the martyrs They come very well but there are enough.   And it is with these letters that the Torra government prepares its "response" to the "procés" sentence (as if a court ruling needed a response other than compliance). Because the current plan of Torra (once discarded the mock kidnapping of the Parlament after being arrested the CDRs that were supposed to carry it out) is the "march to Barcelona", a march reminiscent of what Mussolini carried out on Rome as a shot of his fascist regime, but that nationalism prefers to relate to less violent examples, mentioning (of course) Ghandi, Mandela and other pacifist leaders whose memory distorted with each comparison.   We can only see what monitoring and effectiveness that march will have, which will surely end with a good siege to the city as it has not been seen since 1714. Torra expects white (or yellow) walkers to collapse the roads for three days cutting communications with the city, although it is more than possible that the real purpose is the same as two years ago, that is: to obtain colorful photos of the police by giving left and right sticks to dislodge the roads, and thus be able to cry before Europe for the " repression "(" they stop us by walking "they could say) while the martyrs of the town take the sticks and the sentences, something with which Torra and his do not think to load.   So do not expect Torra to lower the flag of Spain in the Palau de la Generalitat, or to open the doors of the Lledoners prisons and free the prisoners, or to go out on the balcony to proclaim the Catalan Republic, because there are already enough Politicians in prison and nationalism need no more martyrs, thanks.    

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1-O: Political apocalypse but calm in the streets

If any nationalist who yesterday went out to the street carrying a torch read the headline of this article, he wouldn't agree at all. For him, surrounded by other nationalists equally carrying torches (Ah, what memories of that Germany of the thirties of the last century!) The world would be transforming in front of him. In the same way, if some more lazy nationalist remained locked up at home yesterday watching TV3, he would conclude that the world revolved around that date. The images of the nationalist television looped the hits that the police stroke two years earlier to those voters who were reluctant to let them pass or to leave the "voting" centers. Beats, blows and more blows (except the most important, which was the coup d'etat), interviews with adorable old ladies who told how much they had hurt the bruises and portentous explanatory and detailed graphs analyzing the statistically most affected areas of the body, being the neck, the thighs.. TV3 did the unspeakable to transfer to each viewer the pain of the victims and point to a single culprit. No, it wasn't Junqueras and Puigdemont, who had encouraged their faithful to lock their children all weekend in schools to get in the way of the police and encouraged them to confront and receive the martyring blows to get a nice picture. Nor was the last culprit the Spanish police nor the clumsy government of the Popular Party embodied in Mariano Rajoy, nor the "perfidious" King Bourbon who had had the audacity to say that the illegal referendum was a challenge to democracy. The culprit was Spain itself, as an indivisible concept. Each of its inhabitants, each citizen who considered himself Spanish was behind every painful blow received by the nationalists ... sorry, for the "people of Catalonia".   However, this third October First, we the Catalans mostly did "zapping". A metaphorical zapping is understood. People got up in the morning to go to work and that was what they did. Some approached the accesses to the Barcelona lanes with some apprehension, waiting for some hyperventilated to park his car in the access and lay on the floor, as on other occasions, giving us an angry morning. None of that happened. We went to work and returned home with the work done.   Of course there were demonstrations, and smoke, fire and violence. According to the figures provided by the Urban Guard, 18,000 people concentrated to honor the "Day of the sticks", which compared with the 180,000 proclaimed a year ago gives a 90% drop in support for the "mandate of the people". As I often say to friends who call me worried from outside Catalonia every time they see the televised apocalypse of torches and lanterns: think that to the left and right of that street where hysteria is unleashed and angry nationalists spit and push journalists, there are other streets where absolutely nothing is happening. The city is calm. TV cameras simply find the street in conflict much more interesting.   And the beautiful choreography of LEDs, colorful flares and spectacular torches has three interesting readings.   1- As much as it disguises itself of democracy, Catalan nationalism continues to resort to the techniques and symbols that worked so much during Nazism. 2- That myriad of long-lasting torches are not cheap and surely the protesters were not brought them from home. The money for all this comes from the nationalist entities subsidized with the taxes of all Catalans. 3- If we stripped all those scenes of its colorful pyrotechnics, the spectacular photo would be greatly reduced. It's people. A lot. But much, much less than ever.   The tweets of nationalism in social networks no longer hide their nervousness. "We are so few!" They said yesterday when they were going to harass the forces of law in Girona. About so few (twenty in this case) were those gathered by the CUP this past weekend to "throw the army" out of the Bruc barracks in Barcelona. However, around 200 people from Barcelona responded with Spanish flags putting themselves between the few summoned and the barracks, looking at them like saying "And just for this have we come?". Many less than expected, as in this last September 11, of which nationalism still wonders why the low influx. They were more violent, less smiling, but above all, they were less.   Could it be that people are tired of being angry for seven years? Is it because politicians say one thing in their rallies and another in court? Is it because they have no roadmap for a long time? Or perhaps because of their "tight ranks" with those accused of terrorism and the "selfies" of their leaders with those "democrats" of chloratite bombs?   The fact is that on October 1 the political hell broke out (shouts of "disobedience" from who has taken off the nationalist symbols upon receiving the order, proclamation of a "parliament bis" by who shouts "not a step back" from Waterloo, the declaration of "no submission to the sovereignty of Spain" of the people of Amer, affirming however that he would not commit "any administrative fault" just in case..), but the street did not accompany them. Many nationalists have "disconnected" from their leaders.   It's a "hot fall", yes, but it seems to cool.

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Torra's alleged plan: That the CDRs "force" him

We can't forget at any time that we move in the field of hypotheses and that the word "alleged" is more necessary than ever (although nationalism seems to ignore it when it accuses the Spanish government of "assembly").   And it's in this area, that of the most debated hypothesis, in which a very clear plan is outlined. If you have to believe the version of one of those arrested in the "Judas" operation, the president of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, would be aware of at least one of the operations of the ERT ("Equip de Resposta Tàctica" o Tactical Response Team) of the CDR: occupation and siege of the Parliament of Catalonia for several days. In fact, the detainee would have declared that Torra himself would facilitate the group's entry to the Parliament, as apparently the president has done on Friday with several nationalist activists who have hung a second banner on the Generalitat's balcony after he followed the court order and sent pick up the first with the yellow bow.   Evidently one of the detainees saying "they told me that Torra was up to date and would facilitate our entry" is not proof of anything, but a very worrying statement. Even more if the statement is reinforced by the fact that President Torra did get to meet another member of the ERT in recent dates, what makes everything more worrisome.   That said, I'll insist once again that we the media must act with responsibility more than ever. The cover of the ABC of the day 28 entitled on its cover "TORRA PLANNED WITH THE CDR TAKE THE PARLIAMENT AFTER THE JUDGMENT OF THE 1-O", in capital letters. I'm sorry, but not being a proven fact, no serious means can go out with that cover. It's true that under the title, in smaller print, "One of the detainees accused of terrorism confesses to the judge." But that doesn't amend the fact. That shouldn't be done, because it puts journalism at the height of those online advertisements that search for clicks of the type of "Try not to shout when you see how this or that artist has changed". The serious press cannot fall so low. The "allegedly" or "seemingly" are mandatory, specially in the cover.   Of course this can't make us forget the increasingly worrying defense at all costs that all nationalist parties (and also the so-called "commons", to their own shame) carry out, without any evidence, on suspects who haven't been detained until the evidence against them and the risk they represented have been so evident that they could not be left alone (and here I'll also add that "allegedly"). Even after two of the detainees confess their plans, the mass has ceased to be uncritical. On the streets, nationalists ask, or rather, "demand" their immediate release. They homage their explosives with fireworks. After several days of trying to justify them (that if they only had "a sack and a pot", that if they were "firecrackers for the correfocs", that if "they didn't plan to cause dead") the demonstrators no longer bother trying to defend the detainees innocence. They no longer listen to the forces of the law, nor to the (few) politicians who asked for calm. By not listening, they don't even listen to the detained CDRs themselves. They simply want them free, even if they are guilty, even if they have bombs and even if they were going to blow them up against Catalan infrastructures. While some protesters still repeat that they are "radically democratic", they all already show that they are definitely on the other side of democracy, that is, where it has no effect.   And speaking of slogans, the "They are innocent" mixes with the "Freedom political prisoners" and with the "F **ng Spain", with the "Pim, pam, pum, let's be no one left!", With the "Die to the Bourbons" and with "We'll do it again!" (which apparently should refer to the popular uprising). This vindictive gibberish only makes one thing clear: It' not known yet if Torra had a plan for the CDR to "squeeze" him and thus be able to declare independence, but what seems clear is that he never had a plan in case everything was discovered ahead of time.   Let's get in the hypothetical situation that Torra was innocent. What the hell! Let's put ourselves in the unlikely situation that the CDRs and their "Tactical Response Teams" were meek little lambs preparing a "correfoc" for the village festivities. If that were the case, Torra's angry response would continue to be an incendiary bomb trying to capitalize on an incident to turn it into a social outbreak.   Since at the present time the nationalism that goes out on the street, led by its leaders, is simple anger without a slogan, without direction, without purpose. The absurd denialism of Quim Torra, who refuses to condemn any possible violence by stating that "something that doesn't exist can't be condemned," is causing a forward flight that can only harm us all. An irresponsible call to hate the "enemy" and insurrection in the streets. The "hot autumn" promised.  An inflamed conflict at its peak that will hardly be resolved unless Catalan regional elections are held in which support for nationalism recedes, as is foreseeable, definitely punishing this totalitarian drift.   Because today Catalan nationalism has abandoned democracy and is preparing for civil strife.

