Reason is not enough to comprehend the violence of an attack against unprotected citizens, those with whom we identify, as fragile beings, like ourselves: it could have been us, our family or our friends.
We come together in pain because of the damage that has been caused, because of the bodies left broken, the loss of people like us, members of a human community, people who up until now were unknown to us, but who are now so present.
Despite that we are usually inundated with images of an immense cruelty, we rub our eyes, amazed at what has once again happened and the fact that there are people whose ideals are to destroy those who do not share their beliefs.
But above all we despair at not knowing how to turn it back, of how to transform this desire for death and terror that they want to impregnate our hearts and then, either paralysed or filled with rage, would lead us to a fratricidal conflict.
We will not accept the invitation to blind vengeance against people or religions, as they would wish. Nor will we allow ourselves to be slaughtered like sheep; we have already seen that we are not isolated from the world and its conflicts, that evil exists and that we are the inheritors of a history that has contributed to it.
We will do so without assuming moral superiority, but with the determination to respect and ensure respect for the principles of human coexistence. Underlining that acceptance of differences should not disguise negligence or cowardice.
And in the meantime, we will try to understand why some ideals that demand the destruction of others become so attractive, the amount of irreparable grievances that make dialogue unbearable, how so many young people have been manipulated by means of a transcendence that requires them to die while killing, the dynamics of political and economic interests, etc.
We want to understand and know in order to be able to influence and act at a personal level, but also at a public level, in order to feel our emotions, and discover how to manage our grief and loss, but also, as citizens, as political subjects, we want to use our power to transform a society that right now is demanding our involvement.
Now that we have declared that “I am not afraid”, we should assert what we stand for.
*This was the cry in catalan that spontaneously emerged from the crowd attending the demonstration against the terrorist attack.
Joan Roma i Vergés – President of Innova Institute
Barcelona, August 2017