The President of the Catalan cultural and civil organization Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, calls on the Catalans to “fill the ballot boxes” with pro-independence votes in the February 14th elections in response to the ongoing Spanish “state operation” against the pro-independence movement.
Jordi Cuixart affirms that the political prisoners are not “the visualization of any defeat but a further step towards victory” and also recalls that exiles continue fighting “to defend the ideals” that forced them to leave Catalonia.
“We will continue to defend the right to self-determination and the right to live in a Catalan republic of free citizens,” Cuixart says, adding that “enough is enough” in reference to political courts. “The solution to the repression will come neither from pardons nor from reforms of the penal code. We demand amnesty: there are more than 2,850 being repressed. We will not abandon anyone,” Cuixart insists.
In my view the Spanish Government is acting as a ‘Tin Pot’ dictator, rather than a democratic country and is using the legal system for political motives.
Granted the current protestors are themselves not acting legally, but they are not being listened to . When listening breaks down the forces not agreeing with the Government stand either give up or extend their protests in other ways. So when you appear to have exhausted the legal processes, it may be that illegal is the only way forward to make your opinions even more heard.
The Spanish Government should be respecting the views of Catalonia and while the numbers now supporting Independence are some what lower, the original views should have been respected.
In a wy this is similar to the Brexit movement in the UK, where the power is with Remain factions, while the country is more to Leave or was in 2016.
Is this an EU prespective where if an opinion is raised against an EU view point, the powers request that it be looked upon again, but not when the views are in agreement with them.
The are doing it with the UK Brexiteers and some years ago with Ireland, when they had a referendum on some issue and the issue was not upheld but a further vote was held which reversed the initial result.
This is not democracy where a vote, no matter what the result should be respected, for not to do so, beggars the question ‘Why have a peoples vote in the first place’.
So, while I abhor violence, in some respects, it would appear to be justified, if only as a ‘freedom of expression’.
This is not to say violence should be resorted to in every instance where there are disagreements, as in some instances there is a pressure group who have not resorted to find the views of the public, but assume their own views should be acted upon.
While I agree that there is ‘Climate Change’ no referendum or other such facility has been sort, so with ‘Extinction Rebellion’, while their ideals may be right their current actions are not because there has not been a public vote.
But with Catalonia there was a public vote and Independence became the majority view of those that bothered to vote, so that result should have been respected by the Spanish Government and not discountit and even bring legal action against the main supporters. That is using the legal process for political motives.
On Friday, agents of the Mossos (Catalan police) entered several Catalan schools and ministries across the country to remove yellow ribbons and anything else coloured yellow, including drawings of vegetables and tractors issued by the Agriculture Ministry. On Thursday Spain’s Electoral Board had ordered the Catalan police to remove “yellow symbols” from public facilities, arguing that these are political and partisan symbols. This decision and the police operation, which attempts against the freedom of opinion and expression of the Catalans, caused widespread indignation across the country; they believe the Spanish State is using any and all means at its disposal (whether legitimate or illegitimate; legal or illegal) to impose direct rule over Catalonia with the aim of stamping out independentism.
The order of the Spanish Electoral Board urged the agents to wait for half an hour so that the people in charge of the buildings could remove the items themselves, but if not, the agents were ordered to do so. Catalan Minister for Home Affairs Buch announced on Friday…
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.
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…
Catalonia’s problems demand political debate, not jail
Eight former ministers of the ousted Catalonian government are in prison,awaiting charges of sedition and rebellion. A European arrest warrant has been issued for the apprehension of former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, now holed up in Brussels.
For supporters of the government, such strong-arm tactics in response to Catalonia’s declaration of independence is a necessary defence of the rule of law. For supporters of Catalan independence, it is a mortal attack on democracy. In reality, both sides have reduced democracy and law to hollow shells.
The actions of the Catalan government were contrary to the provisions of the Spanish constitution but the issue cannot be reduced to legal formalism. What is being played out in Catalonia is a confrontation over political legitimacy. Whatever the legal issues, it can only be resolved at a political level.
The problem with the actions of the Catalan government is that they were undemocratic. Polls have consistently shown that only a minority of Catalans support independence; over the past three years, support has remained at 40-45%. A slightly higher percentage, but still a minority, oppose independence. Catalonia is split down the middle.
The action of the Catalan government in declaring independence was, at best, foolish. Its reason – that 90% of voters backed independence in last month’s referendum – ignores that fact that only 43% had been able to, or willing to, take part. The parliamentary vote on independence was pushed through in a late-night session that most of the opposition boycotted. Independence was less about respecting democracy than about political machinations.
Puigdemont, having declared independence, promptly fled to Brussels. Rather than face up to the consequences of his actions or engage in a political debate inside Spain, he simply vacated the arena. He seemed more interested in making high-stakes gestures than in furthering democracy.
But if the actions of the Catalan government are hardly those of politicians respecting democracy, those of the Madrid government are equally unpalatable. From police brutality in response to the referendum, to the imprisoning of democratically elected politicians, Madrid has sought to address the political issues raised by the question of Catalan independence through force and coercion.
While only a minority of Catalans support independence, there is mounting disaffection with rule from Madrid. The numbers backing secession have nearly doubled since 2010. Under a third want to maintain the status quo. It is not just in Catalonia that there exists such disaffection with central government. Harsh austerity policies, soaring unemployment and a sense of mainstream institutions deaf to people’s needs have stoked popular grievances throughout Spain. The irony is that Catalonia is its richest region and anger often takes the form of resentment at “bailing out” the rest of Spain.
Whatever the roots of the anger, it needs to be addressed, which Madrid has failed to do. In imprisoning politicians, Madrid is effectively criminalising political dissent. The “rule of law” has become a cloak for a refusal to engage in a political debate in socially fragmented Spain. Democracy and the rule of law depend upon political legitimacy. That is what neither side possesses.
It would appear that the Spanish Government is exceeding its power and using some illegally. The court of law also appears to be controlled by the Spanish Government when in a democracy it should be independent.
The sensible way forward would have been for the Spanish Government to have allowed the referendum to take place legally and then the result would have taken into account those for and against. Whereas, by stating the referendum was illegal this ensured that those who wished to remain within Spain, most likely did not vote. So it was the actions of the Spanish Government that screwed the referendum verdict.
By further acting to quash the Catalonian Government Independence declaration this could backfire on the Spanish Government as it could persuade more Catalonian people to side with the idea of independence.
It could also reinvigorate other nationalistic movements within Spain being the Basques and Galicians to name but 2 more. While eventually even more regions could also wish for some form of independence. referenced from Nationalisms and Regionalisms of Spain.
The government of Catalonia has now declared independence from Spain, in a move that’s likely to shake Europe to its core. The vote for independence was by a huge majority of 70 for to 10 against; although the opposition boycotted the vote. Immediately after the announcement, the Catalan parliament was surrounded by thousands of people, celebrating.