(A translation of the article written by Víctor Alexandre and published in El Singular 30th May 2012)
If the Catalan media would dedicate to our country right to independence, the same attention they have given lately to Esperanza Aguirre – the president of a Spanish province, also known as Comunidad de Madrid – Catalan national awareness would grow significantly and our country would be unstoppable. Because in a country with high self-esteem, nobody would have given a damn about the pro-Franco fascist statements of a well-known extreme Spanish conservative like Mrs. Aguirre, in regards to the final of “Copa del Rey” between Barça and Athletic de Bilbao in Madrid Vicente Calderón stadium. Unfortunately, all mass media in Catalonia have devoted themselves to debating this topic with inconspicuous wisdom. In fact, our media have displayed, as usual, a dominant Spanish-centrism and some people have used Aguirre’s declarations like they are a gift from heaven; but not because they share her point of view, but because, thanks to her, they have been able to prove publicly that they are true progressive politicians.
These were the words of Mrs. Aguirre: “the outrages to the Spanish flag or to our national anthem are condemned by law; this must not be allowed, and therefore, my opinion is that the match must be cancelled and must be celebrated in another place and without an audience.” Of course, when the progressive politically-correct minds of some Catalans learned this, they rushed to declare they do not usually boo during the Spanish anthem in respect to those who like it, but now they had no other choice but to do it, taking into account such reactionary statements. As a result, the polemic booing during the Spanish national anthem from both Catalan and Basque football fans at the match was presented as a reaction to Mrs. Aguirre’s declaration, although it was indeed an explicit rejection of Spain from all attendees at the stadium that day.
However, the president of Madrid province is convinced she has found a magic argument that now allows her to “demand” respect for the Spanish anthem, and she posed this question: What would happen if in the final of the Catalan championship, when “Els segadors” starts playing, everybody started booing? I throw this in the air now so people can think about it.” With all sincerity, Mrs. Aguirre, we do not need to think about it… If the Spanish boo the Catalan anthem, we are not going to care for two reasons: first, because our democratic culture involves freedom of expression; and second, because booing during the national Catalan anthem would be insignificant compared to the 512 Euros per second that Spain systematically steals from us, and to the Spanish campaign for constraining our beloved Catalan language.
Nevertheless, last May 25th the Spanish showed they are craven by seizing whistles, Catalan starred flags, and other objects that do not represent any threat at all to public security. They proved that they feel deep aversion towards freedom of expression, also shown by their ejection of those members of the public wearing the starred Catalan flag symbolizing independence, although it is a completely legal flag, and they showed their lack of respect for any symbol that was not Spanish. They tore up some people´s tickets so that they could not return for the second part of the match. The Spanish were only making visible their irrational need to hide the bitter reality overwhelming them. Policemen even isolated and attacked some fans just because they were wearing our flag, again providing evidence of their anger against Catalonia and of their primitive and violent nature. And of course they reduced the Spanish national anthem to 25 seconds because they were ashamed that the world sees the Spanish nation is a fake. As both Mrs. Aguirre and the Spanish king avoided the match, they only showed that they are just cowards by eluding the public obligations of their offices. It was a completely different picture compared to the one shown by both Catalan and Basque fans, who displayed respect and appreciation towards one another. The Catalan team, even after winning, courageously praised the Bilbao team.
I do not believe in reducing all humanity to one single country. This is a route that would only take us to one sole way of thinking. I am in favor of respecting all nationalities representing humanity. And that means respecting all national anthems and all flags. However, respect is not a right. It is a consideration that a nation earns based on the behavior of its people. Thus, if Spain wants to earn the respect of Catalans, they need first of all to stop coercing us economically and culturally, to stop preventing the national Catalan soccer team from playing internationally, and to finally end their opposition towards our country living in freedom and independence. Booing the symbols of a country that is oppressing you is not only a right, but an obligation as an expression of dignity. That is why the 100,000 kW of power that Spain used to try to hide both Basque and Catalan fans´ rejection of the Spanish state is, at the end of the day, only evidence of their powerlessness.
El Singular Digital , 29/5/2012