Esquerra Republicana moves for parliamentary inquiries into institutional racism in public and private security

Esquerra motions for a parliamentary committee of inquiry and will also move for Spain’s Congress to examine structural racism in Spanish law enforcement

Esquerra Republicana has recorded a petition for a parliamentary commission of inquiry into institutional and structural racism in law enforcement in Catalonia, and will in the coming days work to move for a commission of inquiry at the Spanish Congress to shed light on structural racism in security forces throughout Spain. Esquerra demands that public bodies stop ignoring institutional racism, which also exists in Catalonia, in order to take the necessary measures to combat it.

In the Catalan Parliament, the commission of inquiry derives from a motion by Esquerra that had already received the support of the majority of the Catalan Chamber on March 5. This called on Parliament to promote a specific body to analyse cases of racism that have occurred in actions by both the police forces and private security, and to study what measures are needed to prevent all kinds of racial discrimination. That is the main goal of the commission of inquiry that Esquerra has offered the rest of the parliamentary groups.

Since the passage of this motion in March, complaints have grown and become more visible than ever, with global protests over the assassination of African-American citizen George Floyd in Minnesota. “Racism is structural and no society escapes it. Actively or passively, policies and administrations are not neutral before the origin and colour of people; our job must be to work with all the tools that we have at our disposal for a diverse society, one that guarantees the same rights and opportunities for everyone, a cohesive, inclusive society,” explained the Member of the Catalan Parliament (MCP) Ruben Wagensberg.

This racial discrimination also permeates the security forces in Catalonia. NGO SOS Racisme points out that 15% of the complaints of racist aggressions it receives are carried out by law enforcement, aggressions that often go unpunished due to the obstacles to reporting them to the courts. Stop and search because of skin colour, public transport guards overstepping their authority, or establishments that refuse entry are other examples of this problem.

In the same way and concurrently, the Esquerra Group in Congress will work together with others to establish a commission of inquiry at the Spanish Parliament. “We cannot ignore the institutional racism that exists in Spain. On the contrary, we must take action, investigate and take the necessary measures to correct it,” said Congresswoman Marta Rosique.