Barcelona’s Grief: Today And Always, The Only Solution Is Nonviolence

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Barcelona, 18th August, 2017. Yesterday it was Barcelona’s turn to suffer the indiscriminate madness of a terrorist attack. The killing of people is deplorable, and it saddens me a great deal. I could say “innocent” people but I don’t want to discriminate on this point: any killing, for whatever reason, is terrible to me. And I don’t like the subsequent reactions of the powerful who strongly condemn this kind of attack and then continue their discriminatory policies and their perverse trade. Nor do I like the attitude of the mainstream media who fill their front pages with eloquent words while remaining silent about the violence that is exercised against populations all around the world every day.

This attack is the latest in a chain of recent attacks all over Europe, although it would be fairer to remember that there are many more attacks in the non-Western world, it’s just that they don’t get the same media coverage.

Barcelona is a peaceful, beautiful city that is full of light and colour, and full of visitors all year round. It goes without saying that no city deserves to be attacked, nor their population frightened, but Barcelona aspires to be an integrating and fair city which is open to the world and in solidarity with those most repudiated by the system. We already know that the chaos is slowly growing, starting from the most important places which are doing the biggest business and where millions of weapons are being manufactured that are then distributed around the world. But when barbarity strikes in your own city, it hurts much more. To see the places that we frequent, shaken with terror, produces a shock in us that it takes time to recover from.

We are physically fragile, as is shown by situations like this, but we can also be very strong internally. That strength is what must help us stand up and redouble our efforts for a Universal Human Nation, a world in which there is no confrontation or competition, only cooperation and enriching interchange. That Force comes from another place, it connects us with other spaces and other times.

We condemn violence in all its forms, from the most brutal as seen yesterday in Barcelona, to the most subtle and elegant; the violence that is exercised in the offices of the big banks and multinationals; the violence that takes decisions that impoverish millions of people and then goes to play golf; the violence that makes weapons, sells them to the highest bidder and then later on condemns their use. We want to surpass that absurd violence that leads us to fight among ourselves, while a small minority gets rich at our expense.

We want to surpass hatred, ignorance and cruel selfishness. We want equal rights and opportunities for everyone, from wherever they come from and wherever they’re going. We want a world in which human life is the central value, the objective of freedom of our actions.

Sasha Volkoff Born in Argentina, living in Barcelona. He is an Humanist Movement activist since 1984 and part of the team that led to the refounding of the World Centre of Humanist Studies this century. Currently a member of the Noesis Humanist Centre of Studies.

Originally published in Pressenza

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