If you could start with your name and where and when you were born.
My name is Eduard Miralles and I’m Barcelonese. I was born in Barcelona in spring of the 1961.
Then, now that we’re filming this I a 56 years old.
Could you tell us a bit about your work?
I’ve been working for many years in the sector of culture, cultural policies and cultural management.
I was trained as a linguist, but due to some circumstances, which surely are related to the topic of this documentary, I lived in a time during my youth when the cultural sector was taking place. That caused that I didn’t dedicate to language research or training, but rather to dedicate myself to culture.
Here where we now are, I am the president of a small foundation, named Interarts, and we work on international cultural cooperation.
Why is the concert the 19thof May 1960, celebrating the birth of Joan Maragall, is considered such a clear example of civil disobedience?
Well, it is srely the first public act where catalanism, we’re talking twenty something years after the civil war. Years of really tough repression, during and after the second world war.
When the 60 arrives, I think Catalanism has recovered a certain strength, has recovered a certain energy.
Around this homage concert to Maragall there were planned a series of actions to raise awareness around the world about the Catalan culture and that Catalonia was still alive.
Among other things, they hung a ‘senyera’, a Catalan flag, of great dimensions in Sant Pere Màrtir, the mountain that is on the exit towards the south of Barcelona.
Foremost, during this choral concert in the ‘Palau de la Música’ they did a massive throwing of leaflets and a singing of songs that weren’t strictly forbidden but were songs in Catalan.
This didn’t have much repercussion in the local press and media, because of course there was censorship and it was still strong, but it had an international impact and it served to…
I think that it is the first great act, so to speak, the first act that evidences that Catalan culture is a culture that is being punished by the
As a result of this, there was a series of arrests. The best known one, the most transcendent one is that of a young catalanist leader, Jordi Pujol.
Back then he was a young catalanist leader that as a result of the deeds of May was arrested and spent some time in prison, in Zaragoza.
I think that this is the reason of its importance.
It is written that the dissident movements in the 60s and early 70 was, in part, due to tourism and television. Could you tell us a bit about this?
I don’t know if there’s a direct relation between tourism and television and the growth of dissident movement.
I think that these are two things, or three, that coincide in time.
It is evident that, from the 60s on, Spain get out, to a certain degree, of a situation of poverty. We could even say misery, and a certain economic growth begins.
Tourism is a phenomenon bound to this, that’s when tourists begin to come.
It’s true that television, which in all of Spain surely arrived later than in other European countries, begins to have a sociologic impact.
I was born in the year 1961 and during my childhood we didn’t have television at my home.
Even though televisions were already bought, I think that tv is generalized as an appliance, in Catalonia and Spain, rather towards the second half of the 60s.
But it has a presence, it has an impact.
Actually, it can be noticed, in the sector of cultural and sociocultural life, a progressive substitution of the habits from former years.
People would meet in the neighborhood’s civic centers or parishes to perform amateur drama, etc.
This, as television becomes a commonplace appliance, causes a substitution of habits.
A feeling that I think will be especially strong during the 70s, people stop going to shows, concerts, cultural centers because they stay home watching tv. This begins in the 60s.
And, of course, there’s a series of art and culture forms with a resistance component that take advantage of these circumstances.
In this case, with an added value that is the new media and outside projection that are used to raise awareness of the situation of Catalan language and culture.
Do you think that these two things, television and tourism, made more difficult Franco’s regime of brutal repression?
I’ve never thought about this. First, I’d like to say that, besides television and tourism, I think that there’s another phenomenon that during the 60s was important which is the automobile, that back then was called the sub-compact, the sub-compact car.
Families, as they improve their economic position, the first thing they do is probably buy a tv, but the second thing they do is buy a car, a small car.
There are two cars from back then that are emblematic.
One was the 600, which was a very compact model from the SEAT brand, which was the Spanish version of the Italian FIAT.
And the 2CV, which was a model of the French branch Citroën. It was also said, anecdotally, that the 2CV was the car of nuns, of the women who were in religious orders.
Almost every convent, those that weren’t enclosed, had a 2CV in order to make transports, visits, shopping…
It was the car of nuns. Actually, there’s a movie that is called ‘Sor Citroën’ that is a reference to this.
But well, this is an anecdote. I think that what is significative of the automobile is that a sort of inside tourism becomes commonplace, which is that of weekends and holidays.
There’s a lot of cinema from back then that references this phenomenon. People have a car and on Sunday or the weekend they go visit towns and natural locations, they have their holidays with the automobile.
I think that this is an important phenomenon, because deep down it breaks a way to think of people that’s very tied to their neighborhood, their city, and generates an economic dynamic.
The question you making is interesting, but I don’t know if I have the good answer.
The relation of all this with repression…
I think that in the 60s the Francoist regime changes their strategy.
On one hand, especially in Catalonia during the late 40s and early [50s], they lived with a lot of hope during the second world war and the years after the second world war that the allied countries, the winners of the second world war, would make Francoism end and would make pressure so that Spain would become a democracy.
That didn’t happen like that.
Every one had their problems, and Spain entered a phase of isolation that was very important during the 50s. It is resolved durint the late 50s, because Spain, the Francoist government, insists a lot to have a presence in the international organizations.
First in order to enter the United Nations, which it manages. That’s the acknowledgement of the regime. And then, later, after many years, in order to be more European.
I think that this set of circumstances makes that during the 60s the Francoist regime changes their tactic.
These are the years of the development plans, the years of the Opus Dei entering the government.
The Opus Dei is a religious movement that is created a bit before on a global level, but with a founder and a religious nomenclature heavily based in people from the regime, Spaniards.
Repression, I think, is softened. At least formally, because we are more visible. Spain is more visible and has greater presence in international contexts.
Of course this makes a need to, at least, keep appearances.
There’s still death penalty, Catalan culture is still threatened, political parties are forbidden, etc.
But I think that there’s at least a modernization of the forms to coincide with this new world. Especially here, television has an effect.
For many years, in Spain there was an information source that was projected in all Spanish cinemas that was called the ‘No-Do’.
‘No-Do’ is a heraldic expression, bound to the seal of the city of Seville, but it also meant, in this context, ‘Noticias y Documentales’.
All the cinemas in Spain, before showing the feature would show this news created by the government, which lasted about ten minutes, where they gave the official information.
And there’s also the radio news, what was colloquially known as ‘partes’, were also only news, the official radio of the regime. There were no independent radio stations.
There were some commercial radios but during news time, they connected to the official radio.
