FREEDOM!!!! [4]

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:30 pm

{{ Good to know in a way- I protested, and marched and voted and now that kid has grown up never knowing a Scotland without its own Parliament- its definitely a start. Its up to that generation now to finish what my generation started Nod }}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:21 am


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:05 pm

{{Well two hats have been thrown into the ring of the Scottish Labourship contest- Anas Sarwar, who was deputy leader toDugdale (not sure what it says about you when Dugdale was thought the better choice!) he is a centralist and not a fan of Corbyn.
And from the left of the party the only contender so far, Richard Leonard, who is GMB union leader and a big socialist.
Sarwar is likely to pick up the bulk of the MSP votes but Leonard will almost certainly get the backing of the unions. }}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:21 am

{{Yesterday at Labour party conference, Brighton, England:

Corbyn- "Labour are on their way back in Scotland!"

Meanwhile in Scotland-

'Scottish Labour was is embroiled in civil war after open hostilities erupted between the two contenders for the party leadership.
“Alex Rowley’s hypocrisy is incredibly disappointing. But what is most concerning is the revelations about a plot against Kezia Dugdale. “Kez was elected with a huge majority and it will infuriate members to learn that some MSPs were working behind the scenes to undermine her and replace her with Richard Leonard."

Ms Dugdale, who resigned last month, told a BBC Radio 5 Live radio channel: “I’m sure there’s lots of people thinking ‘wow, that speaks to a lot of internal problems in the Labour party’, and they would be right.”


Scottish Labour on the way back?- keep drinking the moonshine Corbyn! Sturgeon is going to have a lot of fun with this at First Ministers Questions today! }}}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:25 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Good to know in a way- I protested, and marched and voted and now that kid has grown up never knowing a Scotland without its own Parliament- its definitely a start. Its up to that generation now to finish what my generation started Nod  }}}

The Scottish Parliament enshrines a national democratic spirit that I think is very valuable in a european context. I myself supported Scottish independence. And I think history has shown that the no vote was a mistake, with the loss of self-determination on the hand of Scotland in the Brexit-issue. But at least some autonomy is strongly supported on at national level. Smile

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:44 pm

This is far too long, but I have been thinking, and writing a fair bit, about the issue of Catalan independence recently. So, the Freedom thread inspired me to write something substantial about it.

Another historically strong European region is voting for independence tomorrow, Catalunya. In a referendum, that  at least in my view, has moved the perception of how far the power can move against democratic opposition in modern Europe.

Catalan independence is an issue that has engendered a lot of debate over the last weeks, and I thought I'd try to sum up my view on some of the central points of contention. Some reflections of mine on the issue:



The history of Catalunya:

Catalunya is a region with a long and illustrious history. Much of that history has like Norway's been under the rule of others.

Catalunya was a separate principality on the Iberic peninsula after the reconquista by the catholics of the area from the Muslims. The Count of Barcelona ruled Catalunya under the Carolingian Empire. In 1137 Catalunya and Aragon joined together in a marriage pact as the Crown of Aragon where the ruler remained both the King of Aragon and the Count of Barcelona.


(The Royal Arms of the Crown of Aragon and Count of Barcelona)

In 1469 a marriage pact between the King of Aragon and the Queen of Castille assembled their respective Kingdoms in the ruled of one person. Catalunya retained its role as a distinct part of this Kingdom. It had its own institutions, courts, parliament, and a constitution.

Two events finally put an end to the historical political independence of Catalunya.

First, the Franco-Spanish War. (1635-1659) Catalunya had revolted and been ruled for a period as a French republic. Spain finally reconquered Catalunya from France. As a result Catalan political independence was eroded. The historical landscpae of Catalunya was split, with Northern Catalunya, what is today know as Roussillion, ceeded to France Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees.

And second, the Spanish War of Succession, (1701–1714) where Catalunya sided on the loosing side. The result was that all non-castillian institution in Spain was abolished, which meant the abolishion of the Catalan Parliament, and that Spanish was introduced as the common legal language of the whole kingdom, resulting in the repression of Catalan language.

Up until this time Catalunya was a separate principality and political entity in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Spain.

The Second Spanish Republic reintroduced democracy to Spain. As a result of this Catalunya regained its political autonomy thorugh the first Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The Generalitat, the historic executive of Catalunya, was reestablished, and Catalunya was again an autonomous region as part of Spain.


(Proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in Barcelona on 14 April 1931)

With the end of the civil war came the area of Spain as a fascist dictatorship. The Franco-era represented new oppression of Catalan language and institutions. Catalan language was outlawed, the Catalan Parliament was disbanded, autonomy ended and Catalan culture suppressed. Catalunya had been among the prominent defenders of the republic, and the reaction of the victorious fascist dictatorship was harsh.

Two things about Catalan culture merit particular mention in my opinion.

The Catalan parliament is a historical institution and among the oldest in the world. It can trace its history back to 1047. The Corts Catalanes were a de facto parliament that establishes laws and even a constitution for the County of Barcelona. They made decisions that held the force of law and could not unilaterally be revoked by the King.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_Courts

The Courts were outlawed after the Spanish War of Succession in 1714. They were reestablished as the Parliament of Catalunya 14 April 1931 as part of the first Statute of Autonomy for Catalunya. It was again abolished after the victory of the fascist Franco dictatorship in the Spanish Civil War. The Parliament existed in exile in France, until it was reintroduced as part of the second Statute of Autonomy in 1979, four years after Franco's death.

Catalan as a language is spoken in most of the previous area of influence of the Crown of Aragon. Although today its scope and use has withered it is still a vibrant and living language. Catalan language came about as the development of the particular vulgar latin spoken in Catalunya. It bears distinct simmilarities with Iberian romance languages like spanish and portugeese. It is more simmilar to Occitaine, spoken just across the border in France, and, to a lesser degree French.

Catalan language has itself come under pressure from policy made by the Popular Party in several different Spanish regions. In Valencia poleticians from the ruling Popular Party has renamed Catalan Valencian. In Aragorn where Catalan is only spoken in the easternmost areas, Catalan has been renamed Lengua Aragonesa Propia del Área Oriental. Again by, guess who.

http://www.catalannews.com/politics/item/aragons-parliament-renames-catalan-language-spoken-in-its-territory-with-the-acronym-lapao

For regional languages to survive, official support and recognition is of essence. These decisions also potentially breach EU regulation in the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.

An argument that has been put forward against independence and even having a referendum, among other things to differentiate Catalunya from Scotland, is that Catalunya does not have a history as a separate state. This argument misses two important points, I feel. One, that the minutae of the political classifications of the Middle Ages really shouldn't play a role in modern day political discussions. And, two, that Catalunya actually has a long history as a separate political entity.

Catalunya has a separate national culture, a separate national history, a separate language. All good reasons Catalunya is just not another rich region wanting to go it on their own for selfish reasons.

The history of the independence movement:



The development of the independence movement in Catalunya as a clear cut independence movement is quite a recent occurrence. The defining moment for the movement was the setting aside of the central provisions of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia by the Spanish Constitutional Court in 2010.

The Statute established exclusive, concurrent and shared competences of the regional Catalan government. It was enacted after having gained the support 73.24% of Catalonia's population in a referendum, been passed by Catalan Parliament and both chambers of the Spanish Parliament. The the currently governing Spanish Popular Party, (right wing conservative nationalist party) which was then the main opposition party, made a complaint to the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the Statute. And four years later the Spanish Constitutional court invalidated the central provisions of the Statute, decisively undermining the negotiated and democratically approved autonomy granted to Catalunya.

Later the idea of a fiscal pact on the lines of the ones enjoyed by the Spanish regions Navarra and the Basque Country supported by the majority of the Catalan Parliament was flatly refused both by the government of the PSOE (the social democratic party) and the Popular Party.

In the time leading up to the referendum planned tomorrow the Catalan regional government has repeatedly asked the national PP government in Madrid for a dialogue and a negotiated solution to the Catalans wish for independence. This has been repeatedly denied.  

The independence movement came about as a reaction to this judgement made by the Constitutional Court on the behest of currently governing Popular Party, on the growing view of impossibility for negotiating further autonomy. As autonomy was no longer a viable option, independence became the only way forward in the views of the ones who wanted further autonomy for Catalunya.

As it has not been possible to negotiate either autonomy or any sort of consultation with the central government the Catalan government has taken several steps.

The Catalan president Artur Mas held a non-binding consultation on independence in 2014. The consultation asked two questions: Question 1: "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?"
Question 2: "In case of affirmative answer, do you want this state to become independent?" 80.76 voted yes/yes. 4.54% voted no/no. Turnout was 41.6%.

