Saturday, October 21, 2017

Yellow ribbon

Today’s monster rally in Barcelona, organized by the Catalan independence movement will introduce in its choreography a yellow ribbon. Two of the leaders of the main organizations, the Omnium Cultural and the ANC (Catalonia National Assembly) have been jailed by the Spanish authorities on charges of “sedition”. The Catalan nationalists want their soldiers back.

The Catalan recent history evolves around the so-called “prucés”: the process towards the independence of this piece of the Iberian Peninsula, by the Mediterranean sea, historically a nation with a cultural, language and social distance from the Spanish Kingdom. I am forced to refer the reader to the previous entries of this blog and suggest to get information from other sources because this “process” is a long and convoluted affair, pitching the Catalans against the Spanish state, right now reaching perhaps the highest point of the conflict.

All the rallies, bringing crowds of more than two million people to the streets and avenues of Barcelona six times over, have been peaceful, festive, colorful and without any even minor incident. When the crowds disperse, they leave not a single paper on the floor, no a single glass has broken either.

Jordi Cuixart, of Omnium and Jordi Sanchez, of ANC, have been involved in the organization of the for independence activities since the beginning, some seven years ago. This was right after the Spanish government torn off the new “Estatut”, the new constitutional statute for Catalonia, even after it had been approved by the Catalan Parliament and the Spanish Congress. The Spanish government has been acting as a colonial power since, and the Catalans fed up with the situation, have taken to the streets, organized a referendum to decide whether the Catalans want to stay with Spain or become a new state in the form of a Republic. The referendum was considered illegal by the government and sent paramilitary police, the Guardia civil of infamous memory, to remove the ballot boxes and close the voting sites using disproportionate violence against peaceful voters, causing 1,065 casualties amongst them, many elder citizens.

The Two Jordis (“The two Georges”) have been jailed on some trumped charges, the judge inventing a “new” criminal charge: organizing “tumultuous” peaceful demonstrations”. A sort of oxymoron legalese. Furthermore, they have been brought to the Audiencia Nacional, National Court, a special court that holds no authority over these particular legal issues. The AN seats in Madrid, so the two Jordis have been taken to Madrid and jailed in a nearby high-security prison, in what looks like a hostage taking maneuver. They really are political prisoners.

The Spanish government plans next week to take to the Upper camera, the Senate, a set of interventions over the Catalan administration, taking over the economy, the law enforcement and even the public media (Catalan tv and radio), for all practical purposes annihilating the already crunched Catalan autonomy.

This is going to lead the whole “prucés” one big leap forward, most likely leading to the proclamation of the independence by the Catalan government and Parliament in the next few days.

Stay tuned for new developments.

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