Societat Civil Catalana lies about its links to the far-right

Exclusive: Juan Arza lied about Javier Barraycoa's involvement with Societat Civil Catalana

A few weeks back, I asked anti-Catalan independence pressure group Societat Civil Catalana to confirm or deny Javier Barraycoa's reported involvement with the group. SCC's spokesman and key political mover, Juan Arza responded unequivocally:

Mr Javier Barraycoa was present in some meetings previous to the creation of Societat Civil Catalana, however he is not an associate (socio) nor is he part of our executive council (junta ejecutiva), nor does he have any link with SCC.

In response to a follow-up question, he was even clearer:

During our early stages and before registering the association many meetings took place with the participation of many people. Mr. Barraycoa was one of the attendants to some of these meetings (he presented himself as an historician [sic] and University professor, but never mentioned his political activities).
Indeed, he came to Madrid with us on April 8 2014 paying his own expenses. He didn't participate in any of the meetings we had with politicians.
He didn't play any role in our presentation to the public on April 23, and he distanced himself from us just after that date.
He was never a partner of SCC.

But a document that has been brought to my attention shows SCC to be lying on several points. In fact, SCC itself described Barraycoa as a 'founding member' of the group. A PowerPoint presentation prepared for its event at the Col.legi de Periodistes de Catalunya on April 7th 2014 includes one slide where Arza and Barraycoa are both listed as 'Membres fundadors' of Societat Civil Catalana. The man Arza describes as being present 'in some meetings previous to the creation of SCC', is identified by the group itself – and one must assume, Arza himself – as a founding member, establishing him as a socio from the very beginning.

SCC's presentation from April 7, 2014. Javier Barraycoa (as 'Xavier'), bottom left. Juan Arza (as 'Joan'), top left.

Of course, Barraycoa was only identified as a founding member of SCC for a short time. In that same month of April, Vilaweb broke the story about Barraycoa's links to the far-right and in the scandal that ensued, SCC quietly removed references to him from their literature.

Arza insists that Barraycoa "distanced himself from us just after that date". Presumably, this is because the press got hold of the story that Barraycoa, a noted ultra-conservative and Carlist, had attended a meeting with Democracia Nacional, an extreme right-wing party, on February 8th 2014. He was apparently there to promote his book and unfortunately for him, his talk was filmed. You could almost mark that down as a mistake on his part. If it weren't for the fact that he turned up at another Democracia Nacional meeting, this time in November. The meeting was once again filmed. Fool me once, shame on you, as the saying goes. Based on this evidence, there is no question that Barraycoa has links to the far right.

Arza is also misleading us when he says that Barraycoa "didn't play any role in our presentation to the public on April 23". Because although he wasn't on stage, he was there outside the event, with his accreditation hanging from his neck. Only organizers of the event were provided with accreditation.

Javier Barraycoa outside SCC's introduction to the public (note his accreditation, and the falangist he's talking with). April 23, 2014. Credit: Jordi Borràs. Used with permission.
Javier Barraycoa at SCC's inaugural event, welcoming the public outside the Teatre Victòria on April 23, 2014. (Photo: Jordi Borràs.)

The third lie:

…he presented himself as an historician [sic] and University professor, but never mentioned his political activities

– implies that Barraycoa simply walked in off the street and presented (some of) his credentials. But Barraycoa is closely linked to Josep Ramon Bosch, SCC's President. They ran the right-wing group Somatemps together. Somatemps was effectively the precursor to SCC, the latter only being created when it was clear that Somatemps didn't have a hope of passing for the transversal group that SCC has presented itself to be.

The idea that SCC didn't know the background of a founding member and long-established collaborator with its own president is patently absurd.

The suggestion that Barraycoa and SCC distanced themselves from each other is another lie. Months after his connections to the far right were revealed, and at which time SCC was hiding its relationship with him from the public eye, Mr Barraycoa manned an SCC stand in Badalona on August 21st.

