The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has just announced that Felipe VI will be present at the ceremonies on the 17th of this month in homage to the victims of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, which saw fifteen dead and a hundred wounded. This announcement comes after the monarch was explicitly not invited by Catalan authorities (who consider him persona non grata) and Barcelona city council also looked the other way and didn’t send an invitation. There are many days left before the commemoration and there will be time to talk about the royal visit and the state’s silence over everything relating to the Ripoll imam, an informer of the Spanish security service and the one responsible for the killing.
However, whilst there’s still time, the Catalan authorities should reflect on the exact meaning of the ceremonies, beyond remembering the victims and acknowledging and supporting their families. Because it would be a mistake to not take advantage of the anniversary to recognise that which, beyond the tragedy, was a reason for pride: the work by the public services and the efforts of the administration’s staff and the volunteers in the middle of the desolation and the deepest sadness.
Starting with the Mossos d’Esquadra, who over those days gained strength as Catalonia’s police force and won recognition from the public. It is their leaders from that time who should be in the most prominent places, especially minister Joaquim Forn and major Josep Lluís Trapero. The former is in Lledoners prison after 275 days of unjust pretrial detention, and the latter is charged by the National Audience court for two counts of sedition and belonging to a criminal organisation. I don’t doubt that the Catalan government will be able to respond to this strange situation, the result of legal accusations of crimes which didn’t exist, as European justice has made clear.
That tragic day turned Catalonia into a great country by its political, public and police responses. However much rubbish and however many notes faked for the occasion the unionist media threw around to discredit the Mossos and the Catalan government. For that reason, the homage must also be for Forn and Trapero, who the state has persecuted with unjustifiable cruelty.