Now they’re calling us seditious. They accuse us, all of us, tens or even hundreds of thousands of people that have protested in support of Catalan institutions, of being agents of sedition. This is what the assistant state prosecutor, Miguel Ángel Carballo Cuervo, has said in a document destined to inhabit the precincts of judicial infamy. He, of course, will never understand it, but his accusation, is for me at least, an honor.
Why? Because I believe it is an honor to be accused of sedition by an authoritarian state that violates its own laws to cancel democratic rights. It is honorable to be accused of sedition by those that arrest politicians, threaten media outlets, spy on personal correspondence, close down websites, invade government offices, enter into print shops without warrants, and threaten high school principals. In these circumstances and before these behaviors, I do not want to be among the defenders of their order: I prefer to be an agent of sedition.
To be accused of being and agent of sedition is a privilege when the accuser is someone obsessed with using the law to confront democracy, when he seeks refuge in an article of the constitution, number 155, brought in an envelope to the authors of the constitution by Franco’s military, when they say to us, whatever we decide to do, their documents will always carry more weight than our hands. It could very well be that we’ve waited too long to confront them. Be that as it may, the taboo of burying our differences can no longer hold up. It is the people that decide such things, not an old and decrepit law that we neither respect nor recognize as out own.
I’ll go event further. To be a seditious person today is, for them, to take an unforgivable position Those that accuse us of sedition in this way or that are really only trying to maintain the privileges of a corrupt regime that is, for the first time, being seriously challenged. I’ll never be able to close ranks with people that say things like, "he who breaks it, pays for it" as they cynically cover up the fact that their party is the most corrupt political party in Europe, while among there ranks are hundreds of people that have never been held to account for the things they’ve done, while they break the hard drives where the evidence of their crimes are hidden without the least fear of consequence, while they violate the Constitutional separation of powers and use state institutions not only to serve the needs of the Prime Minister and his cabinet, but even worse, the proprietary needs and desires of the their party.
But let me say above all that being an agent of sedition today is, in my view, a moral necessity. I am an agent of sedition because I am taking a position, because I cannot believe in the idea of a middle ground that requires me to equate ballots with armed police, politicians elected by popular vote with attorneys general and martial-law courts, a peaceful people with the coercion of a state shorn of its legitimacy. And still one more thing. I am an agent of sedition, and quite proud of it, because I learned when I was young something that I have believed in ever since: that when one is confronted by the possibilities of both liberty and tyranny there is never, ever, any need for deliberation.
Vicent Partal is founder and director of the influential Vilaweb on-line newspaper in Spain. Translated by Thomas Harrington.