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Barcelona kids as human shields for Oct 1 referendum
rights, freedoms and repression |
Saturday September 30, 2017 14:44 by iosaf mac diarmada
final opinion poll : 62% intend to vote 83% will vote yes to independent republic
October 1st, tomorrow at time of writing shall see the "illegal referendum on Catalan independence and conversion to a republic". On September 20th the central Spanish state launched an extraordinary campaign of intimidation and criminalisation. Ministers of the regional government were arrested. Printers were searched and ballot papers confiscated. Websites were closed down. 3 cruise liners hired by the Spanish state provide accommodation to police and paramilitary police drafted in to prevent voting, counting and disemination of information related to the referendum.
I shall later provide more information drawing on the wealth of archived articles on this node of indymedia which I hope and always hoped would explain the route from the fringe to centre of the process of Catalan self-determination. For the moment, the final opinion poll published today shows the intent of 63% of the enfranchised wish to vote & of those 83% will vote yes.
over 9 million ballot papers have been seized by Spanish police often with scant legality. Here I hold a handful. like many I distribute
I shall be updating from this moment on until the end of this process. IF a majority of votes counted (it remains to be seen where and how they shall be counted) are in favour of an independent republic, a unilateral declaration of independence shall be made within 48 hours by the Catalan parliament. It remains to be seen where and how the Catalan parlament shall meet to make that declaration.
In the last few weeks, this process has gone far beyond nationalism. IT now touches the core European values of democracy and freedom from state repression.
I have just given the fourth interview to TV and Radio organisations in 3 days, ranging from Spanish national to Paris cable, interviews in English, Spanish, Catalan and French.
My experiences formed through 17 years living in Barcelona have suddenly become noteworthy. Just as my avowed honesty when describing my writing, texts and pirate radio broadcasts :- I have never claimed to be a journalist who searches for "two sides of the story" pretending to be a neutral observer. Most European news organisations having based their correspondents and coverage of Spanish state affairs in Madrid have made the grave error of underestimating the feeling of Catalans of their nationhood and difference.
They have subscribed to the notion that the referendum and process is deeply divisive.
62% of the enfranchised intend to vote
83% intend on voting YES.
I admit to the readers that this was not the case a month ago. The more the central Spanish state in the hands of the unionist, conservative and true heirs to Franco's technocratic final stage of fascism the PP ignored or worse demeaned legitimate complaints from Catalonia and criminalised not only Catalan independence groups, Republican groups but most recently left the alternative left and anarcho-syndicalist formations open to attack, the more the silent majority moved to supporting referendum and independence.
Revolution is in the air. I use no hyperbole. Imagine if your part of Ireland was still a part of the UK and planned on a referendum on independence which London declared illegal and then cruise liners of British police arrived at your ports to stop your vote and your balllot papers were confiscated and your websites and google apps closed.......
Would you on a Friday evening occupy your local school without complain from local police or authorities with your chilren and use your children as a human shield to guarantee democracy and more the human right to express politcal opinion in any media and form peaceful assembly????
'Think about it honestly and frankly. Ask yourself how many of your neighbours in your town of Ireland or suburb of Dublin would do such a thing. Would you think it fair that either RTE or the Irish Times continue the pretence of a silent majority supporting Madrid???
This has gone far beyond nationalism & what is usually seen as Catalan-ism :-
Last Sunday the third biggest political grouping in Spain held a meeting in the city of Zaragoza in Aragon. In attendance were the speaker of the Aragones regional parliament, various deputies of the Spanish parliament and the mayor of Barcelona. Several hundred supporters of the Falange (Spain’s far right party) arrived to disrupt the meeting where the political party “Podemos” took the decision to support a future referendum which would be legal and agreed between Catalonia and Spain, and reassert its manifesto that the Spanish constitution of 1978 (85% of the voters for which have now died) is defective and needs to be reformed. Oh yes - and that the party (my party) supports the establishment of a republic.
The CPE attempted to stop the far right protesters from entering the conference hall. But they were outnumbered. Zaragoza a city of 700.000 souls had only 17 police officers left to deal with public order and prevent riot. Where were the other øpolice officers I sense you asking??? on the boat above before Warner Brothers thought it distasteful to be associated with the Spanish state’s ideas of legality.
During the altercation, the speaker of the regional parliament of Aragon, a senior politician in any democracy was hit on the head by a bottle thrown by a fascist.
Above you can see a photograph of me holding a bust of General Franco and a handful of A6 papers which bear the following script written in Catalan, Spanish & Occitan which I shall translate for Quora readers to English.
Referendum on self-determination of Catalonia 2017
Do you wish that Catalonia be an independent state in the form of a republic?
YES - NO
mark the option you desire.
Those pieces of paper I am holding are the same size and bear the same text as the ballot papers for the referendum which shall be celebrated in the city where I have lived for 17 years this coming Sunday.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees my right to free opinion and expression in whatever medium of those opinions.
Imagine for a moment you held those pieces of paper in your hand and you were showing them to a shopkeeper who has kept your loyal custom for over 15 years and with whom you enjoy short chats about various topics including current affairs. Now imagine that standing next to you was a man in uniform who told you that those pieces of paper were illegal and demanded you give him those pieces of paper and demanded that you present to him your identification. Imagine if that man in uniform was a member of police force which has no quotidien jurisdiction in your neighbourhood except where expressly authorised in operations against drug trafficking, terrorism or illegal migration. That is exactly what happened to me today. I am a European, an Irish citizen, fluent in the Spanish and Catalan languages, a community political activist, a political theorist, intellectual, articulate blaa blaa blaa et cetera &c., Do you think I am correct in considering the incident this afternoon which I described as an abuse of power and uniform within five minutes to another man in uniform. The second man was a member of the Catalan police force. He has jurisdiction. The Spanish national “CPE” had entered the tobacco shop (as I) to buy cigarettes. It is located opposite the CPE station in central Barcelona. He has no authority except acting on express orders from the ministry of the interior. Indeed he and his colleagues may not stop their vehicles in Barcelona without permission. They are housed at present on 3 cruise liners.
I shall continue to update from now on through the events of tonight and tomorrow and the counting and onwards.
History is being made & quite indulgently I ruefully admit I have found myself on site again. I owe it the IMC collective to report.