Barraycoa in Badalona
Javier Barraycoa at SCC's stand in Badalona, August 21 2014. (Photo: SCC)

SCC secretary Isabel Porcel and SCC Board member José Domingo were also present, as this SCC video shows. Which indicates that they had no problem with Mr Barraycoa's presence there.

Juan Arza and Societat Civil Catalana insult our intelligence when they claim not to know about Javier Barraycoa. They've lied about his status as a founding member of the group and his activity for the group, continuing at least as recently as August of last year. And they've failed to publicly distance themselves from him. Why? It can only be because while they're perfectly happy having the support of the far-right, they would rather keep it a secret.

12 thoughts on “Societat Civil Catalana lies about its links to the far-right

  1. Nice one: I felt quite lonely in my desert, worrying about people who think that it is liberating and liberal to wrap themselves in two flags instead of one.

    Now, how about your support for flag-addicted ERC, with its death cult of Companys and Macià, who, like Franco, tried to bring down the republic?

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    1. Well, we each have our preferred topics. I'm more of a vexillophile than you, as I think we've already agreed.

      But to follow your "why don't you" argument (which smacks of tu quoque and suggests that you've spent far too much time here), why the hell isn't Societat Civil Catalana campaigning for the end of the Spanish state? They've said they support the idea of a 'Europe of citizens, not peoples' – so I expect them to be petitioning the king for his state's dissolution.

      Until they do that, they're little more than a money pit/political springboard for one J. Arza, esq.

      Like: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      1. Ach, all you vexed vexillophiles should find a field somewhere and sort it out as you always have.

        The Spanish state is already an autonomous region of the European state, and a (sub)state isn't the same as a people. Get rid of the people, I say.

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    1. Tom,
      Permíteme contestarte en español para poder recoger bien todos los matices de lo que te quiero decir.
      Ahora te estoy escribiendo a título personal.
      Recientemente tuve que bloquearte en Twitter por tu falta de respeto. Quiero que tus escasos lectores tengan otro punto de vista y por eso respondo, pero será la última ocasión en la que lo haga. Supongo que tendrás el coraje de publicar mi comentario.
      Me ratifico punto por punto en lo que dije en su día. Con 3 imágenes e informaciones dispersas no tienes ni una sola prueba que contradiga de lo que afirmé. Tus fuentes además son pésimas. ¿Es que no conoces que el Sr. Borràs ha sido objeto de burla pública recientemente por sus burdas manipulaciones?
      Me impresiona también el puritanismo del que haces gala. Si el Sr. Barraycoa se acerca a uno de nuestros actos o a uno de nuestros stands, ¿debemos acaso echarlo a patadas para demostrar nuestra “pureza”? Si alguien tiene amistad con él, ¿debe romperla para no ser perseguido por vuestra Inquisición? ¿A quién ha dañado el Sr. Barraycoa, contra quién ha atentado, cuáles son los cargos? Yo apenas lo he conocido personalmente, y puedo estar muy lejos ideológicamente de él, pero jamás colaboraré en vuestra caza de brujas.
      No tengo nada que demostrarle a nadie, Tom, y menos a un “periodismo” sectario que persigue fantasmas, que ve fachas en todas partes pero que mira para otro lado ante el nacionalismo clasista y supremacista. Pensaba que tu interés era sincero, pero compruebo que tus prejuicios son demasiado fuertes, y sospecho que quieres colgarte una medalla ante tu parroquia.
      Que tengas buena suerte.