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None of the Catalan nationalist leaders has condemned the violence yet

When a Civil Guard operation a few days ago arrested seven members of a CDR for allegedly preparing explosives to attack during the next few days, a completely disproportionate reaction took place in the independence ranks. Nationalism sprang to ensure that the entire movement was "radically democratic", that everything was a "state assembly" and that the detainees were also "political prisoners".   The viscerality of such a reaction was possibly the result of an instinctive, urgent denial, but also of a huge lack of strategy.   Because what's unlikely is that when the police were still studying evidence and putting conditionals in all their reports ("allegedly" organizing, "precursors" of exploxives, "potential" attacks) nationalism already had as absolute certainty the innocence of the defendants and the guilt of the law enforcers.   What the nationalist hierarchs didn't expect (and they should) is that the Civil Guard was not acting for political opportunism, but for a good reason, and not based on mere indications, but after two years of investigation, after having collected numerous evidence and only before the imminence of a possible serious attack.   And the final blow: Two of the detainees have admitted everything. That's it. Two members of the ERT or Equip Tàctic de Resposta (Tactical Response Team, an even more violent command within the CDR) have rejected the assistance of the independence organization Alert Solidària (which is the one that usually defends the interests of the nationalist defendants) and have preferred to ask for a lawyer and explain everything.   I'll not detail all the facts here because they're not the subject of this article. It's enough to know that they admitted to buying the precursor materials, to elaborate the explosives, to detonate test bombs in several abandoned locations and to devise an attack plan against Catalan infrastructures. However, the detainees said "that was not terrorism" because "they didn't intend to kill people".   There was no excuse. The leaders of nationalism needed to rectify. They had to alter their position and say something like "These aren't our CDRs", "we'll never cover violence" or any other marketing campaign that their advertisers write to them.   But they didn't.   All, I insist, all leaders of all nationalist parties have closed ranks around the accused. President Quim Torra himself defines them as "citizens committed to his country" although the Generalitat is accusing them of disturbances, violence and robbery for previous causes. Once again, no one seems to want to realize that two of the defendants have admitted everything without giving time to nationalist leaders to be able to make a story of coercion or torture (unthinkable for almost anyone, but a non-disposable argument for nationalism by that possibly have not yet resorted due to lack of time or imagination).   And many of us think "maybe in the next few days ...". But days go by. TV3, the nationalist television, has broadcast in "Poland", its reference humor program, an elaborate sketch in which the Civil Guard enters the lair of the CDR and, finding no evidence, invents them and places them in the scene. Civil Guard agents, whom they portray as simple and clumsy, end up dead by causing a gas explosion with their carelessness. This is the humor of nationalist television, as when they portray the leaders of Ciudadanos as Nazis or show Casado and Abascal in their underwear because "they have come out from Franco's closet", the updated version of what the real Nazis did when they put to the Jews a hat and made them parade through the streets so that the children laugh at them. Undissimulated.   And time goes on. The Civil Guard has videos of the members of the ERT command detonating explosives in the open air. The documentation is corroborated by the detainees. They admit to having planned to attack the electrical infrastructure. Not a week ago since the arrests, and denying the evidence is now little less than crazy.   But the nationalist leaders continue to tear their clothes before the slightest possibility of linking "Independentism" with violence. "How dare you?" they scream, outraged. "It's intolerable!" And they demand that the Civil Guard be expelled from Catalonia. For having prevented an attack? Without the state security forces the history of Catalonia would be very different. Would the Mossos have stopped the CDRs? Would they have investigated Pujol or the plot of 3%? All those cases would remain hidden and active.   And the days keep passing. Nationalist gatherings timidly begin to mention that, perhaps, there are "two stories": that of the police and that of their leaders. The level of the grievances reported begins to decrease and the message already swings from the "state assembly" to the "despissing the presumption of innocence", the same presumption that they despise when accusing the state for assembly. Nationalists have never said "alleged assembly." However the parties remain unalterable as concrete. And the distance between their story and the facts is already so great ..   What will the rest of Europe think of this situation? What will think those who gave support and coverage to nationalism really believing their pacifist message?   What will the non-violent nationalists think (I know they are the majority) who voted for them? What opinion will the "gent de pau" (people of peace) have now?   Finally some independence leader must admit that the king is naked. Who will be the first? Because it's clear that others will jump around his neck. The risk for the first to admit reality and condemn it is tremendous. Maybe Junqueras? The republican "martyr" remains silent. Will he add to the nonsense or will deepen its personification of "Mandela nationalist" and give an effect blow?   TIC Tac. Time doesn't stop.

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Preparing Catalonia for terror

This week there has been a terrifying event. And I don't mean that members of a CDR have been arrested for allegedly preparing an attack with explosives (and they have confessed to the police). I don't even talk about the bloc reaction of nationalism that, with a single voice, denied everything, denouncing without any evidence a "state assembly". I'm referring to the demonstrations of Catalan nationalists vindicating the alleged terrorists and threatening the forces of the law to the shout of "Pim, Pam, Pum, que no en quedi ni un! (Let not one be left).   In this moment of artificially heated spirits, if we did the exercise of going back seven years and moving to that first politicized "diada", that September 11, 2012, we would probably be very surprised at the change that nationalism has experienced in just seven years.   Then the mood was calm, and the arguments, although later proved false, seemed logical. "The Spanish State maintains unbalanced fiscal balances that harm Catalonia", they said. "Staying in Spain we'll never leave the crisis behind", was another axiom. "In Catalonia we have the government of the best", "less corrupt", "more European" .. And people took to the streets really believing that this was a revolution of smiles. If we had asked any assistant of that day in which Gerard Piqué already walked his son with confidence and optimism we would have found joy, pride for the leaders of the "procés" (the messianic Artur Mas and the faultless Jordi Pujol) and a big moral superiority, but nothing of the large bile that today distills it's references to Spain. The attendees would have told us (among condescending smiles) of the mediocrity of Spanish politicians, of their unwillingness to do what was then called "dialogue" and today it's known to mean "claudication" ... but nobody would have made references to Nazism or Franco, or to the "genetic inferiority" of the Spaniards, or to the "unique language of Catalonia". The nationalists who attended that fabulous and hyper-funded "Kumbaya" would not even consider that their leaders took pictures with ex-terrorists such as Otegui, Sastre or Bentanachs, hired as lawyers people convicted of terrorism such as Boye or were to take unilateral actions, and in no way a coup d'etat.   And of course they wouldn't have identified with the violence of the attacks of Arràn against the dissenting press, nor would they have "disinfected the streets" where a political rival stepped on, nor broken the windows of their headquarters, nor sung "long live" to terrorist bands such as ETA or Terra Lliure, and they would have rejected their leaders if they were encouraging them to "prepare a hot fall", "push harder", or "take the fight to another level". And never, ever, they would have threatened the police with the well-known terrorist shout "Pim, pam, pum, Let not one be left!", Even if their leaders repeated this slogan from a megaphone, as it seems to have happened this week.   What may have changed in these seven years?   Perhaps many nationalists would answer this question with a very long list of grievances allegedly committed by the government of Spain. Many of them will be false, of course, others exaggerated and others will be true, although surely none would have taken place if the nationalist offensive didn't exist.   But the real answer is in the nationalist media. The state of opinion that has been able to create the media network financed or subsidized by the Generalitat is the greatest power of nationalism. A huge machinery that has as fuel the money of all Catalans and that, no matter what happens, be it big or small news, has always prepared its own version. When an Italian and a Catalan were accused of killing another Catalan in Thailand, the nationalist press announced that an Italian and a "Spanish citizen" had killed a Catalan, which was still the same but also a horrible manipulation, when is as Catalan the murderer as the victim and as Spanish as well. When a girl was assaulted by her nationalist teacher for drawing a Spanish flag, there was the entire nationalist media to deny the facts and ensure that the teacher was not fired. When the parents of the classmates of the attacked girl accompanied their children to place paper hearts at the door of the school in solidarity, there was the newspaper "La República" to call that act a "fascist attack on the school".   It seems that there's no escape for that. The nationalist press doesn't need facts, but a story. They don't even need to consult each other, so obvious is always the answer. Now that the civil guard has arrested a group of CDR that they have been following and whose conversations they have recorded for two years (because the CDR are not only making explosives, but have exploded some in various quarries to measure their destructive power), and now that they have found plans of a civil guard barracks a few days before the anniversary of October 1 .. Nationalism announces "A state assembly". The funny thing is that the non-nationalist press is informing carefully, waiting for more data to be able to resolve the remaining questions. The nationalist press doesn't have that problem, because it doesn't need facts, it already has its story: It's a conspiracy of the state. What else? And if the detentions had not been carried out, and if on October 1 a bomb exploded in the Civil Guard barracks or, worse, if next October 12, the day of Spain, an explosive device seized life from dozens of his political rivals. What would they say? Would they finally recognize the violence they have contributed to creating? Maybe they would even justify it.   Do you think I'm going too far? Do you think that the old "gent de pau" (people of peace) is not yet prepared to assume terrorist violence as its own? Hopefully, but the messages are clear.   And I don't mean just "Push, push! You're doing right in pushing!" of the delegated president Quim Torra, nor to the two public representatives of the CUP that threatens the police and the discrepants with which they must "look under the car" in allusion to the lapa bombs with which ETA massacred the servants of the law. I mean that nationalism and the media have been laundering terrorism for years, which they now call "armed struggle", when they interview the founder of Terra Lliure, Freddi Bentanachs, and announce it, proud, as "gran reserva" of nationalism. When Puigdemont and Torra share an ex-terrorist and ex-convict lawyer, and another ex-terrorist, Carles Sastre, plans and executes the "country" Strikes (sabotages). When the Generalitat buys "urban guerrilla weapons" for its Mossos de Esquadra and does its best to politicize its directive and two of the three parties of the tripartite party that (un)governs Catalonia, they bet not only for disobedience, but directly for confrontation on the streets. The "Pim, Pam, Pum, Let not be one left!" of the CDR. The "hot fall" announced by Torra.   The nationalism, and especially its mass media, are what have created this hostility mood, pre-revolutionary, that only requires a spark to explode, and the nationalist media stroll through it with nitroglycerin.   Meanwhile, Catalonia in general terms continues going on the same as in 2012, without receiving neither better nor worse treatment than the rest of Spain (some would say better), without missing a plate on the table or a euro in the pocket more or less than in other communities, but the tireless nationalist media continue to feed an artificial animosity, a baseless hatred ... until everything explodes.   What an irresponsibility. What a crime.  

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..and people defended the police.

When someone decides that he wants to be an agent of the law, he doesn't think about getting rich, but rather contributing to the welfare of society. An agent knows that the reward moments will be rather scarce and that he'll have to play his life more than once to protect people from serious threats or even rather absurd things. What an agent does not expect is that hordes of angry citizens, those same citizens he has sworn to serve and protect, will subject him and his companions to a terrifying siege.   That's what happened on September 20, 2017 and that's what nationalism intended to repeat this past Friday, commemorating the second anniversary of that shameful act with a new siege of the Guardia Civil. I can imagine that many agents thought about asking to leave this Friday, but I am also convinced that none of them did it. They knew that they had to face the provocations without help and that they should not answer those provocations, because that was their duty, the true uniform under their uniform, their vocation of service.   When an agent sees that the vandals go to him, emboldened by the anonymity of the hoods (and by the security that they live in a free and democratic country in which the most serious thing that can happen to them is to be identified) what doesn't expect is that many other people he has also defended now come to defend him. "This is our police" announced the majority of those gathered before the CDR, the repressive commands, imaginatively self-proclaimed "Defense Committees of the Republic", who were surprised to attend a scene in which the Barcelonians stood between their open hostility and due impassivity of law enforcement officers.   And let's not exaggerate the epic now. Surely if those indignant citizens had not appeared against this nationalism, smaller in numbers but radicalized, that encouraged violence under a disguise of pacifism, the worst thing that would have happened is an unfortunate spectacle of unperturbed agents keeping as far as possible their dignity under the insults, the exclusion symbols and the probable attacks with yellow paint. Probably there would have been no injuries, only the sad humiliation of those who have sworn to respect the law by those who have promised to violate it. But luckily that didn't happen.   Because congregated people prevented humiliation. Because before the claims of the CDR invoking Puigdemont, the constitutionalists responded by blasting Abba's song "Waterloo". Because before the shouts of "Els carrers seràn sempre nostres!" (The streets will always be ours!), the anthem of Spain sounded to show that the streets belong to everyone. And this time the mossos did not come to stop those who put the anthem, because the mossos were already there, and between the law and the chaos, the mossos choose the law with no doubts, another thing is when their politized superiors say otherwise, as happened two years ago, but not this time.   I'm convinced that the reaction of the people to go out and protect their democracy and those who defend it cannot have left the servants of the law indifferent. Neither Civil Guards, nor National Police, nor Mossos de Esquadra, nor any other body that has had knowledge of this can take the side of those who besiege and humiliate the law enforcers because democracy stands between them and their political objective. Those agents, resigned and committed to endure as always the envy of hatred without help or reward, were rewarded this time by the gratitude and solidarity of those they serve. If any agent has felt his vocation falter, that afternoon his doubts must have dissipated. Just for this it's worth it.   Because the police are here to defend the people, the law and democracy. But sometimes, only once in a while, people go out to defend democracy, the law and the police.

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Spain, the King and Playstation Fighting Stick

Today I've been told by a partner, who defines herself as a Republican, that her daughter drives her crazy. "Do you know what my daughter is singing?" She told me, and immediately she has approached his mobile phone to me. A group of children were singing a simple but catchy chorus. This was what they repeated:   "Viva España, viva el Rey,  viva el mando de la Play".   That would translate as:   "Long live Spain, long live the King,  and Playstation fight stick"   I couldn't help laughing, as no doubt my partner expected. And then I remembered other similar examples of which I have heard recently. Because what I have described is not a massive trend, nor do I think it reaches a "trending topic", but it's a real fact, and it's not the only one.   There's no action without reaction, and children are not stupid. Currently, hundreds of Catalan public schools are imposing on children a unique language that in most cases is not their own (according to the same generalitat only 36% of Catalans have Catalan as their main language, Spanish being the most widespread language). That control has long been extended to non-teaching hours (playtime). Children don't understand (nor should they) politics, but they know that their parents and other adults complain because they're taught things that don't correspond to reality. Many Catalan children disagree when their teachers tell them that they're not Spanish, or that they should speak only Catalan, always.   It must be said that when a person is calm and focused it's easier to express himself in a second language, while anger, fatigue or indignation inevitably make the main language emerge. And perhaps that's why the main language is usually that of rebellion, that of indignation. When my generation was the age of our children, we also tested the limits of our teachers' patience by saying forbidden words, before covering our own astonished smile with our hands. Now the forbidden is the language of the most. That's why many children are attracted to what shocks their nationalist teachers, and not because they know they are (I've already stated that children are not moved by political parameters), but because they know that their "teachers" are scandalized by everything regarding Spain and the Spanish language.   Something like that must have thought that girl attacked by her nationalist teacher when she drew a Spanish flag.  She was just testing her teacher's limits, unable to conceive that hes teacher had no limits. And I don't intend to blame the independence movement for the intolerable actions of that individual (a single person can't define a collective or an ideology), but I blame it for the promptness with which that story was buried, because if everything have referred to a nationalist flag would have given rise to demonstrations, special programs in prime time and televised trials.   Children like to defy prohibitions. Generations before, other Catalan children spoke Catalan secretly under the prohibition of the Franco regime. Not only that.  The last echoes of that extinct regime still resounded when I and other children sang in a corner of our playground absurd versions of the Spanish anthem, such as:   "Franco, Franco que tiene el culo blanco porque su mu-jer lo lava con Ariel.."   That would translate as:   "Franco, Franco who has white ass because his wife washes it with Ariel.."   Today, other children recite in secret, under the prohibition of the current Catalan nationalist regime, other innocent phrases that they still don't fully understand. Maybe they'll never be monarchists, nor Playstation champions, but in a way those words will be another piece of the puzzle of his future adult personality.   "Viva España, viva el Rey,  viva el mando de la Play".  

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The end of charnego nationalism

Many people may have been surprised by the sad controversy of insults to the national deputy of ERC Gabriel Rufián by several nationalists. However, it's not something old. It's the last example of a failure, the failure of an experiment that has lasted six years.   It all started in 2013, in the heat of "El Procés" designed by Jordi Pujol himself and started by Artur Mas. Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya was very aware that Catalonia would never separate from Spain without the votes of the Spanish speakers, since they are more than half of the population. The dream of a monolingual country exemplified by Joan Puigcercós (who refused to respond in Spanish to a Spanish-speaking Catalan and said that "he was doing him a favor") was vanishing, so they decided to create a long-term experiment. A nursery in which to obtain Spanish-speaking voters for the separatist cause. With new arguments, regardless of language and blood, to convince charnegos (a word that means "dog" or "mestizo" and with which nationalism identifies the Catalans that come "from outside"). Perhaps they could even get a charismatic and competent charnego leader with whom to drag the Spanish-speaking masses and achieve the majority that would allow them to build their Catalan nation. A nation in which the Spanish language would not be the official language, of course. That experiment was called "Súmate".   Gabriel Rufián came to "Súmate" being the outstanding student of Eduardo Reyes, a limited man whose only merit was to be Andalusian and defend Catalan nationalism, so he earned (and he still does) good money for it. Rufián knew how to contribute youth and loquacity, apart from an attitude that matched his last name and what a nationalist expects to be a "tipical" Spanish. His undoubted energy made him surpass his master in the ranks of "Súmate", from where he went to ERC. There he formed an unespected duo with Joan Tardá, and his disrespectful loquacity and his henchman mood were good to him. He was never the most hustler (his tweets are counted as "slaps") but he was the most combative, something that entertained and even encouraged the ERC bases. Rufián was the scourge of the enemy, capable of calling his interlocutor "fascist" without blinking, without hesitation, without even knowing the meaning of that word.   But perhaps not even history will tell if Gabriel Rufián was moved only for the sake of power or if he had really believed the arguments with which nationalism had seduced him. Because some years ago he began to feel more than uncomfortable in some meetings of his party in which (without masks) there were too many references to the "unique language" and the hereditary characteristics of the "unrecoverable Spaniards". However, the deputy endured. For the salary he receives, anyone can resist.   It was then when the attempted coup d'etat occurred, which caught him in Madrid, safe from any implication with criminal consequences, despite the fact that his tweet of the "155 silver coins" was possibly one of the DUI triggers of the Cornered Puigdemont. Troubled moments that gave way to the escape of many companions and the prison of many others.   Quim Torra came to power. And the disguise of tolerance cracked. The association "Súmate" had to smile while receiving its new president, who said that "it's not natural for Catalan children to speak Spanish", who wrote that the Spaniards were "speaking beasts in human form" and that non-nationalist Catalans had "DNA failure". But calm down, that "Sumate" can resist everything. After all, its founder, Antonio Baños, did not hesitate to insult Colau for becoming a Spanish speaking Youtuber. "She's not cosmopolitan by doing so", Baños said, "but cosmo-hick".   And that was when the therapeutic effects of the imprisonment of Oriol Junqueras made a dent in Gabriel Rufián as well. The deputy, Spanish and Spanish speaker after all, probably listened to his boss's new words, "I love Spain" Junqueras said, while making a progressive shift towards constitutionalism and to that intelligent common sense that the convergents had abandoned. Apparently this new moderation, that "Nelson Mandela style", was very appreciated to the deputy, who began to endorse that conciliatory attitude.   The nationalists in his own party soon got angry with him. "That was not the mandate of the people", they said. "We don't have to find out about these things for you, in Spanish and from Madrid".   It seemed a minor affair. After all, the turn to constitutionalism of Junqueras had caused divisions and even the appearance of a dissenting faction, the "Moviment 1 d'octubre". But for some reason they were insulting him, not Junqueras.   Rufián maintained that "reasonable" attitude. And at a specific moment he expressed how embarrassing it seemed to him that the Generalitat would continue to subsidize the Institut Nova Historia, an entity of pseudohistorians who affirmed things like that Columbus, Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci were Catalan, or that defended the existence of an ancient "Universal Catalan Empire". The gurus of the "procés", Cucurull and Bilbeny, didn't like those statements.  The "millenary and glorious past" of the nonexistent empire.   But now, when the Spanish basketball team proclaimed world champion, Gabriel Rufián has been one of those who congratulated the team for their achievements. And that has been too much for many of the theoretical "gent de pau" (people of peace), who says "no water to the enemy". The level of insults and disqualifications received by the deputy of his own nationalist comrades far exceeds any offense he may have received from his political rivals. And as happens when the mood gets hot, the reproaches illustrate the true mentality of those who insult him: "Charnego", "Botifler" (Traitor) ... they insult him for being Spanish, for speaking Spanish, for not having Catalan blood. He's promised that "you will be buried outside the city walls"..   Probably Rufián doesn't understand it. After all, he's only doing what his boss, Oriol Junqueras, does. It only mimics the behavior of the "Catalan Mandela" that went from questioning the genetics of the Spaniards to acting as a bridge of reconciliation. Why Junqueras is keft alone and Rufian is insulted, if they both express the same ideas?   Because Junqueras is Catalan-speaking and Rufián speaks Spanish. Junqueras has his eight Catalan surnames in order and Rufián does not fit from the first one. Junqueras is a "pure" Catalan .. and Rufián just a charnego.   Surely we'll continue to see Rufián defending nationalism, and we'll surely see him again with his "Orgullo charnego" shirt, possibly something as stupid as seeing an African-American in the Bronx with a shirt that put "nigger pride" or "second-class citizen".   But the way in which nationalism treats its "useful fools" cannot and should not go unnoticed by those Spanish-speaking Catalans, nor for those children and grandchildren of immigrants who thought that nationalism could become inclusive. They'll never be accepted as full citizens. At the first discrepancy, its legitimacy will always be questioned. It's the beginning of the end of the charnego nationalism.

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From tsunami to thin rain

From "democratic tsunami" to "totalitarian fine rain". This could describe a day that began threatened by rain but ended up revealing under a bright sun the enormous clearings caused by the low inscriptions on which the ANC warned. Neither the urban guard and its alleged "Colau factor" were able to give figures that even matched those of previous concentrations, leaving everything in a generous 600,000 demonstrators, counting the 1200 buses chartered by the ANC that are supposed to have brought up to 60,000 followers from villages and provincial capitals. The rain will surely be the excuse that the most unredeemed nationalism will use to excuse this announced defeat. What they'll not even try to explain is the progressive degeneration of what was a holiday for everyone to the actual minority coven in which both photos are burned and guillotines are displayed with the clear threat of cutting off the head of the enemy (or the dissident). Several riots, assaults on the parliament, insults to journalists and attempts to silence them. Of course, democracy has not made an appearance.   Perhaps moderate Catalanism has had enough of stories that the more dramatic the less they resemble reality, and of leaders who tell their followers that paradise is near while they assure the judge that everything was a pantomime. Perhaps the photos of the "legitimatepresident" posing himself smiling with Fredi Bentanachs, founder of the terrorist band Terra Lliure, have seemed excessive. Or maybe the images of Puigdemont himself giving a speech in the middle of a park perched on a handful of "Mercabrussels" pallets with their mobile close to his feet and surrounded by about thirty acolytes and a sexagenarian "colla sardanera" reminded them of that message from the "exiled": "It's a historical ridicule".   The truth is that the house of cards collapses and there aren't few those who realize when falling that there's no one to hold them up. There are so many who changed their minds, those who pre-retired and those who have already established themselves in other monarchies without making many fuss, that the parties that still carry the torch (or torches, as in the Germany of The 1930s) of nationalism face the fact that they no longer have assets. The "youngsters" of Esquerra (as Junqueras) are probably close to responding to their criminal acts while in the PDECAT the degeneration of Pujol to Mas, then to Puigdemont and Finally to Torra has lowered the bar so much that now the second of the list is postulated to lead the nationalist "youth" again. The disaster is illustrated by the fact that Rufián "the child of the printer" is now the greatest man of state, the most moderate and sensible left in nationalism. And a group within his own party ("The October 1 Movement") pursues him to behead him (perhaps with the guillotine displayed) for autonomist, for residing in Madrid and for speaking Spanish. For the same reasons they could be chasing Junqueras, since they both think alike, but since the latter is a martyr, he speaks Catalan and has his eight last names in order, so they better decapitate the "charnego".   Anyway, we have perhaps attended the "storm before the calm", the final trigger before finally, on one side and the other, they get to work.

