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This will end well (or not)

An adaptation of the article written in Catalan by Toni Aira for the newspaper “elMón”.

These days there is some kind of collective uncertainty which is natural to the political challenge that we Catalan people have in front of us. With the current scenario, the poor suffering voters believing in independence ask among themselves how all this will end. The question is uttered full of anxiety: This will end well, won’t it? The most generous reply you can hear lately is “we have made it up to now, right?” or “ Mr. Mas has always a plan”. However, nothing of that give us any guarantee.

BARCELONA 10/11/2015 ANTONIO BAÑOS Y ARTUR MAS EN EL PARLAMENT DISCURS DE INVESTIDURA FOTO de JULIO CARBO
BARCELONA 10/11/2015 ANTONIO BAÑOS and ARTUR MAS in the Catalan parliamant for the investure discourse for President de la Generalitat. FOTO from JULIO CARBO

We are absorbed all by the dynamics of the last few years of “process towards independence, so far we have made it” idea; so we will now. This soothes only those who are in desperate need of believing it so. But we all know that it may not be this way, not necessarily, unfortunately. There is no actual certainty that we will make it, but the will of our people. Now CUP (Candidatura d’Unitat Popular- in English. Popular Unity Candidacy, which is extremist left-wing) is in the political equation having strong influence in the parliament and some power of decision, all is possible, but right now it is already jeopardizing the unity of pro-independence block in the Catalan parliament. In addition, the rest of players defending self-determination have shown clear symptoms of depletion in their discourses.La-CUP-exige-romper-con-el-Estado-y-reitera-su-rechazo-a-que-Artur-Mas-sea-president

Certainly, this is an epic and prestigious process: seeing how such a fragile self-determination process like the Catalan one is able to keep moving forward despite the pressure of such a lordly authoritarian state like the Spanish one, a David vs Goliat situation in the XXI century, of course, this is an extra motivation to resist. It does add up that Mr Rajoy and his party are overacting and confusing public opinion in view of general elections coming up next 20th December: “Catalonia will not disconnect from anything”, says the Spanish president like threatening but without mentioning the “how”. He is ridiculing himself and his government and his party, and this adds up to our cause. They say that all this movement is all trickery from Mr Mas and few more people…Anyway, the Spanish president must be doing all of that to help the Catalan process.davidvsfoliat
Until now there has been a immense disproportion between Catalan people demonstrations in the streets and the ballot boxes results. Yet, it has also summed up to the independence cause. Nonetheless, a potential lack of proportion between what people want to achieve and the political management done by pro-independence parties could indeed menace not only our cause, but also all the country. The Catalan parliament and its principals actors have now the last word, at least until we find ourselves in front of the ballot boxes again.

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INDEPENDENCE AT LAST?

Yesterday I received a memorandum as a member of the National Catalan Assembly declaring absolute agreement with the proposal of resolution presented by the new elected Catalan parliament members defending independence (integrated by people from 3 different parties, 1 more than the 2 conforming the coalition called Junts pel Sí) in regards that in the 27th September elections Catalan citizens voted unambiguously supporting secession from Spain.

cmfllvldm2015In a moment when my dear Carme Forcadell has been voted to be the new president of the Catalan parliament, the Spanish government yet dares to deny any type of reasonable dialogue with our representatives. Instead, they are putting all the judicial system in service of prosecuting both the president in functions and the new elected parliament, while threatening with disqualifying all Catalan institutions and banning elected people to assume public office.

This morning in Els Matins de TV3 (the morning news program in Catalan TV) I heard a tertullian say that if the Spanish government finally decides to ban Catalan representatives to assume their public office, this should be taken to the Strasbourg court of justice. The radicals call for total disobedience, while the new president of the parliament has declared yesterday the institution is not obliged to follow any Spanish law anymore since this is the beginning of the constituent process of the new Catalan Republic. She presented herself within Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party and was voted even by people of over 4 different parties.

Declaracion-institucional-Rajoy-Junts-CUP_MDSVID20151027_0073_17Despite I felt some glory in my heart when hearing Mrs Forcadell’s words about this moment being the constitution of our new republic, I cannot dare yet to let myself go in the joy of those words, until independence is real. I cannot forget we are still under the rule of a dictatorial Spanish government that is not willing to sit down and negotiate secession, as they should be doing now in this 21st century. Hopefully, elections for the Spanish parliament next December could change the political panorama in Moncloa, providing a government willing to negotiate for a final referendum and able to accept whatever result as legally binding.

