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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11
Barcelona mayoress Sda Colau to meeting announcing Catalonia en Comú's candidates for the Decemebr 21 elections: "We want the prisoners free, but we also want the government that has led Catalonia to disaster to make a self-criticism. The UDI hasn't brought us the Republic. I want an actual, a real Republic."
(UDI unilateral declaration of independence)
Split in Barcelona city hall as BComú breaks with PSC
Barcelona deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello announced this Sunday that the grass-roots supporters of BComú (Barcelona in Common) have voted to break the current municipal pact with the PSC (Catalan Socialist Party). From now on, the party led by mayor Ada Colau will once again govern alone in the Barcelona city council. More than 3,000 BComú supporters took part in the decision, with more than 54% voting in favour of the question presented by the party direction: "Given the support of the PSC/PSOE for the application of article 155, does Barcelona En Comú have to end its coalition agreement with the PSC in the city, to continue governing alone?"
The intention of the Commons group from now on, according to Pisarello, is to return to the style of short-term and one-off agreements that they practiced before formalizing the coalition agreement with the socialists. Thus, the intention of Colau's city government is to run Barcelona's town hall on their own.
Ada Colau made her own comments on the move through her Twitter account. Colau said that it has been a difficult decision to break the municipal pact with the PSC. In addition, she said that her party will continue governing by making specific agreements and using "all the dialogue that the city of Barcelona deserves", seeking agreements with all the municipal groups.
Finally, she gave thanks to the municipal PSC group led by Jaume Collboni for the joint work carried out in the service of Barcelona and urged the PSC to break its pacts at broader level with the PP (People's Party), Cs (Citizens) and the concservative Catalan group Unió, also encouraging the socialists to rebuild their bridges with other parties on the left.
Catalan ministers' defence to take their case to Europe
Jordi Pina, the lawyer for Catalan ministers Josep Rull and Jordi Turull, has asked for Spain's National Audience court to file the case for rebellion and sedition against his clients, believing there to be no evidence against them. He also asked for the case to be investigated by a court in Barcelona instead of Madrid or, in any case, that the European justice system should decide whether the National Audience has jurisdiction.
The lawyer repeats the argument that the National Audience isn't the competent body to judge the crimes of rebellion and sedition, according to the Organic Law of Judicial Power, nor according to the Penal Codes of 1973 or 1995, rather that they should be tried by a court in Barcelona.
He notes that, in 2008, the plenary assembly of the Penal Chamber of the National Audience declared itself unqualified to judge the 1936 rebellion. As such, Pina believes that if they now change criteria, the appeal will rise to international courts which protect human rights. If the court doesn't transfer the case to the courts in Barcelona, the lawyer demands that they present a preliminary issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the question....
Anthony Garner, Ara, November 12
PSC leader Miquel Iceta tip-toes past the million strong November 11 demonstration against article 155 intervention in Catalonia, supported by PSC
..aah! it all makes sense now
Spanish Foreign minister says Assange, Soler meeting was to "manipulate" Catalan democracy
Alfonso Dastis, Spanish Foreign Affairs and Cooperation minister, has said this lunchtime that the meeting between Julian Assange and Oriol Soler, a member of the so-called "high command of the independence process" on 9th November was to "try to meddle in, manipulate and effect what has to be natural democratic development in Catalonia".
Dastis made the comment as he entered a meeting with his European counterparts this Monday in Brussels. "There are lots of clues that suggest that this gentleman and others have these intentions," he said.
Later, in a press conference, he seemed to take it as confirmed that the meeting between Soler and the founder of Wikileaks was about trying to help the Catalan independence movement. "You tell me whether, as an old professor of mine said, it isn't a decision which disgusts reason that they covered that topic knowing who Assange is and Soler's ideological connection," he said.
Dastis said today that he fears that the election in Catalonia on 21st December will see a repeat of the online interference from Russian territory detected in elections in other countries.
"It's early for that, but it wouldn't surprise me", said Dastis in the press conference during today's Foreign Affairs Council of the EU, asked whether he expected a greater increase in disinformation activity coming from Russia in light of the Catalan election. "It would follow a pattern which has occurred in other elections", said Dastis.
In the case of online disinformation related to Catalonia, the minister said that "we don't formally know that the Russian government is behind that, but we know that this traffic is coming from networks which have their propagation points in Russia". "We've shared this information with Russian authorities," he said.
There is a particularly vicious authoritarian (falangist) troll at the rabble discussion on Catalonia, which I believe was initated by Karl on Parl, who isn't particularly favourable to autonomist movements, but who is very favourable to democracy. I have complained about the fascist piece of shit - obviously he denies being a fascist piece of shit, but what else can one call an individual who wants people jailed for peaceful protests - or for VOTING, for cripes sake. I don't know what can be done now that these discussions are moderated by Disqus and not by rabble or babble.
