Today I would like to talk about football. But I cannot. There are more important things. Obviously, I'm happy for the achievement of the 29th Copa del Rey, the third in a row and the 5th in 9 seasons. Which is the ninth title in the Luis Enrique’s era and the title number 30 in the last 12 years.
Today I want to denounce injustice. A case of xenophobia. A case of violation of the application of a Court ruling in favour of estelada (Catalan independent flag). An event that gives even more reason for supporting independence. An event that gives even more reason for people who do not share, but exercises the use of reason. To really think about.
As many know, I am a Barça member and currently living in Berlin. But there are also similar cases, but in reverse. As Daniel Kahl, born in Berlin and living for years in Barcelona and FC Barcelona. His integration to the Catalan culture is such that, married with a Catalan woman, demonstrates a superb command of the Catalan language. Our friend was victim of a great injustice in Madrid last Saturday when he was having access to the Estadio Vicente Calderón.
"When I approached the Stadium, I was with two German friends and I was the last one to pass the control. I had a small backpack and, what was a problem, a estelada hanging on the back. The checking of the backpack took so long and I called my friends asking to wait. I was already looked with bad eyes, because the flag, and they realized that I am a foreigner. I was asked for my documentation, I showed my German ID, and they begin asking me the meaning of the flag and why I was carrying it.
I answer that is only a flag and immediately I saw myself surrounded by several national police and security members. They asked again about the ticket ownership (Positive since I am a member and I was successful in the tickets lottery) and they decided to confiscate the ticket. Meanwhile I was asked again about the meaning of the flag I was invited to remain outside where I was surprised by more police members."
The situation became even more surreal when the police, according to Daniel, commented that "today there is not game for you". Daniel confirmed that in any case he lost his nerve and he asked for explanations and someone in order to speak English, "because I did not want to cause any problem talking in Catalan.
But there was no way to calm down the situation and forced me to leave the stadium. A national police officer took my arm tightly to the exit, he gave me back my ID, and when I asked for my ticket, he shout "Shut up and go away! We do not want to see you anymore!" with raised arm threatening to give me a punch."
Honestly, I know Daniel personally and I trust completely his words and in his calm reaction, like good German. I myself witnessed similar episodes where the police confiscated estelades, which are not unconstitutional, inside and outside the Vicente Calderón.ç
I want to denounce this fact, and the passivity of the Spanish police towards the banned symbols. For example, the flag of Franco's Spain. Furthermore, as noted President Puigdemont there is a Spanish Criminal Sentence condemning censorship against the estelada. They cannot ask the application of the law when they do not apply it.
It is more than obvious that we should never generalize about attitudes and extend these to all members of the Security members. But what happened last Saturday is a very serious case of abuse of the authority. And what is worse, an example of intolerance, discrimination and violation of the right to freedom of speech. Like Franco said, "atado y bien atado."
"I disagree about what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)