Archives for posts with tag: democracy

This is deplorable and the power crazy Spanish Government need to be held accountable.

A legally and democratically elected Government of Catalonia, responded to the wishes of those who voted them into power and held a referendum on the question of Catalonia becoming independent of Spain. The Spanish Government decided that to hold a referendum was against the Spanish constitution and therefore called the referendum illegal. But the elected Catalonian Government went ahead with the referendum. The Spanish Government appeared to request the Justice of Spain to decide whether the referendum was illegal and the Court came down in favour of the Spanish Government. The Catalonian Government still went ahead and the Spanish Government with the backing of the Spanish legal system called in the Spanish police to use all their powers and apparently more to stop the referendum proceeding. While major disruption was caused a sizeable number of persons did come out to vote and there was a substantial support for Independence from Spain to go ahead.

Eventually the Catalonian Government did declare independence and the Spanish Government then created arrest warrants for the Members of the Catalonian Government and the majority of the Catalonian Government were arrested and are still held in captivity.

The Catalonian President went to Brussels to obtain the support of the EU, which he did not receive. The Spanish Government did create an European Arrest Warrant but they now seem to have withdrawn this.

Now they are plundering artifacts from a Catalonian Museum, are the Spanish Government endeavouring to humiliate the population of Catalonia for their apparent defiance against the Spanish Government.

Is this truly how a democratic country should proceed.

Surely, why could not the Spanish Government have allowed the Catalonian referendum to proceed and if they had all would now be fully aware how the majority in Catalonia had wished to go forward.

Unfortunately common sense is not prevailing just a jockeying for showing a semblance of power.
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Josep Goded

On Monday, Spain’s militarized police looted 44 art pieces from the Museum of Lleida, where the latest chapter of a long legal dispute over the works between Aragón and Catalonia has been playing out.

The operation, which was orchestrated by the Spanish government, began in the dead of the night and ended at 2 pm. Hundreds of Spanish and Catalan police officers cordoned off numerous streets to prevent large protests in the area. Officers and art specialists from Spain loaded the 44 pieces of art onto a moving van. The Director of the Museum said that the specialists could have damaged some of the pieces due to the speed of the packing. A crowd of hundreds of peaceful protesters unsuccessfully attempted to halt the operation on numerous occasions. A few incidents were reported in nearby streets when the protesters tried to break the police barrage. The Catalan police responded by…

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With Basques, Bretons, Bavarians and many more eyeing the outcome of events, could this be the moment to formalise various levels of autonomy?

‘Democracy: freedom for political prisoners’: a protest in Barcelona outside the Generalitat, the Catalan regional government. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

The EU countries may be right that Catalonia is legally a matter of Spanish constitutional law. But they should also be frightened. Catalonia is Europe’s problem.

The imprisonment on remand of eight Catalan politicians, on blatantly political charges, and the Belgian asylum sought by its president, appears to be an engineered confrontation.

Two days ago, the Madrid government reneged on an agreement that it would not suspend the Barcelona government if it did not declare independence and agreed to new local elections next month. Madrid then proceeded with suspension, and Catalonia duly proceeded with declaration – though with no mention of implementation. Madrid immediately arrested those Catalan politicians (and officials) it could find, on charges of rebellion and treason.

So far, so absurd. No poll has yet delivered a clear majority of Catalans for independence. Barcelona has proceeded within accepted democratic norms and without recourse to violence – unlike Madrid in the government’s efforts to stop the recent referendum.

Never in the long and far bloodier fight of the Basques for independence was the Basque leadership ever imprisoned. Catalonia now faces an election next month with the prospect of its entire independence leadership in prison.

Catalonia is being watched, with varying degrees of intensity, by Basques, Bretons, Flemings, Scots, Bavarians, Silesians, Ukrainians, Transylvanians, Venetians, Corsicans and others. Its struggle resonates among increasingly nationalist Poles, Bohemians, Hungarians and Greeks, across Europe’s patchwork of regional sensitivities and long-harboured grievances. Old feuds are rekindled and jealousies revived. Hypocritical Britain cannot talk. It long opposed Irish separatism and denied devolution to Scotland and Wales, while it sent soldiers to aid the break-up of Yugoslavia.

