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Freedom for Catalonia!

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THE ONLY WAY OUT

I call on to all the people in the world who truly believe and stand up for democracy: please support the right for self-determination from the Catalan people. I know many of you come to our country as tourists and think nothing is going on here, but we are in the borderline of a revolution. Because if we cannot get our independence democratically, we are not willing to stay here to suffer whatever the Spanish government will punish us with. We are like that slave that has been beaten all her life and cannot take it anymore: finally she revolts for freedom.

Next 27th September, Catalan people we will vote for our parliament, but we will also vote for independence from the Spanish state, again. Yes, we voted in 2012 democratically, and we obtained majority of pro-independence parties in the parliament, but our politicians did not come to an agreement to declare independence then. And yes, we voted again last year for the same matter in an official referendum, where over 2 million people voted yes, where a majority of Catalan citizens and Catalans all over the world voted that we chose for Catalan self-determination. But our government and parliament, frightened by the Spanish government threats, did not declare independence last year. split

Hopefully, as an old Catalan saying confirms, the third time is when we win…. well when we make it happen, better said, because we already won elections and referendum in the last 4 years. However, this time we are not voting with normal parties, but important people from our society and politics scope have joined in a common list with the promise that if they get elected our current president will declare independence in 6 months after the elections.

Wonder why 6 months? Why? If election results proof that the majority of Catalan people want our country to be an independent state from Spain, why waiting 6 months for declaring it? Actually it will take us at least 2 years from the moment of independence declaration until we are really divorced from the Spanish state, so the sooner we declare it, the better, right? But no, politicians and company owners are so terrified of the consequences that they rather take some more time, maybe so the Spanish corrupted law system obliges our representatives to give up or until the army can summit our cities and institutions by force? I honestly don’t know what makes me feel more indignant of this situation, whether the stupid undemocratic attitude of the Spanish representatives or the ineffectiveness of our own representatives to execute what the majority of Catalan people have already voted democratically several times.

And the worst, but must it be mentioned, is the attitude of those who do not support independence: not because they will vote no, which is perfectly licit, but because they have surrendered to the brainwash of Spanish media to the point of believing that voting is actually anti-democratic, or that the Spanish government will ever stop plundering Catalonia. Come on! They live from it! How do you think they pay for their limos and luxury hotels? It does not come from the 24% GDP Catalonia provides to the Spanish state (that goes to pay the bills of Madrid and Andalusia), but from the over 15 millions of Euros they steal from Catalan people every year for the last 40 years, counting only since Franco died. If only we could count all the resources and money taken away from Dictators Franco and HitlerCatalonia to satisfy Spanish aristocracy pockets or cover government luxury expenses for the last 300 years! Or if we truly quantify all the peopled killed for defending Catalonia, or killed just for being Catalan, I believe many other countries would found the number horrifying, such genocide suffered here for such a long time, counting loss of lives over the Nazi holocaust.

But it is also indignant, and sad, that some people who recently supported independence precisely for economic issues, are telling me they are tired of this process, a process that is lasting barely 4 years and that could have taken 2 or 3. I agree it is unnecessary to make it longer. But thinking alike them, what would be the economical benefit of staying in the Spanish state? Shouldn’t you be eager to get your salaries higher?

what-you-need-to-know-about-todays-catalonia-independence-vote-in-spain

Anyhow, so far we are one month ahead of the election day and no party supporting Spain, has made their case for Catalan people to vote for them. What are their promises? To stay as we are? What future will we have if we stay? It is actually more uncertain from an economical perspective to stay in the Spanish state than starting-up alone. Even if we have to vote for a single list now, which does not fit in my good understanding of what could have been such a list, but if this is the only way out, let’s go for it. However, if we win again next month and we wait 6 months and the Catalan government does not make a declaration of independence, for whatever the reason, I am positive people’s indignation will indeed grow to dangerous level, taking us closer to a revolution that could generate more economical instability in Europe, something the EU and Mrs Merkel are obviously not interested to promote.

