Catalan Referendum

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Tactful Cactus
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Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 01 Oct 2017, 11:14

I'm reading up on what being Catalan actually means - a pre-European cultural distinction that emerged after Spains Muslim era, spanning modern France and Spain but spread all over, 190k in Argentina, 110k in France.

Given everything thats happening in the world and the tough decade that Spain has come through, doesn't this seem like a colossal waste of time, money and political energy? A pet cause for people with nothing to worry about.

I clearly know nothing about this, ready to be schooled if there is a genuine reason for referendums, protests, separation and divisions. Is there?

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 01 Oct 2017, 14:09

Tactful Cactus wrote:I'm reading up on what being Catalan actually means - a pre-European cultural distinction that emerged after Spains Muslim era, spanning modern France and Spain but spread all over, 190k in Argentina, 110k in France.

Given everything thats happening in the world and the tough decade that Spain has come through, doesn't this seem like a colossal waste of time, money and political energy? A pet cause for people with nothing to worry about.

I clearly know nothing about this, ready to be schooled if there is a genuine reason for referendums, protests, separation and divisions. Is there?


I don't know too much about it all either. Initially, I was thinking: perhaps the Catalans want to liberate themselves from the neoliberal doctrines that still dominate Spanish politics, despite Podemos and suchlike?

But later I found that it appears to be the other way around. Catalonia is a rich province, sort of an income generator for the whole of Spain. Perhaps they want to keep their wealth for themselves?

There is (sort of) an analogy with Bavaria in Germany; not that Bavaria wants to separate, of course. But it is a different kind of Bundesstaat, Bavaria. It is rich, has a beautiful nature, and it attracts corporations and financial service providers (the latter capacity has its counterpart in the city of Frankfurt).

Frankfurt's financial district:

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Jimbo » 01 Oct 2017, 14:42



This is a Catalonia resident making her case.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Still Baron » 01 Oct 2017, 16:36

The videos Rorschach and fireplug are posting on FB of cops wantonly and gratuitously beating the shit out of what appear to be regular folks and even firefighters are absolutely unbelievable.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby kath » 01 Oct 2017, 16:54

Still Baron wrote:The videos Rorschach and fireplug are posting on FB of cops wantonly and gratuitously beating the shit out of what appear to be regular folks and even firefighters are absolutely unbelievable.


this. scary as all fucque. those poor people weren't doing anything threatening.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 01 Oct 2017, 17:17

kath wrote:those poor people weren't doing anything threatening.


....or worthwhile?

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Jeemo » 01 Oct 2017, 17:29

Tactful Cactus wrote:
kath wrote:those poor people weren't doing anything threatening.


....or worthwhile?


what do you mean by "worthwhile"
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 01 Oct 2017, 17:38

Jeemo wrote:what do you mean by "worthwhile"


Its the question I asked in the first post. With so many countries scrambling to stabilise their economy and their place in the world, why is this so critical to Catalans and why is it so intolerant to Spanish police? I think I'm just fed up with these constant news cycles. It doesn't seem worthwhile getting a punch in the face because you want to secede from Spain.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Still Baron » 01 Oct 2017, 17:44

Tactful Cactus wrote:
Jeemo wrote:what do you mean by "worthwhile"


Its the question I asked in the first post. With so many countries scrambling to stabilise their economy and their place in the world, why is this so critical to Catalans and why is it so intolerant to Spanish police? I think I'm just fed up with these constant news cycles. It doesn't seem worthwhile getting a punch in the face because you want to secede from Spain.


I think getting a punch in the face because I wanted to secede from Spain might very well convince me of the wisdom of the matter.

I can't claim to know the nuances of Spanish/Catalan relations and politics and knowing myself, I imagine I would be pretty circumspect about the idea of Catalan independence if I lived down there. But after seeing what I've seen today, the Spanish Government has shown themselves to be unworthy of any allegiance. The official violence is outrageous and unjustifiable. This quote (particularly the latter quote) from the NYT appears to nail it:

NYT wrote:“The image of the Spanish state has reached levels of shame that will stay with them forever,” Mr. Puigdemont said, holding a red carnation as he addressed a crowd in the town of Sant Julià de Ramis.

