Demonstration in Barcelona: "We do not want Catalan to be a dead language"
He is 80 years old and, with a pair of canes, he stands to read the manifesto in favor of the school model in Catalonia. "I could never study in Catalan, I don't want our language to go down in history"says Conchita. "If we continue like this, the children will end up studying Catalan as a dead language, I want it to stay alive," he explains. Txell, mother of Pol and Jan who has come from Vilafranca del Penedès to participate in the march. Javi, along with his partner and two daughters, also supports the protest. "If it weren't for the immersion, I wouldn't speak Catalan", defends. Like them, hundreds of people have marched through the streets of Barcelona Against the judicial ruling that obliges schools in Catalonia to do 25% of classes in Spanish. The parents of one of the classes that have been applying the measure for days have also been present: the P5 class of the Turó del Drac school in Canet de Mar.
"Language immersion is really a success, Why does it have to break? It can't be that the judges decide our language policy", he complains Álvar Espí, with a group of friends in Plaza Tetuán, ten minutes before the protest organized by the Som Escola platform begins. "I had to sing to the face of the sun, I went to rancid, Francoist school, in Spanish ... they started snatching Catalan from us by four votes outside of Catalonia and we already know how this ends," he insists Xavier Gomez.
One of those who has given up going to the 'esplai' this Saturday is Xènia, a 10-year-old girl from Vilafranca del Penedès. "I go to Estalella school. My great-grandfather studied there and many years ago they forbade him to study in Catalan. I don't want this to happen again, "says the girl." It's that in the yard, on TV, in video games, on YouTube ... everything is in Spanish, "she adds. Pol, who is studying sixth grade. "When I play video games with friends and I speak Spanish, my mother always corrects me," he adds. Txell, his mother, confirms it: "Catalan is our identity, if we lose ground in schoolsIf our children don't speak it ... it will be a dead language. "
Ramon Tomás, a 76-year-old retired architect, has lived it in his flesh. "I learned Catalan at the age of 35, I never studied it at school, it was forbidden", bill. Vicenç neither could. He is a retired teacher, after 20 years teaching in elementary school and 20 more in high school. "Pedagogically immersion is a success. The problem is that it is not applied well. Neither the inspectors do so that the teachers do not change their language, nor do they lower the ratios, nor do they hire more teachers..." he complains.
The school of controversy
The parents' association of the Turó del Drac school in Canet de Mar also attended the march. "We have been removed and overtaken by all this political struggle... I am the daughter of Andalusian parents, my partner is South American ... at home we speak in Spanish and we like my daughter to learn Catalan at school", explains the president of Ampa, Mónica Ruz." What we want to defend is the language project of the school that we decided among the entire educational community. And if someone wants to change it, they should come and propose it, "he says." Real atrocities have been said that are not true. Us we want a public, Catalan and secular school for our children, that's why we point them to the Turó del Drac ", explains Núria, one of the mothers of the class of P5 where this 25% ratio is already being applied.
From the canopy of a bus, and with his daughter between his shoulders, Javi applauds the protesters. Born in 1977, he says that went to the first school in Mollet del Vallès (Vallès Occidental) where the immersion was applied. "My parents are from Toledo, I speak Spanish with all my family. If it weren't for school, I wouldn't speak Catalan. I'm here so that my children also have this right, "he says. Meanwhile, during the march, songs are heard in favor of independence." Honestly, today was not the day, "Javi complains. Oriole, on the other hand, it does not seem bad to him. "It is a shared struggle ... the State wants to end our identity. I believe that if it did not speak Catalan I wouldn't have learned English, French, Italian so fast"says this 28-year-old doctor who has lived in Italy, France, the United States and Canada.
The protest comes to an end. Ibhahima persists in the Lluis Companys promenade with Marta Ferrer, your Catalan teacher at the adult school. "Me I arrived from Senegal four years ago, I have no papers. And I think it is very important to learn Catalan ", says the boy, who a year ago stopped working in the top blanket."In Senegal we speak six different languages but only French is spoken in schools, I like that here we can learn Catalan", Add. Ferrer she looks at him proudly. "Today's protest is fine. But we should ask ourselves ... What are you doing to save Catalan?"