10
   

Catalonia wants out; Spain says no

 
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 06:24 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Well, I'm pretty sure everyone here is aware of pre-history, earlier civilizations, earlier political lines, etc, but thanks for your contribution. It is great to trace origins. Your specific mentions are really appreciated.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 08:27 am
@Lash,
You certainly missed that I was responding to what you wrote
Lash wrote:
A great layer for anyone getting to know Catalan history.


But since you mentioned Orwell: he wrote Coming Up for Air, his last novel before World War II, in Morocco, where he lived for half a year with his wife, so he could recover from his wound. Basically, it's completely pessimistic, saying thatindustrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England, and that there were more great threads coming. (But certainly you know that novel better than I do.)
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 11:44 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Lash wrote:
A great layer for anyone getting to know Catalan history.
Catalonia's history didn't start in last century - Catalonia was the first area of Hispania conquered by the Romans (and, of course, settled before: caves of Mollet, the Greek town of Empúries etc)

"Catalonia's history didn't start in the last century" implies I thought it did. I was trying to clarify without being rude.

I also did appreciate your mention of the caves and Empuries.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 11:54 am
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-41461032

Some very sad things are happening in Catalonia today, as reporters say.
Hard things to see in a democracy.

A portion:

Barcelona's mayor says at least 460 people have been injured as police have used force to try to prevent voting in Catalonia's independence referendum.

The Spanish government has pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.

Police officers are preventing some people from voting, and seizing ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

In the regional capital Barcelona, police used batons and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests.

What is the latest?

Police have been filmed violently tackling voters and appearing to pull a woman by her hair
Image caption Police have been filmed violently tackling voters and appearing to pull a woman by her hair
Updating the injury toll to 460, Barcelona's Mayor Ada Colau condemned police actions against what she said was the region's "defenceless" population.

The most powerful images of Catalan clashes
The reasons for the referendum
Meanwhile, the Spanish interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested. It added that 92 polling stations had been closed.

The national police and Guardia Civil - a paramilitary force charged with police duties - were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote from taking place.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said: "The unjustified use of violence... by the Spanish state will not stop the will of the Catalan people"
Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said police had "acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way"
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido blamed Mr Puigdemont for what he termed the day's senseless events
The Guardia Civil said it was "resisting harassment and provocation" while carrying out its duties "in defence of the law"
One voter, Júlia Graell, told the BBC that "police started to kick people, young and old", adding: "Today, I have seen the worst actions that a government can do to the people of its own country."
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 12:05 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
But since you mentioned Orwell: he wrote Coming Up for Air, his last novel before World War II, in Morocco, where he lived for half a year with his wife, so he could recover from his wound. Basically, it's completely pessimistic, saying thatindustrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England

For a long while my youthful admiration for Eric Blair ("George Orwell") has been declining, especially after 9-11 when he kept getting wheeled out by some very dubious figures. As Steven Poole said in the Guardian, his "assault on political euphemism is righteous but limited. His more general attacks on what he perceives to be bad style are often outright ridiculous".

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/17/my-problem-with-george-orwell

Will Self in the BBC Magazine called him a "talented mediocrity", and reminds us he was a stool-pigeon for the security services at the start of the Cold War: "I don't doubt characterising Orwell as a talented mediocrity will put noses out of joint. Not Orwell, surely! Orwell the tireless campaigner for social justice and economic equality; Orwell the prophetic voice, crying out in the wartime wilderness against the dangers of totalitarianism and the rise of the surveillance state; Orwell, who nobly took up arms in the cause of Spanish democracy, then, equally nobly, exposed the cause's subversion by Soviet realpolitik; Orwell, who lived in saintly penury and preached the solid virtues of homespun Englishness; Orwell, who died prematurely, his last gift to the people he so admired being a list of suspected Soviet agents he sent to MI5.".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28971276

0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 12:06 pm
Catalonia’s Independence Vote Descends Into Chaos and Clashes - The New York Times
https://apple.news/A_p2J_uWPQaGW0xQiy7e_fw

Excerpt:

