Soto del Real, December 21st, 2017
You’ve reminded me of Thoreau’s anecdote when an old friend went to visit him in prison and asked: “What are you doing locked up here?” And he replied: “How come you are not”?
This is the great difference between the time of the American thinker and our today. In Catalunya, today, the commitment is collective. United in diversity but more united than ever.
Two months ago we entered Soto del Real with Jordi. They don’t let us go because they say they have doubts about what we could do. It’s obvious, however, that this makes no sense; they have tanks, an army and we, on the other hand, have deep democratic convictions rooted in dialogue and nonviolence. 56 years of Òmnium Cultural backs us up- it was founded in 1961 – quite a few years.
Unnecessary to say how much I appreciate the warmth that we are receiving, since the first day, from the outside. My gratitude is infinite and I live with serenity and optimism. I’m in love with the past, the memories are present in each walk around the courtyard, in each door that closes behind you, and in every skittish smile from the new inmate that has just entered the module.
I remember the first day we entered through the office door in carrer Diputació 276, along with Ramon and Teresa. We were waiting for you there, with Rita and Muriel. Sometime later, the meeting would give birth to Lliures [projectelliures.cat]. It’s always present in my mind: manage the meantime and become free of exclusion, poverty, and inequality.
I remember the day you told me that in Òmnium we were already one more and I was moved because Òmnium means everyone and it only makes sense if it’s really all of us.
In fact, now that I think about it, we have never asked for anything in return, but, we have given everything. I also remember the day that I accompanied you to the court because you had denounced fascist threats, then I understood that it’s normal for us to be scared, but also that it’s much more important that we have much more hope.
And thus, navigating between contradictions, is how we continue moving forward and reaffirming ourselves on our collective challenges: strengthen the feeling of belonging as Candel teaches us, without leaving anyone along the way.
Beautiful friend, always in the streets or in factories, the sound of Ovidi, with Mireia and Borja, smiling. From prisons, where Christmas does not exist, but from where nothing will deprive us, neither today nor the whole year, of continuing to dream of a fairer world, without winners or losers, and where there is no place for either hate nor rancor.
And now, at eight, when I arrive at the cell, I will find the book by Gil Matamala under the pillow, next to Txell’s yellow scarf, which brings me luck. So, courage and luck. And an infinite hope that we can soon all embrace together.
I love you, I love you all…forever!
President d’Òmnium Cultural