And the next day, Spain celebrates

The day after the massive Catalan independentist demonstration in Barcelona a few thousand Spain supporters celebrated in Barcelona the success of the Spanish national football team at the World Cup.

Their celebrations ended up with 21 people arrested. The Catalan riot police had to stop the supporters after causing damage to the street furniture in Plaça Espanya and burning several of the gardens in the Barcelona Fair in Montjuïc.

Here you can see a photo report of the “celebrations” and here you can watch a video.

Photo J Borràs

10 thoughts on “And the next day, Spain celebrates

  1. What it is said in there is not totally true, this is my version of the story, which a called

    ¡Savage!

    We are champions! Yes, it’s unbelievable! Never in my life had I experienced mass euphoria like the time Iniesta magically scored in the orange goal. In Plaza España, down here in Barcelona, a moment of perfect bounding between thousands of people took place. Today, I am hoarse, but I can write. As if it was an earthquake, there were aftershocks of that enthusiasm… the final whistle, when Casillas grabbed that glorious World Cup and kissed it before holding it up high with all his pride. So hard pushed that feeling, shared with people from many other countries, I ended up having a bath with Dani in the dirty waters of Montjuic Fountain. We hugged each other while that cascade fell all over us, getting everyone who passed or stopped by drenched to the bone. We felt like stars for ten minutes, everyone took pictures and sang at us so that we screamed back “¡Yo soy español, español, español…!” quite an unusual song in the streets of Barcelona, and with a peppery taste in it too, after the stand for sovereignty the demonstration against the cuts in the Statute of Autonomy turned out to be…
    Everyone felt it was going to be a great night of celebration, all mingled, and everyone, in his or her way, showed their joy for a historical victory.
    We decided to come to a stop and fuel up in a road that crossed the square, a half-kilo kebab and a pint of beer. That was promising now, there was good atmosphere, people singing, parents having a walk with their children, many were cooling down outside bars in la Gran Vía, there were tourist with bags going to the square out of curiosity… It is known, curiosity killed the cat, it wasn’t but a tourist, a foreigner, who would experience it in the flesh. At first, we thought it was the usual police deployment that takes place in these cases of celebration, but shortly after we already noticed the mossos d’squadra moved forward charging down the road playing retreat to the rhythm of the flashballs they shot left, right and centre in the same scenery I previously described: people singing and out outside bars, parents with their children and travellers with bags. One of the first chords from the police symphony was the strong blow of a percussion ball hitting the eye of a journalist who was taking a snack by our side. The boy fell on the ground instantly almost unconscious, reaching for the very little that was left of his eye, it seemed more like freshly minced beef dough, so much was the blood running out of his socket. My friends where nowhere to be seen, I was shielding myself with a chair trying not to move lest they thought I was a threat, but balls came flying by and hitting one and all, the Italian guy was on the floor whining in his mother tongue. An Italian friend of ours, Katrin, went in his aid and looked alter him trying to ease the bit of mind that was conscious in that man. Many started threatening and insulting the mossos, I among them. ¿Who has the right to turn the joyful streets of Barcelona in a stream of blood, making everyone swarm in confusion in a mob nobody got out from unharmed…? Highest was the strain in those who where nearby.
    An ambulance arrived ages afterwards, silenced by the screams for help and the balls pouring down. Now, Katrin, Martina and me decided it was time to go away, that it was best to move towards the police at a slow pace and close to one another to try and explain we just wanted to go home. The response to those to reacted like us was Hitlerian, Mussolinical, Francoist, a whole company abreast, one after the other, aiming at us with flashball rifles and brandishing their truncheons, we had to go around the corner and find shelter at a closed shop’s entrance, a nook. Shot and more shots, the mossos were getting closer, I hugged Martina and Katrin hugged me in a circle of desperation and agitation waiting to be crushed any moment now. It did not happen then, in a shotless silence we sped off until we arrived, by a miracle, to Nico’s house, a work-mate, and Manuel’s, a guy from Madrid we’d been celebrating with. We entered the house in shock and the men in black arrived at once, yelling: !“¡Tanca la porta! ¡Ara! (“Close the door! Now!” in Catalan.)
    More than three hours passed by before we could go out safely enough… weird, the security forces were in fact what threatened our own safety.
    Dani, the guy I was having a bath in dirty water hailed by the crowd not long ago, ended up finding shelter in a building hall with the rest of my friends. We phoned and informed each other, like in the midst of a war.
    The joy for the Spanish victory seems far today, the nightmare we experienced yesterday will remain fresh in my mind, as it will I am sure, in many other’s.
    The mossos were as wild as the few hooligans rioting during celebrations, but only they where more, and armed, and did not share any joy with their colleagues, but counted people they injured with their truncheons or their flashballs.
    Although, as incredible as it may seem, it might irritate many: Three cheers for Spain, for the Nacional Team, and for the glory of our country!

