It's ever less exceptional: after every Spanish nationalist demonstration which takes place in Barcelona, far-right groups who have taken part in it and who have been clearly identified by the symbols they're wearing set about members of the public they come across for the sake of it. This Sunday, half a dozen people have been injured in two attacks which, on this occasion, some of those who attended the demonstration carried out in the Poble Sec and El Clot neighbourhoods. According to the Urban Guard, there were only between 2000 and 3000 demonstrators, a total which PP's Barcelona secretary general, Elisabeth Jiménez, who represented her party at the rally, multiplied by 200.
It's no longer sufficient to stay away from the demonstration to avoid being in any danger, now they end up using violence after leaving the meeting place too and, most likely, when they feel less monitored by the Mossos, the Catalan police. It remains a paradox that demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people, of more than a million people on more than one occasion, have wound up without the slightest incident, whilst every time there's a Spanish nationalist rally there's a serious risk of violence. The parliamentary parties that take part say they aren't their supporters. In that case, why don't they expel them or refuse to take part in such gatherings?
Maybe the answer is very easy, even if it bothers many who, in good faith, also take part in these rallies. Nobody has talked as much about violence in Catalonia in recent years as the parties who are today present at many of these demonstrations. Rivera, Arrimadas and Albiol have turned this fake new into their great political strategy; in fact, it's their only political strategy to defeat the independence movement. It's nothing new: in summer 2014, when the third great pro-independence demonstration hadn't yet taken place, reports circulated that far-right groups could be infiltrating it to disrupt the Diada national day demonstration. Security was discretely strengthened and what's certain is that nothing ended up happening.
The Catalan police have a lot of work ahead of them to remove from the streets the extremists who have been gaining presence with the application of article 155 of the Constitution last October. The impunity that situation allowed hasn't been eliminated. What's more, the impression exists among wide swathes of the Catalan public that the forceful actions needed aren't being taken against this group, despite official statistics showing the opposite. There are plenty of recent examples that what they're looking for is for the independence movement to fall for provocation. Some are bothered that the repression, the exiles and the prisoners haven't been enough to impact on the great movement of Catalan society. And to have been wrong again.