Photo: Patrícia Plaja (left) and Albert Rivera (right) (Credit: Ara)
By Antoni Bassas, Ara
From 30th April 2018
You are likely already aware of this tweet from Patrícia Plaja, from Thursday night [relating to the La Manada / Wolf Pack case ruling]:
“The problem isn’t the judge, or an individual vote. We’d be mistaken to centre the debate on that. What’s missing is a judiciary with power. Yet again.”
And you are also likely aware that on Saturday night it became clear that the Mossos had removed Patrícia from her post. The Prefecture of the Mossos, in particular, had taken this decision because they had “lost confidence” in her, for having questioned the judiciary. The prefecture considered this expression of her opinion unacceptable considering that the Mossos are meant to act as the judicial police.
When I heard the news of this decision I noticed that I took it personally. Because, to begin with, Plaja spoke from her personal account, not from the account of the Mossos. And because what she was saying, politely, was the same thing a large part of Spanish society was saying, when they learned of the indulgent sentence handed down to the “Wolf Pack”. Also, it is what a large part of Catalan society was saying with regards to the preventive prison terms of political prisoners and those accused of rebellion.
I also took it personally because Patrícia Plaja had received recognition from everyone for her work after the terrorist attacks on August 17th. Those attacks arrived as news to me whilst I was away from Catalonia and I was glued to the social networks to follow what had happened. The tweets of the Mossos informing, confirming, denying, specifying, calming, guiding society in those dramatic hours were an exemplary display of crisis communication. So many people recognized that the Mossos did an impeccable job during the days after the attacks, and this was in part because the story that the police built was impeccable. And this story was the work of their ‘community manager’.
It seems to me inconceivable to fire a professional who has done so well in her work on the day that literally the whole world had their eyes on the Mossos d’Esquadra. And its even less likely that anyone resented her success. And I’m surprised that in the Mossos, there wasn’t someone to resist this external pressure that smacks of retaliation and of Article 155. But quite simply, these potential resistors perhaps simply feared the judicial power which we should, in theory, be able to criticize as any other power of the State. However it would seem that the State warnings to the population remain in vigour: watch what you say.
Patrícia, I hope you’ll come back soon to your position.
The other tweet I’m talking about today is by Albert Rivera:
Los maestros separatistas que señalaron públicamente a hijos de @guardiacivil en Cataluña. La fiscalía les investiga por delitos de odio, pero el Gobierno de España dice que no les abrirá expediente. Con cobardía nunca se vence al nacionalismo. https://t.co/LOaSxV36El
— Albert Rivera (@Albert_Rivera) 29 April 2018
In the first place, Albert Rivera is allowed to state “facts” which are not facts and that have yet to be judged. It is an ongoing investigation of the public prosecutor’s office, not a ruling, but Mr. Rivera already takes it for granted. We already know that the prosecutor’s office, when it comes to Catalonia, leans towards accusations of hate or violence. But Mr. Rivera, not content with this vile tweet, also displays the portraits of the teachers in question.
Albert Rivera, is pointing fingers, which is precisely what he has been denouncing has been done regarding the businesses of his parents. This tweet is an exemplar portrayal of Rivera.
It portrays him as a populist politician, because he lives to excite the low passions of the people. You need people to hate an opponent in order to win their vote. You live, politically, off of moral dualism, of the conception of a black and white world, of good and bad, where the good is you and the bad ones are the ones you call out. In fact, Rivera’s party was born to end the teaching in Catalan and to divide the pupils in schools along the lines of language.
His seeks out the rage in people. You never show any empathy for anyone. He is the eternally angry politician. For you, sir, there are no political opponents, there are only enemies. You do not want to be loved, you want to be feared. Your language is scary and reminds us of the authoritarianism of Franco era politicians like Fraga. That is why you are so fond of Aznar and the ultra-spanish nationalist in the streets of Catalonia. You speak of overcoming nationalism, but your party offers only a nationalism with which to cover everything else.
You dream of being president of Spain, but yesterday’s tweet was very unpresidential. It was that of a ‘hooligan’. Respect yourself more and respect coexistence, please.
Freedom for prisoners, for exiles, for those being prosecuted, and may you all have a good day.