Pere Cardús


Carme Forcadell, in prison

If the EU had any real interest in demanding a certain level of democratic quality from its member states—or even to monitor that quality—Spain would've been kicked out a long time ago. A state that closes newspapers, that imprisons people for their beliefs, that decorates and pays homage to military personnel from the Franco regime, that forgives the worst delinquents, that pardons friends, acquaintances, and passers-by… With a decaying monarchy and head of state; opaque, dark, outdated. Spain, the champion of systematic noncompliance of European regulations and of European funding allocation fraud… With an unjust, manipulated legal system, fraught with political and economic interests. Montesquieu would have thrown himself off a bridge if he had seen where Spain is at.

The European Union is not going to lift a finger to put the breaks on the Spanish State, no matter what Spain does. And Spain knows it. Spain would have to do something really barbaric to attract the attention of the EU authorities. Remember that great Scorsese film? Goodfellas, it was called. That's the situation in a nutshell. If you're one of the gang, if you're a member of the club, they'll protect you and defend you beyond all reason. And since we're talking about movies… Wasn't it Groucho Marx who said he'd never want to belong to a club who would accept members like him? Well I would never be a part of a club that accepted members like Spain. And if I did join, it would be with the express goal of changing its rules and the way it works.

They say that the Spanish State has its eyes glued on the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). That they're thinking about illegalizing the organization because some of the plans in its roadmap are unconstitutional or contrary to the law. The ANC in the crosshairs. They want to send Carme Forcadell and company to jail? Really? Go ahead! Let them try. Yesterday, Miquel Sellarès said that the first one who acts violently will lose. Let them imprison Forcadell and they will have lost. Or isn't it an act of violence to imprison someone for their beliefs? Do they think we're all going to stay home watching TV while the President of the ANC goes behind the prison doors at the Soto del Real?

For a long time now, I've thought that the Spanish State and its intermediaries in Catalonia are seeking one thing above all others. The state and unionist apparatus want us to react to their provocations. They look at the battle like a judo combat, in which the key is to hold on and wait for your opponent to make a mistake. To take advantage of the strength of the adversary—our strength—to make it fall into the trap. All that stuff about social and family discord, all that stuff about violence on the streets… None of that is a forecast or the result of sociological analysis. It's a wish. "Catalonia will rupture before Spain," said that guy who used to govern from Moncloa. It wasn't an intuition, it was a desire in the form of a threat. Since we can't win you over with arguments, we'll destroy your country. That's the idea. In the past, they did it by bombing Barcelona every 50 years, and now they'll do it by dividing the people. Those same folks who say they hate walls and separations would love to convert Barcelona in Belfast.

But they won't be successful. They've lost this battle already. They are desperate. They can't figure out what to do. A few months ago, their mantra was that the independence process was President Mas' personal madness, under the thumb of Junqueras' blackmail. Now the referendum is no longer an obsession of the president's but rather a coup d'état organized by the ANC. Well, they're making progress!

If they make such a huge misstep—like illegalizing the ANC—maybe we won't have to wait until November 9th. Nerves can be treacherous. We must be patient, and not let them intimidate us. If we don't react to their provocations, and if we don't take even the tiniest step backwards, independence will come. And if they're not careful, we may be celebrating on Saint John's Day, the holiday of the Catalan Countries.