BARCELONA, Spain — Catalonia’s defiant attempt to stage an independence referendum descended into chaos on Sunday, with hundreds of people injured in clashes with the Spanish police in one of the most serious tests of the country’s democracy since the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1970s.
National police officers dressed in riot gear deployed in large numbers as they fanned out across Catalonia, the restive northeastern region of Spain, to close polling stations and seize ballot boxes.
Over the course of the day, the referendum took on an almost surreal cast. The voting went ahead in many towns and cities, with men and women, young and old, singing, clapping and chanting as they lined up for hours to cast ballots, even as confrontations with the police turned violent elsewhere.
The police, sent by the central government in Madrid from other parts of Spain, used rubber bullets and truncheons in some places. The clashes quickly spoiled what had been a festive, if expectant, atmosphere through the night and into the early morning among voters, many of whom had camped out inside polling stations to ensure that they would remain open.
More than 460 people were injured in the crackdown and scuffling that ensued, according to Catalan officials, while a dozen Spanish police officers were wounded, according to Spain’s interior ministry.
The confrontations dangerously intensified the struggle over the status of Catalonia, where aspirations for independence in a prosperous region with a distinct language and culture have ebbed and flowed for generations.
The referendum on Sunday was a high-water mark in a long-building standoff between the national government and Catalonia, Spain’s economic powerhouse. Catalans have long complained that Madrid was unfairly siphoning off their wealth and denying people the right to choose their political destiny.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 12:23 pm
This Sunday wasn't only a day of police violence and uncertain politics but for football fans it's an equally important question where will the Barcelona football club play if the "yes" vote wins? (Today, they without without an audience [more than 80,000 actually were expected] but against a team [UD Las Palmas] who had dressed extra with jerseys with the Spanish national flag.)
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 01:32 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Mariano Rajoy’s response, in his address to the nation, this evening: there was no referendum and no problem – police acted with "firmness and serenity".
Quote:
Mr Verhofstadt urged de-escalation, a negotiated solution bringing in all parties – including the opposition in Catalonia – and respect for Spain’s constitutional and legal order. He is right. Finding a way out of this mess will require a willingness to listen, to Catalans most of all.
Source: comment in The Guardian
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 02:29 pm
For Twitter users, VoiceofEurope is a good inside track in Catalonia.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 05:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I'm one more person in the Catalonia camp.
I read Ghosts of Spain some time ago, which added to my knowledge, such as it was. I'd paid attention to Spain for a variety of reasons. From elementary school on, I was interested in various countries - I think from 4th or maybe 5th grade. Later on, I didn't like Franco, and even later, we had a friend who had been in the International Brigade - interesting man. By the time we got to know him, probably early eighties, he was a writer in the Los Angeles area. I'm trying to remember the name of his book; it might even be in my packed stuff, but I don't remember that he went on and on about his time in the brigades.

Though I was interested in both Spain and the Brigades, my reading wasn't all that intense. Right this week, I'm reading a book that is written by a British writer who moved to Italy when he was forty, the journalist Tobias Jones. He us an intense writer, that is, he delves into his chapter subjects very deeply. And last night's reading was re his chapter on football (after chapters on italian ways, and a grueling chapter on the Years of Lead, also very informative).. so, I'm interested re the football aspect too, for Catalonia. Meantime, I worry for Catalonians.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 06:24 pm
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/30/the-americans-who-fought-fascism-before-wwii/
Excerpt:

In 1936, young Americans began heading over to Spain to confront the rise of fascism in Europe. They became known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. In all, an estimated nearly 3,000 Americans fought in the Spanish Civil War. Spain was viewed as an early front line in the battle against fascism in Europe and these young Americans joined volunteers from across the globe who came to Spain to fight against fascist forces led by General Francisco Franco. Franco was a murderous thug and an ally of Mussolini and Hitler. And eventually, he became a great ally of the United States government.

