Following a familiar pattern of violence and relative impunity, a group of students was assaulted recently during the Associations Fair at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University. The students belonged to the S’ha Acabat! (“It’s Finished!”) society, a political youth group that describes itself as constitutionalist and opposes separatism. The group has since denounced the lack of reaction on the part of the university’s rector and police force. It has also received support from local VOX members.
Similar instances occur routinely, as illustrated by the relatively high-profile case of the parents of a five year old who asked that some of their children’s classes be in Spanish, as well as Catalan, in the Barcelona locality of Canet de Mar, after which they were subjected to a campaign of harassment by separatist activists.
Violence reached its peak in 2019, when the radical separatist CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Republic) systematically targeted institutional buildings, closed streets, and intimidated political opponents, all in the supposed fight against “fascism,” and with the support of elements of the regional government. There was also talk of attempts to revive Marxist Terra Lliure, a secessionist Catalan terrorist group that carried out a bombing campaign in the 1980s, also kidnapping and shooting a right-wing journalist in the leg.
The low-level campus violence against non-separatist students in Barcelona is a superficial example of the climate of permissiveness and commitment to intimidation tactics prevalent in Catalonia and, in general, among elements of the Left identified with the “Antifa” brand.