Cata­lan ribbon row es­ca­lates

The Guardian Weekly - - World Round Up -

Fears of an es­ca­la­tion in Cat­alo­nia’s “yel­low ribbon war” are grow­ing af­ter a group of about 80 masked vig­i­lantes re­moved hun­dreds of the proin­de­pen­dence sym­bols from a small town in the north of the re­gion.

A wo­man had her nose bro­ken in Barcelona in July af­ter a man punched her in the face be­cause her chil­dren were re­mov­ing rib­bons from park rail­ings. He then shouted at the wo­man, a Rus­sian res­i­dent, to “go back where you came from”. Po­lice ar­rested her ag­gres­sor on charges of com­mit­ting a hate crime.

In­de­pen­dence sym­pa­this­ers started wear­ing yel­low rib­bons af­ter Spain jailed a num­ber of Cata­lan po­lit­i­cal lead­ers for their role in last Oc­to­ber’s il­le­gal dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence. The pro­lif­er­a­tion of yel­low rib­bons is seen by many as the coloni­sa­tion by a po­lit­i­cal fac­tion of what they be­lieve should be neu­tral pub­lic space.

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