This, with television, becomes a bit diversified. Television is also a state television, a television that has only a channel at first and then a second one due to the incorporation of a new technology, the high fidelity.
I was going to say Wi-Fi, but no, it’s the Hi-Fi which emitted, I don’t know how to explain it, in a different way. But there’s an only voice, the official voice.
There’s a joke that would be nice if the spectators could see, I think it can be found, from a Catalan graphic comedian named Perich, Jaume Perich.
He did some emblematic drawings. It says, television (I’m telling it in Spanish because the joke was in Spanish) the best television in Spain is the first channel of ‘Televisión Española’.
Of course, there wasn’t another one.
So the catch of the joke is playing with this. Of course, if it’s the only one it is the best one, no doubt, it can’t be any other way.
This brings us to another topic, I’ll only mention it briefly, which I think is very interesting.
During all these years, and especially when the regime opened up a bit, appears a kind of humor, especially graphic humor but also on movies, that has learned to speak with second intentions.
To express itself between the lines and that the spectator or the reader learns to read between the lines.
This means, if we review the graphic press from back then, magazines like ‘Hermano Lobo’, ‘La Codorniz’, ‘Por Favor’; which if you have no context nowadays you don’t get the jokes because they are all in key.
Censorship makes that they say things in a way that can’t be censored but have a second meaning, a second sense.
There’s an emblematic example of this which is a song that practically became a hymn of the resistance in Catalonia. A song by the singer-songwriter Lluís Llach named ‘L’Estaca’.
‘L’Estaca’ is a waltz, a small waltz, that explains the history of a youth listening to an elderly man who says: ‘There’s a peg, the peg oppresses and dominates us. If you pull hard from here and I pull hard from there it’s sure to fall and we can be free’.
What’s the peg? The peg is a wooden club, a wooden stick. It’s an allegory of the regime. The regime, if you fight, will fall.
But said like this it wasn’t censorable or was less so. ‘L’estaca’, by the way, in the fighting during the 90s in Polonia with the disintegration of the soviet regime it became too, in Polonia, a fighting song.
My point is that if you look at the painting, the music, the drama, the cinema, the graphic humor from back then. As the mass media gains presence, this cultural forms begin to work in a very specific humor, playing with these double intentions. This is, I think, a very interesting phenomenon.
If you could tell us what the technocrats’ stabilization plan is and why it was a target from leftists?
Let’s see, the stabilization plan is, in a way, the clearest proof of this modernization of Francoism that takes place starting in the 58 and, especially, during the 60s.
Spain had achieved a certain presence in the international scene. Francoism isn’t over.
So, I think that the resistance movements begin to realize that Francoism is going to last for many years.
Actually, it is often said that Franco was the only dictator to die in bed. I can’t recall the age Franco had when he died, but he died on November 75 and we are talking, this stabilization phenomenon, about the early 60s.
All the government system becomes technified.
There appears a technocracy bound tight to these Opus Dei movement that we talked about before.
It’s no longer military or bound to the fascist party, ‘Falange’. Then, it has a much more fluid dialogue with the governments of other countries.
All this shows in a plan that is made out of smaller plans or development sub plans.
Basically, they revolve around the new Spanish industrialization.
The world has become technified. New industries have appeared that are expanding, especially, from the end of the second world war.
This economic plan is a plan that tries that Spain has this international presence and can export and, as much as possible, import.
Of course, the antifrancoist movements see all this as an elongation of Francoism.
Francoism shows that it can adapt to new circumstances and invests in itself to modernize, so that it can last longer.
Here is where the polemic stems. Even though these are still weak and clandestine movements.
In Spain, during Francoism, there was an only labor union. It was a union controlled by the government and an only part, ‘Falange’. The other parties were all clandestine.
What you’ve mentioned now, this division, is what is often called the ‘dictadura’ and ‘dictablanda’, right?
Yes, it’s a play on words, a joke, but yes.
In July 1962, the members of what’s closer to an opposition, met on the European International congress in Munich.
Yes, that is a gathering of the international democratic forces that, here, the regime dubbed the Munich cohabitation.
Cohabitation is a pejorative word, equivalent to conspiration, the plot of Munich.
For the clandestine democratic forces, some of which were inside Spain and others that were in the exile, it had a special importance that the Spanish reality had a presence in this Munich congress.
In fact, there was an important amount of both exiles and Spanish militants, that had a certain presence.
It was… Much has been written about the Munich congress, and it was a gathering very intervened by the spying agencies.
I think, in my personal opinion, that some of the great agencies like the CIA played a double role.
On one side, favoring the presence of these intellectuals and politicians to the gathering of critics to make international awareness of the situation of Spain, but it also helped the regime at the same time.
I think that all this years are difficult to explain and need revision. I’m no historian, but I think a pending work of the XX century historians is to revise much of this documentation, some of which is still secret or classified.
Because there are many double-dealings. The same way that the allied countries end up helping the Francoist regime, the United States play the game too. There’s a book named ‘La Cia y la Guerra Fría Cultural’ which is fairly outspoken in this regards, especially about artists.
Many contemporary Catalan visual artists had this external support despite the dictatorship.
But at the same time, in the end this external support caused the dictatorship to help them too.
I think that’s something that still needs to be studied. But yes the Munich gather was an important international presence of the reality and situation in Spain.
Some trade unions, like Oposición Sindical Obrera, during Franco’s regime, when they were forbidden, kept working from outside the country. Could you tell us a bit of how they did it, which groups they were and what they achieved?
I don’t think I can answer this question, I don’t know enough.
Could you tell us about the interview to Aureli Escarré on the year 1963?
Yes. Aureli Escarré was the abbot, the maximum religious authority of the Montserrat monastery.
Montserrat is the holy mountain of Catalans, whether or not they are religious.
Montserrat is a mountain that has a special importance for the Catalan culture. The monks, which are Benedictine, from Montserrat are known because they’ve always had a especial attitude of defense of the ethical causes and those of the Catalan language and culture. It’s an important institution for us.
The abbot Aureli Escarré, in this interview to ‘Le Monde’, takes a stance for the first time in an international media making a critic to the Francoist regime.
This, no doubt, had an international impact but, especially, had also a national impact, inside.
The curch during the republic was… how do we say it, it should feel guilty and in some moments there have been some attempts to ask for forgiveness.
The church during the war took clearly the side of the national cause, Franco’s side, and the church during Francoism was markedly Francoist.
Actually, in the coins minted during Fracoism, besides the effigy of the head of state there was an inscription saying: ‘Francisco Franco, Commander of Spain by the Grace of God’.