Therefore, in any case, support Catalonia’s right for self-determination!

We have given too much and too many lives to defend our culture and our freedom!

Let us be free! Freedom for Catalonia

demo NY 2014

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Translation of Mr Lluís Companys’ (president of Generalitat) discourse to the people of Catalonia on the 30th March 1938

This discourse has been recently recovered by Generalitat from the general military archives in Ávila amongst other important documentation that was being kept in Spain. They were initially confiscated by the Gestapo in 1940 from the Paris office Generalitat had during the times of its exile. Gestapo later delivered these documents to Franco’s fascist police. After years of requests and demonstrations, lluiscompanysdocumentation containing this discourse was finally sent back to Catalonia on the 10th March 2015. Here the amazing words of Mr. Companys, some of them still make sense today, despite the discourse was written during Franco’s fascist invasion.

 

 

 

“For our freedom and for our independence

Get the guns against traitors, against invaders

People of Catalonia

I talk to you in these moments when I search more than ever within my weaknesses of my abilities and conditions, the best resources in order to be worthy of being the President of the Generalitat, with all the responsibility in these historical circumstances and to be worthy of my own obligation as a Catalan person and a man. I talk to you in these moments searching desperately for the words that could describe the intensity and complexity of my own feelings as a human being, but it’s hard to find those words.

On the 18th July our country, using the forces of Generalitat government and supported by civilians, was able to defeat, annihilate, undo and chase out of the Catalan borders the military fascist forces that dared taking arms against the Republic. Our territory was cleaned of these rebel factions. However, the war ignited by this betrayal has devastated Spain. Catalan soldiers were present in all fronts defending the Spanish republic government, giving the best of their energy and resources.

The military uprising, which was conceived abroad, has become a civil war for independence. The old monarchic flag, a symbol of oppression, is now blushing its colors due to the shame of being confused with foreign flags. This war of desolation and tragedy unleashed in the territory of the Republic, has become a glorious epopoeia for universal law and justice within Europe and the world.

During this time, Catalonia has been the place where the Spanish republican government has been operating from. And in our country we have also received thousands of civilians of other sister lands and heroes from other places of the Iberian Peninsula. The republic of Spain gained the support of the Catalan people by recognizing their Statue as a nation. It was the beginning of our freedom and historical reparation for the past oppression. Thus, the union of the Catalan and Spanish republican governments against those who want to dissolve the Republic, is strong and sealed with the blood and the fire of the men and women united in glorious sacrifice heroically defending Republic in all Spanish territories.

300px-Los_presos_políticos_en_el_patio_de_la_Cárcel_Modelo,_en_Mundo_Gráfico_12_de_noviembre_de_1930
In prinson, Lluís Companys,his son, Àngel Pestaña, Joan Lluhí i Vallescà and Emili Granier Barrera, November 1930.

But now it is me speaking, talking to you Catalan people, hoping my words are strong like a mass and sharp like a knife. I talk to the people in the countryside, where I preached propaganda when I was young. I talk to the workers, with who I shared prison many times. I talk to the middle class, to the intellectual groups; in fact, I talk to all the people of Catalonia, disregarding what they think and their social condition, because I speak in the name of our nation. I speak in the name of our beautiful and wonderful Catalonia, a magnificent country with fertile fields, a nation with an indelible trace through democracy along our history. Our people have a particular character: we believe in liberalism and democracy, we believe in peace, we love art but work hard. That is Catalonia! Our Catalonia, its name makes our hearts shake with emotion and touches all of the fibres of our soul. I talk to those of you who love the place you were born, and where your children were born too, who know well those spots of our country, full of poetry and charm in our beloved land, where the sea, the mountains and the sun align so that we can live and work well, where our love for our nation and fraternity within men can flourish. I speak to all of you in your language, the same you learned since you were born and reminds you to the first words you heard from your mother.