It is hopeless to seek recourse from these woes in statute books and legal niceties. Self-determination has been the essence of Europe’s stability since Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point programme for Europe’s future in 1917. How such determination is defined may be moot: what of the self-determination of Spaniards against that of Catalans? But it is in Europe’s interest to seek that definition, to formulate protocols whereby separatism can be resolved into grades of autonomy. European statehood has long been a “vale of tiers”.

Since the EU itself is inherently centralist, it makes sense for the Council of Europe, the 47-nation organisation which deals with democracy and human rights across the European continent, to undertake such a task, urgently. The EU has worked itself into a political straitjacket, such that few of its member nations would dare hold a referendum on continued membership. This cannot be healthy for the EU or for Europe. The rising tide of identity politics is now the greatest threat to Europe’s free development. Catalonia is not a little local difficulty. It is an awful warning.

 Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

Source:   Catalonia isn’t just Spain’s nightmare – it is Europe’s : The Guardian


Catalonia’s dismissed leader Carles Puigdemont | Aurore Belot/AFP via Getty Images

Carles Puigdemont says he’ll cooperate with Belgian courts

Ousted Catalan president, accused of sedition over independence campaign, brands Spanish authorities ‘extremely barbaric.’

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Updated 

Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said Friday he would cooperate with the Belgian justice system but could not get a fair trial in Spain, which issued an international warrant for his arrest.

In his first interview since he arrived in Brussels on Monday, Puigdemont also condemned the Spanish authorities as “extremely barbaric” and said he was ready to stand in the December 21 Catalan election called by the central government, which took direct control of Catalonia after the region’s parliament declared independence last week.

“All of us who led this process have to be committed to this cause, especially if there is even the smallest chance that we can all move forward together,” he told Belgian public television station RTBF.

A years-long power struggle between pro-independence leaders in the northeastern region and the Spanish government came to a head last month, when the Catalan administration organized a referendum on secession that had been ruled illegal by Spain’s constitutional court. Madrid deployed police in an effort to stop people taking part in the plebiscite.

Puigdemont declared that his administration, sacked by Madrid as part of its direct-rule measures, remained “the legitimate government of Catalonia.” He said he could campaign in the election from Belgium as “we live in a globalized world.”

The 54-year-old Puigdemont traveled to Belgium on the same that day Spain’s attorney general announced he had been charged with rebellion, sedition and misuse of funds over the regional government’s independence drive.

Puigdemont insisted he had not fled the country but simply traveled to the capital of the European Union to draw global attention to the Catalan crisis. However, he said there was no guarantee of a fair trial back in Spain, where a judge issued an international warrant for his arrest on Friday after he failed to heed a court summons.

“I will not flee from justice. I will go towards justice, but real justice,” Puigdemont said. “I’ve told my lawyers to tell the Belgian justice system that I’m completely available to cooperate.”

Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer has made clear he will exhaust every legal avenue in an effort to fight Spain’s extradition request.

“It’s obvious it’s politicized,” Puigdemont said of the Spanish justice system. “The guarantees are not there for a fair, independent trial,” he declared, saying there was “enormous influence of politics over the judiciary in Spain.”

As evidence for his assertion, Puigdemont cited the fact that eight members of his government had been sent to jail pending trial, without the possibility of bail. He said they had been given less than 24 hours’ notice to appear in court and their lawyers had been given only the same amount of time to familiarize themselves with the charges.

“It’s not normal to have the leaders of cultural and pacifist citizens’ groups in prison,” he said. “It’s not normal that all of us risk 30 years in prison — 30 years! — for having kept our commitment to the voters … It’s something extremely barbaric. You can’t talk about democracy if you have to play according to those rules.”

Nevertheless, Puigdemont said he was open to dialogue with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

“Mariano Rajoy has never put dialogue first, “he said. “He has used the police, violence … to get what he wanted. He should try using politics instead.”

Asked if he would request asylum, Puigdemont replied: “I’m not here to ask for political asylum in Belgium, I’m here to defend a legitimate government.”


The standoff between Spain and Catalonia just went to the next (dangerous) level.

