Little time after beginning his papacy following Benedict XVI’s resignation, pope Francis I started marking differences with his predecessor rejecting to live surrounded by the luxury that had accompanied until then the Catholic Church’s maximum authority, God’s representant on Earth. An unheard decision until the moment. The same pattern followed as for his trips around the world and his summer vacations.

Nevertheless, Benedict XVI’s change of perspective upon homosexuality was made clear during a flight to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, in which the Argentinian Pope questioned in front of jounalists that accompanied him his authority when it comes to judging gay people. “If  a gay person has a good will and looks for God, who am I to judge them?”, Pope Francis asked. A new state of mind, if it can be considered so, that was confirmed a little more than two moths ago, when we knew that the Vatican, due to the preparation of the Synod of Bishops’ 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly that must be held on October, had send a survey to all Episcopal Conferences, in which some questions asked, amog other subjects, about homosexuality.

Which is the attitude of local churches towards the State as a same sex civil unions promotor and those who protagonize them?  What attention can be given to those who have chosen to live under these unions? These are some of the questions that the Pope suggested to the bishops. In an interview, Francis spoke about the need, to him, the Catholic Church has to reach “those who have left the Church, those that are different”. Upon an initial stupefaction for his words and the eventual confirmation of an apparent change of view, many don’t trust this supposedly more benign papal opinion regarding homosexuals and actually point the Church’s need of trying to “get back” lost devotes as the true instigator of this change in the Roman Curia.

It is interesting to find out the view of ACGIL-Catalan Association of Christian Gays and Lesbians- whom, despite celebrating this document, find it should directly address the LGBT community -in other words, the people which the questions refer to- rather than the Episcopal Conferences. In this sense, they also grief that the vision about family and marriage is still exclusively based in genitality and sexual differentiation, without considering affective, sexual and gender diversity, which believe it to be a result of a reductionist view that won’t likely lead to impartial and accurate conclusions. They celebrate such document and think it was already time for it, not without telling off Pope Francis.

In other words, we have a trend change, but based on the same pillars as always. It would be too bold to expect such a radical change to happend in a relatively short period of time in an institution with more than two thousand years of LGBTphobic History, but these foundations are what actually cause untrustiness about this supposed open-mindedness: a new consciousness must start from the bottom, from the base, from the most intrinsic place. Something like: “At the end, we know we must have done something wrong for which many people have gone away from us. We are aware of it and therefore we think we must solve it, but at the same time we want to build this change on top of the debris from the same Church as always that remain there no matter how much we try to hide them, with no will to be forgotten and that might demolish the new building we want to raise before finishing it”.

Certainly, this survey is a good step forward, perhaps motivated by the doctrine of some Protestant churches that already bless marriages between people from the same sex, but we can’t start building the house from the roof without previously checking its foundations, which keep shaking more and more.

Orginally published in Lambda magazine, issue no. 79, February 2014

In the last  years, the public image of the Catalan Police has been questioned due to several performances that have caused quite a few polemics. If we take year 2007 as the beginning of these performances, when videos showing the Catalan police being disproportionate with the treatment given to several arrested people in the Les Corts Barcelona neighborhood police station were exposed, it is easy to remember the expulsion of several students protesting in the University of Barcelona in 2009 and 2013, the expulsion of protesters in Plaça Catalunya during the May 15 movement in 2011 or, more recently, the march on November 4th, 2012, due to a general strike, in which a protester lost an eye in circumstances that have still to be cleared off.

The alarm has also rung from the LGBT community, especially after a series of police raids in LGBT bars in the Raval neighborhood during the Gay Pride Day. Alert level has increased since the death of Juan Andés Benítez, a gay businessman, after a fight with the police in that same neighborhood.

The events took place on october 5th at night, when Benítez, after finding out his dog had been stolen, went to the street to find it and argued with a couple, presumably under the effects of drugs. After, he asked the woman to give him back the dog, which caused a fight with the woman’s husband. A fight that, according to several witnesses, was short and soft. Warned by nieghbors, the police arrived between seven and twenty minutes after the fight had started, when the businessman had already calmed down. A policewoman identified the man after his denial to do so. A still unclear aggression  from Benítez to another policewoman lead to the reaction from the rest of the policemen, who paralyzed him on the ground.

