I knew it was a good idea to catch up yesterday.
Today there is a lot going on – it’s hard to keep up with it and harder still to understand. Of course we don’t know the background discussions and promises that are taking place behind closed doors.
Around 12.30 here in the UK we heard that Puigdemont was not going to announce the birth of the Republic but instead was going to dissolve the Catalan Parliament and call elections for early December.
Why? Backroom deals? Fear of the immediate difficulties that would arise if UDI was declared? Another attempt to slow things down to give time for negotiations? The hope that calling elections would stop the proposal to invoke Article 155 and Spain take over Catalunya?
I went to Twitter and saw a lot of anger, feelings of betrayal, disappointment. Many people feeling that independence is the only solution now and that to step back from it now is a betrayal of all the people who have been fighting so long and so bravely.
Then there is the million euro question – would calling elections stop Rajoy and his government from invoking Article 155?
Another question came to mind – what if the Spanish government banned all the pro-independence parties from standing in a new election? That could be fun – leaving only the choice between three right wing parties – PP, Ciutadans and the Socialists. (Are the Socialists right wing? Think Tony Blair and quadruple it)
Now I see that Puigdemont is going to speak later this afternoon. He may not have yet dissolved Parliament and has not yet called for elections. He first needs a guarantee that doing so would put a stop to Article 155.
All this apparently came after talks with the Basque leader Iñigo Urkullu. I wonder why he would prefer elections rather than immediate declaration of the Republic? I had heard rumours that Rajoy was planning to take preemptive measures against the Basques as well – was he thinking that he needed to avoid this at all costs?
So many rumours and it’s important to get information from several places before believing it. Things moving fast and of course we are on the outside just trying to peep through a crack in the curtains to get an idea of what the hell is going on!
But the people still feel strong. They are prepared to resist. They are organised and are together. Politicians like to play cat and mouse but the people on the street and in the towns are focussed and strong.
What I like about Puigdemont is that he is a democrat and he is trying to do the best thing for Catalunya. He is willing to take on the ire of the people if he believes that stepping back is right. In the end he is human and he is taking advice. And I imagine that even now, at the 11th hour, he is focussed on doing his job as well as he can.
Right now there is a massive demonstration of students and others outside the Generalitat in Plaça de Sant Jaume Barcelona. Anything from 9000 (police) to 50,000 (organisers).
Sitting here in quiet Lamorna with birdsong outside – I so wish I could be there too!