In the midst of the lies that are heard every day in the trial of the Catalan political prisoners, there are also moments when the truth shines through, moments that paint a portrait of people. Yesterday, for instance, when Justice Manuel Marchena warned the public that "ironic smiles are also forbidden" in the Supreme Court room where the trial is being held. There are also moments when the underlying cultural baggage of a society becomes apparent.
On Wednesday, a defense lawyer asked a police officer how come, on the Catalan referendum day of October 1, 2017, they had entered a privately-owned school that was being used a polling station: "Didn't you see a sign that read ‘Ensenyament concertat' ['Chartered School', in catalan]?" His answer: "No, I didn't see it, but it's not my language and I wouldn't have understood it". "Catalan is not my language" reflects the curious idea that Catalonia is Spain, but Catalan is not. You don't have to be a Catalan to tell this officer that if he is unable to translate "chartered school" then he is a bad policeman. But in reality, when he said "and I wouldn't have understood it", he was saying "and I don’t have to understand it."