I talk to all Catalan people! I would like to pass on them all the patriotic love, all the civic obligation, all the bravery in front of History, all the interest towards the future, for only one thing. One word that we did not want to say, but we had to use it and hear it, and for the last two years we have given ourselves to it without measure. One word that has become absolutely necessary, obligatory and sacred to all citizens of the Republic; but now, if possible, this word should have more sublime and heroic vibrations. One only word: WAR! Everybody must go to war, we all have to give our lives, if necessary, to fight this war and win, for the honor and duty and life of Catalonia. For the independence of the Republic and for democracy in the universal concert of human civilization.

From the very first moment, Catalonia has been in the right place in all the active fronts. But now, foreign armies are at the door of our homes. They bring in their souls a particular interest in submitting and mocking our people, because they know our nation has always favored culture instead of violence, freedom instead of tyranny. Catalonia principles condense the meaning of their fight against the world. They have totalitarian conceptions of state, oppression systems, imperialistic ambitions, dominant classes against democracy and liberalism, whereas here our people’s legitimate concerns are canalized peacefully, searching for the most pure forms of justice and stability. They hate everything we represent, even our structure, environment, history, life rhythm, the invaluable core of our spirit. If they feet touch Catalan territory, it would shake Catalonia subsoil and our mountains would tremble in shame. Our language would be prosecuted, our institutions plundered, our people submitted and our habits mocked. “VOE VICTIS”, moors and other foreign soldiers trying to dominate our Catalan nation! This cannot happen, Catalan people, not in fact, not in name, it is not in favor of Catalonia past or future.

We must be aware of the depth and width of the majestic moment that we are living, a time in History clicking bells all over the world, a time that will penetrate in the depths of the future. Catalan people! Catalan people! We must work and we must fight. We must resist, because resistance means triumph. Multiple interests may connect themselves in the coming possibilities. The head of the Spanish republican government, Dr Negrín, he pointed out in his vigorous discourse the day before yesterday, what our approach must be: RESIST! All Catalan people must be an example. Both, a general mobilization to work in the fortifications and military mobilization to move men to the battlefront must happen. Our soldiers fight fiercely at the borders of our territory. Each of them is where they should be, everybody in the rearguard is following their duties strictly. Every soldier is a giant, and every Catalan is a soldier!

Being Catalan means being a heroic warrior in the dictionary of history. Let’s fight for victory, brothers! For the victory that we will celebrate just here, a decisive bastion and glorious definitive wall.

Air up the flag of the Republic! Let it blow in the wind, covered in glory in front of the world undaunted eyes. All Catalan people wear the Catalan four red bars printed on their chests and in their souls. And we shall execute a tenacious resistance, a terrible one so we can prepare the next action to push invaders out of the republican territories.

-Who are you?

-I am Catalan in the unbreakable and invincible wall of love and defense for my nation.

-What do you want? Why do you shoot your guns and spread blood?

-I fight against the invaders in my country. I fight in front of the whole world and the infinite space for the name and the existence of Catalonia. I want to win and deserve the peace that I love.

I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT FREEDOM

LONG LIVE CATALONIA!”

You can find the scanned originals in Catalan as well as Spanish translation in this link: http://www.memoria.cat/lluis-companys-avila/udiscurs-del-president-de-la-generalitat-al-poble-de-catalunya-contra-els-traidors-contra-els-invaso

senyera-gran-o-gegant-amb-anelles-per-pal-mastil

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Pseudo democracy in Cabrera de mar

Yesterday, in the middle of the process towards Catalan independence, I was denied my right to vote in the municipal elections at Cabrera de Mar, in Catalonia. The census for the elections was closed according to them 6 months ago and I registered in the town hall only 4 months ago. Actually, when I went last February to register upon arrival from the Netherlands, they confirmed I would be able to vote presenting my identification. I did at least 3 phone calls to the town-hall in the 3 and 4 previous weeks to elections to confirm that information because I had not received the vote notification over the post, and they told me it was only informative and I had right to vote presenting my identification and registration in the town-hall. Last week, when I was doing something else at the town-hall of Cabrera, I decided to reconfirm the issue and only then they informed me I would not be allowed to vote and it was too late to try to vote over the post. I consulted online the Spanish law for elections and I could check myself that the head of the table was obliged to accept my vote despite I would not appear on the list if I presented the necessary documentation. I asked about that at the town-hall, but they denied it. Before leaving I processed a claim against the misinformation of the town-hall jerks.