      Like: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

    2. Tom,
      Permíteme contestarte en español para poder recoger bien todos los matices de lo que te quiero decir.
      Ahora te estoy escribiendo a título personal.
      Recientemente tuve que bloquearte en Twitter por tu falta de respeto. Quiero que tus escasos lectores tengan otro punto de vista y por eso respondo, pero será la última ocasión en la que lo haga. Supongo que tendrás el coraje de publicar mi comentario.
      Me ratifico punto por punto en lo que dije en su día. Con 3 imágenes e informaciones dispersas no tienes ni una sola prueba que contradiga de lo que afirmé. Tus fuentes además son pésimas. ¿Es que no conoces que el Sr. Borràs ha sido objeto de burla pública recientemente por sus burdas manipulaciones?
      Me impresiona también el puritanismo del que haces gala. Si el Sr. Barraycoa se acerca a uno de nuestros actos o a uno de nuestros stands, ¿debemos acaso echarlo a patadas para demostrar nuestra “pureza”? Si alguien tiene amistad con él, ¿debe romperla para no ser perseguido por vuestra Inquisición? ¿A quién ha dañado el Sr. Barraycoa, contra quién ha atentado, cuáles son los cargos? Yo apenas lo he conocido personalmente, y puedo estar muy lejos ideológicamente de él, pero jamás colaboraré en vuestra caza de brujas.
      No tengo nada que demostrarle a nadie, Tom, y menos a un “periodismo” sectario que persigue fantasmas, que ve fachas en todas partes pero que mira para otro lado ante el nacionalismo clasista y supremacista. Pensaba que tu interés era sincero, pero compruebo que tus prejuicios son demasiado fuertes, y sospecho que quieres colgarte una medalla ante tu parroquia.
      Que tengas buena suerte.

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      1. Juan, you're throwing a lot of red herrings around and I will bring the debate back to the issues. You lied. On this very blog, you lied to the public. And you got caught on your lies. It is plain to see, yet still you don't admit it. This makes you untenable as a spokesperson.

        More importantly, you are also unfit for your position as a political leader in Societat Civil Catalana. You have lied to hide an unacceptable fact, instead of correcting that fact. "Never again" is the slogan under which there is an accord among democrats in Europe: no cooperation with fascists. (If unfamiliar with how strong this accord is, do have a look at the EU v the Austrian government in 2000). It is hilarious that SCC should tout its European Citizen's Prize and not be aware of this. Indeed, SCC itself is unfit for doing politics in Europe if it does not cut its ties with the far right. It's that clear and simple.

        The information in this post is quite conclusive, it stands on its own: You lied, Mr Arza. And you have not been able to deny it. Instead, you try to discredit Borràs and Clarke. I myself have disagreed much with both of them over the past years. Emotions went so high that for some time I was even banned from this blog. And Borràs I recently critised for the wrong use of a photo. After which I had to criticise others who applied the same method against him. Nobody here is a virgin. Not them, not me, and neither are you.

        But information is information, as adult citizens we have learned to read the press (and now blogs) with a critical eye. Your use of information is pre-Enlightenment. Your red herrings, your adhoms and your tu-quoque fallacy only do what they always do, they reveal the absence of any argument.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      2. Juan, you're throwing a lot of red herrings around and I will bring the debate back to the issues. You lied. On this very blog, you lied to the public. And you got caught on your lies. It is plain to see, yet still you don't admit it. This makes you untenable as a spokesperson.

        More importantly, you are also unfit for your position as a political leader in Societat Civil Catalana. You have lied to hide an unacceptable fact, instead of correcting that fact. "Never again" is the slogan under which there is an accord among democrats in Europe: no cooperation with fascists. (If unfamiliar with how strong this accord is, do have a look at the EU v the Austrian government in 2000). It is hilarious that SCC should tout its European Citizen's Prize and not be aware of this. Indeed, SCC itself is unfit for doing politics in Europe if it does not cut its ties with the far right. It's that clear and simple.

        The information in this post is quite conclusive, it stands on its own: You lied, Mr Arza. And you have not been able to deny it. Instead, you try to discredit Borràs and Clarke. I myself have disagreed much with both of them over the past years. Emotions went so high that for some time I was even banned from this blog. And Borràs I recently critised for the wrong use of a photo. After which I had to criticise others who applied the same method against him. Nobody here is a virgin. Not them, not me, and neither are you.

        But information is information, as adult citizens we have learned to read the press (and now blogs) with a critical eye. Your use of information is pre-Enlightenment. Your red herrings, your adhoms and your tu-quoque fallacy only do what they always do, they reveal the absence of any argument.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Dear Trebots,

    what the article is talking about is not "flag-addiction", but about having links to the far right.

    Like: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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