The Constitutional Court declared the consultation unconstitutional. And in the aftermath then president Artur Mas, as well as other leading politicians, have had their right to hold public office suspended. And Mas alone faced a fie of more than 5 million euros, simply for allowing the population of Catalunya in a non-binding way to express their view on a political issue.

In 2015 Artur Mas and the Catalan government called a snap regional election. The idea was to allow people to vote for their regional parliament on one issue, independence. To allow the institution of a parliament that could take the legal steps necessary to hold a binding referendum on independence. The move led to the breakup of the 37 year coalition of Pdcat and DUC called Convergencia and Union, as the latter party, while believers in the concept of Catalan nationalism, did not support a unilateral secession of Catalunya from Spain.

The votes came out as follows. The newly formed coalition for a referendum and independence, Junts pel Si, got 39.59% of the vote. The pro referendum CUP got 8.21% of the vote. Together the two had 47,8% of the vote, and by the system of representation in the Catalan Parliament they also had a majority of the seats. CatSíqueesPot, another coalition party made up of Podemos, Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV) and United and Alternative Left (EUiA), ran on a yes to referendum neutral on independence platform. They got 8.94% of the vote. Three parties ran on a no to a referndum, no to independence platform. These were PSC, (the Catalan version of PSOE, who only said no to a unilateral referndum) Ciduadanos and the Popular Party. They got respectively 12.72%, 17.90% and 8,49% of the vote. The final vote for parties against a referendum and against independence (no/no) was 39,11%. This made the pro independece/anti-independence proportions 47,8 to 39,11.

One interesting fact that is not often mentioned about the referendum is the fate of DUC. After leaving the CiU alliance they ran as a single party, got 2,51% of the vote and lost all their 13 seats in Parliament. Whether this 2,51% of the vote should be counted for Catalan independence or not is hard to say. The party wanted to stay outside the current process, but Catalunya as a nation is their historical position.

For the past seven years the independence movement has grown. I don't think you will find any other region in Europe were over a million people, out of a population of 7,5 million, take to the street every year in a peaceful demonstration for independence only in Barcelona. The last statistic I saw, a week or two ago, showed that about 60% out of about 60% who intended to vote would vote for independence.


The political nature of the independence movement:



I have often heard the independence movement described in the terms that are often related to modern day populism. Countless times I've seen terms like fascist, populist and even nazi used in comments by people who clearly feel strongly supportive of the current Spanish constitutional order. I know it must be easy in the day of Marine Le Pen, Gert Wilders and Brexit to sweep all seccesionist feeling over with one broom. I will explain why this view is wrong when it comes to Catalunya.

The nature of the independence movement in Catalunya is almost the polar opposite of what the critics like to call it. First, it represents parties from almost the full political spectrum. The two main parties of Junts pel Si, the multi party coalition for independence, are Pdcat and ERC. Pdcat is centre right, ERC is centre left. Outside Junts Pel Si independence is also supported by CUP, a party on the radical left. They make of 8% of the vote in the regional parliament, to Junts pel Si's 39%.

When you see photos of seperatist burning the EU flag or the Spanish flag, they will be from this minority of the independence movement or groups even further on the left than CUP. It is however normal that critics conflate these pictures and opinions with the independence movement as a whole.

In reality, both the main parties in the independence movement, Pdcat and ERC, are for European integration, for EU-membership for Catalunya, pro-EU and pro-European. And just like in Scotland they are far more progressive on general policy than the dominating national spanish parties.

The legal legitimacy of the independence movement and the referendum:


(Polonia - Catalan political satire show)

The legality of the referendum and the potential declaration of independence is a much debated issue. Both the referendum bill and the bill on transition has been declared illegal by the Consitutional Court, and the state apparatus Spanish executive and judiciary is doing the most it can to suppress the vote.

It should be realized in this context that the Spanish judiciary and particularly the Spanish Constitutional Court is highly political. The large majority of its appointments are made by either the government or each of the two houses of parliament. Appointments are made for a 9 year period, and for the last 9 years the Popular Party has been in position to put a lot of its supporters on the court. The President of the Court is for instance a former activist for the Popular Party. And it si a generally held view in Spain that judgments by the court is as often written by the government in Madrid as the court itself.

That does however not undermine the de lege lata, legally binding, effect of the Consitutional Court's decisions inside the Spanish constitutional system. Two further perspective should however additionally be addressed. Independence in the context of constitutional law and international law respectively.

