Sunday, August 1

Editorial ABC: Legitimacy to protest



For many purposes, the demonstration called tomorrow in Madrid to reject the pardon of the Catalan independence leaders is not a strategic error of the parties that will attend. If they assume some kind of tactical risk before the electorate, it is only because of the criminalization that the left usually makes of this type of convocation, which believes it has a universal and exclusive right over the street to handle it on a whim and convulse it when it interests it. It is just as legitimate for the left to manifest itself -often without criteria other than to generate agitation and only when the right governs-, as for parties of the right to join civic initiatives when they please or, as in this case, when there are relevant State reasons for the Government not to commit an injustice. It is also convenient to demystify another lie of the many that the Government uses, because precisely in this case the call comes from an ideologically plural collective, and its two main organizers, Fernando Savater and Rosa Díez, are not far-right suspects.

One of the problems of the Government, the PSOE, Podemos and the separatist parties is their sectarianism and their desire to exclude. If someone progressive opposes some socially devastating pardons, and very controversial legally, immediately ceases to be progressive. Pedro Sánchez does not criticize himself even if prominent socialists oppose the pardons. On the contrary, he stands as a distributor of democratic legitimacy credentials with empty verbiage and calls for concord and magnanimity, as if every morning he reviewed a dictionary of synonyms to continue convincing Spaniards to privilege criminals who threaten to reoffend. it is an end superior to that of legality itself. Only the left decides who is a Democrat, who is progressive or not, who deserves to demonstrate, and who should be singled out for doing so.

Colón’s demonstration, in a regime of freedom, deserves at least the respect of the Government. Furthermore, Sánchez should take note of the wide impulse to reject his decisions, regardless of the success of attendance that the call may have tomorrow. The Madrid elections show that there were at least 100,000 PSOE voters who chose to support the PP candidate, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. And not interpreting this data as a growing rejection of the left itself towards Sánchez, and towards his obsession with clinging to the legislature by accepting any blackmail, makes little sense.

But beyond deserving the respect of the Government, the concentration of Colón cannot be measured exclusively by virtue of the tacticist criteria of each party, nor by deciding what media reading will be done, or how it could harm Casado, Abascal or Arrimadas. The demonstration is protected by a fundamental issue: the demand for freedom of protest against the extreme tension to which Sánchez is subjecting the law and the institutions. Colón represents a civic right to demonstrate, react and express a discomfort without ideological complexes. Even with pride of belonging, because rejecting these pardons shows a firm commitment to the dignity of democracy. The calls of the left to vote of fear against an alleged fascism have already expired. The message does not work because it is the electorate of the left that is beginning to demobilize against the PSOE. Sánchez would do better to worry about this demonstration than the right to measure its fears in the face of the dismantling of the rule of law that the Government has designed with pardons.

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