While the story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade is not often told or recalled in the modern era, it should be. It is a story of young Americans, many of them immigrants, laborers, and workers, who saw the dangers of fascism years before the U.S. government got militarily involved in the war against Hitler and his allies and the point where the mythical history of the fight against fascism in Europe taught in many U.S. schools begins. The Lincoln Brigade deployed to fight fascism before it spread while powerful American businesses and government officials supported Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco or feigned neutrality that actually amounted to aiding fascism.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump held a joint press conference with the Spanish prime minister. The timing was interesting, given that the Spanish government is at this moment forcefully seeking to stop a referendum on independence in Catalonia. Donald Trump seemed confused about the difference between Spain’s prime minister and its president, but he nonetheless made clear where he stands on this issue. “I speak as the president of the United States, as somebody that has great respect for your president, and also has really great respect for your country,” Trump said, standing next to the Spanish prime minister. “I really think the people of Catalonia would stay with Spain. I think it would be foolish not to. Because you’re talking about staying with a truly great, beautiful, and very historic country.”

It’s interesting that while Trump uses his generic filler for countries he doesn’t know much about — great, historic, beautiful — the U.S. relationship with Spain for many decades was one of normalizing the brutal dictatorship of Gen. Franco. It is unlikely Trump knows much, if anything, about Franco, but he would have loved the dictator who ruled until his death in 1975. Franco’s whole agenda was framed around Making Spain Great Again: shield it from foreign influence; preserve its conservative brand of Catholicism; fascism masquerading as proud nationalism.

There is a lot of debate and discussion today over the tactics of the groups and people generally referred to as Antifa. And it has become a regular talking point of Democrats and some liberal pundits to equate Antifa with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists being more and more empowered by this administration. This both-sides-are-wrong mentality has been used throughout history to forgive the crimes of right-wing fascist movements.

The veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were celebrated as heroes and visionaries who saw the threat early and tried to stop it. But as U.S. interests shifted, they soon became targets of anti-communist witch hunts. And today, they are seldom mentioned, even though they fought and died to defeat fascism before the U.S. ever entered World War II. This story is vital for all of us to study, particularly in this moment in history.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2017 06:37 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Do I really need to tell an American the importance of self-determination? Some things are more important than money, especially if the state is trying to stop you having a voice.

Had Madrid been fairer in regard to its allotment of tax revenues, I doubt the separatist movement would have gained as much steam as it has. Its heavy handed handling of the referendum merely exacerbates the situation.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 12:46 am
@InfraBlue,
A BBC columnist said pretty much the same thing. He said if he'd been asked if a declaration of independence was likely just a few days ago he'd have said no, now it looks very likely.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 12:52 am
Quote:
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence.
He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence.
Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence in Sunday's vote. The turnout was 42.3%.
More than 2.2 million people were reported to have voted, according to Catalan authorities, out of 5.3 million registered voters. A Catalan spokesman said more than 750,000 votes could not be counted because polling stations were closed and urns were confiscated.
"My government in the next few days will send the results of today's vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum."
He said the European Union could no longer "continue to look the other way".
"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic," Mr Puigdemont said in a televised address.
The Spanish prime minister spoke of a "mockery" of democracy.
"At this hour I can tell you in the strongest terms what you already know and what we have seen throughout this day. There has not been a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia," Mr Rajoy said.
Large crowds of independence supporters gathered in the centre of the regional capital Barcelona on Sunday evening, waving flags and singing the Catalan anthem. Anti-independence protesters have also held rallies in Barcelona and other Spanish cities.
In another development, more than 40 trade unions and Catalan associations called a region-wide strike on Tuesday due to "the grave violation of rights and freedoms".
TV images showed Spanish police kicking would-be voters and pulling women out of polling stations by their hair.
Catalan medical officials said 844 people had been hurt in clashes, including 33 police. The majority had minor injuries or had suffered from anxiety attacks.
In Girona, riot police smashed their way into a polling station where Mr Puigdemont was due to vote, and forcibly removed those inside. He voted at another station.
The BBC's Tom Burridge in Barcelona witnessed police being chased away from one polling booth after they had raided it.
TV footage showed riot police using batons to beat a group of firefighters who were protecting crowds in Girona.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41463719
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 01:57 am
@izzythepush,
I think that what happened yesterday has separated Catalonia from Spain even more, and there will be consequences, if they don't get a compromise.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 02:42 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I know what the Scots are like, their referendum was close run, but if we'd behaved like the Spanish they'd be independent by now.

