FREEDOM!!!! [4]

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:14 pm

This was already announced before the declaration. And would have been pronounced in any case, whether there was a declaration or not. The catalan president tried to make a deal with Madrid as recently as thursday where there would have been autonomous elections, but Madrid failed to give assurances that Catalan autonomy would not be seized and the election would run in a democratic manner.

The Catalan government will mostly ignore this, and go on functioning normally. It does tell you who you are dealing with however, here there is no chance to have a voice on your own future. Spanish unity rules all, whatever international law might say. And it doesn't help that the measures the Spanish government are looking to implement are not allowed by the Spanish constitution. You are not allowed by art. 155 to dissolve a regional parliament, sack the president of an autonomous region or call elections, but in Spain the law is mostly what the ruling party says. (Spain is below China in the rankings for judicial independence.)

Nevermind the bizarreness idea that a government can dismiss the government of another country that has declared itself independent. It is a means to take away any chance for the catalans to show effective rule over their territory. This ultimately is the conflict. Who can show effective rule.

If there is violence it will be from the Spanish government or pro-unity fascist ultra groups, like the one that attacked the offices of catalan radio, people in the street and on the whole created a bad atmosphere on the streets of Barcelona yesterday. The Catalan independence movement prides itself on being peaceful and non-violent and it will go on being so.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent a strong message yesterday, that while the EU, where Spain is member, obviously only recognizes Spain, you wouldn't expect an supranational organization to side against its own member state, violence as a means to end the conflict will not be accepted. Madrid has called elections as quickly as law allows, 54 days. Reneging on their previously stated aim of ruling Catalunya from Madrid for 6 months before calling elections, showing clearly that they have at least grasped the reality that a declared independent Catalunya cannot effectively be ruled from Madrid.

The wind is in the sails of the Catalans however, the choice is still the same, liberty and democracy or repression and authoritarianism. In the end without the possibility of violent use of force by the police and army, Catalunya cannot be ruled effectively by Madrid. And once you have planted the idea of freedom in peoples hearts I am sure more and more will seize it, because the dream is there now for the taking. And if the catalan people want it, they can make it a reality.

The easy and democratic way to solve this conflict would always have been to hold a referendum, let each side make a campaign and let people vote. It is quite likely that the government might have manage to scare enough people off independence to win, as they managed in Scotland and Quebec (with the slightest of margins). That we are instead where we are today should tell you a lot.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:48 pm

The Catalan president will speak at 14:30 from the Palau de la Generalitat. ("Weird," you say. "I thought he was fired yesterday." Rolling Eyes )  We will know more then.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:02 pm

He basically said:

"We will oppose the measures of art. 155 democratically.

Ask for patience and perspective from catalans.

We must remain peaceful and respectful, to people of all opinions.

Does not recognize his dismissal as in a democracy only parliament can dismiss a president, and only the catalan parliament can dismiss the president of the generalitat.

We will go on building a free nation together."

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:33 am


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:25 am

There is reason for concern. Today, the head of the Catalan autonomous police force accepted Madrid's cessation of his office and let Madrid elect his successor. (From within the ranks of the body.) He had already been charged by the Spanish state for his actions on the 1st of October, curiously for following the order given and acting in a proportional manner in carrying out his duty. This was the token reason given for his substitution.

It is a hard blow, because the catalan police force is the creation and competence of the Catalan autonomous government. And it puts in peril any argument they might have had of establishing effective control of their territory.

But, this all forgets one thing. Catalan independence is only based on one thing, popular will. The victory of the independence parties in the regional elections in 2015 (48%/39% on a record 75% participation) and the referendum (90% of 43% voting for independence, despite the police attacking people in the street for trying to vote, raiding polling stations seizing ballots boxes and seizing and destroying and indeterminate amount of ballots, making the numbers above not reflective of the voted reality.) That is the power of the independence movement. Which has had to run the whole course up until this point against the full repression of the Spanish state.

Monday will be an important day. On Monday we will get the response from the newly declared republic. Important to remember, Catalunya now is a tinder box. The intervention of the Spanish state, too the degree it is effective and perhaps in violation of international law, is not seen in a good light, even by those on the fence. There is a line, if Madrid oversteps it, the whole weight of the independence movement and a whole lot of people in the middle will come down on them. Of course, peacefully, because that is the founding characteristic of the independence movement.

That is why the PP government in Madrid have taken things so easily so far. Even they have seen that now is not the time for the moronic violent and brash actions of October 1st. They are trying to rule by decree and intimidation. There are still 2,5 to 3m supporters of the republic in Catalunya (of a voting population of about 5,2m (of which at highest 75% has ever turned out to vote, so the opposing unionist side will be nowhere near the same percentage representation)).

