Strong response to the judicial decisions that impose 25% of Spanish in Catalan schools. Educational entities, family groups, parties of the sovereign spectrum, majority unions, as well as the Government itself, have demonstrated this Saturday in the center of Barcelona in defense of linguistic immersion and for an educational model that maintains Catalan as a vehicular language. The march has brought together thousands of people in the center of Barcelona called for Somescola, the platform that brings together 54 entities, the majority in the Catalan school.
The convening platform has wanted to give maximum prominence to the educational community with a manifesto read by teachers and students. “This sentence is an attack on the Catalan school model and its pedagogical model,” has denounced Somescola’s text, which ensures that the indicators and opinions of pedagogical experts support the immersion. “For a judge to arbitrarily determine how many hours it takes to learn a language is a derision to professionals,” they added. Immersion, they have defended, is a model “to build a more cohesive, democratic and free society.”
The entities have also put the accent on the decline in the use of Catalan in the classrooms, for which they have called on politicians to provide solutions, taking advantage of the large parliamentary majorities that they have in favor of this model. In addition to the parties that make up the Government, the CUP and the communes or unions such as CCOO and UGT participated in this Saturday’s march. Not so the PSC, which has taken advantage of the fact that it celebrates its extraordinary Congress this weekend to put itself in profile and not go to the march but also not stand out from the defense of the immersion.
The Urban Guard has finally estimated 35,000 attendees to the protest, which makes it one of the most numerous in defense of submergence. In 2014 the same platform organized a march precisely against the first sentence that set the percentage of 25% of Castilian that has now returned to the present day and, then, the count of the Urban Guard threw 25,000 participants.
The Government practically in full, starting with the president Pere Aragonès and the Minister of Education, Josep González Cambray, in addition to the president of the Parliament Laura Borràs, has been seen in the demonstration. In statements to the media, Aragonès has assured that there is “an offensive by Spanish nationalism, which wants to use the future of the students and the social cohesion built over decades to scratch four votes outside of Catalonia.” The head of the Government has called to respond “from the maximum cohesion and consensus”. The Department of Education plans to launch a new regulatory framework to update the model, giving it flexibility but reinforcing Catalan as the central language.
In her turn, the president of the Parliament and leader of Junts, Laura Borràs, has charged against the judicial decisions to introduce percentages in Spanish in the classes. “They do not dominate the language of consensus and wealth, and it seems that the only language they dominate is that of imposition,” he indicated, after considering that they do not want these decisions to only seek “that there is less Catalan.”
The demonstration comes after several days of intense controversy around the El Turó del Drac school in Canet de Mar, where the courts granted the family of a P5 student in a precautionary manner that their class taught 25% of the time in Spanish. After this, the families of the school protested and while the parents who had taken the case to court denounced harassment. What has followed since then has been a fiery campaign by the right-wing of PP, Vox and Ciudadanos, in which the situation of Canet has been compared with Nazism, South African Apartheid or the Basque Country in times of ETA . This Friday Pablo Casado ended up throwing hoaxes against Catalan teachers about alleged mistreatment of Spanish speakers, such as being prevented from going to the toilet if they do not speak Catalan.
Iceta replies to Casado: “Catalan children pee”
On the other side of Barcelona, the PSC has opened its extraordinary Congress this Saturday in which Miquel Iceta will pass the position of first secretary of the party to Salvador Illa. The outgoing leader has referred in his balance of mandate to the question of immersion and has taken the opportunity to respond to Pablo Casado. “Let all of Spain know that Catalan children pee,” he proclaimed sarcastically. The Culture Minister has criticized the right wing trying to “scratch a few votes” by fueling the controversy over the school.
Iceta has also had ammunition for the independence movement and the current Government, whom it has accused of the “backwardness” of Catalan. “If that setback has occurred, will those who have governed in recent years have nothing to do with it? How is that possible?” that we promote immersion from Santa Coloma, that we know how to do it “.