The Delàs Centre is concerned about the presence of the Military Emergencies Unit and armed soldiers on the streets and supports health, social services and research professionals.
The Spanish Government has given the army a prominent role in the management of the coronavirus pandemic. Peace organisations oppose to this situation and highlight the importance of professionals from other areas to solve the emergency. The presence of the Military Emergencies Unit (UME, by its Spanish Initials), armed soldiers on the streets and the use of warlike language by the administration have put the organisations on alert.
The Delàs Centre, an independent organisation for peace, security and defence analysis, has rejected "any militaristic response to the current situation". The organisation emphasizes that health, social services and research professionals are the ones who can solve "this emergency and provide us with protection and security".
"Situations such as this can only be faced with public systems of care and treatment for people, with management based on objective scientific observations and global, while at the same time, local actions", they say from the Delàs Centre.
The military sector has been given a prominent role in the national budget elaboration to grant security. Although, the Catalan organisation states that with the Covid-19 crisis "it has been shown that military capabilities can do anything to stop or even face the real emergencies that affect people's lives".
Moreover, it reports that if a small part of the resources allocated to the military services were instead allocated to human security, "we would have a stronger and more effective public health system".
"Therefore, we consider the role of the civil society in opposing these type of policies fundamental", they explain from the Delàs Centre, which also highlights the importance of the post-crisis management. We need to avoid the normalisation of the exceptional, as it has usually happened: the cuts on rights and freedoms, the precarisation of living conditions that especially affect the most vulnerable groups in our society".
The Delàs Centre also asks for more resources for health, education, labour and research, as well as measures for public health and the exclusive use of civil and humanitarian protection mechanisms.
Support from other organisations
Fundipau, an organisation that fosters Peace Culture and Nonviolence, considers that given this serious situation "neither defence policy nor military expense nor any weapon have been able to do anything". "The security people need is best achieved with better public health systems, more cooperation between governments and multilateral organisations towards a fight against existing inequalities and for greater social cohesion, more credibility and legitimacy of institutions, etc.", they say.
The Demilitarize Education campaign, formed by more than eighty organisations linked to Peace and Education promotion, has shown its support to the statements given by the Delàs Centre. It has proved that with different reactions on social media to the numerous news that show the obvious militarization that the Spanish Government has carried out to manage the situation.
Other organisations fighting for peace outside Catalonia, such as the anti-militarist group from Bilbao KEM-OC or Desarma Madrid, have also wanted to express their concern about the deployment of the army in the streets.