It reminds me of the Easter Rising in Dublin, they were seen as harmless cranks until the crackdown turned them into heroes.
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 04:28 am
https://youtu.be/Ft8UNDhV2Uc

Kunstler reminds us The Terrible Myth of legality. Another balm for the white masses. Blacks and browns have already had the education.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 05:17 am
@izzythepush,
I can prove that with two statements:

- UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was a matter for the Spanish government and people and that it was important the Spanish constitution be respected and the rule of law upheld. Madrid had ruled Catalonia's referendum illegal

- Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon criticized the statement as "shamefully weak." Sturgeon closely followed events on her Twitter feed, saying she was increasingly concerned by the images from Catalonia.
"Regardless of views on independence, we should all condemn the scenes being witnessed," Sturgeon, who led Scotland's 2014 independence referendum in which it voted to remain part of the UK, said.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 05:28 am
@Walter Hinteler,
All Boris, (our Foreign Secretary,) is interested in is jostling for position. May is doomed and all he's thinking about his own future, **** what's going on in the rest of the World.

Quote:
Veteran Europhile Lord Heseltine has launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson, saying "in any normal situation he would be sacked".
Mr Johnson sparked fresh speculation about Theresa May's leadership as the Tories gathered in Manchester for their conference, following a second article setting out his own approach to Brexit.
Lord Heseltine said the PM was too "weak" to sack the foreign secretary.
Mrs May has insisted the cabinet was united behind her Brexit vision.
"What I have is a cabinet that are united in the mission of this government, and that is what you will see this week," she told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.
Mr Johnson's article for The Sun - in which he says Mrs May's planned transition phase must not last "a second more" than two years - is the second time in a fortnight he set out his own vision for Brexit.
The foreign secretary also did this in a Daily Telegraph article last month.
This sparked accusations of "backseat driving" and prompted Mrs May to say the government was "driven from the front".
Lord Heseltine, who was on the opposite side of the EU referendum to Mr Johnson and has criticised him strongly in the past, said Mrs May was in an impossible position.
"If she keeps him inside, he will continue to disrupt, if she puts him outside, he will disrupt," he told the BBC's Sunday Politics.
His view was echoed by former Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps, who told ITV's Robert Peston Mrs May cannot sack Mr Johnson "for the simple reason that her majority is so small that her position is not strong enough".
"She should, of course, but she can't," he added.
"Putting him on the outside would put her entire premiership in instant peril."
He also echoed Lord Heseltine's belief that Mrs May can't lead the Conservatives into the next general election.
First Secretary of State Damian Green, who is effectively Mrs May's second-in-command, rejected calls for her to sack Mr Johnson.
"Boris clearly has huge talents and having him in the cabinet gives us those strengths," he told Robert Peston.
"Inevitably on big issues people will express views. Boris has a good record as Mayor of London, so it's a good thing to have him in the cabinet."
Asked whether he expected to be sure by the end of the week that Mr Johnson was not trying to destabilise the prime minister, Mr Green said: "I hope so and I think so, yes."
He told BBC Radio 5's Live's Pienaar's Politics the speculation about Mrs May's leadership was "classic conference frenzy" and the government's Brexit policy was "agreed by the whole cabinet".
She sidestepped a question about whether Mr Johnson was "unsackable" as Lord Heseltine and others have claimed.
She also declined to answer whether she would resign as prime minister if she fails to secure a Brexit deal and the UK leaves the EU without agreement on a future relationship in March 2019.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41460044
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 06:11 am
https://www.efe.com/efe/english/world/un-commissioner-calls-for-investigation-into-catalonia-referendum-violence/50000262-3396431?utm_source=wwwefecom&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

A bit of good news—juxtaposed with the EU leadership, who backed the authoritarian crackdown.
 

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