We will vote

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. –U.S. declaration of independence

Catalan flag with European star signifying an independent Catalunya in Europe
The Catalan flag with European star signifying an independent Catalunya in Europe

For almost 4 decades Spain has had the opportunity to prove to its own citizens that it had dealt with the sins of the past and had transitioned from a fascist Catholic junta to a democracy. Today, it proved to the world that the dissenting opinion of, initially, a small minority was well founded; And that, if Spain is to be a democracy, it is a very conditional one at best.

While I do regret whenever any union of people splits and find myself biased for bigger and stronger unions, such as the European Experiment, I have for quite some time seen the right-wing government of Spain create the very circumstances in which any self-respecting minority must choose to either revolt or surrender to assimilation. It is said that in a democracy a people has the government it deserves. If that is the case than only when a people has the tools to change its government can a democracy be recognized.

Under increasing pressure to assimilate their last fortresses of identity the Catalan people today voted to decide for themselves whether they wanted their government changed. A referendum not allowed by the Spanish constitution. A constitution forged in the heydays of Fascism and a compromise that traded some freedom for total amnesty, even vindication, of right-wing-repression. The abducted infants of left-wing opposition were not brought back, the mass-graves of those that disappeared in ‘nacht und nebel’ were not allowed to be opened. Dissenting referenda are still not allowed.

It is behind this so-called illegality that al mayor non-catalan parties have condemned the referendum. It is this constitution that drove the army’s batons down on the heads of innocent people queuing to vote.It was undemocratic said they. They symphatised but unfortunately it was illegal they stated. Meanwhile a fallanx of armoured ‘gendarmerie’ or ‘guardia civil’ the police-wing of Spain’s army was charging the gates of the polling-stations, beating all that moved, trying to get to the place where people were trying to vote.

It was the voters who were undemocratic, not the law that prevented them from voting. Or so they claimed. ‘The police had to use force to stop the undemocratic voting process.’ 400 unarmed voters ended up in the hospital for ‘crimes against democracy’, a democracy that was protected by not voting. 400 citizens, not all of which are expected to survive.

I think that the best way for a government to stop it’s people from trying to install a new government is by actually listening to them and removing the causes for those desires. Removing autonomy, overruling laws voted on by the so called ‘autonomia’ and sending in armed and combative enforcers are signs that you are not a democracy and that this government has outlived its use. If Europe cannot assure all of its citizens protection while going to the ballot, I don’t see how it could ask the same of others. Perhaps the rest of us, the European citizens must then also re-evaluate whom is our government.

I regret that it has come to this but I see no other way than for Catalunya to proceed to defend its independence and for Europe to accept this ‘fait accompli’ so that Spain and Catalunya may as of yet be reunited, as equal partners, under a European star. It is on us, the European citizens to demand from our own governements to force the Spanish violent repression to stop and to offer the Catalan authorities terms at the table. We are headed to another Spanish civil war, (or is it still the same one?) which will not end at the gates of Barcelona or with the secession of only one Spanish autonomia. It is time to recognise the ghosts from the past and to end this Spanish Civil war. Before it kills us all.

A minority government should not preach democracy while yealding repression, jailing representatives, occupying schools and beating civilians. If nothing else, remember this: You can only beat voters, but you can’t be their vote!

Live Long and Prosper


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