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Sometimes, chance ends up producing situations which are certainly surprising. I hear on the radio that the leader of the Partido Popular, Pablo Casado, still on his introduction tour around Spain, has, in an event held in Brussels, described the Diada on 11th September as a "xenophobic festival". And he said it without batting an eyelid. Unaware that the Diada is, in any case, the national day of Catalonia and that the only thing he's doing with that comment is demonstrating great ignorance. What would happen if Catalan president Quim Torra or vice-president Pere Aragonès were to label the 12th October Spanish national day as a xenophobic festival? In his case, Casado has got to be more careful since you can't go around saying drivel into microphones when you're on such shaky ground. It will be, in the end, that they didn't only gift him his master's (something which, by the way, is still with the courts), but a good portion of his studies.

I hear Casado's words as I'm leaving Lledoners prison where I've had the opportunity to see Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, involved as much as anyone, as presidents over these years of the Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural respectively, in the organisation of the demonstrations held on 11th September every year, and which have amazed the world with exceptional mobilisations since 2012. Casado can go around Spain spouting nonsense, presenting a Catalonia which doesn't exist and forcing his rivalry with Ciudadanos and with Albert Rivera, with the violence that they themselves often end up generating. We don't have to look any further than this Wednesday, the event they held in Barcelona's Ciutadella park which ended up with a staff member of TV station Telemadrid injured after a far-right group confused a sticker on his camera with a yellow loop. This is what street protests have led Ciudadanos to: violence and absurdity.

Sànchez and Cuixart called the largest, most peaceful demonstrations that have been held in Europe in decades and are in pretrial detention over events in front of the Catalan economy ministry which have been exaggerated and distorted. And Casado talks shamelessly of the Diada as a xenophobic festival. And hearing Casado, I remember that Sànchez and Cuixart have just insisted to me on the need to avoid provocation, to condemn violence and defend the essence of a pro-independence movement which aims to be the most wide-reaching possible. That's the difference between the two leaders who are trying to lower the tension and the pyromaniac firefighters who need to live in tension. The most curious and surprising thing for any democrat is that the first two should be in prison and others go around the media spreading lies.