At last we got to the election day yesterday 24th may. I went to my correspondent school and table with my family to vote. Since I was not in the lists they told me I should go to the town-hall and there I would be allowed to vote. But when I went they did not let me vote, instead they were waiting for me with a complain form for the census office. I mentioned again that the law would oblige the head of the electoral table to accept my vote with my documentation, and they denied it again. I asked the general secretary of the town-hall would check it personally, but he did not dare to go out of this office saying he was too busy, when it was Sunday and the town-hall was deserted. The woman who attended me did not want to check that information with me either, despite it enabled me to vote.

I went out of the town-hall on a rush back to the voting place, where I also found the major, Mr.Mir. He coerced the head of the electoral table saying if he allowed me to vote all the votes of this table would be refuted, impugned. Somebody reminded the major that the correct procedure in this situation is that the head of the electoral table places that vote separately along with few others in similar circumstances being out of the list, so that the regional electoral board would approve it. But he fearful guy said he would not do anything that would cause him trouble, under the look of the major telling him he should not allow me to vote. I did not decay, though, and I asked the head of the electoral table to check the law if he had doubts. The major then intervened again and confirmed the general secretary would come down from the town-hall to check it personally in the polling place. They took my number but they never called.

5 hours later I went back to the polling place, to ask if they had checked the law and they would register my vote. But the general secretary had not come over in all day and nobody had done anything about it. I called to the town-hall and asked the head of the table to talk to the general secretary using my mobile. But he did not want to talk over the phone. The same woman who attended my claim in the morning talked to him and then she told me: you cannot vote, if you want anything else you can come to the town-hall again. At no moment no member of the electoral table showed any disposition to check the law for me, and they insisted they had no obligation to know that law. The town-hall representatives did not check that law with me despite it mentions in its first section, article 85 that:

1.-The right to vote is accredited in the electoral roll copies officially distributed or for a specific census certification, and in both cases, the voter must show proof of identity with an identity car, driving license or passport where a photo of the person appears, or in the case of foreigners the residence permit.

3.-When at the electoral table, despite showing any of the documents mentioned in section 1, there is doubt due to the complain of an auditor or voter, about the identity proof to vote, having presented all documentation certifying identity and inscription and taking into account the testimony of the present voters, decision should be agreed by the majority of the electoral table members.

All the people representing the town-hall or the members of the electoral table have the obligation, like all citizens of the Spanish state to know the electoral law. In fact, those representatives must learn it in order to implemented it properly. It is mentioned in section 2 article 139 of the mentioned law, that it is a crime to deny a vote or a complain to vote of a person who can show proof of identity and document with registration number to the electoral roll, like it shows the town-hall registration certification signed on 2nd February that I provided. It is also a crime to stop or hinder any complain about voting, coerce members of the electoral table, lie about what is lawful. It is also considered a crime that the members of the electoral table do not notify and give full testimony about any complain encountered the day of elections.

Today I write this article after loosing a battle, because I came back home yesterday with the ballot paper on my hand. After spending almost 6 years abroad, I come back to Catalonia to find my right to vote plundered due to misinformation, bad-management, ignorance, lies and personal interests. I even do not know if I will be able to vote on the plebiscite elections on the 27th September this year. This is no democracy. A basic principle of democracy is that citizens of a region/country/state can choose their representatives exercising the right to vote. However, I realize we live in a pseudo-democracy, since yesterday I was denied my right to vote, something unthinkable in the Europe of the XXI century. I am sad and indignant at the same time. I think of all those who don’t ever go to vote, because they do not care, while I was actively demanding to exercise my right to vote and they did not let me. I want to denounce here today about these facts and ask for your support so that it never happens again, so that the people that yesterday made such mistake against me become aware of how terrible is their wrongdoing by not letting me vote to choose precisely municipal representatives.

