The harassment of independence parties is blurring already tense election campaign of Catalonia. The citizens ' headquarters have been attacked this year 14 times, those of Socialists, a dozen, constitutionalist candidates have received threats and insults of high caliber in networks and in public acts, in addition to aggression suffered by young people of PSC in a Sticking posters. Experts consulted speak of a society "polarized like never" and some episodes that are "anteroom" of violence of low intensity.
It's 15 young people. Between 17 and 24 years old. They have been left at midnight at PSC headquarters in Hospitalet de Llobregat ( second Catalan city, with 254,000 inhabitants) to stick posters of ir candidate, Miquel Iceta. The youth are divided into three groups. In one goes Daniel Martínez, a 24-year-old graduate in history and first youth secretary of local PSC. At 00.15, he gets a call: "Dani, come, please!" Some of independents have insulted us, removed posters and hit us! When y left, y shouted: We don't want socialists in Hospitalet! Get out of here! Visca Terra Lliure ".
When Daniel Martinez arrives he finds frightened, sore kids, with rage that causes impotence. A girl, underage, has been pushed into a wall. Anor kid, who has refused to stop hitting posters, has been punched and kicked in chest. "The oldest of party," explains young secretary, "We are told that for 40 years re had been no street aggression of this kind." "And we believe that what is behind this escalation of violence is frustration of independenceists from possibility of losing elections."
"Since September re is a climate of social tension seen in demonstrations, in political language, in attacks on headquarters and harassment of candidates and mayors." That is why we ask everyone not to contribute to that situation, requests PSC's secretary of organization, Salvador Illa. The Secretary general of Catalan PP, Santi Rodriguez, refers to "harassment" punctually. "In general, re is no enormous pressure, but re are acts such as those suffered by Andrea Levy", referring to intimidation by various people in Sant Fos de Campsentelles (Barcelona) to popular leader. In networks, have been "immunized": insults, death threats to Xavier García Albiol ... "The softest is fascist," he says.
"The atmosphere is tense and that is anteroom to low intensity violence," explains professor of political science at UAB Oriol Bartomeus, who attributed it to a general social attitude. "The spaces of contact between people who think differently have jumped in air." Now we have groups of people who think same thing, that y feed mselves through media and networks. That way it reaffirms position of hatred towards those who think differently from you. "And that ends up producing episodes of violence," he adds. It speaks of a "mad society", each in its "bubble", installed in "Speeches of hatred and humiliation", tolerant of "verbal violence". And that, he says, gives "politically returns."
"The ghost of two communities has returned", laments professor of philosophy of law and Exrector of UPF, Josep Joan Moreo, which discovers responsibilities. "Catalan society has been polarized like never," he continues, and he shows little hope: "I wish it wasn't worse, but I'm not sure why I see very closed positions." Victoria camps, professor of moral and political philosophy at UAB, is more positive: "The flag of independence is peace, I doubt it gets worse." However, it warns that according to position of parties after elections, it can "Enquistarse".
This diary has requested data from independence parties (ERC, Junts per Catalunya and La CUP) on harassment of ir headquarters and representatives, but have not responded or have declined to deal with issue. All of m have suffered graffiti, insults and threats. The Exadvisor Joaquim Forn was in El prat. Former President Carles Puigdemont has been threatened with death in networks on several occasions.
The opening night of campaign was also difficult in region of Osona (with 150,000 people and 80% of independence vote). Marta Pareta, a member of PSC and Council of city of city, had to endure insults and threats from several independentists — one hooded — during gluing of posters in Vic. The young man who wore his face completely covered, he explains, ripped and threw all posters we had put on ground, in addition to calling us everything — from sons of bitches up. The scene was surreal, because it was more than midnight and in square re were people inside prisons that have installed in solidarity with politicians prisoners. "No one came to our aid."
He says that he is not afraid, but that some of PSC's colleagues are frightened by situation that is taking place. "Neir citizens nor PP have presence here", he warns that a few days ago he received a curious call from mayor of city of city of ERC: "He told me that if I broke PSC card, he kept our government pact, but if he did, he would have no choice but to break it." It's same thing that happened to Xavier Vilamala, our mayor in Sant Hipòlit de Voltregà. He was told that y were very happy with him as mayor, but that if he didn't break PSC card, y would have to kick him out of mayor's office. "And so y did."