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About two hundred people protested on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia this Wednesday to draw attention to the unknowns that still surround the terrorist attacks of August 17th, 2017 in Catalonia. Among those doubts, the question of the relationship between the imam of Ripoll, Abdelbaki es-Satty, who was the mastermind of the terror cell, and Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI). The judgement by the National Audience a month ago ruled out the civil liability of the Spanish state in the attacks in which 16 people were murdered and hundreds injured, despite the statements of former police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo in January in which he stated that the CNI wanted to give Catalonia a "little fright" ahead of its independence referendum, planned for October 1st that year. The same court dismissed as a "conspiracy theory" one of the other remaining doubts, which questions the official conclusion that the imam es-Satty had died during the bomb-making accident in Alcanar the day before the attack on Barcelona's Rambla.


Given this situation, the '17-A We Demand Responsabilities' platform had called a protest for today in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Barcelona, ​​located on Passeig de Gràcia. The turnout was significant, with some of the demonstrators having arrived at the EC offices from the event paying homage to the victims which, like every year, had taken place on the Rambla, on the spot where the killer vandriver ended his trajectory on August 17th after leaving 14 dead. Victims and family members along with political representatives had gathered in this place, and a hundred demonstrators also turned up and chanted during the commemoration, calling, in fact, for the facts to be clarified.

Around 12 noon, and with the space in front of the EU headquarters full to overflowing, a group of people filed past with whited-out faces and carrying the flags of the 38 countries whose citizens had died or were injured during the attacks. The protest continued with a short musical act and chants such as "We want the truth" and "17-A, state crime". A short speech was also given celebrating that, on that day, Catalonia had acted "like a country" in its mature reaction to the crisis. Also mentioned was the recent information linking Spanish intelligence with the terrorist cell mastermind, and the fact that the Congress of Deputies had again rejected an investigation into the terror case due to the votes against the proposal cast by the governing Socialists of the PSOE and the three parties of the right: the PP, Cs and Vox.

Finally, the platform sought to hand the EU delegation a letter containing a manifesto stressing the possible involvement of the Spanish state in the affair, noting in particular that it occurred shortly before the day that Catalonia was planning to hold its independence referendum, on October 1st that year. "We would like to know what steps have been taken so far to demand accountability and bring to justice those who planned the massacre," the text read. It also described the attack as a "state crime", and railed against the "lack of answers" from the Spanish government, as well as the "inaction" of the Catalan Generalitat. For these reasons, the platform called for the EU to investigate the case and identify those responsible.

atemptat barcelona 17A manifestació Carlos Baglietto
Protest to clear up the facts / Photo: Carlos Baglietto

Junts, CUP, ANC and CxRep

Present at the event were some political representatives, mainly from the Junts party, including the deputy Aurora Madaula and the suspended speaker of parliament, Laura Borràs, as well as members of the CUP, including deputy Basha Changue. In addition, a multitude of other platforms supported the rally, such as the Catalan National Assembly and the Council for the Republic.