Source: Madrid might totally take over Catalonia as crisis over independence referendum deepens – ThinkProgress


An unsatisfactory state of affairs as, if the majority in Catalonia wish for Independence then Independence they should be granted.

That is democracy, if Spain disagrees then Spain is not a democratic country.

The EU have said they will not recognise an independent Catalonia, but then whenever was the EU democratic.

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: Catalan parliament votes to declare independence from Spain, just as Madrid looks set to impose direct rule as a total of 70-10 lawmakers are in agreement, immediately PM Rajoy calls emergency meeting of parliament #AceNewsDesk reports

CNN Reports http://ift.tt/2lkOIKIThe Spanish Senate was due to vote on the Madrid government’s unprecedented plans to seize control of the autonomous region of Catalonia on Friday, as the crisis over the province’s bid for independence comes to a head
BBC report https://t.co/SsFrYwEEtk The move was was backed 70-10 in a ballot boycotted by opposition MPs…………Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier told senators direct rule was needed to return “law, democracy and stability” to Catalonia………The crisis began when Catalans backed independence in a disputed vote earlier this month #AceNewsDesk reports are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News

EDITOR: Thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog…

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McDonnell listening to conference and the membership, pledging to scrap PFI and buying existing contracts out is toppling a testament to the neoliberal capitalist system.

Source: John McDonnell’s monumental promise to scrap PFI shows Labour will OBLITERATE failed Neo-liberalism | Evolve Politics


Considering that the BBC – a publicly funded organisation uses terror laws to hunt down licence fee dodgers it is not surprising the democracy is being

Source: Another Threat to British Democracy Emerges – TruePublica


On Thursday 7 September, staff reportedly stopped a disabled man with a prosthetic leg getting on a Virgin train, because they didn’t believe he was disabled.

Wait, what…?

Andy Grant is an Afghanistan war veteran who had his leg amputated in 2010, after a blast in the war injured him. But that didn’t seem to matter to Virgin Trains staff and the police.

Grant had just lost his wallet near Euston Station in London, so had lost his bank cards and his disability travel pass. But he did have an E-ticket, and tried to board a Virgin train with this. Grant explained in a Facebook post:

When i activated the ticket to board the train they [Virgin staff] asked to see my railcard. I realised it must be in the cafe so I ran back to the cafe to look for it. It wasn’t there

I ran back and explained that I had lost my wallet. The Virgin staff said ‘tough, You need to go [and buy] another ticket’.

I explained that would be impossible as I don’t have my wallet now.

He was told what?

The member of Virgin staff allegedly then asked Grant:

how do we know you are disabled and have a railcard?

Source: A man with a prosthetic leg was stopped from boarding a Virgin train because staff didn’t believe he was disabled [VIDEO] | The Canary


A Court of Appeal judge has thrown out a case against Oxfordshire County Council, the borough in which David Cameron’s former constituency sits. And in doing so, he has effectively given local authorities a free pass to override both national law and the recommendations of the UN.

Unbelievable cuts

As The Canary previously reported, on Thursday 17 August the Court of Appeal was hearing the case of Luke Davey. In November 2016, a judge had granted the 40-year-old from Oxfordshire a judicial review against the council. This followed its 42% cut to the amount he received to pay for his care and support. Davey has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is registered blind, and requires assistance with all of his intimate personal care needs.

Davey’s case was a legal first, because his lawyers used the Care Act 2014 to argue that the council had broken the law.

The establishment sticking together?

But on Friday 1 September, a judge agreed with Tory-led Oxfordshire County Council, ruling it hadn’t broken the law. BBC News reported that, in his written judgement, Lord Justice Bean said:

It is understandable that the claimant, Mr Davey, and other members of his family objected to the updated needs assessment, which has resulted in a substantial reduction in the level of the claimant’s personal budget. I have great respect for the manner in which the claimant, his family and his team of carers cope with his difficult situation. But that is not the same thing as holding that the council’s actions have been unlawful.

An opportunity missed

Source: David Cameron’s former Tory council has just been given a free pass to ignore the law, and the UN | The Canary


Some possible precipitating factors are already in place. How the West reacts to them will determine the world’s future.

Source: BBC – Future – How Western civilisation could collapse

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