As I sat down to write up the top story of the day, which is the story of the Catalonian referendum and the thuggery by what amount to the Spanish Federal police, I came across an article written by one of my Facebook friends, Claire S Bernish, who happens to write for themindunleashed.com (among other news sites). Claire’s article gives an excellent summary of recent events, including a key reaction by the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, who issued a defiant statement in the face of the Spanish brutality.
From the article:
Catalonia has “won right to statehood,” as results of a plebiscite vote for independence from Spain — declared illegal and banned by the Spanish government — preliminarily but decisively show no less than 89 percent enduring brutal police violence to declare support for the cleft from current rule.
“On this day of hope and suffering, Catalonia’s citizens have earned the right to have an independent state in the form of a republic,” asserted Catalonia regional leader, Carles Puigdemont.
“My government, in the next few days, will send the results of [the] vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.”
The vote tally so far indicates that among those who decided to vote in the referendum, on whether to declare independence for Catalonia and exit the Spanish Federation, 90+% of the people voted to leave. To be sure, the vote may be skewed given the pressure the Spanish Federation was putting on people not to vote, as well as the strong arm tactics it deployed to attempt to shut down (in some cases successfully) polling places, as well as to seize ballots (again in some places successfully.
I wrote about the incredibly bad strategy of the Spanish brute a couple of weeks ago:
Today, September 20th, Spanish authorities have arrested 12 people in raids. Among those arrested include one of the secessionist leaders, Joseph Maria Jove, the Secretary General of Economic Affairs for the Catalan government. Europa Press, Spain’s news outlet, reported that those arrested were mostly from the economic and foreign departments of the Catalan government. Details of the raids are clouded in secrecy on the order of an unnamed judge.
There have been demonstrates ongoing all day today in the streets of Barcelona in support of Catalan independence.
After the raids, the Finance Ministry of the Spanish government has imposed financial restrictions on the Catalan government in an effort to ensure the Catalan government is not able to use these funds to pay for the October 1st referendum. The order, signed yesterday, September 19th, was revealed today. It essentially places all control of spending by the Catalan government in the hands of officials in Madrid, the Spanish capital.
Let us pause for a moment and take in the high quality derpage (technical term) just demonstrated by the National government. Remember, support for independence in Catalonia is about 50 percent, perhaps a bit less. You’ve essentially managed to knock down a legally binding referendum to the level of a public opinion poll that will have built in biases to it, biases that will pretty much discredit its results. You’ve won. And your response is to essentially remove ALL of the sovereignty of the region of Catalonia.
You see, the old saying goes something like this, “he who has the gold, has the power.” Madrid took all the gold from Barcelona. Now, what do you think a move like this will do to the Catalans? Will it tilt the needle of support towards favoring the national government, or will it create more Catalan secessionists?
“You see, we decided that, in the interest of preserving the rights of the Catalan citizens, we would strip them of their right to self-determination. In order for a people to truly be free, they must first be in bondage to higher, arbitrary powers.”
Yes, that’s what the Spanish national government is essentially saying to the so-called citizens of Catalonia. You can’t have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat, or, you can’t have your right to self-determination if you don’t eat your boot-to-the-face sandwich.
What has happened since then is a parade of videos showing Spanish Police beating on Catalans, beating on men, women, the elderly, and even Fire Fighters. In addition to that, the militant action of the Spanish Federal government has emboldened fascists to rise up and join in the assault on the Catalans.
From Claire’s excellent article:
Paramilitary Civil Guard and national police indelicately removed people attempting to vote, unceremoniously dropping men, women, and the elderly — with varying degrees of serious injury — onto the pavement at the feet of awaiting Catalans and regional police; the latter of which confronted Spanish authorities and were seen in tears as they defended the defenseless from fascistic attacks.
— Magda Gregori (@MagdaGregori) October 1, 2017
If you go to Claire’s article you can read a lot more about the various reactions, see videos and more surrounding this terrible event.
As I stated a couple of weeks ago, Spain’s heavy-handed actions, rather than calming the situation, rather than setting back the independence movement of Catalonia, has merely enhanced and strengthened the movement.
It is difficult to say whether or not the support for Catalan indepenence is actually at 90% or not. It is telling, however, that almost 45% of those eligible to vote actually braved the threat of the Spanish Police baton and ventured to the polling places. It is also not much of a stretch to assume that whatever the percentage of Catalans that supported independence, that percentage is sure to have significantly grown in the aftermath of a brutal crackdown that revealed Spain is not so far removed from Franco after all.