If you have "no place to go," come here!

The guy in the wheelchair


Here's an interview with him; he's a disability activist. Google translates from the Catalan:

I am the person in a wheelchair who appeared in numerous photos of the attempted eviction in Catalonia square and I want to name the images that are controversial. My name is Sebastian Ledesma [no-glossary]Moran[/no-glossary]*, 55 years ....

He goes on to say that yes, the image is true, he was attacked, but took no shots to the body. And here's why:

I did not get any time to my body because Mosso threatening with his baton (as shown in photo) was arrested [stopped?] by another young man who told him: "No shit, to that no, that take us to court. " [the quote from the Spanish, and not the Catalan, version]

Moran's closing words provide a poignant contrast:

I just feel afraid after the time of the photos, when thousands of supporters surrounded the square and the police bellowed at him. I fear that pounced on her, the police respond and there was a great misfortune. They were moments of great deal of tension. They were moments of another era, one who believed we had overcome long ago.

That "another era" of "long time ago" is, given Moran's age, the Franco regime.

On the one hand, I doubt that Franco's police worried very much about being taken to court. Progress! On the other, the days where the police have impunity could very easily return. Decay. From Franco, to democracy, to austerity and bankster kleptocracy all in one lifetime. Darkness to sunlight to shadows...

NOTE * Interestingly, nothing from Google News on "Sebastian Ledesma Moran">, but plenty from and two hits from (one of which is this post).

UPDATE Whoever the Pirate Parties are, here's their manifesto on Barcelona and "another era" -- in seven languages, including English -- and Slovenian and Serbian. Impressive.

No votes yet


Submitted by Avedon on

I don't see very much at all on Google Blogs for "Sebastian Ledesma Moran".

Submitted by Hugh on

Here's another English translation I made for you of the first part of the article:

I am the person in the wheelchair that appears in numerous photos from the attempt to clear the Plaza Catalunya and wish to put a name to the images that are the object of controversy. My name is Sebastian Ledesma Moran. I am 55 years old and wish to make three things clear.

1) That the images are a true reflection of what happened there
2) That the policeman was not defending himself against me, as have said Councilor Felip Puig and some from the media, instead he is attacking me, as I have for proof, the dents and scratches that the wheelchair has on its left side, caused by a blow from his baton.
3) That I received no blow to my body because the policeman that was threatening me with his baton (as shown in the photo) was deterred by another policeman who told him: "No, fuck, no to this, they'll charge us (for this)."

Also I wish to make clear that I am neither a hero, nor a victim, neither a street thug nor, much less, one uninvolved. I am only, neither more nor less, one more protester. Everyday, I participate in the activities of the Plaza Catalunya, especially the commission on functional diversity, that among other things, addresses issues of disability.

And you can be sure that we will continue the protest and peaceful struggle, until the present state of things changes [literally disappears].

Submitted by Hugh on

I should add that it is very significant that the police were talking to each other in Spanish, not Catalan. As he says a couple of paragraphs down, as a kid he had to run from Franco's Guardia, now he finds that he has to run from what were supposed to be the police of the Catalan nation --only they're still speaking Spanish, the language of Catalonia's historical oppressors. Franco tried to stamp out Catalan as a language and as an identity, and language is still a very touchy issue there.

Submitted by lambert on

Thanks for this, Hugh. So, can you be the go-to guy on Spanish translation? The Spanish lived since the 30s under an authentically and universally recognized Fascist regime that seized power in a civil war and then slaughtered thousands of leftists. Way worse than Chile. For all our "frogs in the pot" angst, and the realities of the Bush/Obama regime, we've experienced nothing like it. So when these guys say "Fascist," they aren't using checklists and historical comparisons. Making what the Spanish doing very interesting indeed (and I wonder if its spread to Argentina...).

Homage to Catalonia!