Álex Ramos is the vice president of the Catalan Civil Society (SCC). He is in charge of organizing the demonstration this Sunday. The same thing happened six years ago. The one that was considered historic when a million people gathered in the streets of Barcelona, and who said ‘enough’ of the separatists’ attempts to impose a unilateral secession.
–He is the coordinator of the demonstration in 2017, also this year. What are the sensations? Six years later, of course, the predictions were exceeded
– Sure. We expect it to be huge. We estimate more than one hundred thousand people, but it is multiplied by eight or nine. The estimate is almost one million people. But yes, it overflows in 2017. And today we are preparing for this Sunday. They have different motives and different moments. Today we are in a moment of great political polarization, and for a different reason than six years ago.
What we are doing now is challenging civil society, not the political parties, which are not in the headlines or behind the banner, to say very clearly: “Not in my name. Neither amnesty, nor self-determination. We consider that these measures are not appropriate because of what happened in 2017. And we, civil society, are there, calling on any person who feels challenged, from the center, from the right or from the left, even what is the position of any political organization, which participates individually
-Why not amnesty?
-We consider what happened in 2017 to be true, classified in the Penal Code, it is a crime. In addition, the coexistence of Catalonia is broken from a political point of view; economy, because thousands of companies fled; Catalan society is fractured. And it becomes more serious, more serious. It is very irresponsible for the Generalitat government to encourage a rebellion against the other half of Catalonia.
What they intend is to create a new State by breaking all the rules agreed upon by us Spaniards, and among the Catalans, by voting on the Constitution. An example is what happened on September 6 and 7, 2017. The independentists wanted, through the back door, to make a law of disconnection from Spain, a referendum – and they did it in a tortuous way in the Parliament. And then they dragged us into an unprecedented social confrontation. And mainly because of the lack of empathy of the Catalans who don’t have it, and they don’t involve us in a project where we don’t want to be involved. They want to form a small country, with part of the pro-independence Catalans, in an endogamous world with no way out and with the support of 44%. Today, it is less, with 39%.
And a project of this kind cannot be promoted in this way. It is also a project of the elite that is already the most favored in Catalonia, because it is not a rebellion of the poorest, the poorest, far from it. But, in addition, self-determination is not appropriate to our Constitution, or to others that preserve their territorial integrity, and can only be used in cases of colonies or serious violations of rights and liberties.
–In everything that the independentists did and that you explained before, they made it clear that they did not regret it, and that they would do it again. Under these conditions, can an amnesty be promoted?
-After what happened, which is true, the intention now is to erase that crime or the consequences of that crime, in such a way that the idea remains without error. So, if done right, it is an attempt at self-determination. And if you grant them amnesty, you practically open the door for them to implement freedom, which is what they tried in 2017 unilaterally, illegally, illegitimately, and against the legal bodies of the Generalitat, Government, Constitutional and European Court.
And now they say that they will continue to think about unilateralism, that they will do it again. And not only that, but it comes after a general election in which the independence movement had some of the lowest results in recent contests. They lost 900 thousand votes, but on the contrary they have the key to the Government of Spain. It was unprecedented that 1.5 million voters from separatist parties wanted to impose an account on the Government of Spain, and against twelve million people from the conservative sector. And it’s done because there are people who need a little vote and they sell themselves for whatever it takes. There is a reason for the person behind it, but it is not responsible.
The independentists, catalanophobes
–From the Government we are told that Catalonia is more peaceful, among other issues, because of the pardons. But the independentists were not satisfied and demanded more and more
–It’s not true that it’s more calming. It is a justification to say that the policies made by it are correct. But I denied the major. Pardons were granted, sedition abolished and plunder renewed, and no one was relieved. The difference between now and 2017-2018 is that in a simple time, the major parties joined together to apply 155. And the Judiciary, independent of the Executive and Legislative, acted and, with all procedural guarantees . Because of that, they are cut off, beheaded, and they don’t have the strength to do more, because they want to do it. And if we give them amnesty, what we will achieve is to start over. And there is no ideology here. Management continuity is opportunistic. Very irresponsible.
-By the way, according to the spokesperson of the Government, Patria Plaja, they are Catalanophobes
-I laugh that this woman, who is very young and certainly did not live in the dictatorship, says these things. Those who are Catalanophobic are the ones who divide the Catalans. Catalan is something more diverse and plural than the smallness of these endogamous Catalans, where only they fit into their project of nowhere. They are the ones against Catalonia and they are the Catalanophones, because they are separated. We respect the independentists, but this country is five centuries old, and we all fit in, and the future is united and stronger. This small country they pretend has no interest in us. And, moreover, we are all Catalans, not just independents.
-And what do you say to the citizens who hesitate to go to the demonstration?
-We must go because what we cannot do as citizens, civil society, is to avoid and then see how the politicians act what they want. And above all, after the election where amnesty or self-determination was not mentioned. So, these issues are a red line, but now they take it out of their hat to continue to manage. That’s not worth it. And one cannot remain indifferent in the face of abuse of this kind. It is not possible to just vote in the election, and let the parties do whatever they want for four years. Civil society exists to manage the Government and parties that only look out for their interests. Therefore, we must go, from the responsibility and so that they do not make us swallow a big frog that we do not agree with.