With negotiations over forming a Catalan government bogged down and a repeat election looming, pro-independence forces have reached an unexpected agreement, reports Dick Nichols.
A march of almost 200,000 people in Barcelona on October 1 marked the first anniversary of Catalonia’s independence referendum.
Pro-independence Catalans commemorated the first anniversary of the banned vote, which had to defy heavy repression as the Spanish state sought to stop it taking place. Despite a brutal crackdown by the Spanish police that left 900 people injured, most who voted backed independence.
A huge demonstration of 95,000 people took place in Bilbao in the Basque Country on January 13 in favour of human rights and peace, and to support the rights of Basque political prisoners, Basque Peace Process reported on January 16.
Just after 3pm on October 27, the Catalan parliament voted to ratify the results of the country’s October 1 referendum on self-determination, proclaiming Catalonia “an independent state in the form of a republic”.
Outside parliament the vote was greeted with cheers from the tens of thousands of people who had gathered for this historic moment.
The Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has decided to implement direct rule in Catalonia.
In implementing article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows central government intervention in regional governments, Rajoy has the full support of the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and the new-right party Citizens. The unprecedented intervention is the first since the present Spanish constitution was adopted in 1978.
A common feature of the rallies that have taken place following Catalonia’s historic October 1 vote for independence has been the outpouring of support for Catalonia’s firefighters, who played a critical role in the lead up to and during the referendum.
Catalonia’s firefighters are now calling on firefighters around the world to support their cause.
Catalan Premier Carles Puigdemont officially declared an independent Catalan republic on October 10, only to announce a suspension in its implementation to allow for talks with Madrid.
The harsh reply of the conservative People’s Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy came two days later: abandon all thought of secession or see Catalan self-rule erased under article 155 of the Spanish constitution.
Is it possible to have a successful referendum when your country is effectively occupied by 10,000 police and paramilitaries with orders to stop it?
The holding of Catalonia’s October 1 referendum on independence shows it is: all you need is a mobilised people with a clear view of where they are going, Europe’s most powerful and persistent social movement to help guide them, and a government committed to carrying out its promises.
In 1713-14, it took the troops of Spain’s Borbon monarchy 14 months to take Barcelona and end Catalan self-rule. Three centuries later, Catalonia is again under siege, this time from the central Spanish People’s Party (PP) government.
Under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish state is concentrating all its firepower on stopping the Catalan government’s October 1 independence referendum, where Catalan citizens will be asked to vote on whether “Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic”.
Catalonia’s regional government has declared it will hold a referendum on October 1 over whether it should become independent from Spain. In response, Spain’s conservative People’s Party (PP) Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed that the “unconstitutional” referendum will not take place, setting the scene for the biggest crisis in the Spanish state since the 1978 transition from the Franco dictatorship.
Quim Arrufat is a joint national spokesperson for the People’s Unity List (CUP), an organisation that he has likened to “urban Zapatistas” – in reference to the insurgent indigenous movement based in Chiapas, Mexico – that is committed to Catalan independence and socialism.
Nothing alarms Spain’s establishment more than the prospect of the unity of the Spanish state being threatened by the desire for self-determination of the peoples that live within its borders.
As violent anti-government protests continue in Venezuela, supporters of the right-wing opposition have begun targeting Venezuelan government officials and their families in Australia. The actions are part of a string of recent attacks abroad on government representatives by Venezuelan opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.