So, it was supposed to have the apostolic blessing and the church behind it, at least tacitly.
When the General Franco, the dictator Franco, participated in the parades and religious events he was always under the pallium, the artifact that the catholic church uses to take out in parades the verges and the images of Jesus Christ.
So there was an explicit complicity.
The fact that a sector of the church begins to take sides differently and, specifically with this interview, to denounce the dictatorship, the censorship, the complicity of the church with the Francoist regime had great impact.
It was something that was commented around the world and had a huge impact on an internal level because, slowly, from there on part of the catholic church begins to be critical and express it, and if it already was it begins to lose the fear to express, that’s why it’s important.
What effect did that interview have on the students organizations?
I think that all together adds up to something that becomes fairly evident in the late 60s that is that people begin to lose fear.
Repression is still very tough, but repression during the 50s was even tougher.
Keep in mind that there are war prisoners, practically, until the late 50s. There’s death penalty and the jails are full.
All this, that around the church begins to appear a certain dissidence.
The church also takes sides for a different syndicalism. There’s a movement, which is also interesting, of the worker chaplains and the Cristian trade unions.
All this starts to take shape, and of course the great university force, which in places like Barcelona after the 64-65, is decidedly active and antifrancoist and in alliance with all these other movements.
Well, I think they are a series of circumstances that keep piling up.
I have here two names: The Serrano sisters and Josep Guardiola. Could you tell us why they are considered champions of the Catalan culture?
I think they are… This binds with another topic, about which maybe we will talk later, which is that of the ‘Nova Cançó’.
During the early 60s, appears a movement that is based around an idea: probably, the space in which it is easier to begin using the Catalan language in public is the music, the song.
In some magazines, there begin to be published articles. There’s a manifesto named ‘Ens Calen Cançons d’Ara’, that claims that Catalan, now that it begins to be tolerated, isn’t only a language in which the music recovers the folklore tunes and songs from the XIX century and the early XX century, but rather a language that appears in the music that is being created now, modern music.
This shows in a movement, which I think is the clearest, that is called the ‘Setze Jutges’.
This ‘Setze Jutges’ thing is a tag that refers to a traditional tongue twister, that goes: ‘Setze jutges d’un jutjat, Mengen fetge d’un penjat’.
A sentence that, half in joke, when someone said ‘I can speak Catalan really well’ they asked for it to say it because it was tough to pronounce so much g g g, ‘Setze jutges d’un jutjat, Mengen fetge d’un penjat’.
There’s a series of singers heavily influenced by the French music, Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Édith Piaf, that begin to make songs in Catalan.
It is a very intellectual movement. The songs are like their French referents, which are rather high cultured.
Besides this, the assistance of characters like the Serrano sisters, Josep Guardionla, Núria Feliu, there’s more, etc. They try to make music of that time, commercial music, consumer music.
These are years when in many places of Europe, Sant Remo, Benidorm, etc. are held competitions of singers and songs, much on the line with this light music that was on vogue in France and especially in Italy.
I think that the importance of this creators is that they begin to use Catalan in this commercial kind of music, not so intellectual, not so cultured.
This, seen now can seem irrelevant, but in it’s moment, that is, when what’s on the line is the persistence of a language, the continuity of a language, it is important.
That is, that there’s commercial drama in Catalan, which also appears then. That they start making some movies in Catalan. That the Catalan language isn’t only a language of cultured poetry but that they also write novels is basic.
Catalan language has a problem, or rather a virtue that, up to a certain point, is a problem. It’s a language, philologically it is a language there’s no discussion, but it’s a language that is in between Spanish and French.
Formally it sometimes uses solutions closer to French, but sometimes it takes solutions much closer to Spanish.
That is, for a Spanish or starting from Spanish, learning Catalan is a minor effort, incredibly lower than if we talk of the language spoken in the Basque country, Euskara, or other non-Latin languages, that have no Romanic base.
Like I’m saying, this is an advantage because learning Catalan is simpler, but it’s also a problem because many families, just after the war, families that were linguistically Catalan stop talking Catalan at home and among them.
Especially, so that the lives of their children will be easier and able to talk better Spanish. Then, the effort of talking Spanish for a Catalan is no effort at all, it is very simple. He may speak better or worse, there are many anecdotes regarding how poorly Spanish speakers speak Catalan, but it’s an easy tongue starting from Catalan.
Then, the danger of Catalan being abandoned is, in those years, a considerable danger.
That’s why there’s an effort so that Catalan has a presence in commercial cultural forms like commercial music.
There’s an anecdote, which I think is interesting in this sense, that talks about a comedy actress named Mary Santpere. She was one of the persons who made, I think, a most significative effort to use Catalan in commercial theater, not in a theater, let’s say, of pure art and essay.
Once, she was interviewed by a journalist of Chilean origins working in the Spanish radio that was markedly fascist, a man called Bobby Deglané.
Mr Bobby Deglané asks him: ‘Mrs Santpere, why do you Catalans talk like you are dogs?’ and Mrs Santpere, with a very particular ease says, ‘Because in Catalan, we call dogs Bobby’.
Well, it’s a joke that I think illustrates well these things, these situations. But occupying the commercial territory… For example, that in the 60s there was a magazine, a Catalan magazine, a magazine made in Catalonia but made in Spanish named ‘Destino’, very important but that was written in Spanish.
Then, that there was a weekly publication written in Catalan, the monks of Montserrat made an effort in that sense. Occupying the commercial space with the Catalan language and culture was very important.
Like it was years later the work so that there was a newspaper in Catalan. A Newspaper that started the 76 and was named – well, it still is named as it still exists – ‘Avui’.
Could you tell us who was Joan Manel Serrat and what happened during the Eurovision contest the 68?
Joan Manel Serrat wasn’t only but it still is, an important Catalan artist.
Joan Manel Serrat is the typical… He started bound tight to that movement of the ‘Setze Jutges’. He’s a Barcelonese person, son of the Poblesec neighborhood, but his parents were Aragonese.
So, he’s a perfectly bilingual person, at his home, ever since he was a kid, they talked Catalan and Spanish and, unlike other singers from the ‘Nova Cançó’ movement, he always sung in both Catalan and Spanish ever since the very beginnings of his career.
It could even be said that, in Spanish, he’s done some of the musical poetry discs about characters like Antonio Machado, which are reference discs on a Hispanic scale, it’s important.
But not everyone agreed nor agrees with this bilingual practice on his music, on his song.
