Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Saturday, 20 february 2010 | Premsa

Spanish Authorities Illegally Discriminate against Catalan Language

This past September 3, Àngels Monera, of Gràcia (Barcelona) was subjected to an outrage by members of the Spanish Guardia Civil police at the Girona Airport for the sheer fact that she spoke Catalan. If that weren’t enough, besides being made to miss her flight, she now finds herself the defendant in a case brought by Spanish agents trying to justify their own behavior. The trial is to take place on February 22 at the Superior Court of Santa Coloma de Farners. Here is an open letter in which Àngels describes what happened to her:


“The morning of this past September 3, I, Àngels Monera, and my family, all missed a flight from Girona Airport to Alguer, Sardinia. We were forced to miss the plane by members of the Spanish Guardia Civil for daring to speak to them in Catalan.

From their position of power, they showed their complete contempt for our language. When we insisted that we had the legal right to use it, they held me at the Guardia Civil station within the airport complex. They told me that, at the airport, anyone could speak any language they wanted to, “except (ours),” and proceeded to interrogate me (in Spanish) about geography and political philology:

‘Do you acknowledge that Gerona (sic) is in Spain?’
‘Do you acknowledge that the language of Spain is Spanish?’

By the time I was finally allowed to leave, without ever signing a single document, and without ever having been informed of what they were accusing me of, our flight was closed and we were left behind.

We were forced to spend all day at the airport, and then to purchase new tickets to a destination far from Alguer, in the city of Caglieri/Càller, at the opposite end of Sardinia. We also had to pay for a night at a hotel and, since we arrived at eleven p.m., to pay for a taxi all the way to Alguer, where our original paid accommodation was.

Upon our return home, we made a complaint to some media outlets, as well as to the Secretaria de Política Lingüística. Perhaps as a result of those complaints, I have been named as the defendant in a trial to begin on 10:45 a.m., February 22 2010 at the Superior Court #3, address Ctra. Sant Hilari, Sta. Coloma de Farners. Apparently I have been charged with disturbing the peace.’ ”

Àngels has asked that we forward information about this case, in order to bring some attention to these all-too-common situations, in the hope that one day no one else will have to endure them.

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

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