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In constitutionalism there's room for everyone. Or there isn't?

In an unexpected movement, the digital constitutionalist Crónica Global has attacked the veteran constitutional blog Dolça Catalunya. It hasn't been in one article or in two, but in an entire series in which they allegedly "disclose" the people behind the fruitful Blog that has been and is still a reference for resistance to nationalism. But far from staying in the identity reveal of a group of people (who had said by any means that they wanted to safeguard their identities for fear of nationalist reprisals) the articles of Global Chronicle have included offenses, insults and enormous defamations. Because one thing is to say that the blog has lost the freshness of its beginnings, which could be, or to say that it gives off a certain cassock "aroma", which is also true and has never been hidden. It's more serious to say that it counteracts Catalan nationalism with an even more exacerbated Spanish nationalism, or happily linking them to Freemasonry, "more extreme clerical movements than Opus Dei", or elements of the far right, and it's already totally intolerable to equate them with Arràn's stalkers, much less with the Ku Klux Klan, which they have done without even blink.   And we haven't yet taken into account that by unveiling these identities (and some of them have already been denied by the aforementioned) the digital has put them in the spotlight of the independentistas, who don't hesitate to attack the critical media, such as Cronica Global itself has experimented. In addition, the digital has given independentism weapons and (false) arguments with which to attack constitutionalism as a whole.   Dolça Cataluña has always considered Catalan symbols its own as well as Spanish ones. The Catalan senyera (and not the estelada) coexists with the rojigualda, and the unique hodgepodge of Catalan and Spanish that they use in their articles makes it clear that for them to love one culture does not imply despising another. The only response of the Blog to its attacker has been to repost a video with many relevant supports from constitutionalism, and to be ironic about the qualifier received "The Catalan Ku Klux Klan" but without entering the rag and not even mentioning the name of the digital that has defamed them. Something that, to me, places them a step above their slanderers.   Finally I will tell you that I write this from a humble constitutional gazette without any relation to either of the two media. If I wanted to be rummaged, I would say that Dolça Catalunya is the competition, but here I am, vindicating it, because Cainite struggles weaken us all. In fact, the medium to which this gazette is linked, the radio station Onda Layetana, was previously called Tabarnia Radio, but had to change its name because certain person managed to register the brand before it could be done by its own creator (who authorized this station) and used that power to try to impose its strength, so this medium decided to adopt a new name. And before that, another radio station, which describes itself as "THE constitutionalist radio of Catalonia", used social networks to attack its competition with the weak and unoriginal argument that it was "financed by forces of the far right".   What I mean is that, although it's legitimate to criticize or investigate other media, these "fraternal stabs" to the neighbor dwarf us all. If subsidized nationalist pamphlets like elnacional.cat or vilaweb want to kill each other, then go ahead, but we who respect the law and democracy cannot afford these power struggles that please our politicians (and others). I don't care if it's Dolça Cataluña or Somatemps, nor if it's Crónica Global or Libertad Digital, and I don't care if it's La Silenciosa or Gaceta Layetana. All have different approaches and different voices, from the largest to the smallest, and all of them are necessary, with their failures, in a world of subsidized press. Those who descend to the mud, like the digital newspaper that has motivated this article, lose in a stroke all the prestige that had cost them so much to gather, and in doing so they are damaged as much or more than their theoretical rival.

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Media lynching to Jusapol spokesman for a private joke

On August 12, a gift to a National Police, consisting of a razor, at a party Jusapol in Manzanares (Ciudad Real), wreaked havoc in the Secessionist Media, such as Publico.es, Nacional.cat, and even in social networks, such as the Twitter of Izquierda Unida, or of coup icons such as Albert Donaire, a ANC collaborator who talks to CDRs, and ending on public television such as Antena 3 news, and the Risto Mejide show ("Todo es mentira") on the channel Cuatro. All this because certainly there were some unfortunate words by this National Police to receive the gift: "The number of people that I am going to kill with this, that all Menas (for Unaccompanied minor immigrants) are prepared". The jocular comment was immediately followed by laughter, because NO ONE doubted that it was a joke expressed in a playful, joking, festive, family atmosphere, even at this stage of the party with certain beers ingested. No one? False. The secessionist media took the words literally, but avoided the main characteristic of that joking statement. A single magic word: "PRIVATE".   This phrase, said in a video that went viral over a day, which wasn't recorded or published or erased by the affected agent, was a clear attempt to discredit the Jusapol association composed of Civil Guards and National Police, using the identity of this police agent and Youtuber, Jandro Lion.   The Media, shielding the maneuver behind Article 20 of the Spanish Constitution, which is the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, put the images, with the fully identifying face, with the real name and surname of the police and with qualifiers such as "FASCIST, NAZI, DISGUSTING" etc.   Absolutely no one has said that Article 18 of the Spanish Constitution speaks of RESPECT FOR HONOR, PUBLIC IMAGE AND PERSONAL AND FAMILY INTIMITY.   Nor has anyone commented that Article 20, freedom of expression, in its section 2 says that there will be no prior censorship, but of course, it must be thought that it is what is going to be published, because in section 4 it demands to have that respect Article 18, that is to say, freedom of expression will find limitation in the honor of the affected person, public image and family and personal privacy, as well as special protection for children. If this is not respected, section 5 facilitates the WITHDRAWAL OF PUBLICATIONS, but the problem is that it will be by judicial resolution, that is, complaints, money, lawyer and solicitor, and of course, because the vast majority of citizens are mileurists, we don't have the capacity to report 20,000 necessary complaints when something like this happens, if we take into account that each complaint has an average cost of 1500 €, but waiting more than a year and a half for justice to do its job and remove those publications, with wear and damage.   But beware! They have also violated Law 15/99 on Data Protection and subsequently improved in another Law 3/2018, when their name and surname are published without any kind of consent. Article 6 of that Data Protection Law says so. You need the CONSENT OF THE AFFECTED.   Curiously, some of the nationalist spokesmen who have spread these private words the most are among those enraged when the conversations, also private, were disseminated among nationalist politicians of the nationalists Esquerra Republicana joking that the criterion for the selection of nationalist candidates was "The one with the biggests tits". I want to think that both now and then all is about private jokes, and as long as the Esquerra leaders don't effectively select their candidates based on the size of the bra or the leader of Jusapol doesn't start "killing menas" there has been no reprehensible facts apart from the questionable bad taste of their jokes.   In summary:   Many media outlets seek their audience by generating false controversies based on violating the fundamental rights and current laws of citizens when they need to, and with the current justice we cannot do anything about it.   We need to change this situation, since we all have the right to be able to express ourselves privately without a clipper. The out-of-context use of private conversations has consequences such as death threats that have occurred following the publication of this conversation by paid and valueless journalists. In other cases and in other places the irresponsibility of these unprofessional professionals has led to the suicide of those affected who saw how an unfortunate word said in private could destroy their lives.   Freedom of expression? Of course.   Respect for privacy? Above all.

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What to do if Hitler comes to give a speech in Plaza Cataluña

Obviously, the first thing we'd have to do would be to call a paranormal investigator like Iker Jiménez, given the mystery that such an event would imply, but since it's understood that we're dealing with an analogy taken to the extreme, we'll consider that the discourse of Hitler in the Plaza Cataluña in Barcelona is a reality and we'll continue from that point. Let's get in situation. One day on the subway we see the advertising marquees announcing for Sunday a speech of Adolf Hitler himself in Plaza Cataluña. In the poster we see that the meeting is sponsored by "Grossdeustchland Cultural" and a small swastika comes in the corner of the poster.   The next Sunday, if by chance we pass through Plaza Cataluña, maybe we'll find a fenced square and several people among the crowd, dressed like the others but with a red ribbon around the forearm in which we can see a black swastika. These people greet the other people with sympathy and distribute red balloons with black swastikas among adults and children, and also distribute bottles of mineral water labeled with the German Nationalist Association. The scene unnerves us. Then, on a stage mounted in the lower half of the square, a huge curtain is pulled up and standing, before a huge red curtain that shows another black swastika on a white circle, appears the very Adolf Hitler, fürher (leader) of the German fascism of Early last century.   That mischievous man is giving balloons to innocent children who don't know what horror lies behind those bright colors! That being, full of hatred and exclusion, believes he has the right to speak to people who may not be well informed, who may not have received enough education in schools, enough affection from their parents, enough sanity to distinguish good from the evil that he obviously represents. We look around and check with relief that we are not alone. Many people look at each other, incredulous and also outraged. Something must be done!   These are our options:   First option: We scream enraged. We distribute whistles and try to cover the noise so that their words are not heard. Since we aren't able to overcome the volume of these huge amplifiers (whos' paying for all this?) and people keep listening, we start throwing our water bottles to the stage. Two young Nazi ladies enter the stage standing in front of the führer, and raising their hands in the air with their palms open in peace they shout with a defiant smile: "Freiheit! Freiheit!" (Freedom, freedom). I watch the scene in disbelief. It's they who want to subdue our people! They have no right to pronounce that word! That word belongs to us! We are the democrats and they are the fascists! And so outraged are we that we storm against the stage using the fences that cordon the square to destroy the equipment. A colleague throws a micro foot against Hitler himself and contemplates with satisfaction that it hurts his head. We ripped the posters profusely distributed around the square and gathered them in the center, where an indignant partner set them on fire with his lighter. Others fan the fire with some small books, the latest edition of the "Mein Kampf" that were exposed and for sale in a kiosk attached to the stage. We see with satisfaction how the books burn next to the effigy of Hitler as we sing in chorus "Get out - fascists - from our - neighborhoods!.   Second option: We listen to the first words of the former German dictator and check that his speech is the same as always. The indignant people and I turn to the police and the agents tell us that they can do nothing to interrupt the act because the resurrected fascist leader has requested the mandatory permit at the town hall and has it been granted. Some colleagues have recorded part of the speech with their mobile phones and a young man proposes that we file a joint complaint against Hitler for xenophobic comments and hate speech. We make it so. The complaint is admitted and we're waiting for a trial date.   Dear reader, here ends the analogy I wanted to raise. At this point, which option would you choose?   Ah! You want to know which is the party that hides behind this analogy? Don't you realize yet that this is irrelevant? No, it's not the PDECAT nor VOX, nor ERC nor the PP, neither Podemos nor the CUP. In fact there's no party in Spain that can compare to the German NSDAP, even though some concepts and ideas may be unevenly distributed in some current parties. But the subject is not that. The point I want to reach is that it doesn't matter at all if we are constitutionalists or nationalists, if we are from the far left, far right or far center (allow me this license). If our ideological rival wants to take a rally, it's his right. If he wants to advertise, he can do it. If he wants to demonstrate and he gets the appropriate permits, he can demonstrate. Our democracy is that guarantee. And if we don't like what our ideological / political rival is saying, let's say it. Let's denounce it, resorting to the rule of law. But we must not sabotage their actions. Let's not chase their militants to their homes. Don't follow their children to their schools, don't illegally counter their demonstrations, don't threaten their freedom of expression, regardless how much horrible it may seem to us what they think or say. Let's not kick them out of "our streets" when we consider them unworthy, because the streets are not "ours", but everyone's. Even the very resurrected Hitler’s, if he appears with his visa in order.   Because if we did all those things, Hitler would remain Nazi, but the real fascists would be us.

