Police Violence in Barcelona
The criminal behaviour of Spain’s post-fascist police is appalling, if unsurprising. As David Whyte and Ignasi Bernat wrote the other day of the custodial sentences for peaceful democracy activists:
“Those sentences are incredible not least since, as the defence lawyers in the case pointed out, no police officer is yet to come in front of the courts for the brutal violence on the day of the referendum. This trial is stretching the boundaries of the Spanish state’s ability to face the rest of the world unashamedly, and of the rest of world’s ability to accept what is going on in Spain unashamedly.”
The Spanish state may not be able to face the world, but the world must face the Spanish state. As we hear of a case where a Spanish court acquited paramilitary police who forced bar customers to put bullets in their mouths & sing a fascist anthem, and blatant attacks on journalists , it’s time for the rest of the world to take a stand.
In fact the Former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic & Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas has said: “The criminalization of the right of self-determination of peoples is a crime against the UN Charter and Article 1 of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
The problem with the Spanish state’s approach of punitive imprisonment and police thuggery is it is interacting with a peaceful democratic movement. That movement may lose patience after endless provocation.
But as the violence intensifies it is incumbent on the EU – whose own credibility is under intense scrutiny – to make statements and take action against a member state which is acting to suppress peaceful and lawful demonstrations. If the institutions and leaders of the EU want to gain or build credibility they must immediately denounce Spain’s actions, which if they happened outside Europe would be the subject of a wall of condemnation.