Many Catalan singers started criticizing him for singing in both languages.
This has an undoubtedly commercial component because, logically, if you only sing in Catalan you have a much smaller market than if you sing in Spanish.
Probably, Joan Manel Serrat is much more known in Latin America than here. I’ve lived that live. Serrat, among other things because he had to go into exile during the last years of the dictatorship and spent many years living in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, is huge there, when he walks down the street they need to cut the traffic.
Here he’s someone very esteemed and well known.
He’s an important character in both languages and bot cultures.
Aesthetically, Serrat I think stems from a way to make poetry with many popular elements, which in a way even cross with the aesthetic of troubadours, and he updates it.
He brings it up to date, fills it with popular topics ad themes. This gives him a lot of fame and prestige.
I think that here, in addition, the fact that he sung in both languages, despite being criticized by the most intellectual singers, made him more popular. Many people started talking and reading in Catalan thanks to Serrat because they know him for his career in Spanish and started to listen and buy records and listen to him music in Catalan.
So, that gave him a certain dose of prestige.
I was saying before that during the 60s it was in fashion a certain culture of festivals: the festival of Eurovision starts during these years, and there’s many of them. A festival, that was held here in Spain, was the ‘Festival de la Canción del Mediterráneo’.
It was a festival with songs in Spanish. Now I can’t recall properly, but I think that with singers from invited countries from the Mediterranean: France, Italy, Greece, etc. but the bulk of the contestants were Spanish.
On the sixty something, I think it is 68 unless I remember wrong.
They invite to participate in the festival Joan Manel Serrat, and he presents with a song called ‘Semana’ sung in Catalan.
They tell him that the song is good so he can participate, but that the festival must be in the official languages, so he needs to sing it in Spanish. He decides to withdraw and not participate.
Of course, this, to someone who already had an important media projection made it have some impact, it was an event that had an important effect.
In the end, this song was sung by other singers and Serrat went on with his career. On the one side, there’s no doubt that we are being forbidden to sing in Catalan, and on the other side there’s the attitude of Serrat of saying no, no, I’m Catalan – which is a bit contradictory because he also sung in Spanish – so if I can’t sing in Catalan in a Mediterranean festival, I’m withdrawing, I’m not participating.
So, it was a bit of a scandal.
Then, Serrat recorded the Machado disc, made some politically incorrect declarations and was fined and censored, he couldn’t sing.
In a certain moment, the year 73 I think, he made an act of exile and went to live and work in Latin America, especially in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. He grows wildly famous there, but it’s not until Franco’s death that he goes back home, to Barcelona.
It’s been written that the global youth movement, during the 60s, affected strongly the student demonstraions in Barcelona. Actually, a police commander is quoted to having written, “if they get hurt, they show their friends their war wounds, if they are imprisoned they become martyrs and the teachers pass them without knowing anything”. Can you talk us about the civil disobedience in the university students during the 60s?
Spain is still a country… there’s also a slogan, which was actually a touristic slogan, “Spain is different”. This graphic humorist that I’ve mentioned before, Jaume Perich, turned into a politic joke that only said that.
I don’t remember what the image was, but “Spain is Different” was a way to say that we were still a backwards country, untied from the world.
This, which probably was truer in other Spanish territories, in Barcelona and Catalonia was much less so.
I think that Barcelona has always been a bit more cosmopolitan, acity that, even, for the geographic distance with France has always felt very European.
Going to France, going to Paris, even in the XIX century and modernism, was something very frequent. Throught Barcelona, I’d say, enter into Spain many of the youth movements that were taking place in other places in Europe but also the world.
I’m thinking about May 68, about the Hippie movement in California. There’s many people, straight out of Catalan universities, that went to study or lecture in Barkeley. The mayor Maragall himself is a university teacher in the United States a bit later.
That has caused a lot of connection and transference.
I think that the addition of this, a Catalonia very on the vanguard and very in line with what was happening, and with this generation that came after those that fought in the World War in Europe and America.
We should also deal here with the movements against the Vietnam war and the revolutions in Cuba and other countries in Africa and Latin America.
I think that the addition of this, the impact of this things that happened in the world with the antifrancoist resistance make the student movement very strong.
The university, despite being a francoist university, still has some free reign, some carte blanche, depending on who the rector is, in order to hang posters, hold assemblies, prepare demonstrations.
There were many cops infiltrated in the university movements, but the university, to a degree, was an democratic oasis.
In the early 70s, the Autonomous university is created, which is a second university that recovers a name from the republic years and is built besides Barcelona, in the town of Sant Cugat first and Bellaterra later, about 15 kilometers from the city. It is a university that even from its definition is more open, more democratic, more progressist. I think this explains the excitement, which was huge, of teachers and students.
Another anecdote, which I think is very significative too.
A bit later, year 73, with one of the last Francoist executions, some important university teachers from here and all around Spain. They were deans, like professor Aranguren, who had been in Berkeley, some teachers presented their resignment: ‘We don’t want to continue being professors of the Spanish university’.
Among others, the dean of aesthetics of the Barcelona university, the teacher Jose María Valverde. Automatically, the dean of ethics of the Complutense University of Madrid, by name of Jose Luís Aranguren, send him a telegram in Latin saying ’There’s no aesthetics without ethics’, that is, if you, the most important dean in Spain, has resigned, I’m solidarizing with you since I’m the same but about ethics. ‘Nula estetica sine etica’, I think it’s a significative gesture.
There are many anecdotes about university life, and also of the complicity with other movements like the workers’ trade unions, ‘Comissions Obreres’, which was a class trade union, a trade union European style which was still clandestine by it already existed and was very active and helped mutually.
There was a great university lockdown the year 69 in the convent of the Capuchin monks from the neighborhood of Sarria, in Barcelona, which is known as the ‘Caputxinada’. In the end, the police knew they were there. There were also important university lockdowns in Montserrat, and they were surrounded by the police.
But this complicity between religious people, progresists, and university students, especially in the second half of the 60s, is important.
What role did Camilo Alonso have to end with these demonstrations?
We could say that, like during the early 60s the francoist regime opens, in the late 60s, of course, Francoism as the only party and only movement has very different families.
I think that in the last time there were boh more open and democratic sectors with more retrograde sectors.
Camilo Alonso Vega was a minister, if I remember right, he’s best remembered as a Minister of Government, but he was also a Minister of the Navy.
He was known for a certain degree of toughness, being minister of government, with all this movements.
