Pablo Iglesias commented that “there is no situation of full political and democratic normality in Spain”1 in relation to the situation of Junqueras and Puigdemont, one imprisoned and the other one exiled in Belgium. This statement was not sit very well in his coalition with the third vice president Nadia Calviño indignantly replying that “Spain is a full democracy”2 and Minister Ábalos declaring that all normality implies “elements of abnormality”3. Suddenly a good number of politicians of different stripes are pushed to position themselves on the existence or non-existence of such “normality”. But … What do they mean when they speak of “democratic normality”? And do we have it, or not?
Let’s look at some facts. On the one hand, Pablo Hasél, a Spanish rapper, imprisoned in the Ponent prison4 for “crimes of glorifying terrorism and insults to the crown.” Curiously, those media that seek to position us against them do not do so in the name of their crimes against “the crown” because they know that a large part of the population is against the monarchy drowned in cases of corruption and exposed by the flight of JC Borbón cornered by justice5. They look for other cases not yet resolved that include easily controversial issues, such as lyrics where he pays tribute to GRAPO6 or conflicts with a journalist7, when for the latter he is not actually convicted and when the Blue Division8 is honored with total impunity showing that the word “terrorism” is also at the service of according to which ideologies.
It has been normalized that the security forces daily repress those who fight for their labor rights, their freedom of association or their threatened pension. Not long ago a 75-year-old activist faced prison terms for stopping an eviction9, and platforms such as Defender a Que Defiende have warned of police abuses in the context of the Coronavirus10 crisis. Meanwhile, the Gag Law (Ley Mordaza) has been in force since 2015, expanding the powers of the police and making protests more difficult11 despite receiving criticism from the PSOE at the time, and organizations such as the UN accuse Spain of not ensuring police identification12. To this must be added that the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Spain up to 11 times13 for not investigating cases of police torture. The state also prevents the extradition of former charges from the Franco regime’s political police arm to be investigated in Argentina14. We see how the Constitution, the one that makes many political parties so proud15 and that was so difficult to change, is modified overnight in 2011 by mandate of Europe with the agreement of the PSOE and the PP16 with in order to prioritize the payment of the debt over any other expenditure of the State in the general budgets.
Given all this, what is “democratic normality”? In a context in which injustice has become normal, should we compare our government with the so-called “democracies” of Morocco or in Myanmar before the coup or with the neoliberal capitalist “democracies” of the European countries? What is “normality”? We should not care much about its “normality”, but we must strive to build a truly democratic, transparent, free and socially just society. For these reasons it is an essential task to criticize all the actions of the government, the state, companies and people that erode democracy. These criticisms must be normal even within institutions. The opposite is undoubtedly corporatism and it does not move away from the dictatorships that the champions of constitutionality criticize so much.
1 https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/4575236/0/iglesias-asegura-que-no-existe-plena-normalidad-democratica-por-la-situacion-de-junqueras-y-puigdemont/ 2 https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20210209/6233720/calvino-replica-pablo-iglesias-espana-democracia-plena.html 3 https://www.eldiario.es/politica/abalos-palabras-iglesias-negando-plena-normalidad-democratica-espana-sistemas-anomalias_1_7202446.html 4 https://www.diaridetarragona.com/cat-es-mon/Pablo-Hasel-ingresa-en-le-prision-de-Ponent-20210216-0030.html 5 https://www.wsws.org/es/articles/2020/08/12/espa-a12.html 6 https://elpais.com/espana/2021-02-18/las-rimas-que-llevaron-a-hasel-a-la-carcel.html 7 https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya/2020-06-05/pablo-hasel-condenado-a-seis-meses-por-agredir-a-un-periodista-en-la-universitat-de-lleida.html 8 https://www.mundodeportivo.com/videos/mas-videos/20210216/1167486078343718/homenaje-a-la-division-azul-de-neonazis-en-madridmp4.html 9 https://www.levante-emv.com/comunitat-valenciana/2021/02/08/activista-75-anos-enfrenta-pena-34220996.html 10 https://www.elsaltodiario.com/violencia-policial/exigen-interior-investigue-abusos-policiales-cometidos-marco-crisis-coronavirus 11 https://web.archive.org/web/20151124070239/https://www.es.amnesty.org/noticias/noticias/articulo/el-proyecto-de-ley-de-seguridad-ciudadana-amplia-los-poderes-policiales-en-lugar-de-proteger-la-pro/s 12 https://www.publico.es/politica/represion-policial-onu-insta-espana-informar-adecuada-identificacion-policia.html 13 https://www.elsaltodiario.com/tortura/estrasburgo-vuelve-condenar-espana-por-torturas-instruccion-ministro-interior-fernando-grande-marlaska 14 https://www.eldiario.es/sociedad/querella-argentina-unico-juicio-franquismo_1_2258964.html 15 https://www.psoe.es/el-socialista/viva-la-constitucion/ 16 https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2011/09/27/pdfs/BOE-A-2011-15210.pdf