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Schools must be safe

All the people who have worked in educational centers, with minors, know that it's not easy for non-center personnel to enter quietly and without identifying themselves in the facilities.   This circumstance, far from being perceived negatively, is valued as a safe measure by both labor personnel and families.   Unfortunately all the alarms bells are ringing at the news that in more than 50 educational centers in Catalonia, people outside the educational center, in this particular case members of "Platform per la Llengua", have had not only access to the facilities, but also contact with teachers and students without those contacted knowing their identity or the object of their presence in the school. They argue that only the Minister of Education, Mr Bargalló, knew this initiative and objective.   I dont believe it. It's impossible. Moreover, it would be very serious if it were true because it would indicate that either the addresses of the centers involved have not activated the protocols approved by the Department of Education in reference to the Organization and Management of schools, or that Mr. Bargalló has sent an email to the directors of the centers lying about the ownership of the organization that was going to enter the schools and interact with students and teachers, and about the purposes of that stay. Let us not forget that the management or ownership of the educational centers or services are responsible for disseminating the rules of organization and operation of the center and for verifying and ensuring compliance.   Recall the documents for the organization and management of educational centers published on the website of the education department dated June 21, 2019. (Every year they are published with minor modifications)   Insurance and property claims and legal assistance to staff.   "1.4 Insurance contracted by other entities on the occasion of participation of persons without employment relationship in teaching or complementary activities. When an activity organized by the center is developed, in which, exceptionally, they accompany persons without a labor relationship that are not included in one of the groups entitled to coverage of the insurance contracted by the Generalitat of Catalonia, they must be members of an entity, such as the AMPA or a voluntary association, and that the entity has contracted an accident insurance policy and civil and property liability give coverage to these people."   That is, the address of the centers to allow the presence of these people should know the name of the entity to which they belonged and that these people had an insurance policy. Also, don't forget that anyone who relates to minors must have presented their negative certificate of sexual crimes.   All this unreasonable, without forgetting the shameful purpose of spying on the language of use of our minors and teachers in the yards, raises a series of questions that under the document Transparency and access to public information, unions, AMPAS and civil rights groups in Catalonia among others, not forgetting the first body that should be investigating this situation that undermines their rights to protection that affects minors, the High Inspection in Catalonia and the Ministers of Education and Justice.   Does 100% of managers and teachers in schools in Catalonia speak English? No one noticed that lie? Were the guidelines on personal data protection respected? What educational and guiding function was legitimized for this study? What has been the economic cost of the study? How was the sample of centers, teachers and students selected? Were conversations recorded? ...   Today has been spying on the language of use of our children in the yards. What will be the next motive for espionage? Can our children be safe in schools without our knowing who has contact with them?   Let's demand the response of the Educational Administration   Pilar Barriendos Clavero   Teacher of educational orientation (retired)

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Still raining

When a leak appears at home without warning, our first reaction is to collect the drops in a basin or bucket, a task that will keep us in suspense while the water does not stop. We know that we will have to paint the roof at the end, but a coat of paint won't solve the problem if we don't take the necessary measures repairing the cause of the leak. The order of the factors, then is: Solve the problem. Paint. Remove the bucket. We won't have positive results if we alter that order.   The Spanish Government seems to not know this simple concept. Whatever the sentence about the trial for October 1, (which I hope to be exemplary and turn the accused mocking laugh in a twisted grimace, they have shown no regrets, stating that they have done nothing, but that they will do it again) still don't face the root of the problem.   The Pujol family continue unpunished. The Catalan penitentiaries work for Oriol as a five-star resort, while not recovering a single cent of what was stolen by this infamous family. The same fate awaits the coup leaders, if they are convicted, with the spanish government designing a custom-made acquittal without raising too many suspicions.   That's painting without repairing the leak.   The application of the 155 article was a disaster. The measures are to be applied firmly or do not apply at all. Failure to intervene in the teaching and the media of the regime took away all glimmer of effectiveness. A measure that they sold us as salvation and hope for the non-nationalists ended up being the inspiration of the "chirigotas" of Cádiz.   That's to change the bucket for a bigger one.   The employment situation of our security forces, shameful without remedy. In fact nationalists have trampled police honor with accusations of police brutality, savagery and other niceties while being harassed in hotels, crammed into "tweety" boats and other similar situations. The separatists who claim that they were clubbed, if they had been for real, only half of what they cry, would have filled the hospitals, and that was not the case.   That's closing the door so you don't see the leak.   The failure of our politicians is obvious, I would say flagrant and treacherous. The irrefutable proof of the ominous result for all the formations, has in Barcelona its best example: "Magdalena" Colau, mayor. A woman who has burst the good name of Barcelona, ​​filling it with "manteros", squatters, mafias ... whose mismanagement caused her to lose the mayor's office and that has been booed even by her comrades, despite returning to hang the damn yellow lasso (now a nationalist symbol) on the facade of the Consistory as a first measure, in addition to the flight of companies that she can be be thanked for, the boredom of merchants, neighbors and tourists ...   All of you, candidates for mayor of Barcelona, ​​are directly responsible for this mess. All of you have foreseen such a possible scenario, but you have been unable to take the necessary measures so that it does not occur. Everyone will come back one day to ask the people of Barcelona to place their trust in you.   I would not know whether to laugh, cry or run at gorras.   After selling us to "la meona" as the least of the evils, I do not know how they intend to defend their position and maintain their dignity at the same time, if by then something remains in Barcelona that we do not need to deposit in the landfill.   That is to perforate the ground and that the drop falls to the next.   The rest of Spain also suffers the blunders of a political caste worthy of a Stephen Hawking trilogy.   God caught us confessed ...  

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Ethics and Education in Catalonia

The episodes of violence towards groups or people that, due to the circumstances, don't proceed as some people want to impose, are unfortunately becoming daily events in Catalonia. Mrs. Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, ​​which I will not judge in this article, was the subject of insults, shouts, violent actions and other niceties that might have been uncontrollably violent if the action of the security forces had not mediated. Paradoxically, she declared herself desolate for having suffered this violence, with tears and everything, perhaps having forgotten years ago when she captained violent actions of a similar nature from the other side of the fence. Leaders of the Popular Party were literally assaulted at the University by hooded violent commandos (something we are already accustomed to in Catalonia) for simply going verbally express their political ideology in a peaceful way during an electoral campaign.   A few days ago leaders and representatives of Ciudadanos, who sadly have get to know what is to suffer assaults, were subjected to a massive attack by violent people who threw urine and all kinds of humiliating objects and, if the security forces had not mediated again, violence would have escalated. And this last attack was when they were supporting the commemorative acts of gay pride.   ETHICS.- Set of customs and norms that direct or value human behavior in a community.   EDUCATION.- Minimum standards of social behavior that allow us to live together collectively.   I don't think it's necessary to insist that the episodes we are living in Spain have a total lack of ethics and education on the part of the violent, whose mission is to destroy any act of coexistence. I can't believe that the groups of gays, lesbians, transsexuals, homosexuals, binaries and others should be considered people without the most elementary sense of ethics and education, nor the independent groups or university students, because if that were the case our country would be unrecoverable and this would certainly end badly, as Spain had the opportunity to check in 1936, so I think we should do some reflection on the subject.   It's understandable the celebration of the pride of the collectives despised, obscured, insulted and cornered for decades or centuries, just as it's understandable that they can manifest their condition without complexes, but the bizarre, ridiculous and grotesque figures that we saw don't seem to correspond with the whole. Isn't it true, Mr. Marlaska, Mr. Iceta, Mr. Vila or Mr. Collboni, to mention some examples? And I suppose that only people without ethics or education were able to insult, urinate or throw objects with uncontrollable hatred to those who (allegedly) don't think like them.   The same could be said of the violent hooded university students, because if all the students were like that, what future generations of professionals we would have in Spain. And what to say about the violent nationalist radicals whose hatred induces them to shout insults at some people who once stood on their side and now, due to the hazards of politics, are more or less on the opposite side.   Well, to all those groups I would like to tell from here that they must dominate their violent radicals in their parties, respecting the social opening and the framework of coexistence, or society can turn it's back on them as a payment for their violence.   I would like to end by appealing to Ethics and Education as a basis of respect for society in general and peaceful coexistence, being the responsibility of all and above all of the leaders the control of extremist factions. Don't doubt that if we don't find the secret of being able to coexist, others will find it for us, with other methods and solutions.   And what's the name of that?

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How many times is Puigdemont able to cheat his followers?

