Photo: Members of the activist platform “Pirineus con ellos” (Credit: Estela Busoms)
By Staff Writers, El Món
11th February, 2018
The new platform “Pirineus con ellos” (Pyrenees with them) has decided to invite the residents of Murcia who were victims of repression and police violence for their protests against the planned high wall across parts of Murcia related to the expansion of the AVE (Spanish high speed rail) to spend the first weekend of May in the Alt Urgell and the Cerdanya.
The initiative was born as a response to the decision of the association of Murcian hoteliers to give away vacations to Spanish police officers and the Civil Guard who participated in the operation in Catalonia on the 1st of October. One of its promoters, Pep Lizandra, in statements to the ACN, said that they have added about twenty establishments in the two counties, including hotels and restaurants, as well as museums and sole traders.
“What we want is to do is counter the idea of hoteliers in Murcia,” Lizandra said, who has said they seek “solidarity with other places that have also suffered repression to claim their rights.” Lizandra has already sent an email to the platform ‘Pro-Soterramiento de las Vías’ (promoting the undergrounding of the high speed rail lines) in Murcia to explain his proposal and will be speaking personally to their organizers in the next few hours..
The “Pirineus with them” citizen platform was created with the intention of promoting solidarity actions with social groups, entities and people from all over Spain that have been victims of police repression to reclaim their rights.
The first initiative launched by the platform has been to get in touch with hotels, museums and restaurants to propose a campaign that offers, accommodation, menus, sports, recreational and cultural activities to the people of the platform ‘Pro-Soterramiento de las Vías’ in Murcia, for free. This organization has led many protests against the proposed high wall, which is required if plans to have the AVE enter the city above ground go ahead. “The idea is to offer a two-day pack during the month of May,” explained one of the promoters of the initiative, Pep Lizandra, who said that “this is a show of solidarity which sees to counteract the proposal by hoteliers in Murcia” .
Lizandra has stated that the idea is to not only offer accommodation, but also a program of cultural, sporting and recreational activities so that the visitors can get to know, first hand, the political conflict which is ongoing in Catalonia but also the “tourism diversity our region offers.” As a start, the imitative hopes to attract around thirty tourists, though they have put no upper limit on the response of the Murcia organization. So far, organizers of the platform have said they are very pleased with the response they have received from the establishments of Cerdanya and Alt Urgell.
Two of the establishments that have joined are the hotel-restaurant Campi of the village of Músser and the rural guesthouse Cal Rei de Lles de Cerdanya. Their owners are very pleased with the initiative and received positive reinforcement from clients that were at their establishments this past weekend.
This is also the case of a couple from a Terassa hotel, called Hotel Campi de Músser (Cerdanya), Miquel Àngel Salvadó and Maria Teresa Martínez. “Since the bullies are so well welcomed in Murcia, then we will be pleased to welcome Murcia’s bullied, and show them a very good time in the Alt Urgell and Cerdanya,” said Salvadó, adding that “what we want is to eliminate the word hate. Here nobody has used it or will use it at any time.” Also in this regard, Martínez said that he has valued the fact that the hoteliers of the Pyrenees have launched “an initiative totally opposed to the Murcian ones who wanted to reward the violence that we received in Catalonia. This is the opposite, we would like to thank those who also suffer to fight for their rights in Spain.”
Lluís Sellés, the owner of Cal Rei, is clear: “We wanted to turn this idea around because it is denigrating that someone uses bad news to promote their business, this can only be done by large hotel companies, here we are more human and we have stronger values”. For his part, Pau Roig, from the Campi hotel, stressed that the initiative of Murcian hoteliers “seems totally illogical and humiliating and we have to do the opposite, to demonstrate once again that in response to violence, we show civility, solidarity and that we are not against anyone, but simply want a democratic, free and normal country “: