Let’s see who can do more
30 de octubre de 2019

Catalonia is being the scene and price of a poker game in which the tiles are bleeding. A game between Torra and his RDCs on the one hand, and Sánchez and Marlaska on the other. In 2017, Rajoy fell into the separatist trap when he allowed the police to use violence at illegal polling places. A violence caused by coordinated resistance strategies. A violence sought, as they admitted at the time, to galvanise the population into taking to the streets en masse, leaving the government caught between accepting the independency and using military force in the horrified sight of the international community. 

The calculation failed because the separatist population is not as sectarian as its leaders, and because it was clear to them, through the constitutionalist demonstrations and the action of the police, that the road to independence for Catalonia lay through violent civil confrontation. And they didn’t want. There was no massive support for the declaration of independence on the streets. And so it become a “bargaining” bluff. But imagine if they had gone out, if the state security forces had lost control of the street in Catalonia. Would it have been a bluff?

This year, Torra is pushing for a repeat of the same strategy. Acts of sabotage, roadblocks, attacks on the police, all wrapped up in peaceful demonstrations. Provocation under the cloak of innocence.  But, this time, he has someone as immoral as him in front of him. Torra is willing to send the CDRs out on the street with one hand, and the mossos, to beat them up, with the other. All in order to present Catalonia as a victim of oppression. 

Marlaska is willing to allow the mossos and the National Police to be riddled with stones rather than provide Torra with the images that he wants to see.

But, for their part, Marlaska is willing to allow the mossos and the National Police to be riddled with stones rather than provide Torra with the images that he wants to see: heads blown off by truncheons, charges against peaceful demonstrations, or the like. But the refusal of the security forces to defend themselves forcefully has ended up generating the opposite: indelible images of radicals tearing up cobblestones against the police, opening vans, burning Barcelona, looting shops. putting riot police in a coma. Although we have stopped seeing the massive riots, the violence is still there every night, against police stations, and at roadblocks. 

The National Police and the Mossos are acting without having all their material. Marlaska doesn’t  allow the civil Guard to intervene, despite the fact that it is already deployed, and it does allow the separatists to crush and injure the security forces. Because every one of those 300 cops injured in the first week is a blow to the image of “people of peace” and “democrats” that the separatists have worked so hard to create. 

The poker game, therefore, doesn’t cease to raise the stakes. What level of violence is Torra willing to promote, taking away legitimacy from his cause in order to force Marlaska’s hand? What would have to happen to Marlaska to send in the cavalry, assuming the cost of regaining control in such a situation? Who will get the dead man we all fear first? 

There are those who say that a decisive action at the beginning would have cut off this wave of violence?

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