FOR the last three months some of my neighbours have been pasting up copies of posters on a massive glass window of an unused premises outside our block.

Firstly in favour of the October 1 referendum, and later calling for Catalonia’s political prisoners to be freed and for democracy to prevail. Completely inoffensive, completely civic and completely valid, and yet every night somebody rips down or defaces their work, occasionally adding a few badly-drawn swastikas.

For weeks on end it’s happened every night. It’s a battle of wills, a doorstep tit-for-tat which is a huge metaphor of what is being played out all over the country.

Straightforward messages such as “we will vote”, “free political prisoners” and “democracy” are answered with cheap permanent markers as someone with a poor eye for gammadion crosses crudely undoes their work under cover of darkness. Night after night.

Unfortunately, the word “democracy” seems to hit a nerve for some Spanish nationalists. Are we really living in a country where yellow ribbons are not OK, but badly drawn swastikas are?

Apparently so. A country where the word “president” is not allowed to be used by the media to refer to Puigdemont and where unionist leaders pose with ex-soldiers from the Blue Division, who served under direct orders from Hitler? (Amazing but true).

A country where death threats against indy leaders are shelved by judges, yet innocuous tweets by everyday people are cause for legal proceedings? Apparently so.

It was only a few weeks ago that the banner on the front of the City Hall saying “More Democracy” was ripped down by unionist demonstrators. Think about that for a moment. If Spain is the democratic country it claims to be, why should a banner calling for “more democracy” bother anyone? Well, it seems the unionist camp is bothered – very much so as it happens.

They don’t see it as “normal”. In recent days, unionist rhetoric has made more than one reference to “normal” people. According to the PP (with just eight per cent of the vote in 2015, the 155 intervention means they are currently, forcibly, governing here with that same eight per cent of support), once they’ve done away with the indy majority they’ll also do away with the Catalan TV3 channels and reopening them with “normal” people (presumably strategically selected from their “normal” eight per cent of the electorate?).

Then there’s the Cs party. Its leader in Catalonia, Ines Arrimadas, this week told us it’s time for “normal people” to lead Catalonia. Essentially, between them, these people are telling us that Cs, with its shady funding and not a single mayor out of 900-plus Catalan municipalities, and the PP, with its paltry eight per cent of the Catalan vote, represent “normal” people. The rest, even if they add up to millions, are just not normal.

Even the king declined to address them in his ridiculous speech after the referendum. Well, maybe so.

As explained to me by someone who was at the Brussels march recently and who found themselves looking at a counterpart and asking just what they were doing there? This whole thing is anything but normal.

Fighting for your country’s independence means going beyond what is normal and if that means going to the other side of Europe get people to listen, then so be it. These are not normal times and those in favour of independence are quite happy to consider themselves not normal if that’s what it takes. Normal?

Ah, OK, normal is what that eight per cent tell us they are as they pose next to real-life Nazi soldiers. Of course. How silly of that other 50 per cent or more not to see it …