Several neighbors filmed the events. Some of these people state that the police asked them for the files and, in some cases, were ordered to delete them. These filmings are being key in order to find out what happened next. In one of these sequences, investigators  have seen a policeman  making the typical gestures of punching the man with his fist up to six times. On the other hand, the man with whom Beítez had ought minutes before stated the police threw the victim to the floor in order to get him handcuffed. According to this witness, four policemen grabbed Benítez from his arm. After falling all them to the floor, Benítez was handcuffed and they kicked him with their feet. Immediately after, always accordind to the witness’ words, a policeman kicked Benítez on his head and and his abdomen with an extensible baton. The rest of them kicked other parts of the man’s body. Either the several filmings made by neighbors, statements from different witnesses and the police statement from the Spanish police -in charge of the investigation due to the judge’s request- confirm what this witness tells. Urgence medical services, which were phoned by the police itself, arrived to the place when Beníted had no pulse anymore, but managed to recover his vital signs with cardiopulmonar reanimation. Nevertheless, the businessman died minutes later at Hospital Clínic.

The judge working on the case decided to indict the eight police officers involved in the events due to an overlmitied police performance, crimes against life and against moral integrity, coacction and justice obstruction.

The police officers were suspended from work but not from their salary. In the trial, yet to be concluded, the police officers mentioned the victim’s physic complexity and aggressivity as a justification for their performance, denied having kicked the man on his head  and said to have worked in accordance with stablished protocols. More recently, reports regarding Benítez’s autopsy didn’t clear the determining cause  for his death, but pointed to the kicks he suffered, his cardiac illness and his cocaine consumption. In a moment in which the so called Raval case is still on trial and there is no firm court ruling, both the Catalan police -despite an initial apparent predisposition- and Benítez’s support group have declined to take part in this article.

Views differ upon suggested police homophobia, but one of the topics that raised much controversy was the press release that the Catalan Police Syndicate published regarding the events, where it was stated that the two police officers involved in Benítez’s arrest should have to undergo a year round retroviral treatment. In this way, the police syndicate revealed the man’s HIV positive state. This document was reported to the Prosecutor’s office by LGBT groups and charities such as Casal Lambda, the Gay Community group of barcelona, and Catalonia’s Gay Liberating Front, among others, thus they believed this performance to be illegal and not completely true, since profilaxis treatments due to HIV exposure last a month.

Ernesto Pérez is a lawyer at Casal Lambda’s [Catalan gay association established in 1976] juridic department. The lawyer said he had never noticed a rise of homophobic crimes or with homophobic tratis during his professional career: “Any other citizen could have suffered this aggression, not necessarily a member of the LGBT community. We live in a country in which the law rules above everybody. Authority officials have presumption of truth, but such can be destroyed. This is why these officials have been indicted”. Pérez finds  they had “no right” to take some of those filmings from the neighbors. Moreover, he added that “any person who believes a crime is taking place is obliged to comunicate it to the competent authority”.

The lawyer warns about some cases in which LGBT people have used their sexual orientation or gender identity to justify legal actions against them: “If you own a bar and they order you to close it is wether because you are bothering the neighbors, you don’t fulfill the rules or there is illegal substance traffic, not because homophobia”, told Pérez, referring to police raids in several gay clubs at night during the last Gay Pride day on June 28th, which the City Hall acknowledged to be “unfortunate”. “We are talking about someone who went to the street in an angressive state, I can’t know wether this person is homosexual or not, at least I can’t guess it”.

Despite considering these events are not a reson to rise alert levels among the LGBT community, he highlited his belief that some issues the police had to argue in their defense were “possibly out of place”, such as “stating that Benítez was a very muscular man”. As for the controvert press released issued by the Catalan Police Syndicate, Pérez considered that the fact of being an HIV antibody carrier is “neither extenuating nor ingravescent” an that it is “not an issue” in this case.