“Today, the Spanish state has lost a lot more than it had already lost, and Catalan citizens have won a lot more than they had won until now,” he said.
Last edited by Still Baron on 01 Oct 2017, 17:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Jeemo » 01 Oct 2017, 17:45

Tactful Cactus wrote:
Jeemo wrote:what do you mean by "worthwhile"


Its the question I asked in the first post. With so many countries scrambling to stabilise their economy and their place in the world, why is this so critical to Catalans and why is it so intolerant to Spanish police? I think I'm just fed up with these constant news cycles. It doesn't seem worthwhile getting a punch in the face because you want to secede from Spain.


The independence movement for Catalonia goes back years. Franco was very anti Catalan. The vote had already been declared illegal by the law courts. The sensible thing would've been to let it happen, see the result and then legally ignore it. Using state sponsored violence against the general public only strengthens the independence cause.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Belle Lettre » 01 Oct 2017, 18:46

This.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Samoan » 01 Oct 2017, 20:33

Nothing really surprises me. They can't even get that cathedral finished.
Tapas ! Bull fighting !!
Give me a break.

And I haven't forgotten this -

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/feb/05/sport.world

The sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, is to write to his Spanish counterpart to express his anger after the racist taunting of the British driver Lewis Hamilton by spectators over the weekend.

A number of spectators aimed gestures and shouted racist abuse at the 23-year-old at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday. One group of young men wore wigs, dark makeup and T-shirts with the words "Hamilton's family" written on them.


and this

In November 2004 a number of leading black England footballers were subjected to monkey chants during a friendly with Spain. A month earlier the Spanish team coach, Luis Aragonés, was fined, but later cleared, after calling the French striker Thierry Henry a "black shit".
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Darkness_Fish » 01 Oct 2017, 20:43

Samoan wrote:Nothing really surprises me. They can't even get that cathedral finished.
Tapas ! Bull fighting !!
Give me a break.

You do know that the Catalan parliament banned bullfighting in 2010, and that there was already only a single bullring in operation in the Catalan region in the years immediately prior to that, which was thought to be largely tourist-driven. That ban was overturned by the Spanish government in 2016.

I don't know the ins and outs of Spanish politics or regional identity. But I know that suppressing democracy through fines and violence is not a great way of engaging with a region's citizens.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 01 Oct 2017, 20:52

Franco being anti-Catalan doesn't really explain the criticality of a referendum in September 2017. Given all the life threatening and vital protests happening worldwide this one just seems a bit pointless and distracting. Wanted to know if there's a genuine cause for all this, I've yet to read one.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Diamond Dog » 01 Oct 2017, 21:07

Watch the videos on this BBC report.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41461032

Then tell me if you'd want independence from state sponsored thuggery such as this?
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Toby » 01 Oct 2017, 21:14

I'm not sure that this is as black and white as it appears. The fact that violence has been deployed is despicable, but the Catalonian secessionist movement is problematic to say the least. The problem though is that by this use of violence the Spanish govt has handed the secessionists a plum hand, so it's lose lose for them now.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Goat Boy » 01 Oct 2017, 21:19

Quite.

The deplorable violence has given validity to it all sadly.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Jeemo » 01 Oct 2017, 22:11

Tactful Cactus wrote:Franco being anti-Catalan doesn't really explain the criticality of a referendum in September 2017. Given all the life threatening and vital protests happening worldwide this one just seems a bit pointless and distracting. Wanted to know if there's a genuine cause for all this, I've yet to read one.


I'm sure the Catalans feel it's vital.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby echolalia » 01 Oct 2017, 23:56

Rajoy is a complacent, heavy-handed dullard. But he’s probably succeeded when it comes to de-legitimizing the referendum on account of the conditions in which it was conducted.

