Mireia Esteva – 06/10/2020
Mireia Esteva is a writer and vice president of Federalistes d’Esquerres
Between the harassment and the default
A little over a month ago, Elisenda Paluzie, president of the ANC-Assemblea Nacional Catalana and a member of the university community, stated without shame that the independence movement could not allow unionist university rectors.
Paradoxically, a judge, magistrate of the Contentious-Administrative Court number 3 of Barcelona, has just ruled over the manifesto that Catalan universities signed in October of last year, in relation to the condemnation of the declaration of the illegal referendum of 1 -Or in which, among other things, they demanded the immediate release of the prisoners, denounced “the authoritarian drift” of the powers of the State and demanded the self-determination of Catalonia. Justice is clear: the declaration violates the right to education, freedom of expression and ideological freedom. “The university is part of the public administration and is not an institution of political representation. Therefore, it is subject to the duty of neutrality and this duty implies that the university cannot assume a specific political position as its own, and even less so when this position it is manifestly contrary to the values and principles of the current legal system “.
This apparent contradiction with what the rectors really think is nothing more than the expression of the extreme pressure that the independence movement has exerted on the institutions and the social fabric, forcing them to define themselves in favor of their own ideology. The pressure has temporarily triumphed, for fear of many people to express the opposite opinion. In this sense, some university rectors have been balancing positions, for years, between pressure from some and the absence of others. It is obvious that the University, by definition, has to be plural and that the fanaticism of Mrs. Paluzie is wrong with freedom of expression and that the sentence puts things in their place, but it is still true that the rectors have been besieged and on the tightrope during the difficult times we have lived through.
Let us hope that little by little, Catalonia will recover the expression of its own plurality and that the pressure we have experienced during this time to be able to express our ideas freely, without fear of being insulted, attacked or ignored, will gradually fade. In this sense, I say that the rectors who represent the plurality of our society are welcome, hoping that they can avoid, in the future, ideological polarization in the universities and the harassment of exclusive fanaticism.