It is no longer just that the Govern of ERC and Junts keep a complicit silence before the riots to please the CUP and facilitate post-electoral negotiations with the anti-establishment; is that when he speaks, he does it to leave the Mossos d’Esquadra, his police, at the foot of the horses. The tension generated in the Corps was such that, for the first time, the police unions agreed to demand an emergency meeting with the Minister of the Interior, Miquel Sàmper. It was held yesterday, and the agents’ representatives showed their “discomfort” with the Generalitat for using them as a “bargaining chip” in the negotiations.
Not a word of condemnation for the riots of Pere Aragonès, the vice president of the Generalitat acting as president, who aspires to have the baton of the Catalan government in the next legislature. On the contrary, ERC, his party, issued a statement on Saturday in which it claimed that “the right of the demonstration must always be guaranteed and that the police must act proportionally.” The Republicans said nothing about the stones thrown at the agents, or the looted commercial establishments, or the burning containers. Neither Junts, a formation to which the Minister of the Interior belongs, had any gesture of consideration with the Mossos. Quite the opposite. The vice president of the Catalan Parliament Josep Costa even suggested that the “State” maintains control of the Autonomous Police, and that “who else who least misses the mossos of 17-A and 1-O”. And the CUP? The anti-capitalist formation not only fuels the riots, but Arran, its linked youth organization, is the one who organizes the marches that lead to nights of riots. “Whoever does not defend the Mossos is unable to govern,” said Salvador Illa yesterday to the independentists, who does not renounce forming a government despite the little room for maneuver of the PSC to reach agreements with other formations.
This is the political scene that outrages the Mossos, and, in essence, what their unions transferred to the counselor. They stressed that the Generalitat has to “condemn violence wherever it comes from” and make an “explicit defense” of the Corps. And they see “unacceptable” talking about the public order model in the middle of a week of riots. “Just when we work the most to preserve public safety and suffer the daily attack of the violent,” they lament. Junts, ERC and the CUP had done it, after losing an eye to a protester, but also to the Interior Minister himself. Sàmper apologized to them in case some of his statements had been misinterpreted. The unions say that if there is a bad performance it will have to be investigated, but they see an “aberration” that is accused “at the first of changes”, as in the loss of eye of the young woman. The investigation must clarify whether it was caused by a police projectile.
The agents’ representatives, who before the meeting had even said that they could not guarantee “social peace” in the Corps, They are waiting to see how the Generalitat responds before the police actions of the next days. So far yesterday, after the meeting, the counselor was more forceful than the previous days with the “extreme violence” of the radicals on Sunday.
Union sources, however, they reproach him for the delay in condemning the facts. It is very easy -they say- to say it now, after five days of rioting, when the profile of the detainees has been changing: if those of the first days had a marked ideological profile – attacks on the Mossos, attacks on banks and large establishments, barricades and anti-system graffiti, those arrested last Saturday were largely for looting businesses. Many of those involved have antecedents. Looting is reprehensible, these sources recall, but so is stoning a policeman or setting fire to barricades.
Yesterday’s concentration in Barcelona was much less numerous than that of Saturday, from 7,000 to 700 protesters, approximately. But it was not without its incidents, as the banner that headed it predicted: “You have taught us that being peaceful is useless.” They concentrated, this time, in front of the Sants station, but shouting “the streets will always be ours” they traveled through the city to Via Laietana, where on Saturday the Mossos did not let them reach. There, a group stoned the facilities of the Higher Police Headquarters.