Translation of the testimonial of the person in a wheelchair in the pictures of the eviction of the Catalonia square (Barcelona). Published in the Vanguardia on the 1 June 2011 http://www.lavanguardia.com/participacion/20110601/54164400665/els-mossos-d-esquadra-van-agredir-me.html (in Catalan)
I am the person in a wheelchair who appeared in numerous photos of the attempted eviction in the Catalonia square in Barcelona, and I want to put a name to the controversial images. My name is Sebastian Ledesma Moran, I am 55 years old, and I want to make three things clear:
1) That the images are a true reflection of what happened there.
2) That the policeman (mosso d’esquadra, the Catalan police) was not defending me, as the minister Felip Puig and some media said, but that I was attacked as bumps and scratches left in the chair and caused by a baton blow certify.
3) I did not get any blow on my body because another mosso said to the one threatening with his baton (as shown in photo): “No, fuck not to this one, we would end up in the tribunals”
I also want to make clear that I am neither a hero nor a victim, not a “borroka” or, much less, an unconscious. I am only another outraged. I participate in daily activities at the Catalonia square, especially in the Functional Diversity Committee, which among other things, deals with issues of disability.
And you can be sure we will continue to protest peacefully and to fight until the present state of things fades away.
I will have to repair my wheelchair, otherwise the scratches will rust. I don’t know, and I don’t care, if I have to pay for the reparation. What really worries me is that when I was young I had to run in front of Franco’s police, and that this police, which I believed was my police, make me run in front of them. I don’t know how to explain to my daughters that this is the police we asked for.
During the police charge I heard many policemen saying, always in Spanish, by the way: “What is this man doing here? Carry him off! Carry him off!”. I am fed up of having my presence challenged: It is my right, and even my duty, to be there as outraged. Why they didn’t want me there? Because I was making it hard for them to deliver blows at pleasure? I find disturbing all the fuss about I being agreed or not while it seems that it doesn’t matter what happen to other people, if they were agreed or if they had a panic attack. We are all equal before the law, and we all have the same right to freedom of speech and self-defense, especially against an unjustified assault as the one last Friday.
Those who were behind my chair, who got beaten by the police, were there because I told them to hide there, convinced that I will be respected. Nobody manipulated me, and there was not need to protect me from my outraged fellows, as somebody has said. I only felt manipulated when Felip Puig delivered his version of the police action, the only protection I was in need for was from his men.
We were offering peaceful resistance at the square entrances to prevent the trucks to go out with our belongings. As demonstrated, we could not retrieve anything that was taken, neither the signatures collected, nor the mobile phones or anything. Finally they thrown our belongs in a wasteland as if it was garbage
The only moment I felt really afraid was after later, after the moment the photos were taken, when thousands of supporters surrounded and screamed at the police. I fear that they would they go for them, that the police would retaliated and that some calamity would happen. They were moments of great tension. They were moments of
another epoch, one I believed was gone long ago.