The stamina of the followers of Puigdemont is bombproof. That's obvious.   From the creators of "We'll meet this Monday at the office" comes now "We'll meet this Tuesday in Strasbourg". And really everything would be in that, in a juicy joke, if not for the fact that the ex-president escaped has used up to twice photographs taken out of context to make his faithful believe that he was where he wasn't. And if it's not because he has made them empty their pockets twice under any pretext. For the time being. But let's look at the four most striking cases, which are really two deceptions, but repeated.   First deception of the fake photo: October 30, 2017:   The first photograph with which Puigdemont ripped off his faithful was from the facilities of the Generalitat Palace seen from an interior courtyard and accompanied by a brief "Good morning" text. Puigdemont had declared independence four days before, saying goodbye to his colleagues of secession with a "Monday, everybody back to work". Over the weekend a million Catalans had flooded Barcelona with spanish flags. And when Monday finally arrived, while Puigdemont was sending that photo, he was no longer in Spain, as he had fled on his way to Brussels long before the courts took legal action against him. Legend tells that he fled in the trunk of a car, although he could have been sitting (or "reclining") in the back seat of a vehicle with tinted windows while his driver avoided the conflicting roads. In both cases, the first ones deceived were Puigdemont's own comrades, such as Artur Mas (say those who know him that he released one of those expletives that affect the family) and Oriol Junqueras who (more consistent with his condition as alleged coup) faced the consequences of his actions, which included preventive detention thanks to the fact that their escaped comrades demonstrated to the world that the risk of escape was real. Others cheated on the hook, like Josep Rull who added a photo from his office with the text "In my office, exercising the responsibilities entrusted to me by the people of Catalonia". His photo was authentic. Minutes later Forcadell also appeared in the Parlament. Later, many would recognize the desolation they felt when they learned that Puigdemon and a few chosen ones had left without telling them anything. They had made a fool of themselves.   The rest of the deceived, as it's easy to guess, were the hundreds of deluded followers who had stayed in Sant Jaume square on the night of the declaration of independence, shouting "Long live!" to the one who earlier they threatened to hang upside down (via Twitter) at the prospect of "amending" the coup of October 1 with democratic elections. Many will not admit it, but when they heard about the escape, they probably have shown the same face as the day when Puigdemont declared independence and suspended it after 8 seconds. The "evil Spanish state" had not yet moved, but the beloved leader was already two countries away. So much for a hero.   Second deception of the false photo: July 2, 2019:   The saying goes "If you cheat me once, it's YOUR fault. If you cheat me twice, it's MY fault". And in Strasbourg more than two thousand guilty could attest to this. Carles Puigdemont had summoned all nationalism in Strasbourg for the sixty-fourth "historical day". The expresident, still fled and now accompanied by the ex-convict for terrorism and ETA collaborator (in the kidnapping of Revilla), the superlawyer Gonzalo Boye, was now engaged in plotting masterful play after masterful play, all so great that they triumphed even in failing, because after every ridicule tey had lawyer Boye was there explaining to the incredulous followers (especially those from TV3) that the result was exactly what they were looking for and that everything was part of a sublime master plan that would be unveiled one day or another.   Therefore, when on July 2, 2019 more than two thousand nationalists were concentrated in a Strasbourg crossing (more than ten thousand according to the ANC, and surely half a million according to the Urban Guard of Colau, although there didn't have anything to do  there), Twitter began to burn with the photograph tweeted by Gonzalo Boye of a Strasbourg street, accompanied by the commentary: "Excellent climate in Strasbourg, Sun and many people". The assembled ones almost entered in ecstasy, waiting for that great masterful game that finally was going to take place. Later another Tweet came to them, this time from Boye from his car, already on the streets of Strasbourg, implying, without saying it, that the "legitimatepresident" was traveling with him.  The followers, who were certainly fantasizing with Jason Bourne-style chases, received the predictable jug of cold water when Boye told them, with that Carrara marble face that only Artur Mas has managed to show, that Puigdemont "was not going to attend" because "maybe he would be put under custody".   The difference between the first deception and this second were more than five hundred euros to pay per each one of the "oppressed" who has travelled to Strasbourg by plane (Seriously, it's necessary to make savings your whole life to be a trully "oppressed" nationalist). The assistants displaced by bus spent a little less, but at least they have known a capital other than Barcelona and they have the consolation of assuming that possibly half of their ticket has been paid with the taxes of all the Catalans, including the "traitors" .   First deception of the impossible crowfunding: November 18, 2018   Returning to the ill-fated times when Puigdemont paid tribute to his paternal grandfather emulating in a trunk the Pyrenees escape from the former, the main concern of the escape was money. The "convinced" businessman Javi Matamala accompanied the fugitive paying all his expenses, but that could not last forever. The lack of money could quickly end with their expectations and the luxurious Waterloo palace was a bottomless pit whose rent went for about 4000€ per month (never a real exile had so much liquidity) and whose expense seemed very difficult to justify, no matter how much it was pompously called "the house of the republic". Consequently, on February 19, 2018, Puigdemont created the CATGlobal organization to channel money from citizen donations. But these donations, inevitably, were dwindling. Therefore in November of the same year Puigdemont invented the "Consell para la república" (Council for the Republic, A recycling of the old proposal of the "Consell de la República"). An opaque society of unelected positions that would act as a parallel government, but that would not be implemented until it had (attention) a million members. And each partner would have to pay 10€. Well, ten million euros that would fill the coffers of the tenant of Waterloo. The problem is that people did not sting. Or it would be more accurate to say that 60,000 people were stung, which is a resounding failure, but which does not stop being 600,000 €, which pay several expenses of the mansion.   Second deception of the impossible crowfunding: May 10, 2019   The European elections were approaching, and Puigdemont didn't hesitate to stand for election even if that meant giving up being the "legitimatepresident" and even if he had questioned the European institution itself live on TV. After all, achieving a seat was viable and the coveted immunity could protect him from having to answer for his actions. In addition, the salary of MEP would solve part of his financial problems, because Matamala had money but each time it was harder for him to pay the expenses. The "Consell para la república" was useless and to keep encouraging people to contribute had its limits. So this past May the expresident launched another crowfunding. The objective this time was more modest: he only asked 250,000 euros in order to make, print and send the electoral ballots of his candidacy. It was little compared to the ten million he asked before. None of his followers questioned that within two weeks of the election the ballots were already designed (with the picture of the leader replacing any logo), probably printed and many of them already sent, and that such a feat could be carried out for a much smaller amount. None of that mattered. It was requested. And people stung.   And what will be the next deception?   Those who have enjoyed all this the most have been Internet users, especially the constitutionalists (And some independentists too, why not say it? This is only taken seriously by Pilar Rahola). The memes about the next "master moves" of Boye and Puigdemont have been hundreds. Photos like the one in Strasbourg used by Boye (one of the first ones you'll find if you search for "Strasbourg" in Google) have given way to photos of the international space station with comments like "What a good night here, in orbit".   Seriously, why continue? You can imagine the rest. The subject is suitable for a neverending story.

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Nationalist censorship

I am Jandro Lion, a Spanish policeman and a youtuber supporting the law and the spanish constitution.   For some time I've been noticing in my own social networks that every time I talk about EhBildu, CUP, ERC, or criticize against the Independentism or the Mossos de Esquadra, who instead of defending the unity of Spain only show approach to platforms such as ANC and that show a grotesque performance in favor of an undercover coup d'état, a position exemplified by cases such as Albert Donaire, the nationalist mosso, or these recent arrests for removing political symbols where they have exhausted the 72 hours of deprivation of liberty, and the detainees have been registered as an "Organized criminal group", I see how that type of videos on my channel are demonetized, had been an increase of comments from users insulting me, or they even finally get to eliminate my videos because Youtube uses algorithms and can't check all the videos one by one, and the independence movement takes advantage of this situation.   I want to explain with this that I'm detecting massive campaigns by groups related to separatism, and even Youtube Platform workers who detect and denounce massively videos that critsice nationalism on several social networks, especially Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. So much so that this week I have been censored on Twitter for 7 days, where I have seen that the action comes from the digital newspaper Publico.es and the nationalist mosso Albert Donaire.   The same thing has happened to my friend the Constitutionalist Mosso Inma Alcolea, whose Facebook account has also been censored.   When will this end?   It's obvious... When the spanish Congreso de los Diputados does something about it.   Can we citicens resist this?   That's the great doubt that I have, because at this rate I don't think so.  

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The aggression against the 10-year-old girl by her nationalist teacher is not all that important

A teacher shouts at her 10 years old student when noticing that she has drawn a Spanish flag. The teacher breaks the girl's work in front of the other children. She lifts the girl from her chair, throws her to the floor and then, grabbing her by the neck, drags her out of class and leaves her alone in the hallway.   These are the facts recognized by the girl, by her parents, and by the rest of the children in the classroom. And they are also facts that fit the hospital's injury reports, although the teacher recognizes little more than the expulsion from the classroom and the breaking of the classwork, but reduces the aggression to something very slight.   This news, which has outraged everybody, doesn't disqualify nationalism by itself. At the end of the day, as any separatist can say, that teacher doesn't represent them. A person may have personal problems, or psychiatric ones, or can be a radical that exceeds the average of peace activism and smiles of the most "reasonable" independentists. There could be a thousand excuses for the unforgivable act of this teacher not to splash all Catalan nationalism, because a movement that unites about two million people cann't be judged by the acts of a single individual.   However, the reaction of the independence movement is relevant. And it has been a varied reaction, but above all spontaneous, often even disproportionate.   The most usual voices have rushed to deny the facts. Beginning with Gabriel Rufián, for whom the news "looks false, just like the media", referring to the newspaper ABC (maybe it's his daily newspaper, since the news has appeared practically in all media press, radio and TV). Many other voices, that in a reverse situation would demand justice and mobilize their bases in mass concentrations, turning the girl into little less than Anne Frank, they have hastened to categorically deny an event they hardly knew anything about but that now it is increasingly difficult to deny.   Many have chosen to minimize it. Among them the most relevant is the nationalist Jesus Viñas, responsible for the Territorial Education Services whose headquarters was kept for a while adorned with yellow ties (the de facto nationalist symbol) and which also shares a yellow ribbon with the teacher. Viñas closed the investigation at record time (in less than 24 hours) writing a report that exculpates the teacher without having even spoken with all the affected parties (the parents of the girl have known the report through the media). In this report he 100% supports the story of the teacher saying that the aggression was not such, that the injuries were something very slight and, above all, that the drawing of the girl was not rejected for ideological reasons, that is the nuance that most seems to matter to the independence movement. To reinforce their thesis both the teacher and the head of education claim that other childrens drawings were also objects of disapproval. What neither of them explains is why they only shouted at that girl, why she only humiliated her by publicly breaking her drawing with Spanish flags in front of the other children, why only she was expelled from class and left alone in the hall. And naturally, why only she was subjected to such "mild" aggressions, but so documented by the E.R. department of the hospital.   The reaction of the nationalist media has also been remarkable. It's not necessary to mention all the denials and misrepresentations of the small but oversubscribed digital nationalists. We can all imagine to what extent they can hide or even reverse the events, but a sample would be the digital "The Republic", for which the reaction of the parents of the other children the day after the attack, hanging on the door of the school drawings of his children with Spanish flags and phrases like "Don't beat our children" was literally described as "a fascist attack against the school". However, what is most relevant is how the main media have spoken. La Vanguardia from count Godò titled that an "investigation" had been opened because a teacher had "broken a work class" of a student who "drew Spanish flags", in general, without specifying the age of the girl or how many flags she drew or where she drew them. A headline so open that it left everything in the air, didn't put the emphasis on any aggression and allowed the nationalist reader to calm themselves thinking that the girl could in fact be a little hooligan who painted Spanish flags on the walls of the corridors. TV3 was in the same line. For the pro-independence television what was investigated was whether the teacher only "broke a drawing of a Spanish flag".   The unions, more or less dependent on the subsidies of nationalism, rushed to defend "their" victim .. the teacher. They criticized harshly the "persecution" and the "criminalization" to which the alleged aggressor was being subjected. They also criticized that some people had identified it publicly. In that I do agree. That's totally rejectable and more typical of CUPaires than of Democrats. However, the girl attacked was left abandoned by the unions.   We reach the lowest but most virulent level: social networks. Those who coundn't deny or hide the facts opted to discredit the victims. Given that the school has a high percentage of Gypsies, Arabs and other people, it hasn't been too long until tweets have been received stating that the girl is in fact a Gypsy or even that she has relatives in jail. Whether the girl is Gypsy or not, violence is not justified and racism and gypsyphobia wielded by these "people of peace" have been shameful.   Finally we look for the voices that, within the independence movement, condemn the aggression. Yes, we look for them, but there is hardly any, or in any case they are not heard. Any timid attempt at the style "I cann't believe it, but if that were the case, I totally condemn violence in both sides..." is soon silenced or overcome by the furious negative from the rest of the independence movement. Because that simply "can't be". Because "the smile revolution" doesn't match a teacher who beats a little girl for drawing a flag. Surely it had to be the other way around. Surely the teacher must have endured the unspeakable. Surely Torra will propose it, sooner or later, for the Cross of Saint George.  