The constitutional law perspective is addressed in this article:

http://verfassungsblog.de/the-catalan-self-determination-referendum-act-a-new-legal-order-in-europe/

The central points are. The Catalan law of transition is basically a proto-constitution. It is a constitutional break with the constitutional order of the Spanish State. Whether such a break is legitimate is the decisive fact. And the author outlines the conditions and his view in the article. Observance by the officials of a region as a whole is a central aspect.

The international law aspect was addressed in a report by international law experts and is described in this article:

http://www.elnacional.cat/es/politica/estudio-internacional-derecho-autodeterminacion_195828_102.html

Some of the central points are: (1) There is no prohibition in international law against either a Catalan referendum or declaration of independence, but also no distinct right. (2) Catalunya can clearly fulfill the criteria to be reckoned as a state in international law terms. (3) The principle of self-determination as a democratic principle obligates Spain to respond genuinely to a claim of self-determination on the part of the Catalan people. (4) Spain has no legal right to suppress or inhibit the expression of the popular will through democratic self-determination from the point of view of international law. (5) If the Spanish state forcibly prevents the referendum, other means of acquiring democratic legitimacy to declare independence are open to the Catalan government and people, through regional elections or ultimately popular and peaceful protests. (6) Repression or prohibition of a referendum will only increase the legitimacy of the independence cause. (7) Catalunya has fulfilled its role looking for the possibility of a negotiated solution (not possible) and gone through the process in a democratic and peaceful manner. (Cool Adversely, the Spanish government is increasingly using unreasonable methods to discourage or punish the Catalan side. (9) The ban on attacking the integrity of a state applies to other states and not part of a state. (10) When a region unilaterally declares independence, the legality of the secession of that region is no longer determined by the existing constitution, but international law.

As a general conclusion on the process Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University Richard Falk, who was part of the expert group, "until now, Catalonia seems to be winning a decisive battle for legitimacy."

The political legitimacy of the independence movement and the referendum:



In a lot of writing that come out negatively to the Catalan independence movement and Catalan independence the political legitimacy of the independence movement, the referendum and independence. I've read two articles today that both raised the opinion of a silent majority of Catalans against independence as a prominent argument against the catalan independence movement and process. Independence and the Catalan government does not have a support of a majority they say, and they should give up the process to respect the views of this majority.

The people making these arguments often point to two statistical results they see as supporting their view. First, the regional election where the pro-independence parties got 47,8%. (They do not mention that the anti-independence parties got about 39%, or that the support for a referendum was well over 50%.) I addressed this view at length above, and I don't find it legitimate.

Second they almost without fail point to an opinion poll done on independence in Catalunya in June. Where about 40% supported independence and a little less than 50% were against it. The problem with that is that more recent opinion polls show a different result. The last two I have seen showed a little less than 60% supporting independence on a 60% projected turnout. (See https://www.facebook.com/EuropeElects/photos/a.495881743941836.1073741828.493950167468327/676505715879437/?type=3 ) The support for a referendum is also huge in Catalunya. An opinion poll shows a whopping 82% supporting a referendum.

I therefore find the political legitimacy view without merit, and it should be dismissed. There is clearly democratic support and legitimacy for a referendum and a growing support and legitimacy for independence.

The oddest things about these kind of arguments is that they don't want catalans to express the opinion they assume they hold in a free referendum.  

The reaction to the referendum of the Spanish state:




One thing that I think has shocked a lot of people is the brashness the Spanish state has gone about their opposition to the unilaterally declared referendum with. As I established above, a negotiated referendum was never a possibility as the government in Madrid has refused even to sit down and talk about it. Even then, in the context of a unilaterally declared referendum that admittedly does not adhere to the official understanding of the Spanish Constitution as interpreted by the Constitutional Court, the lenghts to which the government in Madrid has thought acceptable to go has been shocking.

In Catalunya high ranking public officials have been arrested. Propaganda material for a political cause have been seized out of hand. Public and private organizations, including the completely private Catalan Castellers Association and the Universities of the region, have had their assets frozen and their bank accounts monitored to ensure they do not financially support the referendum. The public are being prosecuted for sedition for participating in public peaceful demonstrations. Media organizations have been raided and threatened not to share news of the referendum. The offices of political parties that support independence have been raided. Currently there are more than 6000 spanish national police and semi-military Guardia Civil (of dark reputation from the civial war and the dictatorship) living in cruiseboats in the harbors of Barcelona and

Does this sound like a modern liberal western democracy to you? Certainly not to me.

