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President backs Catalan police to ‘defuse’ threat of fascist violence

Quim Torra insists society must deal with “disease” of far-right violence and aggression

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26 July 2018 06:13 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Mossos d’Esquadra police are the best defense to “defuse the threat” of fascist violence, said president Quim Torra on Thursday, at a time when a number of different incidents involving far-right groups have been reported around Catalonia.

The public cannot live in in a state of “terror,” said Torra, who added that such violence must be dealt with in the same way society tackles other “diseases,” such as sexism. Torra made his comments on a visit to the Catalan police’s Complex Egara center in Sabadell.

Earlier in the month, Catalan photojournalist and specialist investigator into far-right groups, Jordi Borràs, was physically attacked by an off-duty Spanish police officer, who during the attack shouted out “Long live Spain” and “Long live Franco.”

This was followed by an incident on Tuesday in which Barcelona local police ended up arresting six people after an attack by fascists on protestors in the Tres Voltes Rebel community center in the Nou Barris neighborhood.

A protest against Nazi graffiti painted on the center ended with far-right supporters attacking the protestors, who fought back, leading to the arrests. Barcelona mayor Ada Colau called on the Catalan interior minister Miquel Buch to “act forcefully against such expressions of hatred in the city.” “Barcelona is and will always be anti-fascist,” she added on Twitter.

Girona platform condemns “fascist aggression”

Meanwhile, earlier this month different organizations came together to form a platform to “condemn the rise in fascist activities and aggression” in the city of Girona, in particular since the independence referendum took place on October 1.

Citing a list of incidents, including cases of fascist graffiti, an attack on the El Forn pro-independence civic center and threats and physical attacks against individuals, the platform insisted that the same far-right group was behind most of the incidents, which it said was increasingly acting “with more impunity.”

The platform also identified a member of Girona football club it accuses of being of “Nazi ideology and who has committed some of the most recent fascist aggressions,” and it called on the club to expel the individual. The club responded saying it is aware of the individual, but cannot act against him as long as he does not break the club rules.

However, Catalan interior minister Miquel Buch said this week that the number of fascist attacks had actually gone down, but that there is “more talk about them” in the media and on the internet. Nevertheless, Buch insisted that “no fascist attitude, of violence or aggression against people, will be tolerated and will be pursued by the police.”

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  • Catalan president Quim Torra salutes commanders for Mossos d'Esquadra on July 26 2018 (by Laura Busquets)

  • Catalan president Quim Torra salutes commanders for Mossos d'Esquadra on July 26 2018 (by Laura Busquets)