Here the link in Spanish to the actual organic law about the electoral regime in the Spanish state.

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Mr Wert’s power

(Adaptation of the article published in El País 12th December 2012 and written by Antonio Gutiérrez Rubí)

The Spanish minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Mr. Jose Ignacio Wert Ortega has finally approved a law for “hispanizing” Catalan people on its purpose of lapidating our culture and language. But he is not alone, though we do not know whose orders he is following. His political attack against Catalan language, his mission, camouflaged in an reform of the education system, is not casual neither improvised. It is not an isolated action either. There is obviously a background strategy.

Wert

Some months ago, in an interview to a Catalan newspaper, Mr. Wert declared: “first I point, and then I shoot”. And he added provocatively: “I am conscious that one of my virtues is not oral continence”. Yet it is true, he is irresponsible, as he declared with his smiley face. But he is not a fool at all. The Spanish king calls him “poor Wert” and his little things, but he does not require kind comprehension to his actions, but total reproval. And publicly. The Spanish parliament already tried in vain due to the PP majority. But Mr. Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish president, cannot keep looking somewhere else: or he supports his minister or he overrules him. Or could it be Wert is talking for Rajoy? Or against him?

The key points of the strategy that Wert uses to attack Catalan language as a tool of political domination have previously been tested in Valencia region and recently in Balearic Islands. Nobody can deny they have been successful. But neither can anybody deny they have damaged our culture. And I am not talking about of “collateral damages”. The damage has been deep and the wound is still bleeding, causing coexistence confrontations within the population and avoiding true structural reform measures to be put in place within our institutional architecture: diversity must not be seen as a problem but as an opportunity.

Some months ago, the parliament of the Balearic Islands approved the reform of the Law of Public offices (and indirectly, they also approved the law of language normalization), which abolished, for example, the requirement of Catalan knowledge as indispensable to work for any public office in the islands; this political campaign promise from Partido Popular was highly criticized by the opposition parties and for many social and cultural associations.

Furthermore, the Spanish conservative government has stigmatized Catalan language so grotesquely that is has pitifully been defined as “co-official language different to Spanish” in the Balearic Islands or as “language spoken in the eastern area of Aragon”.

Franco ha Werto

This political attack follows a persistent and calculated plan. It is a well-engineered political strategy that is executed systematically and with absolute determination. Some believe it is easier to defeat your adversaries if you destroy their social eco-system. Here I list just a few approaches of this peculiar mental frame against our language:

1.      Deny the unity of Catalan language in the territories where it is spoken: politics against philology.
2.      Label Catalan language as a strange (or foreign) language wherever it is naturally spoken.
3.      Devaluate Catalan language, consigning it to a minority or residual language, and cancelling its status of co-official language.
4.      Suggest that the protection and promotion of Catalan language is supposedly covering the imposition of the Catalan culture and language, and that may limit individual freedoms or avoid the development of the Spanish state, its harmony and sustainable laws.
5.      Define the use of Catalan language (and other official languages within the Spanish state) as a superfluous and needless cost in times of crisis. Unfortunately the aggressive and bitter debates at the Spanish parliament in these regards are a good proof of this horrible approach.
6.      Identify Catalan language with nationalism, miss-using it for political manipulation.
7.      Believe that the promotion and protection of Catalan language are directed to remove any individual freedom or used for sectarian indoctrination. According to this, public schools and media are used with the unique purpose to clean people brains massively. Therefore, they must fight against Catalan language to obtain freedom and democracy.
8.      “Hispanize” all territories within the Spanish state, taking the Spanish language as a totalitarian flag. Other languages are a threaten that must be exterminated or at least limited.

