Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Vilanova Against Violence

Saturday October 3, in the morning, when I went out to buy bread, I found the Rambla de la Pau in the centre of Vilanova closed off. The area around a music bar called "White Island" – a place which, more than once, has figured in local media as a scene of conflicts – was full of policemen.

In that bar, a few hours earlier, José Luís Bernal, had been stabbed to death, by men whom he did not know from before. The local police (policia local) was fast to arrive, but José Luís’ life could not be saved. The victim was only 33 years old and leaves behind two children and a wife, pregnant in the third month.

This Saturday, people of Vilanova came out to show their support to this family but also to protest against violence. I, unfortunately, could not make it to the manifestation but hope that many other foreigners took part. The fact that the people detained for this crime are all of South American origin creates a very sad parallel to the murder of Joel Rodríguez in Sitges this summer.

For whatever its worth, my thoughts are with José Luís Bernal’s family. At the same time I would want to remind everyone who - just like me - does not have Spanish citizenship that we live here as long-term guests. If we do not behave as such, there is a clear risk that we will not be welcome any longer.

- - -
There is now a sign on the bar where this tragedy took place, informing us that its owners have decided to temporarily close it and change its profile. A correct decision but, unfortunately, made too late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Instead of holding candlelight vigils, the demonstration should be in front of the local courts to blame the extra-soft Spanish criminal law system for allowing this violence to take place. But nobody will argue for tougher penalties because of fear of being called a fascist.