Pablo Mariñoso is a graduate in international relations, a reporter for La Gaceta, and a regular contributor to other media, such as Revista Centinela, La Iberia, and Libro sobre Libro. Mariñoso is the spokesman for the Romance de Ferraz, an initiative that arose in support of the protests against amnesty for Catalonian separatists.
Why do you go to Ferraz every night?
I am going to Ferraz, together with hundreds and thousands of young people, to save Spain. These are not just demonstrations against the amnesty; they are in favour of the unity of Spain and the freedom of Spaniards—freedom to pray the rosary, to demonstrate, to express opinions. Nor is it just a protest—it is a vindication: a vindication of faith, through the rosary; a vindication of Spanish literature, for example, with the reading of the romance; and even of Spanish traditions, such as the barbecue that was held in Ferraz. Many older people also attend, which shows that youth is an attitude of the soul.
The reading of the Romance de Ferraz has attracted a lot of attention. It is said that there is no revolution without poetry.
It was very important to give a poetic aspect to the protests. There are few things more genuinely Spanish than a romance or a glorious poem, because national literature has always accompanied great deeds. Moreover, poetry also offers a little beauty and encouragement in this discouraging panorama.
You spoke about vindication. Are people are tired of keeping quiet and of seeing all the bad things that are allowed to happen? Is it an outlet?
Of course, because what the government is doing is not just an amnesty. What it is doing is censoring Spain: its legality, its history, its faith, its traditions, etc. Ferraz is a response to this censorship and, yes, it is an outlet in the face of everything that is happening. That is why it is a protest, which also explains why there are all kinds of people at the demonstrations; why there are non-Catholics praying the rosary, and why people who had never before been concerned about politics come to the demonstrations.
The Right generally don’t demonstrate in the streets, because they are people of order. Now they are doing so. We have seen harsh reactions against the protests that has not been used against violent separatists or criminals. Do you think that Ferraz is a reality check for many of those who are demonstrating?
Yes; and I would say that Ferraz has almost become a school of political reality, because taking to the streets teaches a lot. The Right did not take to the streets and, in a certain sense, these demonstrations are an anomaly because they are tremendously orderly demonstrations. In a month of demonstrations, only two containers have been burned, and those by people who were not part of the demonstration. In other words, order has been maintained.
What is surprising is that the police do not act in violent demonstrations, such as those of the Tsunami Democratic (Catalonian separatists), in which two containers were burnt every day and officers were assaulted; nor did they act when civil guards were assaulted by Basque separatists in Alsasua; nor when hundreds and hundreds of illegal immigrants enter. However, the police do act against peaceful and orderly demonstrators. What is happening has served to show us who is in front, and we see that the police are carrying out completely unjust orders. But that is not going to discourage us—quite the contrary. The way of the truncheon has not served them well, and that is why they are now looking for legal tricks and sanctions.
After the failure of tear gas and rubber bullets, they are seeking to end the protest by using fines and sanctions?
That’s right, but they are achieving the opposite. The demonstrations are slowly but surely declining. But when, one Sunday, they banned the recitation of the rosary, the next day 3,000 people were praying it. When, on Monday, they fined the organiser of the prayer, the next day 4,000 people were praying it. They try to discourage us, but they have managed to unite the people who go to Ferraz. Thanks to the donations of many Spaniards, José Andrés, the young man who organised the rosary, will have his fine paid without having to spend a single euro of his own. Every time they ban something, every time they stop us from speaking, we will find a way to shout louder. As Saint Catherine of Siena used to say: “Shout with a hundred thousand tongues, because the world is rotten for having remained silent.” Spain is rotting and that encourages us to raise our voices louder.
One of the key factors of the protests is that they have had important international repercussions.
Yes; and, in that sense, we should be very grateful for Tucker Carlson’s visit to the demonstrations in Ferraz. It has helped to show abroad that there is a serious problem in Spain. It is true that the denunciations of a certain political elite in Brussels are not getting through. Above all, we cannot trust those who have shown themselves to be useless in denouncing the situation in Spain. The Spanish people’s step forward to take to the streets has helped to spread awareness of what is going on.
Nobody is going to defend Spain better than the Spaniards. The image of people going for more than a month to protest—in front of the headquarters of a party that governs with the support of separatist and pro-terrorist minorities—has a potent force.
Youth are often criticized for their lack of values or commitment. Is Ferraz proof that young people are committed to their nation and its future?
Young people in Spain are courageous and have a great desire to be free. And there are very specific cases—from young José Andrés, who was a candidate for the national police and who, after being fined, can no longer be one—to Pedro, the son of Ecuadorians, a student double-majoring in mathematics and physics, who was beaten by the police and who wants a better future. There is an awakened youth who want to fight against this Spanish censorship and who are willing to sacrifice for the cause. They know that if they don’t raise their voices now, they will never be able to raise them again.
How long do you think the protest in Ferraz will continue?
I think that Ferraz will continue, but that, little by little, it will decline. Ideally, what is being done in Ferraz should be extended to everyday life. That is to say, no longer going to Ferraz will not mean giving up or lowering our voices. The end of Ferraz should not mean the end of the protest. We must continue to defend freedom and Spain.