The Catalan Government Will Declare Itself Independent
by Matthew Jacobson PhD.
Els carrers seran sempre nostres…(the streets will always be ours).
Yesterday hundreds of thousands of people marched in Barcelona and all over Cataluña and Spain to protest the Spanish police brutality that was ordered by the Spanish government to attempt to shut down the Catalan Referendum vote on Sunday, October 1st. They marched in massive numbers all day until the evening peacefully protesting and celebrating their independence. It appears clear that the Catalan government will announce its independence from Spain shortly. This move will put the Spanish government in the position of deciding whether it will take more aggressive actions, such as attempting to take over the governance of Cataluña, or attempt to negotiate some kind of agreement with the Catalan government to break the deadlock. Any aggressive attempts by the Spanish government to take over control of Cataluña’s governance will face massive and fierce opposition from its people. The Catalan’s will neither back down nor be intimidated by aggression from the Spanish government, they will fight back peacefully with determination and will not be ruled. That much is clear.
In the streets yesterday were the people of Cataluña: the mothers, fathers, grandparents and young people that regardless of whether they voted on Sunday, they had all watched the video’s of their community members on Sunday being kicked, beaten bloody with police clubs and yanked by their hair by the Spanish national police (Guardia Civil), all because they had come to peacefully vote. Yesterday they had a general strike and shut down the city center of Barcelona to protest this violence and make a clear statement that they will not be denied. In contrast to the violence and brutality of the Spanish state, the Catalan’s sang and marched and made it clear that these are their streets, their city and their region. They made it clear they will not be scared, intimated or denied their democratic rights to express and decide their own future.
In an almost surreal end to the day, the Spanish King decided to go on national TV to criticize the Catalan government for putting the economy and social stability of Cataluña and Spain at risk. Over the past few weeks leading up to the referendum the Catalan’s have had a ritual of banging pans out their windows and balconies at 10:00pm in support of the referendum.
“Today Spanish society is fractured and confronted. Those authorities have underestimated the fondness and feelings of solidarity that have united and will unite the whole of the Spanish population, and with their irresponsible attitude they have put the economic and social stability of Catalonia and Spain at risk,” he said.
When the King was beginning his speech at 9:00pm the Catalan’s took the opportunity to begin their pan banging an hour earlier, leaving the streets and plazas of Barcelona full of banging noises rather than the words of the monarchy.
The heartening conflict being played out in Cataluna is between the people of the region and all of Spain that are done with the arrogance and aggression of a State that rules for an elite class that is out of touch with the desires of its people. Of course there are many invested interests in Cataluna that hope to benefit from a more independent state, but the spirit of the day yesterday was one of unity and love for the culture and region they live in. They have the power to take control over their destiny and they need the support of the world and international community to recognize their democratic right to be independent. The ‘fracture’ of Spanish society is the result of the greed and competitive power base that has taken over the autonomy of the people that know that cooperation and compassion are the values that create security, unity and joy. The Catalan call for independence that was in the streets yesterday is a call that all over the world the people know how to sing to: the streets will always be ours.