No Tinc Por
I could really dig in and get all gooey and philosophy 101 about this. I could go on and on about the duality of the human species... the better angels of our nature; empathy, altruism and wisdom which are pretty much equally matched by our innate selfishness, cruelty, aggression and stupidity... Like Friedrich said, “Man, in his highest, finest powers, is all nature and carries nature’s uncanny dual nature in himself.” Yeah I quoted Nietzsche and I am not so sure I agree with the notion of, "nature's uncanny dual nature in himself." Nature is not sentient. Nature just is. We, on the other hand, are sentient and cognizant... we can feel, we are self aware and we can choose our behaviors.
Last year on August 17th a young man drove a van into a crowd on Barcelona's famed Las Ramblas, killing 14 people and injuring 130 others. Later that evening, in the seaside town of Cambrils, another van drove was driven into pedestrians killing a woman and injuring another 6.
That following morning near the site of the attack Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalunya; Adda Colau, the mayor of Barcelona; the King and the Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, all of whom, to say the least, have radically different political perspectives, joined together with thousands of other citizens to honor the victims with a minute of silence. Immediately after the crowd began chanting, "No Tinc Por", "We are not afraid."
That same evening a group of neo-fascists attempted to mount a march against muslims on the Ramblas. They were quietly stopped by a group of residents from the barrio.
Over the next few days over 12,000 articles (dolls, candles, drawings, flowers, hand written notes) appeared at the location of the attack. All of these have been documented and saved at this website.
Marches and rallies of solidarity happened throughout the week. I joined the Barcelona Muslim community in there march from Plaza Catalunya down the Rambla to where the fatal drive finally ended.
The following Saturday 100s of thousands of people stood together and again chanted, "No Tinc Por."
For a brief moment people suspended their differences and came together to honor the victims and to celebrate their shared humanity.
Much has happened in a year. On October 1st the Spanish National Police and The Guardia Civil brutally attacked thousands of people, seriously injuring 100s, trying to stop a referendum regarding the independence of Catalunya. Subsequently the Catalan President was forced into exile and prominent Catalan political and cultural leaders were jailed. They are still in jail and the president is still in exile. Donald Trump has filled every day if not hour of his reign with an unending series of abominations including separating and locking up over 2000 children. Often the situation seems hopeless. But for a few days last August we here in Barcelona, came together and responded to a horrific event with, strength, love, hope and care. No Tinc Por. We are not afraid.