In Pérez’s point of view, in the protocol performance for the LGBT community implemented during the last years in the majority of police forces “there is a special collaboration in the prevention of crimes related to the hatred of etnicity and sexual orientation”, while he added that “in the Catalan police there are officers with a special sensibility towards GLBT people who work in a very appropriate and professional  way, for instance in cases involving homophobic bullying in working environments, I record this”. While this awareness is present, Pérez outstanded that “we must not confuse the performance of some people who might have exceeded in their functions with serious consequences with the political guidelines that prevail in the Catalan police, which have even led to the creation of a special department in order to treat LGBT people due to their special vulnerability”.

In this sense, the lawyer said he has noticed different ways of dealing with the LGBT community from each police force. This way, Pérez qualifies National Spanish Police’s proffessionality as “impeccable” and rates that of the Catalan Police as “sufficient”, while, according to his professional experience, local police officers are “the least prepared”, since their skills in the issue are “inexistent”.

Is it licit or reasonable to think that a case of homophobia is hidden behind every aggression towards a LGBT individual? Certainly not, but events such as the last police raids in LGBT leisure areas coinciding with the Gay Pride Day and the polemic police statement  from the Catalan Police Syndicate are factors that play against this point of view. We shall wait until the trial is over and for the sentence to know more about it.

Originally published in Lambda magazine, issue no. 79, February 2014

Catalan elections on November 25th left many guidelines and bills addressing the LGBT community relegated to a second place. Nevertheless, references to the LGBT community were present -yet in different levels- in the parties’ 2012 election promises, except for the People’s Party of Catalonia (PPC, right wing). What did each political party promise in 2012 and what did they promise in the 2010 elections in their election platforms? How are they alike and how do they differ?

There is already a draft for the bill against homophobia -wich was already demanded by Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Convergence and Union (CiU, center-right liberals) two years. Now ICV-EUiA [ Initiave for Catalonia Greens – United and Alternative Left], have joined in, but believe CiU [the ruling party in Catalonia] do not really want to back it. Aleix Aguilera, from the Greens, says the LGBT community “needs visibilization, rather than a law with no impact on education and without the participation of associations”. Jordi Arcarons, from CiU’s gay group, denies Aguilera’s words.

ERC – Catalan Republican Left

Catalan Republicans propose a new Interdepartmental Plan for the LGBT community -the present one dates back to 2006- which shall be developed together with the participation of associations and organizations, as well as sensibilization against employment discrimination and collaboration with national governments that promote LGBT politics.

Citizen sensibilization campaigns and sectorial reports regarding gays and lesbians and the LGBT Catalan Institute disappear from the promises they made in 2010. “It’s not time to create new Government structures, as it would require a budget”, they assure.

Republicans want to recuperate the Plan for the LGBT community and to make the Catalan government return to ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association), as ICV do. They propose, in the same way they did in 2010, a law for social and employment integration of transsexuals, a LGBT historical archive, training of labor inspectors to improve homophobia detection at work and to back a Charter for Diversity which should involve government institutions, employers’ organizations and associations.

Despite financial curts, the republicans are confident, such as ICV, in being able to finance HIV testing organizations. They propose an increase of tests in order to reduce infections. In 2010 republicans demanded prevention measures at LGBT night leisure places and specific campaigns about AIDS and collaboration with government councils regarding support programs for the LGBT community. The Action Plan against AIDS falls off from their previous electoral promises.

ERC want to favor international LGBT adoption through international agreements and to end discrimination against gay couples with children conceived abroad through surrogacy and that against lesbian couples in assisted reproductive treatments.

In school and sports, as in 2010, ERC want to educate in family, affective and sexual diversity and to fight homophobic bullying. They demand educational politics and initiatives and the training of teachers and psychologists. Republicans want visibilization of LGBT reality in school textbooks due to the suppression of Citizen Education subject caused by the People’s Party [present ruling party in Spain] reform, but promises to avoid discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in teaching material for children drop from their previous election platform, as well as promises to guarantee LGBT bibliographies, sexual education at schools and the training of police forces, health professionals and other public workers.