Mr. Wert, who is a sociologist, keeps on tensing the rope and measuring reactions. Or maybe producing reactions,  like a marksmanship: with accuracy and precision. Just when we would expect tension to lose up between the leaders of Catalonia and Spain, Wert –and whoever directs this malefic plan-  is directly attempting to dynamite Catalonia identity and language, by imposing a law of “language normalization” to secure Spanish is the main and only language learned in schools.

Catala independent

All our effort of bringing our language back to life after Franco’s dictatorship will be in vain if we let Mr. Wert apply this law. The parliament of Catalonia must do a strong and decisive action to defy the instructions of the Spanish Education minister. Since supposedly we live in democracy and not dictatorship, they should not be able to impose a law that over 75% of the population rejects completely. This is a clear sign Catalan people must immediately push for a democratic revolution, before we lose our identity and our language forever.

Dear Catalan compatriots,

Alfons López Tena, leader of Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència, has finally made public a letter taking full responsibility of the defeat experienced in the elections held last November 25th to Tena's letterchoose a new parliament in Catalonia. I post the translation of this letter with as much sadness as he wrote it, hoping he will have the chance to be back to the fight for independence very soon. Our country needs people like him, who was the first ones to lose fear to tell the truth and courageously defend Catalonia’s independence from inside the parliament, something nobody had ever dared to do during the 37 years of  democracy our country has foolishly enjoyed since Franco died on 1975.

Dear compatriots,

The people of Catalonia have voted in these elections in terms of independence. Even although they have chosen political options that do not guarantee the execution of a clear plan towards self-determination, yet Catalan people have voted yes to independence. The desire of independence has made people to vote with the aim to obtain stability, though this process itself is unstable; but it is indeed a delusion to find that stability in electoral proposals which are more traditional, since the elected political parties are, like the priest of ancient Egypt, too dependent on the current system (directly, indirectly or both) and prefer playing rhetorics than taking proper action.

The analysis of which political parties have been voted (and where, when, why and for what) differs with the electoral behavior of those countries that effectively choose independence as an immediate political project, instead of just desiring it. However, it is also true that for the first time, the expression of this desire has been strong enough to focus the political debate of all parties. It is obvious now that this yearning for independence is quite alive within Catalan voters, in spite the parties that have been elected may be doubtfully supporting it. From now on, we all own the tasks to remind those parties that they used the topic Catalonia’s independence in their electoral campaign, as a slogan or as a metaphor, because now they will have to fulfill the expectations they have themselves created. In politics, words are compromises, and compromises must be fulfilled. Even in Catalonia.

You can imagine that I am writing these lines with sadness: frankly speaking I believe the result for our party, Solidaritat, is an added obstacle in a road that is not and will not be easy. At the end of the day, the principles and proposals we defend today will now be absent in the parliament, and that means independence has not yet won. Thus, I believe our party is still necessary, as much as I believed so the day before elections.

We are actually indispensable: the sole existence of our party, and the constancy and perseverance of our women and men that have worked hard for the last two years, has already helped to pull the strings and shake political structures that seemed blocking the evolution of our own people. Everybody likes being the winner, yet nobody claims custody for a defeat. But not here, not in Solidaritat. I take full responsibility of our defeat and I now start a period of reflection. The presence of our party in Catalonia is more important than ever before, since the project towards independence must be carried out any way, but this time Solidaritat has no seats in the parliament. That is why I must step aside. You can count on me and I will be there for you, in the party management or wherever you want, if that is what you want. I can only add that I will always be loyal to the service of the people of Catalonia. Visca Catalunya lliure!

Freedom for Catalonia!

Alfons López Tena

Mr López Tena in his parliament seat on September 2011, when he asked the president of Catalonia how he was going to defend our people from the Spanish aggressions.
Mr López Tena in his parliament seat on September 2011, when he asked the president of Catalonia how he was going to defend our people from the Spanish aggressions.

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