That’s why he was called, half joking, Mr Camulo, a ‘mulo’ being an ass, a donkey that is used for hard labor. They aren’t even near as smart as horses, nor as smart as other kinds of donkeys. So, being a ‘mulo’ is being someone who is very tick and uncouth, that’s why they called him that.
When we’ve talked with people who were born during the 20s, they normally describe themselves as a generation governed by fear. But when we talk with people from the 60s, it’s a completely different way to think. Could you tell us about the generational difference of between the generation after the war and the former one?
My father was born during the 20s. He waged war in the republican side and after the battle of the Ebro he was a prisoner in a concentration camp for almost two years.
Ever since those two years of imprisonment, he had a precarious health and then was very active in syndical issues and clandestine leftist movements.
My father died the year 2008. I remember him, always, as a failed person.
Because when he was 18 he had to give up all his ideals, life projects, principles, etc. and had a tough life in that sense.
Maybe one of the consequences, sorry if I explain this in the first person, but it’s one of the ways to explain history, in first person. Maybe because of that I have no siblings, I was an only child. But if you do the math, my father was quite old when I was born.
I was born the year 61, so my father was practically 42.
So the war generation is divided in three groups: those who died, those who progressed because they bet on the francoist side and those who lost the war, who always felt like they were defeated.
Our generation, the generation of those who were born in the 60s saw things differently. We are the generation of the transition to democracy, who has also lived some years of economic boon that are important.
But I think there’s a generation that I think is important too, the generation of the 40s… those who were born between the 45 and the 55.
Which is, for the most part, the starring generation of transition, due to their age and many other things.
They are the children, their parents are closer to the republic time than the war and postwar time, and they are the ones who had the important responsibilities in the recovery of democracy.
The discussion of generations, like in literature, is always a polemic discussion, there are many points of view and what is and isn’t a generation.
But I think that these links between the defeated, the ones who made the transition and those who have been in the spotlight during the democracy years, it’s an important gradient to explain us as a country and a people.
In March 1966, in the faculty of economics of the UB an important event happened, could you tell us about it?
I didn’t quite get what that one was about.
When we’ve talked with people like Pepe Ribas, the editor of Ajoblanco, and others from that generation, they’ve told us that Franco’s regime in the 60s was seen as weak, almost a joke, compared to other parts of Spain. Why do you think this is?
I think that when Pepe Ribas talks like that, it’s his opinion but it’s also the luck he had.
The father of Pepe Ribas was a hierarch of the ‘Falange Española’, so he was a person of the regime with much power and much authority. I think that this made possible that he had, so to say, a relatively comfortable youth.
I don’t agree at all with that vision, I think that the 60s were some years, for those who were politically committed, especially tough, very tough.
But it is true that there’s a sector of this intermediate generation, of which we were talking, that were 30-35 in the 70s, that have begun doing a critical rereading of the last years of Francoism.
It is evident that the situations of repression and violence are not the same in the 40s than in the 60s. Francoism grows feebler, but there are still death penalties in the years 73 and 74. Salvador Puig i Antich was executed just then.
It’s an opinion I don’t share.
The pope John XXIII and the second Vatican council that was formed from the 62 to the 65 had a, say, important role when it comes to standing against the repressive laws and practices of Francoism. Could you comment on this on how it helped the catalanist cause?
For example, ever since the II Vatican council mass and religious ceremonies are carried out in Catalan, despite the Francoist regime not liking it.
Before the II Vatican, mass were in Latin and with their backs on the community, the believers, the attendees.
That is, he was a man looking at the altar, looking at the holy images, so with their backs on the public speaking Latin.
I think that the great contribution of the II Vatican council is that many religious practices are secularized and at the same time suggests a different position for the church elsewhere, untied from the civil and military power.
That, of course, has an obvious impact and in our case the repercussion is that these movements, more committed with democracy, of religious orders, chaplains, etc. begin to act with more room for maneuver.
Shortly after, a new concordat is signed between the Spanish state and the Vatican church which, in summary, breaks the bond that had almost been of connivance of the church regarding the state.
Liturgies are modernized too. We were saying that they begin performing mass in Catalan – also in Spanish, because it used to be in Latin. Non liturgic music is introduced in the religious rites, for example the whole deal of the spiritual songs of American and Anglo-Saxon origin.
There’s undoubtedly an opening. The chaplains dress… the clergyman appears, which is a… the cassock disappears, well, there’s a certain opening that will continue.
If you can tell us about the scouts.
Another phenomenon, this of special transcendence among children and teens that happens in this time is the rise of the boy scout movement, ‘escoltisme’.
Boy scouting had been born way before, it is actually and European adaptation of the Boy Scouts, the boy scout movement origining in the united states, Charles Baden-Powell and the like and that, even during the republic – my father was a scout – begins to appear in Catalonia.
Boy scouts is basically a free time movement of children and teens based on love of nature, hiking, sports, civism, etc. which has an undeniable impact in the non-formal education of children and teens.
Usually, boy scout movements grow around religious movements, it is under hold of the church. Most scout groups work around a parish, a church, of a neighborhood or a town.
Especially after the II Vatican council, in that they were a parallel expression to that opening of ecclesiastic movements, here they had a lot of spreading.
Many politicians from the transition, Jordi Pujol, Pascual Maragall, etc. as teens were enrolled, that is, their first political or maybe civil formation is related to scouting.
I think that the impact of scouting on the generation that brought about the transition to Catalonia was really strong.
It was also an antidote, because the Francoist regime party, ‘Falange Española’, founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera and of clear fascist ascription, tried to make a youth movement, in the same way the mussolinians did in Italy and the hitlerians in Germany.
That, which in Spain was called the ‘Frente de Juventudes’, was also a system of enrollment of children and teens, with an exaggerated cult to the body and physicial questions, didn’t have much spread in Catalonia due to recovery of the scout tradition.
Besides, a difference is that scouting was for boys and girls, while the ‘Frente de Juventudes’ was only for boys. ‘Falange Española’ created a different movement for girls based around a sort of female militia that was the ‘Servicio Social’, the social service.
It’s basically that girls, for many things, to be able to get married, to have a passport, to be able to work, had to do a sort of service, not military but civil, that lasted for a time.
It was in different periods around that age, 18, that were the ‘Milicias de la Sección Femenina del Movimiento’, the name is self-explanatory.
Usually, it was learning to sew, learning traditional dances and all that are – of course, we need to look at it from 50s and 60s prespective – the duties of a good wife and a good mother: knowing how to cook a variety of dishes, knowing how to take care of the sick, well, home labors. That’s what girls learnt.