    It is true there were hooligans rioting in Plaza Espanya after the police charged in.
    >>>>The guy who got hurt in the eye is called Nicola, he is a student, not a journalist, we already got in touch with his family. Today, he is having a second surgery due to the injuries caused in his eye socket.
    There’ll be a claim against the mossos and a friend of ours already took the case to Amnesty International “¡Thanks, Carlos!”

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. It is really sad that thanks to violent Spanish supporters someone has lost their eye.

  3. No, my friend. It is the contrary. It was a mosso’s flash ball what blew the guy’s eyeball out. People were quiet in that street and there was no reason for them to charge. Many people were injured that night for no reason.
    If there are hooligans rioting, let me tell you, the mossos have the ability and means to tackle those down and leave the rest in peace. But that night, I am afraid, the mossos charged in as if it was a war and whoever sang or fluttered a flag was an enemy.
    The riot force broke in Plaza Catalunya at one o’clock, at half one there was nobody in the square, at three there was no one celebrating in Barcelona.
    Let me tell you, that is no good news for Barcelona.

  4. Miguel Ángel, thanks for your comment. It’s a really sad accident and responsibilities should be dealt with but it’s laughable to accuse the Mossos of being against any particular political ideas and that they tried and injure that guy on purpose. Their duty is not to let football celebrations get out of hand, and thanks to some Spanish violent supporters they obviously were.

    In any case, I’ll remind you that 2 years ago, when Spain won the Euro Cup there were also Spanish riots and destruction but that time the Mossos didn’t show up and afterwards they were criticised for that. It looks to me that no matter what they do they will never please everyone.

    In any case, the guy was at the wrong place at the wrong time, not that he deserved that but staying there was certainly looking for trouble. I personally see no reason to stay celebrating when there’s violent people around and even less after the police have shown up.

  5. Obviously, you were not there.

    I am not saying the mossos conduct has a political background or the it was influenced, I don’t know about that. But all I can tell you is that I was there, that the riot force broke in and spared no one, that I was having a beer with friends outside a bar and I was attacked. There was nobody, absolutely no one causing trouble around me, and two seconds after they started firing there were two people screaming on the ground, and one of them with a blown eye.

    If you ask me, the mossos’ riot force, in broad terms, is violent, they use weapons dangerously. Do you know by any chance how many eyes they have blown during the last two years…?

  6. From what you say I conclude that either you’re making everything up or you were part of the riots.

    If you still claim you were attacked for no reason I recommend that next time you see the riot control police forces you just go somewhere else to avoid trouble.

  7. Oh… Now you tell me I am lying!

    Well… You can have a look at the new in TV3, write denuncies a los mossos. I am in there.

    I was in Plaça Espanya when all started, I was in Gran Via afterwards by a guy who lost an eye, my girlfriend and friends were fired at and no one had the chance to flee. At a certain stage, I walked towards the mossos hands up because there was not way out, and they fired at us! We were treated like rats. Maybe, if it was you who had been attacked o lost a piece of his body, you’d think differently of the mossos.
    Thank god, it’ll be a judge who will deem who is to pay for that injustice, and I will strive for that, make no mistake.

    1. Look Miguel Ángel. I personally was attacked by a Spanish supporter two years ago on my way back home while the celebrations when Spain won the Euro Cup were taking place.

      My girlfriend is a foreigner and she was curious to see the celebrations. I warned her but we thought that if we stayed outside the square there would be no problem.

      However, as we were biking along by the side of Gran Via towards Plaça Espanya a drunk Spanish supporter hit me in the head, why would anyone do that? I don’t know. I guess he was looking for a fight. I chose not to fight back since my girlfriend was biking just ahead of me so couldn’t see it and one second later she was already far away and the aggressor was with a group of several other drunk supporters so I didn’t stand a chance, even though I was very upset.

      After this precedent, and since I don’t live too far from there I am really glad this time the police acted against the violent Spanish supporters.

      If, as you claim, you really were there then you’ve just learnt the same lesson I did: don’t get near violent football celebrations if you don’t want to get in trouble.

  8. I am so very sorry you had to experience that. Nor you or me, or anyone else should stand such an aggression, and, I swear, I feel ashamed of people behaving like that, be it Spanish or from elsewhere. But one thing is for sure, violence is not the answer for anything, and from my point of view, what happened that night was sheer violence.

    I must admit though, that even our points of view are different, I am happy we can speak our minds freely.

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