Catalan news from my Twitter feed
- Albano Dante Fachin is Secretary General of Podem – the Catalan branch of Podemos. I liked his speech very much in the pre-independence debate and he is proving to be an interesting person to watch. He thinks for himself. He is Argentinian (a plus for me) and speaks great Catalan. In a newspaper interview he said today, The Spanish and the Catalan Left need to make their minds up what side they are on – democracy or not. Today is is Junqueres and the others in prison – tomorrow it could be Ada Colau (Barcelona mayor) or Iglesias (leader of Podemos)
See what I mean – he’s not scared to speak out!
- Barcelona football club has hung a massive Catalan flag on one side of the Nou Camp ground in preparation for the match with Seville. That is a match I would love to attend. I wonder if Pep’s brother-in-law will be there with the family Barça ticket?
- Today in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh there was a show of support for Catalunya with people holding up flags
- Over 40,000 people marched today in Bilbao in support of Catalunya and against the anti-democratic actions of the Spanish government
- 8 Catalan teachers have been charged by the Spanish courts with hate crimes. What did they do? They were leading discussions about the police violence on 1st October.
- Remember the Galician teacher who encouraged his class to discuss Catalunya? He is now in prison.
- Meanwhile as I am sure you now know, the members of the Catalan government who returned to Barcelona from Brussels were sent straight to jail by a Spanish judge. They have not had a trial or been sentenced but are being held with no trial date yet decided. On the way to prison they were mocked, handcuffed, not allowed to eat and generally treated badly. Two were strip searched. All part of the Spanish government policy of humiliation and bullying. Lawyers have started putting in official complaints.
Someone asked me this evening what exactly Carles Puigdemont is doing in Brussels. Obviously I don’t know the answer but I am confident that he is working hard for the Catalan people, speaking to other European leaders, and the press, and his lawyers and others who are taking a close interest in this matter. Even though EU leaders are quietly turning their heads away, there are many people who are outraged by what Spain is doing. Every day there are more and more statements from all over the world expressing dismay at the lack of democracy in Spain.
I see Puigdemont as a very rational and intelligent person – with integrity and a deep sense of responsibility.
He is not hiding.
He is not running away.
He is not pulling the duvet over his head and hoping it was all a bad dream
Catalans have long known the hidden side of the Spanish state and so all that now shocks us so deeply is not a surprise to them. It is a painful and sad time but it is a necessary process to take off the masks and see a new truth.
Now that Belgium has decided they will not extradite Puigdemont without a proper legal case being heard, there is the opportunity for the Spanish Constitution to be discussed, in public, in full view of the whole world. So long as the President is there, he is the best chance Catalalunya has of getting a fair hearing.
So, that’s my summary of some news that I read today. I also found a youtube video of a message written by a Spanish woman to her child – it was interesting and was a positive response to all that is going on. She denied the importance of the Spanish flag or the anthem, and gave a long list of what she feels it means to be Spanish – tortilla and tapas, friends teaching you the Sardana in Barcelona, drinking Orujo in Galicia, learning how to count in Euskadi, loving the Mediterrean, etc etc….a full description of all the cultures and the food of the peninsula. I watched it then lost the link…..
If only there was a Spanish government that could embrace all of the land that is Spain and Catalunya and Galicia and Pais Basc. If only they would encourage people to love the diversity rather than fear it. If only Rajoy and his team would stop their mission of terror and decide to turn around and talk and make peace. Apologise perhaps for the mistakes they have made. Soften and open up their hearts rather than fuel the anger.