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CIM - Catalan Indoctrinated Minors

Young schoolchildren walk in a row on the street guarded by their monitors. Instead of singing "Sol Solet" (Sunny sun), or the popular "Baby Shark", the school group vociferates at once and in an infinite loop the separatist mantra "free political prisoners".   They must be students belonging to a high-performance training center for gifted children, since at an early age they are already assimilating concepts such as politics, which allows them to discern between common prisoners and political prisoners in a conscious way, in their own free will and in an environment of free expression.   If this were not the case, it would be another example of how many teachers in Catalonia use their influence in minds in formation to direct them towards partisan ideological interests, turning them into CIMs (Catalan Indoctrinated Minors).   The Generalitat (Catalan nationalist regional government) has full competence in matters of education, for which reason it's responsible for these practices of separatist indoctrination, whether due to promotion, permissibility or negligence.  But regrettably, the solution lies in the hands of those who have originated the conflict, the political NGNWs: Neither Governs, Nor Works.   These pseudo-politicians wander idly looking with disdain at the Constitution and with impudence to the Law, with the peace of mind of having their children in private schools where the harmful practices that their parents enact are not admitted.

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The girl who will never be a nationalist

This Monday the children of the Font del Alba school carried out activities to dismiss the school year. One of them was to leave a message on the class album with a greeting or a drawing...  A ten-year-old girl drew a flag and a "viva". Nothing so strange. In the Catalan classrooms it's common for teachers to encourage children to draw stellar flags, write "Visca Catalunya!" or put little bows of a single (yellow) color. The problem with which the teacher was found is that the ten-year-old girl had drawn several Spanish flags. And the greeting that accompanied them was "¡viva España!".   Miss Miriam, the teacher, stopped thinking. Who knows what emotions they should have gone through? Indignation? Rage? Maybe fear that parents and teachers saw that forbidden symbol, indelibly messing up the yearbook of their class, and blame her for not having as energetic in the classroom with nationalist messages as it was on his facebook account?   The fact is that the teacher, as the girl declares, began to scream at her student, grabbing her by the shirt and pulling her (suppose that simply to separate her from the damaged yearbook) what made her fall to the ground and hit hard her back. Apart from the contusions and pain ("dorsolumbalgia" is described in the hospital injury section) the girl has an inguinal hernia that requires intervention, so that the fall to the ground had to be painful.   It could be considered an unfortunate accident produced by an unfortunate reaction if the teacher had not grabbed the girl by the neck (according to her statement and that of her parents at the hospital) and had expelled her in that unworthy form. They complete the part of chest pain and a probable lesion in the little finger of the right hand. Luckily, the hospital qualifies the injuries as mild. The girl's parents, however, have announced that they'll denounce the aggression of the teacher by criminal means, for which they have the support of the constitutionalist association S'ha Acabat!, as reported by Crónica Global.   At ten, a girl has many ways to say hello to summer. Maybe she's too young to do it from patriotism (something he's certainly copied from her parents) and of course she's too young to do it from nationalism (which her teacher preaches). But the fact is that this girl has already learned the difference between both. Patriotism is pride for the country in which one lives, and nationalism is similar. But nationalism requires an enemy, someone to hate.   Probably this girl would never have been an independentist. After all, a child does not draw Spanish flags if she has not seen her parent doing it at home. But now it will be a certainty. Every time this girl hears again about the "democratic mandate", the "people of peace" or the "smile revolution", she'll probably remember the teacher's hands on her neck and the visit to the pediatric unit of the Terrassa Hospital. Or perhaps, what runs through her like a chill is the memory of Miss Miriam reprobatory criying to her.   Surely the independence movement has lost a ten-year-old girl to her cause, and that's no small thing.

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High politics in Barcelona

The outcome of the game played in the Catalan capital is still uncertain, but the pieces are on the board and the play takes place in terms that had not been seen in Spain in a long, long time.   On the one hand, the false defeated, Ada Colau, last bulwark of populist communism harshly beaten throughout Spain, who was already defeated by his indisputable mismanagement. On the other, the nationalist party Esquerra Republicana, grown and triumphant, that snatched the podium from Colau for the minimum and that believes their time has come to pick up the remains of the shipwrecks of the CUP and the party of the changing name.   The others can't compete. They have to be mere spectators.   But they aren't rivaling. Under the podium, Manuel Valls challenges Albert Rivera and starts using his calculator (the one Meritxell Budó seems to have lost) and throws an unexpected move: All his support is for his rival, Ada Colau, if she chooses to make a pact with the Socialists. With nothing for him.   Something never seen before. A statesman's move. Valls knows that his power is little, but despite everything, is a great power, and in his campaign he promised "NO to independence", so he decides without any blush to fulfill what he promised, choose the known devil, choose the lesser evil. And he knows that his voters won't reproach him.   Colau doubts. She can work with the Socialists. She has done it before. But that's not what she wants. She don't want to close the doors to Esquerra Republicana. after all, Colau voted yes twice in that parody of a referendum known as the 9-N, wishing with great hope that Catalonia would say goodbye to Spain, although she can not tell that to his supporters that way. They would not vote for it, they would throw her out.   So she plays to shield herself in a "great left pact", not to say goodbye to her Ernest Maragall, who seduces her while holding with one hand on her shoulder the jacket thrown over her back that he hasn't released throughout the campaign. As if Esquerra had something more "left" than the one contained in his name. As if its electoral posters had been full of social proposals instead of ribons and pictures of "political prisoners". Therefore Colau mentions the connivance of the PSOE with article 155 (yes, the one that avoided the coup d'état) and gives a timid step back.   And then Jaume Collbony moves too. He also takes a step forward, and emulating Valls (as saying "me too") declares that the mayor's office is not an obstacle either. Colau won't worry about contesting with anyone for the iron throne, and she will be, if desired, the "superpower" mayoress of Barcelona.   What a situation for Colau! Trapped between her (not so) hidden desire for independence and her (manifest) egomania. To be able to win with an undisputed majority even having lost. Four more years of bargain and sucess despite the nefarious legacy only in exchange for not compromising herself more than she has done so far.   Because Barcelona has spoken. 60% of the people have voted left, effectively. And 60% have voted NO to nationalism. That damn double axis of Catalan politics..   Those of Esquerra will bark angry, no doubt. They will say that Colau has betrayed the "mandatdemocrátic" of the Barcelonese by isolating the most voted force.  But, precisely, Esquerra did the same in the parliament with Ciudadanos, right? In addition, everything can be justified with the right words, and Colau has done it before.   What will be now? What will the mayor decide? Ah, that seductive word ... "mayoress" ..

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TV3, the methadone of the Catalan nationalism

This is confirmed by the latest audience studies. The nationalist viewer calms his anxiety on TV3, the public catalan TV. Even before the disconnection laws and the illegal referendum, the public television of Catalonia, with its unequivocal independence bias, was the favorite of nationalism. Then, during those convulsive days, the secessionist public eagerly searched for the media repercussion of the challenge in left-wing national media and critics of the right-wing government (read "La Sexta") and in international newspapers that would have been carried away by the apparent good sense of the nationalist leaders and graphic violence increased by the fake news.   But in the absence of international support and the widespread criticism (of both the form and substance) of the separatist action, the pro-secession public has been increasingly orphaned by means that endorse or at least excuse the actions of Catalan nationalism. The newspapers that sympathized with the cause of independence now question it, the leaders who supported the "exiled" Puigdemont now don't want to be photographed with him, and the televisions that assumed the nationalist mental framework are increasingly distancing themselves from actions that have little to see with the beautiful words with which they adorn themselves.   Result of this is that the nationalist viewer is assailed by the frustration that so many times the former Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, warned (in what was undoubtedly one of his very few successes). And that frustration, that distance between the manifest reality and the expectations created, only finds relief on TV3 and channel 3/24, as well as on Catalunya Radio.   Without TV3, nationalism would have been beaten by blows as forceful as the resolution of the Strasbourg Human Rights Tribunal against the denunciation of the independentist parliamentarians, which not only denies any violation of their rights but disqualifies the presumed democratic foundations of the referendum of 1 October. But, once again, they have TV3, recycling one of those reports that question the preventive detention and that has been prepared by a small UN collaborating group, showing it in prime time as if the United Nations itself, in plenary session, demanded that Spain release the "political prisoners".   Indeed, the channels of the CCMA, fiefs of the tireless Pilar Rahola and Monica Terribas, are still the (yellow) color filter through which the pro-independence viewer can follow the trial of "procés" innocently thinking that who is being judged is the "Spanish state". This viewer would suffer a real anguish when watching the raw live streaming of the trial, the demolishing arguments with which the Mossos (and even the TV3 directive itself) dismantle the weak defenses of the accused. It's necessary the skilful editing of the nationalist television and the triumphalist comments of presenters and commentators of same sign and color (yellow again) so that the nationalistic viewer can breathe with more calm and continue thinking that nothing happens, that "we're almost there".   In the absence of the hard drug that for seven years the nationalist has received in vein, this methadone allows him to move away from the shadow of depression, that fall that inevitably follows a state of prolonged euphoria induced by artificial means.   Of course, methadone is better than the withdrawal syndrome, aggressive and violent, experienced by those who TV3 no longer does any effect, to those who go out and see that their republic does not exist. Because that reaction can be dangerous.

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Dialogue is the enemy

Many voices, inside and outside of nationalism, think that the veto of the independentist parties to Miquel Iceta is a shot in the foot. Iceta had been criticized for being too "soft" with nationalism, for criticizing the reviled 155 that his party supported (and that far from being a horrendous abuse of institutions meant their recovery for democracy) and his wishes of pardon for the prisoners, his indiscriminate federalism and his comments in favor of an agreed referendum "if enough numbers was given" that had annoyed his training partners. Not even the Commons had ever been so understanding, so tolerant, so dialoguing, with nationalism. And so his figure at the head of the Senate was so relevant: A comprehensive Catalan as head of the fourth power, a man who has never stood out too much but who does not bother anyone because he doesn't want or can't hide his tendency to dance and histrionics, as quirky as it's sympathetic. All a gesture that the dialogue, if it's intended, this time has in Madrid a real interlocutor, regardless of some people.   And i'is this situation that alarms both Esquerra Republicana and PDECAT. Their strategy has always been based on a persistent demand for "dialogue", although always within limits that made it unfeasible. A gestuality that gave them good returns among his followers and made them self-convinced of how good, democratic and dialoguing they were in front of a government "of the state" intransigent and abusive.   Dialogue, real dialogue, is their enemy. Because true dialogue is the one in which both parties yield a little. Because when a position of maximums is defended in a game of all or nothing, the compromise will never be achieved in one of the extremes. And the extreme is the only goal of a Catalan nationalism that has not been able to adapt its story to reality.   That's why his Iceta veto, shot in the foot included, is so consistent. They are not ready to talk, because dialogue means giving in, and if they give a millimeter, their electoral fuel will be exhausted and they may end up as "exiles" as Puigdemont, but not from the Spanish justice, but from the furious Hoolligans that they themselves have created.

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The death of critical thinking - Why are we so manipulable?