They want to legislate for social and job integration of transsexuals, with programs about affective and sexual diversity in public media, an unaccomplished promise in 2010. Back then they talked about the creation of a LGBT Catalan Institute in order to enforce rights given by the Domestic Partners and Stable Couple Unions.

ICV-EUiA – Initiative for Catalonia Greens/United and Alternative Left

Greens often match with ERC and CUP. Their promises regarding LGBT issues have notably diminished from those of 2010. They aim to attack LGBTphobia in order to influence all aspects in an individual’s life, especially those referred to jobs. This way the Greens join ERC and CiU.

Like ERC, ICV defend depatologization of transsexuality, but forget the promise of being able to change freely both name and gender on the National Identity Card and other registries and the right of undergoing sex reassignment in the public health system, but the party assures it will keep working in this direction. Measures to favor the introduction or reintroduction of transsexuals in the labor market are ignored.

At work, as in 2010, they view the 2000778 European guideline regarding equal treatment at work as a tool to eradicate LGBTphobia. Specific actions against labor discrimination towards the LGBT community they proposed in 2010 disappear. ICV want to join the Plan Against Homophobic Bullying in training teachers in affective and sexual diversity with special tutorings addressing LGBT people, assisting Government departments, attention to immigrants, family diversity, material editing, equipping libraries -as ERC- and acknowledgement inclusion politics about diversity among affective expressions, as they did in 2010. The party wants to collaborate as well with LGBT associations working in countries with strong homophboia and transphobia.

Greens promise to sanction or to close those education centers where homophobia is detected or to suppress economic agreements with such, as CUP do. ERC promised this in 2010, though the Greens, in addition, involve all public workers in this, like they did in 2010, when they mentioned violence against LGBT people as part of gender violence, a conception that has now disappeared. Educating with non sexist and respectful values towards diversity and making it easier for LGBT teachers to come out are other forgotten promises.

For them, elderly LGBT people, who ERC don’t mention, deserve specialized attention and specifically trained professionals, especially in dependency cases and helplessness. The training of the professionals meant to treat these people as well as sanctioning or closing homophobi organizations drop from their election promises.

ICV want to focus on the knowledge and access to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) prevention measures and strengthening the coordination among government administrations and NGOs against AIDS to avoid discrimination against seropositives. The Greens leave behind the idea of a HIV infected individuals registry and the banning of discrimination in organ transplantation, but insist that they are still willing to fight against it. On the other hand, they don’t talk about the campaing for the adoption of HIV carrier children in Catalonia anymore.

LGBT life in rural areas disappears from their election promises. They assure their National Council is already working on this. ICV don’t consider it an election promise and remind they are already doing so in the Gay and Lesbian Town Council in the city of Girona and that they intend to focus on this issue from other Citty Halls.

CUP – Popular Union Candidatures

The main promise of this new political force is a law for sexual and gender freedom, developed along with the LGBT National Council and the LGBT Interdepartmental Plan. They promise to introduce LGTI studies in all education levels and training -teachers included- in the freedom of choice of gender and sexual identity. As ICV and ERC, CUP want to take action against transphobic and homophobic bullying.

CUP promise politics of inclusion and acknowledgement of diversity and an improvement of reception policies in helplessness cases. As the greens do, they intend to implement these measures on elderly people and in mental healt centers and/or prisons. Dialogue with different religions in Catalonia is an innovative and exclusive point among their election promises.

Following the greens, CUP want reception measures for sexual and gender refugees and demand the Catalan government to rejoin ILGA and the depatologization of transsexuality. They want to train families and professionals on transsexuality and intersexuality. At work, they promise politics and campaigns for the inclusion of the LGBT community, to work with sindicates and to penalize LGBTphobic companies -as ICV-  and, as ERC also do, to punish homophobia in sports as well. The party also wants to use the media for the sensibilization and visualization of LGBT reality, the elimination of heteronormativity in advertising and TV scheduling and to fight against homophobia and transphobia.

They want to fight against therapies aimed to “modify” sexual orientation and gender identity. They find there isn’t enough with prevention against AIDS and that a research of new drugs and universal access to antiretroviral treatments must be promoted. Gynaecological and assisted reproductive treatments shall be adapted to the needs of lesbians. From their point of view, health professionals must assist and accompany victims of LGBTphobic aggressions.