It has gone so far that the UN has gone out officially and warned Spain about its infringement of fundamental rights.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22176

And this is important. The rule of law, the national constitution does not allow you to arbitrarily infringe peoples fundamental human rights. Even in preventing what you consider an illegal referendum.

EU law functions directly in the Member States legislation, and as such the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has direct effect in Spanish law. And the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with an issue like this before in ECHR Casre of Stankovic and the United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden v. Bulgaria. Here the court stated:

"The Court reiterates, however, that the fact that a group of persons calls for autonomy or even requests secession of part of the country’s territory – thus demanding fundamental constitutional and territorial changes – cannot automatically justify a prohibition of its assemblies. Demanding territorial changes in speeches and demonstrations does not automatically amount to a threat to the country’s territorial integrity and national security.
Freedom of assembly and the right to express one’s views through it are among the paramount values of a democratic society. The essence of democracy is its capacity to resolve problems through open debate. Sweeping measures of a preventive nature to suppress freedom of assembly and expression other than in cases of incitement to violence or rejection of democratic principles – however shocking and unacceptable certain views or words used may appear to the authorities, and however illegitimate the demands made may be – do a disservice to democracy and often even endanger it.
In a democratic society based on the rule of law, political ideas which challenge the existing order and whose realisation is advocated by peaceful means must be afforded a proper opportunity of expression through the exercise of the right of assembly as well as by other lawful means."
(para. 97)

In my opinion, and I am a Master student in law, alth not specilized in human rights per se, this shows Spain is in flagrant breach of international human rights law.

And these actions are aditionally scary when you consider that the funders of the party behind these acts had prominent positions in the Franco dictatorship. I know, Godwin's rule and all that. But it is hard not to see the dark authoritarian shadows of the Franco dictatorship in these acts.

Should Catalunya be independent?

I think so. They are a region with a separate history, culture, their own language, a strong economy, a population and terrotiry comparable with many other small nations. I have no doubt that they could be independent and make it a success. I am a strong supporter of European integration and cooperation. You can't solve the issues of the 21st century on your own, and Europe can only address them through cooperation. I would welcome Catalunya, as I would welcome Scotland, as a liberal progressive, democratic and positive part of that process.

Everyone involved would have liked to find a political solution to this process. And agreed referendum or further devolution and autonomy. But neither are politicly possible with the government in Madrid. The Catalan government is simply taking the only possible solution left to them, and on that ground I find I must support a referendum even in this unilateral form.

Then again, I am the first to admit this is not my choice. I am not Catalan. Catalans should choose. And no authoritarian nation state should take away their right or ability to do so.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:30 pm


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:30 pm

Bluebottle wrote:Today in Catalunya... democracy died.

Cheer up Blue. Democracy doesn't die that easily. People were bullied and arrested, not executed in the streets. Now let's see what happens in the courts...

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:31 pm

It is sadly not that simple. An observer group made up of British parliamentarians have said they will take the matter to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. That should tell us something about the seriousness of the actions of the national police. Acts like the ones made today against people peacefully voting and assembling are not compatible with basic human rights or the principles of a modern democracy. When a state makes acts like this they turn from democracies into authoritarian states. It deserves the international condemnation it is going to get.

Honestly, I don't think there is a way back from this in the Catalan/Spanish relationship. Who wants to be part of a country where basic rights is trampled like this? It will ensure a strong public support for independence. And where a large majority of a population wants independence, independence will ultimately happen in modern day democratic Europe. The violence by the Spanish state ultimately lends legitimacy to Catalan independence even without a referendum. In the game of legitimacy of internatial law you don't win or die as in Game of Thrones, you loose if you don't follow the rules. And today Spain has broken the rules of how a democratic nation can act.

What is interesting in the following is what happens in the Spanish parliament. The opposition has the seats to remove the Rajoy Popular Party government. (Right wing nationalist) The second largest opposition party Podemos (left wing) has suggested this to the largest opposition party PSOE, (social democrats) stating in their view "Rajoy and democracy is incompatible."

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:22 pm

Bluebottle wrote: Acts like the ones made today against people peacefully voting and assembling are not compatible with basic human rights or the principles of a modern democracy.