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I personally believe that in the best case scenario we could get up to a 52% Yes for independence in a final referendum next year, counting not only that the movement is growing in front of the worthless efforts of the current Spanish government and the comments their representatives dare to do in front of the media, but also that there are 2 parties in Catalonia which are not totally defined in the matter yet. That is true, in the left wing parties there are people who could decide to support independence in a legal referendum negotiated with Spain and recognized worldwide. People from the socialist party, from the green party, are also indignant by the actuation of the Spanish government and see as positive the opportunity of creating a new state with better social policies, less corruption, improved healthcare and education…

In the coming days we will also finally know who will be invested as the new president of Catalonia, a president that will be taking over the responsibility of founding the new Catalan Republic, a process that may take a couple of years in splitting from Spain. This person will be in charge for transforming Catalonia from a region of Spain into a brand new state. The only name now on the table is president in function Mr Artur Mas, though he is being prosecuted both by the 9th November consultation and corruption from his party CDC (Convergència democràtica de Catalunya). Furthermore, he is not finding support in the radicals who want a “clean” president, neither he would get the votes of all the 3 parties that support Spain.

Let’s see what other surprises are coming up in the following days, but I dare to forecast that maybe we will find a woman president that will take us to independence, just a feminist speaking…

catind2015

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REPORTING DICTATORSHIP METHODS FROM THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT

Since plebiscite elections took place last 27th September in Catalonia, still we do  not have either a president of Generalitat or declared independence, despite a majority was reached in the parliament.

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Artur Mas signing the decree to celebrate consultation about independence last year.

For the last weeks we have witnessed Artur Mas being summoned to declare in front of the constitutional tribunal for having allowed and supported the consultation of 9th November last year. Our president in functions, along with the vice-president and other people summoned as responsible (including some of the volunteers who helped put the ballot boxes in some appointed schools) for supporting the “disguised” referendum of last year.

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Artur Mas, still president of Generalitat in functions, applauded by thousands of independence supporters, around him majors of hundreds of towns rising symbolic wooden stick.

Some people did go above and beyond to be able to vote last year. I actually drove all the way down from Utrecht to Brussels and queued for 4 hours to be able to put my vote in the box! The Spanish government is trying to unfairly disqualify the government in functions and impose a chosen administrator until elections are hold again some day… Just before we may be able to declare independence. And they are putting all the judicial powers into play to the point of producing more than one dismission in the Office of the State Prosecutor.

How is this not a dictatorship? When a constitutional court publishes official press releases complaining about the pressure they receive from seeing the thousands of Catalan supporters call for independence when the still president goes to declare in front of the judge!

BRU010 BRUSELAS (BÉLGICA) 15/10/2015.- El presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, atiende a los medios de comunicación a su llegada a la reunión de líderes del Partido Popular Europeo (PPE) previa a la cumbre de jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la UE, en Bruselas (Bélgica), hoy 15 de octubre de 2015. Los líderes de la UE celebraron hoy su cuarta cumbre sobre la crisis de los refugiados para agilizar la respuesta comunitaria a este reto. EFE/Stephanie Lecocq
BRUSSELS 15/10/2015.- The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy attending the media before entering the meeting of European Popular Party (EPP) , and just before UE summit in Brussels. UE leaders hold the 4th summit on the refugees crisis to speed up their response to this challenge. EFE/Stephanie Lecocq

And the worst is listening to the Spanish president saying that their imposed law is a basic principle of democracy and that allowing the Catalan people to vote for their independence is illegal. Mr Rajoy’s declarations during the last meeting of the UE due to the refugees issue go directly against true democracy, while some people of his party dare to criticize him for being too soft with the Catalan issue.

Let the UNO know that they must ask the Spanish government to at least agree to negotiate a separation with the Catalan nation. We won the consultation last year despite their boycott. We also won last plebiscite. Now let us be free.

11S2015 demonstration for independence, Barcelona. Over 2 million people crying independence.
11S2015 demonstration for independence, Barcelona. Over 2 million people crying independence.
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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.

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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

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