In the same way as ICV do, CUP want to end public subventions to irrespectful schools towards sexual diversity and, like ICV, to maximize historical memory of the LGBT community with public acknowledgements to condemn repression suffered by LGBT individuals and the diffusion studies and publications in this sense, providing public libraries with materials to this effect.

CiU – Convergence and Union

The center-right party supports -unlike ICV and ERC- the existing LGBT Interdepartmental Plan, which “has still plenty of life for the next four years”. Jordi Arcarons, from the CiU’s LGBT group, assures they haven’t received any proposal for a new one. They will continue supporting and assisting parents of gays and lesbians and will keep on with their fight to depenalize homosexuality in the United Nations. Citizen sensibilization campaigns about homophobia, IDAHO institutional commemoration and sector studies regarding gays and lesbians mentioned in their 2010 promises disappear. “The fact they don’t appear doesn’t mean they are not in force anymore”, they say.

PSC – Catalan Socialist Party

Unlike with the bill against homophobia proposed by either CiU, ERC and ICV, Catalan socialists prefer to adopt an Equal Treatment and Non Discrimination law, following the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE). They already talked about it two years ago.

Ciutadans – Citizens

They didn’t mention LGBT people in 2010 and now include them in their politics regarding discrimination against women and other marginated communities, but reject positive action. Equal opportunity, capabilities and merit are to them the tools to fight against discrimination.

Originally published in Lambda magazine, issue no. 78, August 2013

         La victòria i consolidació de l’independentisme a les eleccions del 25N ha estat acompanyat i precedit per l’augment de l’activisme independentista a les xarxes socials. Facebook n’és un exemple. El poder de convocatòria i mobilització d’aquesta xarxa social és evident i cal atribuir-li part de l’èxit de la manifestació de la Diada de l’11-S o la del 10J. Atrau seguidors i ajuda a escalfar les mobilitzacions abans que es produeixin. S’ha convertit en una eina de pressió política, i els administradors d’aquestes pàgines en activistes que fomenten el debat independentista i aconsegueixen que més gent se sumi a la causa.

         Qui hi ha al darrere d’aquestes pàgines? Què els va fer obrir aquestes plataformes? Com s’organitzen? Com compaginen aquesta tasca amb la seva vida professional i personal? Què n’esperen, al capdavall, de tota aquesta feina? Com són aquestes persones anònimes que han aconseguit aplegar tanta gent sota un denominador comú? Descobrim qui són els responsables d’algunes d’elles.
         Catalunya, T’estimo té prop de 247.000 seguidors. Una de les seves administradores és la Mercè, de 42 anys. Viu a Lliçà de Vall, és casada i té un fill petit. La seva relació  amb l’activisme independentista a les xarxes socials ve de lluny. Anteriorment ja havia obert un grup independentista a Facebook. El límit de cinc mil seguidors i alguns insults rebuts, però, van fer que es decidís a obrir la pàgina actual, aquest cop amb un perfil fals i aprofitant que els administradors d’aquestes són anònims.

         Va obrir la pàgina perquè fos un punt de trobada on agrupar “gent amb el mateix sentiment” que ella i que “s’estimessin la terra”, però assegura que no té cap vocació política. “Ni en tinc, ni n’he tingut ni crec que en tingui”, diu. Es declara desencantada amb la política. De fet, el seu interès per la política “és el mateix que el d’abans de crear la pàgina”. Es considera una persona “normal i corrent que segueix la política per allò que pugi passar”.

         La Mercè incideix en la vessant social de la pàgina i en la interacció entre els seus seguidors. Tot i que no creu que sigui una eina de pressió, admet que sí pot influir en alguns polítics “que segurament són seguidors de la pàgina”.
Treballa a la tarda, per la qual cosa la seva implicació amb la pàgina és durant el matí i la nit. A la tarda se’n fa càrrec l’altra administradora, la Bet, de Sant Cugat del Vallès, que no treballa, tot i que té dues nenes petites. Es van conèixer pel Facebook a través d’una amistat comuna. No segueixen cap horari a l’hora de publicar-hi continguts, però sí una certa regularitat. Per exemple, entre publicació i publicació ambdues han acordat deixar una hora de marge per no “trepitjar-se”. Cadascuna penja el que considera oportú, “sempre que hi hagi respecte”. “Intentem no fer publicitat d’empreses que ens demanen publicar continguts seus a la pàgina”, diu la Mercè. “Al matí, després de llevar-nos, mirem una mica els diaris abans de començar a publicar”, diu.