Certainly in light of what is now emerging about the 2016 USA presidential election, many people will be interested to know much more about this.
Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote
Russia Accused of Meddling in Catalonia Independence Vote With Fake News
Allegations against Moscow follow similar claims about intervention in elections in the United States, France and Germany
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.815112
How Russia Is Playing Catalonia To Get A Reprieve On Crimea
To solve Catalonia, Spain needs a new constitution
The country needs to urgently reform its 1978 constitution to break its political standoff.
Catalonia crisis: Why Basque leaders worry about Spain chaos
Relationship counselling: The EU calls on the Catalan leadership not to break the bond (Finnish cartoonist Jari)
December 7, BELGIUM: 'LET'S FILL BRUSSELS' DEMONSTRATION IN SOLIDARITY WITH CATALONIA
Coalition québécoise de solidarité envers la Catalogne
In the wake of events in Catalonia, especially since the Declaration of Independence of the region by the Catalan Parliament, several major organisations of civil society and four political parties in Quebec have agreed to come together to form a broad coalition of citizen solidarity and cross-partisan support for Catalonia.
Grand public meeting on November 18th
As a first activity, the partners in the Coalition have agreed to organise a large public meeting on Saturday, November 18 to take stock of the situation in Catalonia, and to show Quebec's support to the Catalan people. It is intended that a Declaration of Quebec Solidarity with Catalonia be announced, along with with artistic performances and an open discussion period. The details of this gathering will be announced soon.
Cercle culturel catalan du Québec
Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
Fédérations des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)
Mouvement national des Québécoises et Québécois (MNQ)
Organisations unies pour l’indépendance (OUI Québec)
Réseau Cap sur l’indépendance (RCI)
Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste (SSJB)
Ferreres, El Periódico, November 16
Angela Merkel: "How did it go in Spain, Jean-Claude?"Jean-Claude Juncker: "Best country in the world--they really know how to live there."[NOTE: European Commission president Juncker has received two Spanish honours in the past month. At the ceremony for the last, an honorary doctorate of the University of Salamanca, the former prime minister of tax-haven Luxembourg delivered a speech against "nationalism", aimed against the Catalan movement.]
..here's a 3.5 hr video on the huge demo. i'm not suggesting anyone watch it all but skimming through it is interesting.
"Llibertat pels presos polítics - Som República", 11 de novembre de 2017
So what about the Russian involvement?
..you should be posting that stuff in your fake news thread nr.
FEATURE: TWO DEMONSTRATIONS COMPARED
Map of Barcelona: The blue line marks the space occupied by the October 29 unionist demonstration, estimated by the Barcelona municipal police at 300,000, by the Spanish government delegation in Barcelona at 1 million and by the organisers, Catalan Civil Society (SCC), at 1.1 million.
The fuschia-coloured line markes the 3.3 kilometre-long space ocupied by the November 11 demonstration in support of the eight detained Catalan ministers and against the application of article 155 in Catalonia. The municipal police estimate was 750,000, while the organisers, the ANC and Omnium Cultural, expressed no different estimate.
The November 11 demonstration was over three times longer than October 29 event, but in a street that is at points narrower than the Passeig de Gracia where the SCC demonstration took place. This explains why the municipal police estimate for November 11 is 2.5 times as large as for October 29.
Going by the relative municipal police figures, if the SCC figure (1.1 million) for their October 29 demonstration is correct, then the attendance on November 11 would have been over two million--a figure no-one believes in.
The answer to the conundrum is that the Spanish delegation and SCC figures for the October 29 demonstration were pure fiction.
In a November 12 article on the Catalan web site Vilaweb Antoni Morell calculated attendance at the November 11 demonstration at between 1.014 million and 1.521 million, depending on the actual density of the crowd (with the lower figure corresponding to 4 people per square metre and the upper figure to 6 people per square metre). If the implied average density of the municipal police estimate (5.05 per square metre) were applied to the entire area occupied by demonstrators, the result would be 1.28 million.
Morell's conclusion: a million at the very least, and probably more.
Are you saying Russia did not try to influence politics in Spain?
..you should be posting that stuff in your fake news thread nr.
..yes i'm saying that nr. as it pertains to catalan. no one is influencing the 1 million plus folks who came out into the streets, yet again, but themselves. nor were they influenced re voting in the oct 1 referendum in spite of the heavy foot of the police or for an independence party a few years back. and that's the extent of my engagement on this subject.