But it was compulsory. It was like the military service but for girls. We could say that it was the Francoist model and that in Catalonia, of course, you had to do it too. All of my cousins, since I have no sisters, had been done the social service in the ‘Sección femenina’. Because if you didn’t, you couldn’t do many things, the university enrolment was also harder.
But here the enrolment of the young people was closely related to scouting, the boy scout movement, which here was called ‘escoltes’.
Who was Josep María Porcioles?
Josep María Porcioles was a mayor of Barcelona, one of the last Francoist mayors.
There’s something that needs to be said before, and that is that during Francoism there were mayors but these mayors weren’t chosen democratically by the citizenry.
The first mayor chosen by the citizenry, the year 1979, in Barcelona was called Narcís Serra, who was later minister of Defense and vice-president of the first socialist government, Narcís Serra was socialist.
The fist town democratic elections were in the month of March 1979, just after the approval of the constitution by referendum on December 1978.
So, Josep María de Porcioles was a Francoist mayor in the 60s, but he was a character… I think he was the francoist mayor that had a city model, obviously arguable, but with a certain strategic quality.
Regarding Josep María de Porcioles, I think we need to admit that some of the projects that have had an effective deployment in the city of Barcelona are, deep down, projects that were thought during the period of that non democratic mayor that was Josep María de Porcioles: the olimpic games, for example, or the peripheral system of highways that allow to move around the city.
There are some things that, if one does some digging in the newspaper and journals library are, clearly, from the 60s.
What was the role of publications Abbey of Montserrat regarding catalanism in the 60s?
The publications from the Montserrat abbey are part of that spirit that when we talked of the abbot Escarré and some committed religious sectors we’ve mentioned.
The community of Montserrat is a monastic Benedictine community that, among other thigs, has an impressive libraries and, for a long time, it started being a print and later a publishing house for religious books: bibles and books about saints.
But slowly, given the commitment of abbots like abbot Escarré with this budding catalanism, it became the foremost referent of publishing in Catalan and about Catalan topics.
The abbey of Montserrat, from the early 60s edits a monthly magazine, which is still ongoing, named ‘Serra d’Or’. It began as a magazine of religious topics, but now and for many years it is a magazine of cultural topics, done in Canada.
It also has collections of narrative, essay… it’s an important intellectual referent.
I think that, especially in the late Francosim, for the regime it was easier to justify that certain things in the Catalan language and culture were made from curch and not from independent movements, there was more trust, so to say.
An example is…
It doesn’t mean they are less committed, but an example is the abbey of Montserrat, the publications of the abbey of Montserrat.
In what way did the PSUC help catalanism during this time?
Let’s see, even though the PSUC had a special trajectory before and during the war. PSUC are the initials of the ‘Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya’, and is a party that before the war tries to gather and put together small socialist and communist parties.
About this topic we could talk a lot, but I’m sure that someone already has, about the POUM, Andreu Nin…
Anyway, it’s not my area of expertise.
After the civil war, it became a Catalan branch of the ‘Partido Comunista Español’, the PCE.
I think it is a party that in the 60s and the 70s has a virtue that no other party in our country has had: a double compromise, national and class.
The PSUC was a communist party, if you want from the early 70s on Eurocommunist, with this critical reivisio of Marxism and communist thought which takes place in many places in Europe and the disassociation with soviet orthodoxy.
But, the ‘Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya’ was also a party committed to the national issue. It was a Catalan and catalanist party.
This is very important, or said differently, I think that a number of the issues that are still present in Catalan society and Catalan politic life it because, maybe because the disappearance of the division between right and left, this other position of independentism versus unionism has ended up anchored in extreme positions.
I think that the great contribution the PSUC does to the Catalan politic life is being able to combine class consciousness, that is leftist, tied to socialism and communism, with national conscience.
What were the neighbor associations and what was their role against Francoist repression?
I think that neighbor associations, especially in Barcelona, have a very important role.
It would say that not so much against Francoism, because there were neighbor associations that were tolerated by Francoism, but these were associations between charitable and folkloric.
In Barcelona, the neighbor associations are, until the transition to democracy, the ones in charge of decorating the streets for the Christmas holidays.
Actually, they were called associations of light bulbers because they basically hung colored light bulbs on the streets.
They were associations of neighbors and merchants that gathered money, held raffles to have money to do some thing, some festivity.
With transition, these associations are progressively colonized by people and issues of a reclaiming nature.
We need to think that here also begin the new democratic town halls.
Many neighborhoods, especially on the periphery of Barcelona, but also the center like the Raval or the Chinese neighborhood, were neighborhoods which had many urban and infrastructural needs and, in a way, the dialogue between the new city halls and the citizenry flows, even now, for this movement that is the neighbors associations.
They are organized, they are federated, and I think they are another civil support of local power.
What was ‘Nous Horitzons’?
‘Nous Horitzons’ is the theoretical magazine of the PSUC, the ‘partit socialista unificat de Catalunya’.
The PSUC had an element, a weekly newspaper called ‘Treball’ that for many years was directed by a journalist named Andreu Claret, who later has been the CEO of the foundation Anna Lindh, an European foundation specialized in dialogue between Europe and the Arab world.
Then there was a magazine of theory, a magazine of research, a magazine that I think was quarterly, called ‘Nous Horitzons’.
Then, ‘Nous Horitzons’ is where great part of the socialist and communist thinking is nourished and expressed here in Catalonia.
Then, it’s not a media for the great public but it does have an unquestionable influence among the academics and experts.
What’s ‘Comisions Obreres’ and if you could tell us their role during the Catalan national day in 1977.
‘Comissions Obreres’ was the foremost attempt to create a trade union, according to what was understood in a global scale back then to be a trade union, that happened in Catalonia and Spain.
A trade union understood as a class trade union, to defend the global interests of the workers and that, at the same time, acknowledged the different guilds and trades but with a conciliatory goal.
It needs to be remembered that syndicalism during Francoism wasn’t banned, but rather there was an only trade union controlled from the political apparatus that was, it could be said, vertical, it was known as the vertical syndicate.
Actually, Francoism used to define its political action with three concepts: family, town and syndicate. So, all that is the organization of workers was important for Francoism and expressed itself, sometimes, in demonstrations supporting the General Franco but also the authorities of the regime or in celebrations that we would now consider to be odd or unusual.
Like the great syndical demonstration of the worker’s day holiday, on the first of May, that during Francoism was the day of Saint Joseph Worker, it wasn’t called workers’ day or syndical day, but rather the day of ‘San José Obrero’.