La Mercè és una de les administradores de 'Catalunya, t'estimo' (249.000 seguidors)/EL TEMPS

La Mercè és una de les administradores de ‘Catalunya, t’estimo’ (249.000 seguidors)/EL TEMPS

        La Mercè concep les xarxes socials com una plataforma que li ha permès conèixer altres persones amb la seva ideologia. Potser arran d’això l’activisme de la Mercè anirà més enllà de les xarxes socials, ja que assegura que gràcies a aquesta pàgina hi ha hagut una “moguda independentista” al seu poble, que s’ha materialitzat amb la creació de la delegació territorial de l’Assemblea Nacional Catalana al municipi, de la qual en serà membre. De moment, però, no té previst deixar de banda la seva implicació amb la pàgina a llarg termini. Continua llegint »

El PP no podia haver triat un lloc millor per celebrar el seu míting central a Barcelona: Las Arenas, una antiga plaça de braus reconvertida en un centre comercial en una plaça que duu per nom Espanya. Un emplaçament ple de simbolisme per als populars, que representa el súmmum de l’espanyolisme a la capital de Catalunya i que resumeix a la perfecció el que defensa el partit, una Catalunya catalana i espanyola. Era l’indret ideal per dur a terme dimarts el míting més significatiu per a la formació, ja que és aquí on els populars es juguen més vots, més escons i tenen més força. Amb l’ajuda, un altre cop, de Mariano Rajoy.

Camacho i Rajoy a l’acte central de campanya / AGÈNCIES

“Qui m’hauria de dir que gràcies a les esmenes que vam presentar aconseguiríem preservar la façana taurina de la plaça de braus, anys després que alguns aconseguíssim prohibir, si més no transitòriament, les curses de braus”, recordava amb certa nostàlgia Alberto Fernández Díaz, president i regidor del PP a l’ajuntament de Barcelona.

Alguns assistents es van haver de quedar fora; a les grades de la cúpula de Las Arenas no hi havia ni un sol seient lliure. A dins, Rajoy va rebre floretes quan va sortir a l’escenari. “¡Guapo!” era el que més se sentia. “Això és una generositat sense límits”, contestava Rajoy. Després de dedicar unes paraules en record a Jordi Comas, president de la patronal gironina mort diumenge, a qui havia conegut fa un parell danys a S’Agaró, el president del govern espanyol va reivindicar que “el pes del PP serà més important que mai, hem trencat el nostre sostre electoral any rere any”, assegurava. Continua llegint »

Diumenge, el Partit Popular de Catalunya celebrava el seu acte central a Girona, una terra rellevant per al partit, ja que fins a les darreres eleccions no hi tenien cap diputat. Calia mantenir-lo i fins i tot obtenir-ne un altre, per això, a banda de la presidenta popular catalana, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, també hi aniria Mariano Rajoy. A la Fira de Girona hi cabien tres-centes persones i s’havia d’omplir, si calia, amb militants i simpatitzants de Barcelona.

L’Antonio Marzo era l’encarregat de transportar en  autocar una part d’aquests seguidors, majoritàriament dones. Sortiria a quarts de nou del matí a la confluència de la Rambla Prim amb el carrer Guipúscoa, al barri de La Pau. Allà l’esperava, abans d’hora, la seva dona. El senyor Marzo i el seu autocar no van trigar a arribar, com tampoc els primers fidels. “¡Buenos días! ¡Buenos días!”. Semblava que tots ja es coneixien: ja havien anat plegats a altres mítings i aquest no seria el darrer. Encara no havien sortit de Barcelona cap a Girona i ja estaven planejant com s’ho farien l’endemà per anar al de Badalona. “Jo hi aniré en autobús, i tu?, preguntava una dona.

