International press shocked by presence of fascist symbols in rally
Today Barcelona has been the scene of a large unionist demonstration called by Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), a unionist entity that brings together unionists of different political persuasions, including the far-right*. Barcelona city hall estimates put the number of demonstrators at 350,000, half that registered on Tuesday’s general strike demonstration (numbers just for Barcelona) to protest against the steps being taken by the Catalan government to proclaim independence. The demonstration was peppered with a whole serious of incidents, uncivil attitudes -including fascists salutes and symbols no police were monitoring- and an attack on a photographer took place alongside cases of aggression against Catalan policemen and homes displaying Catalan independence flags.
This demonstration was called by SSC but also received the support of the unionist groups, from PP, CC to PSC, the Catalan socialists, whose leader Miquel Iceta said he would not be attending, but called for party members to go if they saw fit, a fact that led Catalonia’s famous singer Lluís Llach to use twitter to denounce Iceta’s lack of coherence. Indeed, the socialists –whose Madrid leader also praised Josep Borrell’s participation in the speeches- have come under fire for acceptin tm participate in a rally that also had the support of Falangists, nazi groups and Spanish nationalist organizations of null democratic convictions.
One of the controversial moments in the run-up to the rally was film director Isabel Coixet’s last-minute refusal too participate in the rally and speak before the nationalist throng. This depite formin partof the programme made public days ago. Though criticical of Catalan break-away, she yesterday (Saturday) made known her position of discomfort with regard to participating alongside fascists in a rally and speaking in public on a question she prefers to make known her position in by way of articles published in El País newspaper.
The fact that the demonstration had taken on a clearly fascist hue . This Jake Willis Simons, associate Global Editor for Mailonline, speaks in his column of a demonstration studded with fascists and what he terms “far-right thugs screaming “sieg heil”” and performing nazi salutes in praise of Spanish Police officers who tried to brutally suppress theCcatalan referendum last week, Mailonline reveals.
The rally was addressed by Josep Borrell, an ex-vice president of the European Parliament and one of the few historical members of the PSC that remain after many of the heavyweights left the party, including Pasqual and Ernest Maragall, Joaquim and Manel Nadal, Montserrat Tura, Marina Geli, Jordi Castells and so many others. Peruvian born writer and polititian Mario Vargas Llosa, renowned for his deep-rooted contempt for Catalan society. Several observers noted how curious was to hear this controversial Nobel-prize winner ranting on against (Catalan) nationalism as thousands of ferverous Spanish nationalists, come from all over Spain, brandished their Spanish flags at Fujimori’s one-time rival.
- * For more on Societat Civil Catalana, consult Jordi Borràs book “Desmuntant Societat Civil Catalana” that delves in to the dark financiation of this State-fueled organization, whose initial leader had to resign when it was known he took part in yearly tributes to dictator Francisco Franco. Incredibly enough, SCC received an EU prize last year causin much controversy when several EU leaders and officials were given a fuller picture on SCC. Nevertheless, the traditional conservative positions defended by the EU prevented the prize being withdrawn, as several EUMPs demanded.