by Matthew Jacobson PhD.

Yesterday eight members of the Catalan government were arrested in Madrid after appearing before a judge to address charges of sedition and rebellion towards the Spanish government.

‘Carmen Lamela, sitting in Spain’s national court, jailed the eight former ministers – including Oriol Junqueras, deputy to the deposed president, Carles Puigdemont – on Thursday while they are investigated on possible charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/02/spanish-court-question-catalonia-separatists-except-puigdemont

The president of Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont remains with a few other government representatives in Brussels, Beligium with threats of their arrest and extradition back to Spain to face similar charges. Mariano Rajoy’s conservative party has followed through on threats to institute the constitutional Article 155 which allows the Spanish State the right to replace the Catalan government on the grounds that it held an illegal referendum according to the State. It is nothing other than a take over, a clear statement to the Catalans and any social movement that attempts to use democratic means to challenge the central power of the State, that they will face the full rath of the States economic and military power.

As a foreigner who has lived in Catalunya for the better part of the last ten years it is shocking to see the Spanish State continue to act in such a violent and aggressive fashion. The consequences here are a deepening of the polarization and anger that has festered for decades, an intensification of the trauma of thirty years of Franco’s dictatorship and repression of the Catalan culture and society. The Spanish government has called for snap elections for the Catalan government on the 21st of December, which will be another failed attempt to rid the Catalan government of those parties that want an independent State. The movement for independence will increase in strength with every repressive act of the State of Spain and elections will do nothing to quell the spirit of those here who have come to hate and reject the domination of the Spanish central government over their lives. They will take to the streets and will continue to fight for their independence. The Spanish government has threatened to ban any party running for election that openly states support for an independent state. This is absurd and the antithesis of democracy.

As the Catalan government remains in jail and exile the frustration builds here in Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalunya. This frustration will find its next outlets and mount its next battles with the State of Spain. The consistent call from the elected Catalan government is peaceful resistance and this will continue. What is less clear is the price of freedom and democracy in national and global system that caters to the neoliberal private interests of capital. This is a question and a challenge that we all face in a world that is run by financial interests rather than The Peoples. Catalunya has a long history of resistance and a deep pride in its culture and society, they are not strangers to the struggle and will continue on. For those of us watching as foreigners there is a lot to learn from the dignity and strength of the Republic of Catalunya, it is waging a Good Fight worth supporting and engaging in whatever part of the world we come from. Independence movements hold the chance for an alternative to the corporate destruction of the planet and its people, if we are clear and willing to risk our dependence on them and invest rather in our trust in each other.