Popular will is the foundation of the Catalan republic. Trying to stamp it out is what the people who would prefer to be an independent republic needs. A reason to stand up for it. Outright peaceful revolt in Catalonia would sink the Spanish economy and put the euro-zone in distinct peril. The catalans have the force to force the issue by voting with their feet. Whether they do so is a choice.

The nationally governing Popular Party has 8% of the vote in the current Catalan parliament, and polls show that percentage sinking. A PP government trying to rule Catalunya might do the republic as many favors as it hurts it.

All in all, remember, we are here because the Spanish government would not allow a simple vote on self-determination to take place, and then sent riot police to beat up peaceful and defenseless people and voters. Never forget that part. Because Catalans won't.


Last edited by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:59 am

https://twitter.com/LBC/status/924252662308118529

More reason to miss the Scottish voice in Europe..

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:36 am

Bluebottle wrote:There is a line, if Madrid oversteps it, the whole weight of the independence movement and a whole lot of people in the middle will come down on them. Of course, peacefully, because that is the founding characteristic of the independence movement.

I really, really hope so! But it would be naive not to acknowledge that civil disobedience is by it's nature a powder keg with a lighted match. That's the implied threat. That's the source of it's power. All I'm saying is, be prepared for bloodshed. I've seen first hand how very little it takes to trigger an explosion.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:32 am

It has been the primary characteristic of the movement since day one. As everyone could see on the 1st of October. So, everyone, the catalans included will hope it stays that way. Any violence that has taken place so far has mostly been either by Spanish police, or pro-Union far right protesters attacking people and buildings.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:47 pm

I understand, but when the atmosphere is charged with this much energy, it takes almost nothing to cause a spark. A recent example:

A good friend of mine who works with the homeless community in a nearby city and is well trained in non-violence was attending a public demonstration a couple months ago as a peace keeper, along with a partner (they like to work in pairs.)

A young homeless girl who slept nearby had all her possessions in a wheeled suitcase, which the police, who were also trying to keep the peace, mistook for a possible bomb. They confronted the girl and ordered her to drop it (which was their job). She refused (as is natural), so the police took it from her by force. She resisted. They used more force, which escalated into a beating.

My friend and his partner (following their nonviolence training) put themselves over the girl to protect her, whereupon they too were beaten, pepper sprayed and arrested.

The story goes on, continuing to spin out of control, but it's not really mine to tell on a public forum. The point is that when electricity is in the air, even something as simple as an innocent homeless person walking by with a bag or backpack can be the spark that suddenly explodes into violence and bloodshed.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:24 pm

Yeah, little things like "will you give it back to me once you've looked at it" that could defuse a situation aren't likely to occur to people under stress. Or the police saying the same thing in reverse. Suddenly everyone's fighting for themselves and the stakes remain too high to take any risks until there's nothing left to fight for.

If the Catalans have trained themselves in the history of the Indian Independence movement or the American Civil Rights movement, they may just make it through this. But if they haven't all totally thought through the rules and reasoning of non-violent protest it can get real ugly.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:59 pm

That is exactly it, the by-word is Ghandian resistance. And they have held 7 years of mass demonstrations without incident. Even on the day after the 1st of October 750 000 people showed their disgust for the actions of the Spanish police in the streets of Barcelona peacefully. So, lets hope that continues. Violence doesn't help the independence movements cause at all.

The two pro-Union demonstrations held so far has however both seen scenes of violence, with people attacked in the streets, the offices of Catalan Radio attacked, fights with the police today by far-right, even self declared fascist groups.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:10 am

Petty, and anyone else from an EU country obv. If you'd like to send a formal complaint to the European Commission about the police violence and general activities of the Spanish government in Catalunya you can do so as an EU citizen here (I think it's a quite straight forward form.):

https://ec.europa.eu/assets/sg/report-a-breach/complaints_en/index.html

More in depth explanation:
https://www.socialeurope.eu/taking-spanish-government-law

I obv can't, Norway not being in the EU..

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:29 am

Wait, isn't Great Britain exited from the EU?

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:31 am

They are working on it Razz and not doing all that good a job of it Sofa

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:55 pm


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:30 am


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:41 am


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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:54 pm

Google translate works better than I expected.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Yes, when you move to a much used language translation, like german/english, the translation is shockingly good.