What's happening to us?   The world seems to face a major setback in the critical thinking of the masses. The scream always seems stronger than the dialogue and the fist more powerful than the outstretched hand. Throughout the world, millions of intelligent people become uncritical flocks willing to let themselves be carried away by such simplistic ideals that they would embarrass a child, blinded by an easily manipulated emotion. This article does not intend to perform a rigorous analysis, nor bring any answer, but to propose different scenarios, concepts and questions that may be related between them.   Leadership egotism   We can't deny it. Many world leaders, and especially the most powerful, are great egomaniacs with dangerous attitudes and a mental equilibrium that is questionable, at least. Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Nicolás Maduro, Recep Erdogan ... are opposite examples to common sense and reasoning, in contrast with other more temperate and reasonable leaders like Angela Merkel, or Emmanuel Macron. That wariness, that selfishness and that lack of scruples is so palpable that one wonders how they can attract so many people.   Emotivity versus reasoning   Governing is difficult. That's what everyone who has tried it knows. Difficult to do, frustrating, and above all, difficult and boring to explain to an audience that is accustomed to having everything well explained, quickly and briefly. Therefore, the simplistic slogans "Together for the Yes", "Brexit means Brexit", "Let's make America great again", "Spain steals from us", raise basic emotions intended to provoke euphoria, catharsis or wrath ... emotions that replaces the government agenda in the minds of innumerable voters that consider themselves reasonable.   The decline of managers   It's not the cause, but the excuse. Good politicians are good managers, but when managers take time to manage the logistics of a country, they often use it for their own purposes. When that weakness comes to light, the populisms of brief rhetoric and inflamed feelings have something to cling to to criticize, not the weakness of the system, but the system itself. Corruption in democracy can be used by careerists to deny democracy itself.   The gradual radicalization   The germ of destruction can be planted from a very reasonable claim, although not always true (the fiscal scales, an inequality before the law) when what is intended is a division for much less reasonable reasons (race, language, religion). That initial claim can be assumed from the reason, while the emotion behind it is transmitted to those who join. After a slow, steady, gradual bombardment, the emotions (of pride, alienation and resentment) are what remain, and the reasonable and peaceful disagreement of the beginning is now a furious and convinced fundamentalist.   The act of faith   Most people are not capable of constantly questioning the bases of our ideology. That's a defect inherent in the human being. As young people we can easily be convinced of something and the opposite, but when an ideology acquires the quality of dogma, when we internalize it and live according to it, we stop questioning it. At all levels, that ideology uses in our mind the same mechanisms as religion, and is equally unquestionable.   The difficulty of rectifying   And not only difficulty, but in many cases impossibility. Once a logical, reasonable and conscious person assumes an ideology as a dogma of faith, he is blind to any evidence that denies it. The arguments (certain or false) were basic to form their faith, but now it is the faith that strives to create arguments to reject what the convinced sees, what the convinced hears, and even what he feels. Not to suffer, not to admit the truth that maybe he has made a mistake, and has wasted part of his life and energy in the wrong way.   Finally   The ramifications of these quickly written ideas are many, and the possible solutions exceed the purpose of this article, but many of these factors are hidden, to a greater or lesser extent, behind many furious struggles that drag masses led by unconscious leaders. There are populisms of the far left, of the far right nationalisms (disguised, perhaps, as far left). Machist or feminist fundamentalism (equality of the sexes is a noble cause, but its members are as manipulable as the rest). From the regime of Maduro to Hitler, from Franco to Mussolini, from Milosevic to Puigdemont, there have always been and will be nationalist movements, and always people who believe that salvation is behind them.   What has been done about critical thinking?  

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Difference between freedom of expression and totalitarianism

In recent days, the president of the Spanish region of Catalonia, Quim Torra, plays the game of misleading the government of Spain and the electoral board, which have pointed on several occasions that public spaces must be kept free of political symbology, and very especially during the electoral period.   In a display of demagogy, the regional president, following the instructions of the ex-president escaped to Waterloo, has first removed the poster in which he qualify the politicians judged by the coup d'état of "political prisoners" and has placed in its place another poster in which it replaces the yellow tie with a white one. After a second warning, it has withdrawn this second poster, but hours later it has hung in its place a third banner in which it claims "freedom of expression" and makes reference to article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights. At the same time he encourages all his faithful to hang as many posters and banners of his ideology as possible.   This raises several interesting thoughts:   1º The constant, forced and abusive occupation of public space by a single ideology, which also removes any other symbology and monitors that no one touches their symbols, already has a name. Totalitarianism.   2º Freedom of expression is exercised by people freely and voluntarily. And this freedom, like all freedoms, ends where the neighbor freedom begins. The entire public space can not be invaded with a single symbology from institutions that belong to everyone and that systematically removes (as do the censorial brigades of the Mayor of Barcelona) any different symbology. Any European citizen can understand this concept. The only way to not understand it is not wanting to understand it.   3º Finally, and like all the messages of Catalan nationalism, these posters are expressed in two languages: Catalan and English. It's curious how the most spoken language of Catalonia, Spanish, (which in Barcelona is spoken by 75% of the inhabitants) is always excluded from the messages of nationalism, and instead English is used for international dissemination. In fact, there hasn't been printed a single poster of "freedom political prisoners" in the most spoken language of the Catalans because, as a nationalist politician recently said "is the language of the enemy".   It's convenient not to fall into these manipulations of concept, so loved by nationalism.   - Totalitarianism is NOT freedom of expression.   - Politicians judged for the coup d'état are NOT political prisoners.   - And the Catalan republic does NOT exist.   These are easy things to understand, if you ever want to understand.

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Supergirl vs the CDR

Can you imagine the American superheroes defending people from evil CDRs that beat people with starred flags? Well, you don't have to. You can watch it right on TV.   The world looks at us, affirm the independence movement. And it's true.   This week I visited my sister, and in one of those long after-hours, the children left their chairs and went to the television. We adults tend to abstract from our conversations until something the chidren say catches our attention. In this case it was a short sentence:   "..Supergirl is protecting them from the CDRs .."   It goes without saying that the conversation at the adult table stopped momentarily with laughters. It was then that I noticed what the children were watching at. My sister is a follower of DC superhero shows, so she usually watches Supergirl episodes when they air in the United States. At that time, SuperGirl showed paramilitary forces dressed in ocher, with their faces covered and a yellow star on their chest, attacking the superheroes at the cry of "Let's expel the invaders!", a a well-known phrase from Puigdemont.   I'll never stop being amazed at the receptivity of the children, who had recognized an obvious parallelism. Out of curiosity I kept watching the episode, and the parallels didn't end there. The paramilitary commandos that my nephew had identified as CDRs were racist and despised the superheroes because many of them were from other planets.  The commandos were patrolling the neighborhoods, identifying the "invaders" houses and marking them with paint stating that "the land would always be for the humans". Later they harassed and attacked the marked ones. I asked my nephew if they were the villains of the episode, and he told me they were the villains of the whole season. Superman, Supergirl, Manchester Black and other heroes of the DC universe that I didn't recognize allied to defend the people of the yellow supremacists. In a dizzying coincidence, the leader of the racist commandos was sent to prison for encouraging violence ... and his followers demonstrated in the streets demanding the freedom of the "political prisoner"! Literally!   I already thought at that time that such an accumulation of coincidences deserved an article.  The fact is than I had not yet seen the scene that cleared all my doubts.   The president of the United States (a recovered Bruce Boxtleiner) warned of the fascist movement that arose with the populist rallies that demanded the release of the "political prisoner", and a television in his office broadcast images of a demonstration of the Catalan independence movement!. That presidential television was filled with protesters with starred flags, both the blue ones and the yellow ones, those used by the terrorist band "terra lliure" exemplifying the motto of the Eart supremacists: "Free Land" .. of invaders.   The episode that we saw is the 12th of the fourth season. It's titled "The Menagerie". And it's just an example of how the world view regarding the Catalan independence movement is changing. A few months ago, the starred flags could be seen in peaceful demonstrations in China mixed with symbols of freedom. Today more and more the world culture frames this flag in xenophobic, unsupportive and excluding movements. Some DC screenwriter has seen it just right.   "The world looks at us", affirm the independence movement.   Well, it's true. And it doesn't like what it sees.

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Blood-curdling laughters in Amer

Amer is the little town where Carles Puigdemont (the leader whose effigy looks in the square) was born. It's a small and beautiful village of the rural Gerona (Catalonia, Spain), with little more than 2200 inhabitants. Of these, 1514 are 18 or older, and can vote, and the majority vote for their famous neighbor's party. They dream of free themselves from those who don't think like them, and that's why, when the representatives of non-nationalist political parties "provoke" them (simply by going to their village), they believe in their "healthy and civic" obligation to "throw them out". Obviously it's not so easy, since the law says that everyone has the right to express themselves, so the agents of the law are there to prevent aggressions, hinder the launching of objects and other boycotts. But they always have the laughs.   And laughing at the disagreements must be healthy, because even the leader of the nationalists, Quim Torra, says that the Spaniards are "talking beasts with human form" and that the dissenting Catalans "have a hole in their DNA".  Oriol Junqueras, the one and only, affirms that the DNA of the Catalan "is closer to the French than to the Spaniards" (How many geneticists in the nationalist ranks!), and the favorite son of the village, the very fled Carles Puigdemont, said in a meeting that "the invaders had to be expelled".   That's why the faithful of the town don't see anything wrong when one of the elders of the place, accompanied by a nationalist flag-bearer, thoroughly cleans the place where Inés Arrimadas, the young Catalan woman, ringleader of the most voted party in Catalonia in the past ellections has stepped to say that we can all live together in peace, and while the old man (in front of the Puigdemont's image that blesses the scene) rubs and rubs the floor with boldness, the neighbors laugh and applaud, encouraging him: "Di-sin-fect! di-sin-fect! you have to di-sin-fect! Maybe with the same rhythm and cadence with which its leader Quim Torra harangues the CDRs (his particular brown shirts) "Push!, push!, you do well in pushing!".  The nationalist media describe this scene as "sympathetic occurrence".   Why do they hate Inés so much that they need to disinfect their trail? Is it because she doesn't think like them? Or is it because she dares to call herself "Catalan", being that she is "charnega"?  Since "charnegos" (or dogs) is what the supremacists call the Catalans who have "outside" blood. In the case of Inés Arrimadas, her "blood" (which any good biologist would see indistinguishable from that of another Spanish, French or Italian) comes from Andalusia... as the grandmother's of the leader Puigdemont, to give an example.  But nationalism heps filtering the blood better than anything else.   But the most impressive part of the scene is what is not seen. Because those happy villagers don't laugh for the old man, nor for themselves. Not even for the camera that records them and that will send that threat to their enemy. Not at all.   These people laugh loudly to be heard by the 240 residents of their own village who had the audacity to vote for parties like Ciudadanos, PP, PSOE, or Podemos. Neighbors who did not believe in exclusive nationalism and now look with fear at that scene from the 1930s. 240 neighbors able to vote, which made 352 if we count their children. The 16% of inhabitants of a town that can't speak what they think without facing social exclusion.   And the most incomprehensible. The neighbors who think they are superior, those who feel the impulse to "disinfect" the soil that the "animals" steps on... Whose word they use to refer to their enemies? Do they call them "Jews"? No. You can hear it clearly.  They called them "fascist rats." Do you remember Amon Goeth, on "Schindler's list"? Amon also called the Jewish "rats", and that's why he was a fascist.   Hollow words for ignorance.   Laughter at twilight. Observed from half-closed windows.   Laughter that curdles the blood.

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