Semblava que havia de ser un trajecte directe, però l’autocar popular recollia gent a diferents punts de la Ciutat Comtal: El carrer Garcilaso, La Sagrera, Francesc Macià… El ritual sempre era el mateix: hi pujaven dues o tres persones i saludaven alegrement els coneguts que ja hi havia dins asseguts. Tots anaven ataviats amb els seus paraigües. Alguns duien la premsa. Un home llegia el rotatiu esportiu AS, mentre que una dona s’estimava més fullejar La Gaceta.

Alícia Sánchez Camacho al bus de campanya del PP / AGÈNCIES

L’autocar seguia la seva ruta per Barcelona recollint simpatitzants del PP. Era evident que som en campanya electoral, las banderoles que pengen dels fanals ens ho recorden, i els passatgers no s’estaven de comentar-les cada cop que en veien una, i menys encara si no eren del seu partit. El primer a rebre va ser Artur Mas. “Desgraciat”, se sentia. No menys benèvols van ser amb el cap de llista socialista, Pere Navarro.

L’autocar per fi ja enfilava cap a Girona. En la conversa va sortir el nom de Xavier Garcia Albiol, alcalde de Badalona, també popular. “La gent n’està molt contenta”, assegurava una senyora. “Ja m’agradaria tenir-lo com a alcalde”, sospirava una altra. “I després li diuen nazi!”, es queixava la de davant. Les opinions sobre Garcia Albiol havien derivat, gairebé inevitablement, en la immigració. Defensaven equànimementl’ordre i una passatgera es queixava de les seves veïnes brasileres.

Continua llegint »

Antonio Alcalde té divuit anys, és estudiant d’Economia a la Universitat Pompeu Fabra i des de fa set mesos és secretari de l’àrea de Comunicació de Noves Generacions de Catalunya, les joventuts del Partit Popular català.

Antonio Alcalde / @ANTONIOALAB

Com és el paper dels joves al Partit Popular?

Molt important. Estem fent molta campanya, hem distribuït més de cent mil pamflets. El partit aposta molt per nosaltres. El president de NNGG, José Antonio Coto és el número vuit de la llista. Hem demostrat que estem fent una bona gestió i unes bones polítiques. Des del partit tenim tot el suport. Estem fent coses, com la flashmob, que tenen un pes especial. Finalment, avui s’ha vist que l’Alícia [Sánchez-Camacho] té un compromís amb nosaltres.

Fins ara el seu compromís amb vosaltres no era explícit?

Al contrari. En el congrés on va ser escollida presidenta del PPC, l’Alícia va rebre tot el suport de NNGG, que la va avalar. Sempre hi ha hagut confiança i ha revalidat el seu suport  posant Coto a la llista.

Com funciona NNGG?

Tenim força llibertat, podem fer el que vulguem, sempre que no emboliquem la troca.  Hi ha el President, el Secretari General, els coordinadors generals, els secretaris i els vicesecretaris.

Quina ha estat l’evolució de les NNGG des de la seva creació fins ara?

A nivell espanyol, som les joventuts amb més membres. Tenim molts anys d’història dins el PP i estem molt orgullosos de pertànyer a aquesta família. A Catalunya el creixement ha estat exponencial. Fa anys, no hi havia implicació territorial ni delegacions a Lleida ni Girona. Estem començant a entrar a les universitats. El PP és la tercera força política a Catalunya, ja no som marginals ni residuals com ens deien fa uns quants anys, i aquest canvi també s’ha vist a NNGG.  Som unes joventuts polítiques ben representades i amb molt de pes, amb un diputat, una veu al Parlament que moltes altres joventuts no tenen.

En quines àrees del partit teniu més participació o més pes?

En les juntes locals, els districtes i el comitè executiu de Catalunya. Volem fer molta política al carrer. Com a joves, podem aportar un valor afegit al partit i arribar a llocs on altres partits no poden. Cal que siguem a les universitats, al carrer, que fem campanya online, allà on els joves hi són més. La política pop, que se’n diu. Continua llegint »