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:06 pm

Maybe I am not expressing myself clearly. And maybe I'm not making much sense, but I feel I have a legitimate point. Smile

Some of the essential principles of a modern democracy in Europe today are in my opinion those that supersede the national legal constitutional order. These are the fundamental human rights for instance set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights or the European Convention of Human Rights. You have freedom of assembly, of expression, of political opinion and, yes, self determination of a people is a recongized democratic principle in international law. So, when the Spanish government infringes those rights by using the police to violently attack peaceful protesters and normal Catalans peacefully going to vote, that is a major step away from the foundations of the modern democratic order that is recognized in Europe.

I see the actions of the Spanish state today as a hard attack on the modern European democratic order.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:05 pm

https://twitter.com/bcn_ajuntament/status/914499492992442369

The mayor of Barcelona, who is not part of the independence movement.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:13 pm


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:39 am

I'm not happy to hear about what's happening in Spain, but we also have to remember that nearly every country we have was born in bloodshed. It's not like a region says "we don't like it here any more, we want to form our own country" and the prior country goes "Okay then, off you go."

Maybe it should be the new norm: Scotland tried it, and because it all went peacefully they'll probably not try again for a long while. In the 20th century a lot of former colonies have been given independence freely, but how smoothly did the decades following that go?

I just don't see the birth of countries being an easy thing. And the violence in Spain actually makes it more likely that a split will happen; so free Catalonese supporters should be thrilled.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:28 am

The numbers of the referendum is in, and while they could have been a just little bit better they are very very good for the independence side.

LOS RESULTADOS DEL 1-O

- Sí: 2.020.144 (90,09 %)
- No: 176.565 (7,87 %)
- En blanco: 45.586 (2,03 %)
- Nulo: 20.129 (0,89 %)


*770.000 censados en colegios clausurados (ballots either seized or voters hindered from voting by the seizure and closing of polling station by national police)

This comes very close to making up what would have been a majority in the last regional elections, that was run on independence as a single issue. Considering the considerable efforts by the national police to hinder people from voting, the results are quite astonishingly good for the pro-independence side.

(In the 2015 regional election 4,130,196 (about 74.9% of the census) voted. I wrote more on this in the post above. The yes-side got about 48% and 1,97m of the vote, the no-side about 39% and 1,6m)

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:45 am

The President of the Catalan Generalitat has made clear that on basis of the yes-vote, He will bring the result to the Catalan parliament, which will then vote on secession in line with the law of the referendum passed by the same parliament. (It determines that it has to happen in the first two days after the vote.)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41463719

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:53 am

halfwise wrote:I'm not happy to hear about what's happening in Spain, but we also have to remember that nearly every country we have was born in bloodshed.  It's not like a region says "we don't like it here any more, we want to form our own country" and the prior country goes "Okay then, off you go."  

Maybe it should be the new norm: Scotland tried it, and because it all went peacefully they'll probably not try again for a long while.  In the 20th century a lot of former colonies have been given independence freely, but how smoothly did the decades following that go?  

I just don't see the birth of countries being an easy thing.  And the violence in Spain actually makes it more likely that a split will happen; so free Catalonese supporters should be thrilled.

Don't disagree with you.

Probably no one is happy to be subject to one of the worst acts police brutality in recent Spanish history. Or have their human rights trampled. (More than 800 people have been injured, several seriously. Among them a 70 year old man is in critical condition after suffering a heart attack after being charged by police at a polling station.) But it is good to realize that the Spanish national government has lost any semblance of political legitimacy on the issue after their actions in Catalunya yesterday. The world was watching and the world has reported. The Spanish government lost the battle for democratic and political legitimacy right then and there.

(Scotland will actually probably have a referendum quite soon, the regional Scottish government has stated that they will hold a referendum where the Scottish people can make a decision on the future when they can see the consequenses of the final Brexit solution on Scotland. Probably in 2019.)

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:08 am

A Scottish position Smile




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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:03 am

My granddad was from Barcelona, he fled Franco after fighting on the opposite side, he couldn't go back to Spain because he would have been executed. The Catalonians remember the brutality of Franco and they are used to bloody dictators within living memory. maybe that's why they feel it so strongly and want to be independent, and why ETA was so violent. When Spanish policemen beat them up it only makes them stronger, and more determined. If the Spanish are wise they will give in, otherwise it could get very terrible.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:22 am

The King of Spain this evening, in a his first ever public political intervention, has publicly stated that the people to blame for everything is the Catalan government. He has not mentioned police violence with a word, he has not called for dialogue or level headedness. He has basically stated that authority will ensure democracy.