I think what’s happening in Barcelona is the first stirring of the future, which is not nation states but city states. Europe is going to go back to cities, not out of nostalgia or pasadismo but because new realities such as the power of tech firms etc. are proving impossible to deal with on a national basis. If it was cities taking on the tech firms, there would be a healthy guerrilla dynamic and the days of gay abandon would be fiscally over for the Silicon Valley hegemons. ¿No?

There’s a strange thing about the possible upshot of all this, which is that if Catalunya does secede from Spain its football teams will presumably secede from the Spanish league. And that will leave the giant shark Barcelona threshing in a fishtank full of footballing minnows in the Liga Catalana or what have you, which will ultimately affect their quality. (The Celtic syndrome.)

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby martha » 02 Oct 2017, 06:32

Tactful Cactus wrote:doesn't this seem like a colossal waste of time, money and political energy?...if there is a genuine reason for referendums, protests, separation and divisions. Is there?


Of course there are lots of reasons for it. Just as there were reasons for similar movements in Quebec, Scotland, Kosovo and Montenegro.

Foremost among them is a desire for independence - Catalonia is not Spain. Like the Basque, Catalonia has it's own language, culture, people and they were independent prior to Franco or at least they had a mostly autonomous say over their political dealings. Catalonia experienced many atrocities at the hands of the Spanish including the obliteration of villages during the war and the imprisonment, torture and execution of tens of thousands of Catalan people. During Franco's repression and dictatorship of Spain, his agenda with Catalonia was to repress their culture and force assimilation and homogenization and unity with Spain. Castro banned the use of their language, repressed aspects of their culture and banned any public activities associated with Catalan nationalism.

Since Franco’s death in 1975, Catalonia has worked for a renewal of democracy and self-rule as have the Basque -- albeit in very different manners. Post Franco, the Catalans have tried to regain their independence peacefully and legally. In the 70's over a million Catalans marched through the streets of Barcelona for freedom, amnesty, and self-rule. Catalonia gained a measure of autonomy with the passage of the 1978 Constitution and since then they have been fighting for progress towards self-governance and making headway slowly. They have their own president, and gained some measure of self-governance. But their autonomy is largely superficial as evidenced by the unbelievably vile reaction of Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy to the threat of a vote towards independence.

Aside from the desire for freedom, as is usually the case there's economics at play -- Madrid nos roba! is a common complaint. Catalonians pay more in tax than they receive in federal spending and they have little control over what their taxation is spent towards and because of preferential treatment -- most of Spain’s other regions have more resources per capita than Catalonia to spend on essential services. So while Catalonia ranked third out of 15 regions for the national average of taxes per capita, after redistribution, its resources put it in 11th place. Contrast that with Extremadura which was in 14th place for taxation and in 3rd place after redistribution. That's just fucked up. So yeah -- Madrid roba!

Complicating this are parallels with my own people, the Basque. País Vasco and Navarra through pretty extreme means have negotiated a deal that lets them keep almost all of their tax, resulting in the Basque territory retaining about 40% more in resources per capita. Catalonia has tried to peacefully and legally negotiate a similar result and been stymied by Spain. So for many they see a vote for independence as their only and best recourse. Certainly it beats terrorism.

It's complex, but yeah, there are reasons. Whether any of them are good reasons though really depends on whether or not you are Catalan.

If my grandparents were tortured or had their properties taken from them and were forced to stop speaking their native language under Castro and my parents had worked hard to secure for me some measure of regional self-rule but I found myself paying huge amounts of taxes only to see my regions streets in terrible shape, poorly funded schools and hospitals, and an inability to decide where our resources should be spent despite the affluence of my community... I know how I'd be voting. And if the larger Spanish government and police force and Military responded to me expressing my opinion peacefully in the polls in the vicious manner in which Rajoy has...well Christ...maybe I would start thinking that peaceful methods only get you so far. Fascism, injustice and repression tend to beget revolution. Violence begets violence. The situation is a clusterfuck.
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