Courage and luck

Letter from Jordi Cuixart, jailed president of Òmnium Cultural, to David Fernàndez

JORDI CUIXART
JORDI CUIXART

Letter written in Soto del Real prison, 16th of December, 2017

Dear David,

You made me remember that anecdote about Thoreau when an old friend [Ralph Waldo Emerson] went to visit him in jail and asked him "David, what are you doing in jail?" and Thoreau responded, "Ralph, what are you doing outside?"

This is the big difference between the era of that American thinker and our own times. In Catalonia, today the commitment is collective. United in diversity but more united than ever.

It's been two months that Jordi and I got to Soto del Real. They won't let us go yet because they say they're worried about what we might do. It's obvious, though, that that doesn't make any sense: they're the ones with the tanks, the army and we, on the other hand, are the ones with strongly-held democratic convictions rooted in dialog and non-violence. History and 56 years of Omnium Cultural backs up our version. Omnium was founded in 1961, that's a long time ago.

I don't have to explain to you how much I appreciate the warmth that we've gotten from the outside, from the very beginning. Our gratitude is infinite and I live it with serenity and optimism. In love with the past, the memories come alive each time I walk around the yard, with every door that closes behind you, with every frightened smile of a new inmate that has just gotten to our block.

I remember the first day that we went through the door of the offices on Diputació 276 [headquarters of Omnium Cultural], with Ramon and Teresa. We were waiting for you with Rita and Muriel. A while later, that meeting would give birth to Lliures [projectlliures.cat]. I always think about it: managing the meanwhile and becoming free from exclusion, poverty, inequality.

I remember the day you told me that there was one more of us in Omnium and it touched my heart because Omnium means everyone and it only makes sense if we're really everyone.

Actually, now that I think about it, we didn't ask for anything in exchange, but in contrast, we gave everything we had. I also remember the day that I accompanied you to court for having denounced those fascist threats and I learned that it's normal to be afraid. But it's also very important that we have much more hope.

And that's how, navigating among contradictions, we keep moving forward and we insist on our collective challenges: strengthening the feeling of belonging like Candel taught us, without leaving anyone by the way.

Beautiful friend, always on the street, or at the factory, listening to Ovidi, with Mireia and Borja, making people smile. From the prisons, where it's never Christmas but where nothing will keep us, not today and not any day of the year, from continuing to believe in a more just world, without victors nor vanquished, where there's no place for hate or rancor.

And now, at eight, when I get to the cell, I'll find the book by Gil Matamala under my pillow, next to Txell's yellow scarf that brings me luck. There you go, courage and luck. And infinite hope that soon we can all embrace each other again.

I love you, I love you all, for always!

Jordi Cuixart,
President of Òmnium Cultural