Released Catalan political prisoner Quim Forn is not confident about the effectiveness of the planned dialogue table between the Spanish and Catalan governments. While acknowledging that it should not be discarded, he asserted today that "it should be evaluated at every meeting to see if it makes any sense." "The conflict will not be resolved in an office," he assured.
He made the affirmation during his speech at the event From prison in the 53rd edition of the Catalan Summer University (UCE), in which he also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of an understanding between the main pro-independence parties. A unity that "made the 1st October possible" and that "we can repeat."
European pressure after the referendum
In fact, with regard to the 2017 independence process, the former interior minister in the Puigdemont executive admitted failings in Catalan government actions in the days following the October 1st referendum. “Until October 3rd, there was unity, which then cracked, and that weakened us,” he stated. "On 3rd October, something more should probably have been done, but we had to take into account the information and the pressures we had. From several European states, we were told that the 1st October had been a success, but that we should not damage it with statements that they could not recognize. That is what they were telling us," he explained.
"I think there was a limit that could not be exceeded, and that was violence. We had to follow the civic and peaceful path. It is true that with a peaceful path, on October 3rd we should have taken advantage of the force that we had", he acknowledged.
October 1st: "It should make us proud"
However, he gave a positive assessment of the referendum and was optimistic about the future: "Two and a half million people voted. This capacity for self-organization should make us proud. We haven't yet reached the summit, but we are there. We've got close". "If before we were clear about it, now more so. If someone thought that, because of prison, we would apologize, this won't happen." "We've come a long way, but there is still some way to go. There have never been so many of us," he continued.
In the same line, he stressed the importance of the work done both in exile and in prison: "We made the trial visible to foreign eyes. I think that from this point of view, we achieved what could have been achieved, and the small legal triumphs in the EU are very important".
To keep on working, despite being banned from office
Forn explained that, during the years in prison, before pardons were granted in June by the Pedro Sánchez government, the relationship between the pro-independence prisoners was "very good, it was brotherly". “In prison you relativize things, and leave party differences aside, sometimes more than was done outside,” the minister again criticized. Thus, he affirmed that, once released from jail - although still disqualified from office holding until 2030 - they are "strong and eager to continue, even if do not hold any position".
The Junts politician's presentation was part of the 53rd edition of the annual Catalan Summer University (UCE), taking place in the Northern Catalonia town of Prada de Conflent - in French territory - until August 22nd.