Sunday, 1 October 2017

Yes to Catalonia Yes to Democracy.

As our friends in Catalonia face what must be one of the first time a government  has sought to physically disrupt a democratic poll I switch on my TV this morning and see the BBC cover a Pro Spanish  demonstration in Catalonia's Capitol Barcelona.

The numbers look small compared to the huge demonstration the Independencias have held and which the BBC and the rest of the  UK media have barley shown. 

Hardly surprising. Nearly every report has the Beeb referring to those seeking Independence as "Separatists"

Which results in this 
Overnight, thousands of separatist supporters occupied the schools that were to be used as voting centres.

Police say they will be evicted.

They do go on to say 
Referendum organisers had urged voters to turn up "to defend" the polling stations at 05:00 (03:00 GMT) and to wait for voting to start at 09:00. They called for peaceful resistance to any police action.
 "I have got up early because my country needs me," said Eulalia Espinal I Tarro, 65, who was outside a Barcelona school."We don't know what is going to happen but we have to be here."
Sunday would be an "important date for democracy", regional Vice-President Oriol Junqueras told TV3, the main Catalan public channel.
"We have overcome many obstacles, there's nothing that we cannot rise above," he added. "If we don't defend our own rights then who will?"

The ballot papers contain just one question: "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?" There are two boxes: Yes or No.

The referendum has been declared illegal by Spain's constitutional court and thousands of extra police have been sent to the region. Many of the extra officers are stationed in two ships in the port of Barcelona.
More than 160 of 2,315 schools earmarked as polling stations were occupied by independence protesters on Saturday in an attempt to prevent them being locked up to keep voters out. Police issued an ultimatum to the occupiers, many of them parents and children, instructing them to leave or face arrest. The Catalan national assembly has told people that if their polling station is shut they should form a queue at the door, holding their ballot papers in their hands.
The authorities have confiscated voting papers and ballot boxes, raided printers and newspapers accused of aiding the poll, shut down websites and blocked an app explaining how and where to vote. Police have occupied the Catalan data agency, blocked access to the census and are seeking to thwart communication between polling stations. The national data protection agency has warned anyone manning a polling station they face fines of up to €300,000 for breaking the data protection law.
I wonder if there are those in Madrid who believe that Spanish Prime Minister  Mariano Rajoy’s Madrid government heavy handed measures the poll does not take place has strengthened   the Independencias
Some may well considered that the referendum  should  have  been allowed especially as Opinion Polls showed that the majority was for a NO vote.
Rajoy however seems to have galvanised the people  and if they are allowed to vote it will be a large Yes vote on a high poll,
The Spanish authorities  even if this happens will no doubt question the legitimacy of the poll and claim that it has been rigged.
But what happens next in the other "democracies"  in Europe will they recognize  the result and the claims of Catalonia?
Will the UK government (leader T May)or Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (leader J Corbyn) support the Catalan vote  or will  they back the "Heirs of Franco" in suppressing Independence.
You can guess the answer.
I have no doubt they will have in mind preserving their own "Precious Union"  and a declaration of Catalan Independence  will result in a Domino effect  with Scotland  following  within a year.
Just how far they will support Madrid's suppression of  an Independent Catalonia remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...

The Labour party's failure to condem the Spanish government's intervention in Catalonia stands in stark contrast to the actions of the International Brigaders who fought and died in the battle against facism in Spain.

Carwyn Jones, Jeremy Corbyn and others in the Labour movement who with their continued silence, give tacit support to the heirs of Franco's facists and they should hang their heads in shame.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party and Trade Union movement stand condemned by their silence on events in Catalonia.

So much for the self proclaimed internationalism of these so-called socialist. Their attachment and loyalty to the British state is much more important to them.

Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

From a Graig Smith on Wings over Scotland Twitter.

"Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we support the cops in riot gear"

Corbyn's International!