In the face of this, and very early in the 60s, a syndicate that corresponds to what were the syndicates that were in other countries: a more politic trade union, usually bound to leftist parties.
‘Comissions Obreres’ was this and also had the virtue of incorporating this national vision to Catalan language and culture and Catalonia as an independent country, which I think is key.
The way I see it, in this final years of the dictatorship, trade unions and political parties and social movements were closely linked. Actually, there was even many people who were involved in multiple associations.
That is, one was a member of ‘Comissions Obreres’ but was also a member of PSUC and was a member of the neighbors’ association of their neighborhood or town.
Then, maybe here there wasn’t as much people as it was thought because many, we could say, were repeated but that also gave a cohesion and strength to the movement that I find very important.
The trade unions, because there were more – the historical UGT and other lower trade unions and, of course, the anarchist trade union, CNT – that were very important in these years.
Barcelona has been, ever since the beginning of the XX certury, a fetish city for the anarchists. Actually, Barcelona was known in the world as the rose of fire: it’s the city of the great strikes, the tragic week, of many things without which the first third of the XX century can’t be explained.
In the transition, at the end of the dictatorship, these movements regain a certain amount of strength and the CNT becomes again a very important trade union. But, without a doubt, ‘Comissions Obreres’ is maye the most emblematic trade union.
Like I’m saying, there were many synergies and one of these synergies shows in the national compromise that relates with the celebration of the 11thof September, which is Catalonia’s national day.
Us Catalans don’t commemorate any victory, probably because we don’t have many, but what we do celebrate as our national day is a defeat, which is the 11thof September, the day in which in the year 1714 Catalonia lost its liberties.
This celebration stopped with the civil war, because after the war it was banned. In the 60s, around where there’s a statue in Barcleona of who was councilor in chief the year 1714, Rafael Casanovas, which according to tradition there was where he fell wounded by the attack of the Borbons.
During the last years of the dictatorship, I was saying, there were attempts to demonstrate, to rally, that at first were immediately repressed by the police until the year 77 when, with the dictator already dead, the conditions were met for a legal demonstration to happen.
But the authorization was conditioned to it not taking place in the center of the city of Barcelona.
Then, the political forces and the trade unions, among them ‘Comissions Obreres’, who had an important active role, decided that this celebration, which is the first on the 11thof September, take place in the town of Sant Boi de Llobregat, a town half an hour away from Barcelona, which is where was born and is buried Rafael de Casanovas.
The involvement was massive, even though there’s no agreement on the numbers. Evidently, this was so thanks to the active implication of the trade unions, the parties, social movements, among them ‘Comissions Obreres’.
Could you tell us who Manuel Fraga Iribarne was and why his sentence ‘La Calle es mía’ is famous?
Well, the quote ‘La Calle es mia’, from Manuel Fraga Iribarne, became famous because he was in fact the Minister of Interior in a years when Franco was already dead – he had been Franco’s minister of tourism and embassador in London, although that was in transition – and later, with the first government of Adolfo Suarez’ UCD in the budding democracy, he was the Minister of Interior.
Well, Manuel Fraga we could say that self-represented as a democrat, that is, someone who came from the francoist regime but had assumed the principles of democracy as a liberal, open, etc.
But he was a minister that, in the transition, deployed a repressive force against the politic and social movements disproportioned for the moment in which Spain found itself.
One of his quotes, after being president of the region of Galicia, because he was from Galicia and had a long political life.
But being minister of interior, one of his quotes was this, the streets are mine, ‘La Calle es mia’.
Quote to which the opposition answered or counterpoised the need to recover the public space for democratic life: the taking of the streets, the civic demonstrations.
Also the parties, these are years where the city life, after so many years of repression, bursts and is so rich, so intense also in this sense of occupying the streets for democracy.
Could you tell us about the SEAT factory strike the 71?
If you could tell us something about Salvador Puig I Antich I Georg Michael Welzel.
Let’s start with Puig i Antich.
Salvador Puig i Antich was a Catalan anarchist, member of the ‘Movimiento Iberico de Liberación’, el MIL, that has gone down in history for being the last person executed, so he was the last victim of death penalty in Francoism.
The episode is related to a shootout, that is, some members of this anarchist armed group were surprised by the police in a cafeteria the Eixample in Barcelona.
There was gunfire and the conclusion of this gunfire, according to the authority, was that a police officer was killed by Salvador Puig i Antich.
Afterwards, it has come to light that this is a version with many contradictions and it probably isn’t true, but he was attributed the death by gunfire of this police officer.
Salvador Puig i Antich, who was a romantic youth – there’s a dramatized movie about Salvador Puig i Antich named ‘Salvador’, it’s an interesting movie – a young man with ideals and values and practiced the armed fight, he carried a weapon.
Then, the circumstances are perfectly plausible.
He was imprisoned, was court-martialed and that too was… reviewing the records of the court-martial prove that there are tons of contradictions, the medical report, many things, and in the end the sentence was garotte.
The garotte is a particularly savage way to apply the death penalty that has been traditional in Spain from the XVII or XVIII century.
It’s death from extreme pressure by an iron screw to the convict’s neck, held by a ring.
Well, it was like that.
This story, which this movie I mentioned, ‘Salvador’, explains well, of the paperwork until 7 am when he had to be executed at 8 am in front of the Vatican, in front of Franco himself…
Besides, the Puig i Antich family was a family of certain prestige in Barcelona, he wasn’t a nobody.
It was extraordinary but in the end nobody pardoned him, that is, the dictator Franco didn’t pardon him and he died executed.
A particular thing about this, to cover up this execution they killed someone else, whose name I can’t remember [Georg Michael Welzel]
So Georg Michael Welzel, actually he was known by anoter name, but I can’t recall that story properly. But the tactic is very clear: so that I can’t be considered a political affair, we will execute another condemned person for nonpolitical crimes, who was this German from the oriental republic or from Polonia, I can’t remember right all this.
It gave cause to another interesting thing: a theater group, named ‘Els Joglars’, who did politically committed pantomime, they performed a drama play named ‘La Torna’, about this second execution.
That caused another court-martial and him, the leader of the drama group, an actor and director named Alberto Boadella was also court-martialed. Of course, not because of murder or physical violence, but because they had performed a play that showed the military and the ‘Guardia Civil’ in a bad light.