Eh... no. The poeple to blame for using exessive force and commiting acts of police brutality against peaceful protesters and voters are (1) the police for potentially overracting, (2) the police leaders for potentially instructing the police to be violent and (3) the politicians who put police them in impossible situations.

The violence on sunday can not be excused. It was malicious, vindictive, exessive and brutal. Commited by national police and Guardia Civil specifically imported from other regions of Spain to ensure no mercy was shown t catalans in protecting Spanish "democracy".

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-41459692/catalonia-video-shows-violence-as-police-tackle-voters
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-41463955/catalonia-referendum-violence-as-police-block-voting


It was an eggregious breach of human rights, as pointed out by the UN high commissioner.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57785#.WdRSoYZx2b8

And in the context of the European Convention of Human Rights

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22176

Whatever the law says, human rights are part of law. They set limit for which laws can be enacted, and they limit the enforcement of laws. In the enforcement of laws you cannot breach human rights beyond what is allowed by the derrogations set out in international and regional human rights treaties. (Exessive violence against peaceful assembly that is proving no threat is impossible to justify as a derogation form HR law.)

Spain is in a dark spiral democratically. Spanish politics and Spanish media is an echo chamber of authoritarianism. Spanish people seem to condone the violence based on a rising stream of nationalism. One lady was heard saying in Madrid before the violence of 1-O

At a cafe in Madrid, on referendum day, my brother overheard a group of women saying: “These Catalan people just need a couple of slaps to learn they have to stay."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/03/catalan-spanish-european-mariano-rajoy-memories-civil-war

It is an echo chamber that refuses to accept the egregiousness of the acts commited by the police. That refuses even to accept that the police did anything wrong.

Spanish media vs international media:



"Rajoy then praised the Spanish police for responding with ‘firmness and serenity’ to the referendum."
http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/01/spanish-pm-says-there-was-no-referendum-in-catalonia-after-police-violence-injures-761-6969092/
(Look at the pictures that follows that comment.)

Which describes a general feeling in part of the Spanish populace. Nationalism and populism has really crept in in Spain through the back door, through the, supposedly, conservative ruling party. Admittedly a ruling party that is mired in corruption scandals that it is trying its best not to prosecute and that has been proven to use the state apparatus and the police to smear political opponents. But, still.

Spain is in danger of falling into authoritarianism. Endagering the rule of law they claim to protect, as they don't understand or wilfully ignore what the law entails. And Catalans are endangered as well. If clear egregious violations of HR law is alowed against a minority of a European country, that is a huge issue, not just for Spain, but for Europe and the world. Catalans will not forget the acts of the national police. While Madrid might wish they were forgetten as fast as possible. If the crimes are not addressed, and if all legitimate complaints are met with authoritarianism, it will lead to a permanent rupture in the Spanish state. Where seccesion is the only possibility to keep the peace.

Many other small nations in Europe knows how this suppression by stronger nations feel. And they have been the quickest to offer support. Belgium, Ireland, Estonia, Finland. All comparable countries to what an independent Catalunya could be. All seeing what could be happening to them if they were still tied to a larger nation. Surpression against the democratic will of the peope. No democratic possibility of seccession.

http://www.cataloniavotes.eu/en/statement-by-the-international-parliamentary-delegation-on-catalonias-referendum-on-self-determination-oct-1st-2017/
https://twitter.com/CharlesMichel/status/914455311553040384
https://twitter.com/GerryAdamsSF/status/915228989773533184

With Spain the European project is in danger, because a Europe that remains silent on the actions of the Spanish state fails to live up to its fundamental purpose. Treaty on the European Union art. 2:

"The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail."

I don't think I've quite felt this strongly for condemning anything in a long ttime, because in a lot of cases circumstances are hard in general. But this is a modern day European democracy in the most human rights friendly and democraticly minded part of the world. Well, it was.

Today between one and two million people marched on the streets of Catalunya protesting the police violence. The King made his intervention, and didn't mention it with a word and didn't mention the violence they were protesting with a word. Effectively dissawoving them all. Spanish democracy is in crisis. And as such the European democratic project as a whole.



Last edited by Bluebottle on Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:18 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:34 am

Sorry, I needed to went. Razz

Mrs Figg wrote:My granddad was from Barcelona, he fled Franco after fighting on the opposite side, he couldn't go back to Spain because he would have been executed. The Catalonians remember the brutality of Franco and they are used to bloody dictators within living memory. maybe that's why they feel it so strongly and want to be independent, and why ETA was so violent. When Spanish policemen beat them up it only makes them stronger, and more determined. If the Spanish are wise they will give in, otherwise it could get very terrible.