I found the last of the two articles strangely moving. (The first one is for obvious reasons.) We live in bad times. Trump, populism, Turkey, and with democracy now imploding in Spain the change has reached the heart of human rights as a universal concept, Europe. And the silence of the EU on the matter is deafening. The fundamental rights we established in Europe to move past the ghost of the 1930-1940s are fraying at the edges in these situations. We though we had moved forward, but we seem to be moving in circles. Let us hope this is not a precursor of something worse Neutral

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:21 am








https://twitter.com/GavinLeeBBC/status/929440496291909632

Catalonia tonight, 3,3km long pro-independence protest against political prisoners.

Peaceful, dignified, striking and memorable. Images that will be remembered for a long time, I think.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:29 am

Excellent! That's the right way to do it! Nod

Just curious, what was the police response?

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:36 pm

Nothing as far as I am aware. Above, the normal duty of keeping people safe. The Catalan ind movement has always been peaceful. Smile

Catalunya has its own devolved police force. The people you saw perpetrating acts of violence on the 1st of October was either National Police or Guardia Civil bussed in from other parts of Spain, rumors say from parts with high anti-catalan sentiment. The Spanish government just made the police operation against the referendum a state secret, effectively removing it from democratic control and oversight. That includes cost of the national police presence in Catalunya, but numbers for that had already been made public. By the 8th of October the police presence had already cost more than 30m €. They are all still there..

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:59 pm

A big part of the problem, when the national media bury both the nature and size of the independence movement and the popular support for independence in Catalunya:

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/929640550398955520
https://twitter.com/AlbanoDante76/status/929630780778795008

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:22 am



https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/milers-de-persones-es-concentren-davant-els-ajuntaments-per-a-exigir-lalliberament-de-sanchez-i-cuixart/

Further demonstrations against political prisoners. And, yes, they are political prisoners. Charged for crimes they could not have committed. Jailed provisionally to prevent reiteration, of legitimate political activity, because that was what they had to play with when the spanish government wanted the judiciary to send them to prison, whatever the law said:

Jordi Nieva-Fenoll, Professor of legal procedure at Universidad de Barcelona (my translation):

«Having said that, it must be affirmed immediately and with serene vehemence that prison is completely inadmissible for several strictly legal reasons. Reviewing the magistrate's case, the most extensive part of it focuses on developing a story that supports a crime of rebellion. The instructor is extended in that there was a coordinated action and that it involved many people to articulate an independence process, something that no one doubts and that, by the way, in law is perfectly legitimate, as long as no legal norm is violated, there is no need to forget it. It is like pretending the republic or any change of regime, as long as you do not want to move towards a dictatorship. In a democracy, the population can be urged and mobilized in this sense. If you do not violate any legal rule for it, nothing has to be said.

But after that, the case focuses on justifying the occurrence of violence, when it has not existed from any point of view. Let's be clear: the violence is barricades, stones, weapons, threats and many other means that causes chills to even mention. None of this has existed in the independence mobilizations, as all international actors have recognized. Only some absurd disorders and very specific damages to the patrimony have been registered, but nothing that resembles at all the violence of an insurrection. Absolutely nothing. Many of the many anti-system mobilizations -these are insurrectional- of the last decades have been accompanied by real violence, and not the acts of mobilization or, at most, passive resistance that have nothing to do with execrable acts of aggression.

Consequently, since there is no violence, there is no rebellion, or even sedition because none of the mobilizations intended to put anyone outside the legal system. That is to say, that the crime for which the various accused have been imprisoned today simply does not exist. And there being no such crime, prison can not be applied. Neither in the case of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart. I hope that the Criminal Chamber of the National Court will correct these manifestly erroneous resolutions with the same meteoric speed the imprisonments have been decided.»
http://agendapublica.elperiodico.com/no-no-procedia-la-prision/

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:55 pm

A bit of an astounding moment from a legal perspective today, the president of Catalunya and four of his councilors (ministers) are currently in semi asylum in Belgium. (I say president because his removal was unconstitutional.)

Spain has requested extradition on the charges mentioned in the post above. In that context the Belgian prosecutor has asked for assurances of their treatment in Spanish prison.

Today the Foreign Minister of Spain managed to assure the international media and Belgium that the cell they will put Puigdemont in and the treatment he will receive will be of the best quality.

Problem: His imprisonment, which would be provisional pending trial, has not been officially decided. (The supreme court released the members of the board of the parliament of Catalunya on bail for the same charges, a superior court to the one currently overseeing the Puigdemont+councilors case.)

This is separation of power in Spain..

https://twitter.com/boye_g/status/931564691591192578

https://twitter.com/JoanQueralt/status/931557421444685824

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