That is, in a sequence of events, Puig i Antich, ‘La Torna’, Albert Boadella, explain this final stretch of Francoism, the year 73 or 74, when the General Franco was, let’s say, on his las leg due to multiple pathologies and there was some unease regarding what would happen the day Franco died.
I think that all this needs to be seen in this context.
Could you tell us some anecdote, yours or someone’s else, that can illustrate that suddenly Catalan could be spoken in public?
I didn’t see that question.
I think that one of the anecdotes, it’s not exactly an anecdote, I refuse to classify it as such, but that explain, are significative and explain the state of things where Catalan becomes a language first of public use and later promoted by the government is that in the moment just after Franco’s death and when there still haven’t been any elections nor the statute had been made. In the Barcelona city hall there’s a voting, in the municipal plenary session, about what needs to be done with Catalan.
Whether it should be promoted or not and whether it should be used or not in the city hall’s public records.
Sixteen municipal councilors vote against Catalan.
Well, that was something that was really unpopular. It brought songs, ironies, jokes, shoutings, rallies…
Because, of course, there was a strongly felt wish from the citizenry and many political groups that the recovery of Catalan should be a priority.
Then, this councilors that voted against it, which were still Francoist councilors, that is, they hadn’t been voted democratically by the citizenry, they received all sorts of questioning.
I think it’s quite the clear example.
There’s many of them though.
The ’78 constitution is always said that it was created in a situation between a rock and a hard place, there was the worry that the army would try to acquire power… Could you tell us a bit about this topic?
Yes, let’s see…
Recently, there’s been growing a very critical vision with the transition in Spain.
When Franco died, there was an argument about whether there should be a reform or a breakdown.
In the end, the situation was fit for a reform, that is: to develop the Francoist regime from inside trying to reach as deep as possible in democratic power.
I think that the new generations and the critical outlook is being very negative with the transition. As something that was very shy, that really didn’t achieve anything…
I disagree and have a more integrating look.
I think that, effectively, Franco is a dictator that dies in bed. That means that there’s no movement against him that manages to topple him. That the king, Juan Carlos I, is king in that he’s the heir of the dictator Franco. It’s someone that when the dictator dies grabs the power.
That despite what is said he made a considerable effort – he and his prime minister Adolfo Suarez – to democratize the country as much as possible.
That the military, as they proved the 23rdof February 1981 were on the wait and the risk of a coup d’état was imminent, not fiction.
That the constitution of the 78 was a possibilist constitution, the one that was possible in that moment. Then, I’m not sure if it makes much sense, like it’s happening lately, to hold it as a holy and untouchable text.
I think that we all know that was a way to get out of the post-francoist impasse in the best possible way. And, in definitive I think that, in the circumstances, we could have had much worse luck.
I think that time has ended up putting everything in their proper place and in this sense, from that point of view, the ’78 constitution is now irregular, in some things it is more advanced than in others.
Of course, today it should be reviewed, but I think it was useful to move forwards.
So, I don’t think it’s a bad constitution. Of course, it should be reviewed now, but in the year 78 the circumstances were different.
17h of August 2017. Could you tell us your personal experience?
Let’s see, the 17thof August, I remember that the first attempt to carry out this interview was precisely around that date, but we postponed it.
Explained from a personal prespective, the 17th of August I was in holidays with my family, my daughters in Empordà and I turn the radio on and I hear an acquaintance, who works as a barman in the Boades cocktail bar, which is the oldest in Barcelona and is just besides the Canaletes fountain in La Rambla, who is explaining what happened to him: he was getting out of the subway and couldn’t reach there, he had to go into it to work in the cocktail work and couldn’t get there.
Of course, I was alarmed because I live in La Rambla. But in the lower side of La Rambla, number 37.
Then, that happened really close to my home, in my own street.
Usually, the tourists that go to la Rambla don’t believe there’s still people who live there. There aren’t many, but some have the luck and doom of living in la Rambla.
I think it’s a privilege.
Automaticall, my phone started ringing because one has friends all around the world, and when the news spreads that there’s been an attack on la Rambla everyone thinks of me and my family because we live there.
It was 24 hours of messages, whatsapps, etc.
The next day, since I wasn’t too far away, I came to Barceona to check that everything was in order and to take part of the rally that took place the Friday 18thin Catalunya square.
All of my and my families’ things were alright. The city was collapsed, because they also cut the streets ant there was an extreme police control. And, slowly, life, with the shock and trauma, kept going back to normal.
What else can I say? The first thing is that this deed, along with the other deeds that have happened in Europe during the las two or three years I think make us feel closer and solidary with the citizenry of New York and other American places but specially New York, now that 15 or 17 years ago they lived the traumatic situation of the twin towers.
It no doubt make us feel like part of the same family.
The second is that, despite the tragedy of the 15 dead and multiple wounded, this attack could have been a much bigger tragedy if the terrorists had carried out what they had planned with some bombs activated with butane gas cylinders, etc.
Then, despite everything there’s a certain lightening.
The third thing is that I think that in Barcelona the reaction of solidarity between the Maghrebi community and the Barcelonese from other collectives has been very emotional and intense.
I think it’s clear that in Barcelona, which right now has a significative Maghrebi population, what prevails is concord and cohabitation.
The fourth thing I’d say is that, despite that, measures need to be taken to supervise and guarantee this cohabitation that give better results.
For example, is it possible that in Spain there’s no Imam census when any association of any kind, sportive, religious, cultural, is held accountable in front of the regional government, who has the competences, of who is part of the directive and who are the employees.
The other religious faiths are studied in-depth and I think some things are out of control here.
And the last thing, which I think is important to highlight, is that normally, and that has happened in other occasions and circumstances, there’s a profile of the terrorist that, paradoxically is the cannon fodder because of its own good faith.
As it happens with many terrorist movements, behind this, that’s how I see it even though it sounds politically incorrect, that there’s young people with ideals and values that is fooled by a certain evil perversion that knows how to persuade, how to convince using tricks.
That’s always been like that. In Barcelona there was an anarchist attack, I don’t think I remember the year, maybe 75, in a party venue that was in Sant Joan promenade, called Scala, where two anarchists threw some Molotov cocktails and there were some dead.
These people, two young men who I happen to know, so I know what I’m talking about, were arrested, judged and spent a lot time in prison.
The inductor of these attempts was a police informant, and t is perfectly described and detailed the strategy of the deceit and the seduction.
That is, evidently they are guilty and have paid for their recklessness dearly, but behind, if you scratch under the surface, you notice some very perverse manipulation processes.
You didn’t ask me about this, but…