That is nice. Have you been? It is a wonderful part of the world. My girlfriends father is from there. Not Barceloona, but further south on the coast. She's not catalan, quite the opposite, but obviously there is a connection.

I too think escalation can only ultimately lead to strenghtening the independence movement. And as has been shown around Europe, force might keep these movements down for a while, but if the public will is there, eventually they will break free.

It's sad that we haven't gotten further than this in Europe though.  Crying or Very sad

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:27 am

Ah, girlfriend from Spain!  She could probably help with all the place names in that account of your trip to Spain you've been so diligently preparing for us.  Suspect

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:01 pm

{{{So much to say on this subject, but not got the time tonight- but I will be back!!! (Glad you thought to put this topic here Blue- very suitable Nod ) }}}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:08 pm

That would be interesting. Nod

Things are currently in deadlock in Spain and Catalunya. The regional government feels the referendum has given them legitimacy to lead the country to independence. And Madrid is as it has always been in its "We do not negotiate with terrorists"-mode. (The hyperbole is worthy of how the Spanish government speaks about these things.)

An interview that cleared a few things up for me was this one:

http://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/interview/catalonias-chief-communicator-we-will-be-independent-and-an-eu-member/

Question: In what terms is he going to explain the results? I’m asking because it looks like there is no majority of people who have voted for independence, given the turnout.

I have to disagree. The result is clear for us. Every analysis shows there is a majority for the independence of the country. I can understand your doubts, but they are not your responsibility, they are the responsibility of the brutal aggression by the Spanish government, who sent riot police to beat and humiliate, and to torture peaceful voters. Their only crime was that they wanted to cast a vote. This should be the shame of Europe.  Of course, this is the shame of Spain. Nothing like that has ever happened in a Western democratic country – riot police to be sent to beat, not even peaceful demonstrators, but peaceful voters. People who were just queuing in front of a polling station and wanted to cast a vote. This should not be tolerated. Europe should take a stance. Every country, every leader should take a position so that this never happens again.  Authoritarianism in Europe should not be tolerated.

The vote took part with normality in almost 95% of the polling stations, and the others suffered the aggression of the Spanish military police. The turnout at the places where there was no aggression was 50-60-70%. And the majority for independence was clear. And the Spanish government knew it was going to lose the referendum if it were to take place in normal conditions. This explains the harsh brutality of the Spanish police, the images are there for all to see, we don’t need to add anything to that.

And while I am a strong believer in democratic legitimacy, and to move forward in politics in a pedagogical manner, where you convince people rather than act unilaterally. I agree with this statement. There is democratic legitimacy for independence, the only reason it is not abundantly clear is the brutal and exessive police intervention.

Helena Catt, international elections expert with experience from more than 300 elections and part of the expert group observing the referedum said of the police action "For us what happened was orchestrated, it was an operation of planned military style with precision." She also said "Yesterday we witnessed facts that no election monitor should ever have seen, and we hope we will not see it again." And she and her team observe what they considered to be "numerous and repeated violations of civil and human rights." As a conclusion she called for the result of the referendum to be respected, because of its particular circumstaces.
http://www.ara.cat/politica/Catt-internacional-Vam-operacio-planificada_0_1880212108.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=ara

This is a moment for a burgoning country were some hard choices have to be made. On the one hand, ensuring that everyone is aware of the democratic legitimacy of your cause is good. On the other, this might be the one fleeting moment in 500 years were Catalan independence is possible.

Catalans should think of themselves first, and not everyone else telling them what they should do. A lot of current small nations in Europe have had to go through hardship to gain independence. Slovenia had to fight a week long war to gain independence from Yugoslavia, against the advice of the EU. And you can be sure this was not allowed by the Yugoslavian constitution. Now it is a full EU member and has held the set of the rotating presidency of the European Council. Achieving independence might be a hard process. But the naysayers can say what they will when you are through to the other side.

In a modern day Europe, the democratic will of the people shouldn't have to go to those sorts of lengths to achieve political independence. And it is good to notice that while Madrid is prepared to send riot police and give them permission to use brutal and exessive force to stop people from doing a democratic activity like voting, the independence movement prides itself on its non-violent nature. Whether the use of exessive force still is acceptable for a modern european democracy against a democratic movement with democratic legitimacy, we might find out in the next few days.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:50 pm


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