The agreement between the Catalan socialist party (PSC) and Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) to rule the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona Provincial Council), encouraged, blessed or simply authorised by the last three Catalan presidents, all of whom are persecuted by the Spanish justice system, has unleashed a raging confrontation in the pro-independence space and, very specifically, between Esquerra Republicana (ER) and JxCat. The former feel assaulted by a decision they did not expect, and have been defending that there was a pro-independence majority in the Diputació that has not been allowed just because of Junts’ refusal to vote for ERC’s candidate, Dinonís Guiteras. There will be a before and after from this vote onwards -ERC publicly pointed out- something that at this point is quite obvious given the climate of indignation and discomfort that is palpable in the party’s HQs in Calabria Street, where thick words are heard towards Carles Puigdemont’s party JxCat. Is that necessary when it is putting the Catalan Government coalition (JxCat & ER) in check? There is, for now, no clear answer to this question. Among other things because the sentence of the Supreme Court is a constraint on all the electoral calendars and, in addition, there is the uncertainty about new Spanish elections on November 10 if Pedro Sánchez’s investiture does not materialise.
Junts per Catalunya tries to reduce the inflammation that is felt in different sectors of the pro-independence world after its pact with the PSC. All of their leaders’ social media accounts seem to have muted following the latest developments in the Diputació, their public statements totally reduced in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict. And, above all, to avoid the responsibility of a broken independence movement. It is not an easy task, since the showcase of the Diputació leaves them in an uncomfortable position to say the least. In moments like these, a mass rally as the National Day's -September 11- is enormously complicated and the attitude of harshness that the grassroots organisers Catalan National Assembly (ANC) are displaying with Junts per Catalunya over the Diputation’s dispute, should be a wake up call.
When I received the book by Jordi Cuixart Ho tornarem a fer (We will do it again) last week, with his handwritten note that is a hymn to freedom and full life, I decided that this would be one of the readings I would take with me on holidays to not forget how much these friends and compatriots suffer unjustly in their imprisonment or exile. I must admit that I have not waited until August; I needed to find some demonstration of optimism in Cuixart’s pages, in the face of the pessimism that prevails these days, indeed when it seems that political unity -and who knows if the movement’s unity too- may be compromised for much longer. And, yes, the president of Òmnium, Cuixart, shines in the darkness from cell 502 in Soto del Real prison with this plea: "I am convinced that this country will not fall into frustration, because its collective action is motivated by the immense hope for a better future. We have overcome much more adverse situations and we have been able to raise our heads in the face of worse events. As Manuel de Pedrolo said, it is necessary to fight even when it seems to be useless".
They are words of Cuixart’s, that were not, obviously, thought for the present time, or the fratricidal struggle between parties. But who knows if it can also be applied at a time like this in an attempt to overcome the division. Because what is certain is that the solution does not lie in the lack of unity.