ERC leader: "The Spanish government threatened us with deaths in the streets"
"The Spanish government threatened deaths in the streets". The general secretary of ERC (Catalan Republican Left), Marta Rovira, has revealed that Mariano Rajoy's Spanish executive threatened the Catalan government that, if they continued on the path towards independence, it would lead to a climate of "extreme violence" in which they wouldn't talk about "rubber bullets", but just "bullets".
Rovira said that such violence wouldn't come from a deployment of the Spanish National Police or Civil Guard, as during the 1st October referendum, rather that it would come from the army. "They were taking weapons to the barracks in Sant Climent Sescebes" and "the army was in operation" said Rovira in an interview with Catalan radio program El Món a RAC1. According to the ERC politician, the Spanish government's threat came through "various channels" after the police repression of the referendum and was looking to stop the government's plans for independence....
Belgian prosecutors ask for Puigdemont and ministers to be extradited
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and the four ministers with him in Brussels, Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret, Clara Ponsatí and Lluís Puig have today appeared for an hour before a Belgian judge who will not decide on their extradition to Spain until just days before the 21st December Catalan election. During the hearing, neither the president, nor any of the ministers were questioned.
Belgian prosecutors have asked for extradition. The crimes of misuse of public funds and corruption were discounted during the hearing whilst the crimes of rebellion and sedition were recast within the crime of coalition de fonctionnaires (literally, "coalition of civil servants") in Belgian law, which entails 6 months in prison. The crime is defined as an uprising against the powers that be, according to Belgian justice sources.
Now the defence have 17 days to prepare their case and present it. The judge will has set the next hearing for 4th December. After listening to the defence case he will then have between 8 and 10 days to make his decision, so it will come in the middle of the election campaign for 21st December. Once the judge has decided, the defence can appeal, starting a legal process which could last up to 3 months.....
Puigdemont reminds Juncker that Rajoy gets only 8.5% of votes in Catalonia
Following the warning from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, saying that "the extensive support throughout Europe" for Spanish PM Rajoy "should not be underestimated", Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has issued a response.
In a message published on his Twitter account, Puigdemont reminds Juncker that, in Catalonia, Rajoy's Popular Party only receives 8.5% of the votes. The president offers this fact as a counter to the supposed "extensive support" that Rajoy would have in Europe "for his policies on Catalonia", according to Juncker. Puigdemont goes on to ask: "Does Juncker have any regard for European citizens' votes and opinions?"....
Catalonia: a cry for understanding and recognition
In Catalonia, there has long been no other option: independence is the only remaining route to social justice after Spain’s dismissal of all attempts to dialogue over the years.
Beyond Spain’s repression before and during the fascist Franco regime (1936-1975), in recent years our power to determine our own affairs has been constantly diminished, reduced to levels that we find totally insufficient. Like most people in the world, Catalans want to have a say in decisions that affect us, and many of us feel unable to make our voices heard under the current status quo.
As well as in all other autonomic regions of Spain, a new Catalan Statute of Autonomy was agreed upon between Spain and Catalonia, and approved by a referendum, coming into force in 2006. Afterwards, the Partido Popular (PP) in Spain filed an objection to the Spanish Constitutional Court which led to serious cuts and amendments to the Statute of Autonomy.
Since then, many progressive laws conflicting with the right-wing agenda of the PP were rejected by the Spanish government after being approved by the Catalan Parliament: laws against energy, poverty, fracking and evictions as well as reforms promoting gender equality, social security, taxation on nuclear energy and banks, and so on. In total, 25 laws approved by the Catalan Parliament did not come into force because they were repealed by the Constitutional Court at the request of Mariano Rajoy’s government.
..more than 900 signatures collected so far.
by US academics demanding the relase of Catalan political prisoners.
The United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
The European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council
The European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
In the wake of the Referendum on Independence and the subsequent Catalan Parliament’s proclamation of independence, the Spanish government dissolved the Catalan Parliament, deposed the Catalan government, and arrested eight members of the cabinet, including its vice-president. Although Spain has tried to extradite Catalonia’s president and the remaining four ministers, who are currently in Belgium in an effort to ensure a fair hearing, their efforts have been so far unsuccessful. The Spanish prosecutor’s comparison of the October 1st referendum on Catalan independence with an “armed coup d’état” reveals Spain’s untenable position.....
Briton Geoffrey Servante, who fought Franco, backs Catalan separatists
The last surviving British volunteer to serve with the International Brigades during the Spanish civil war will vote for Catalan independence in regional elections next month.
Geoffrey Servante, 98, who was an artilleryman during the conflict, said that he was so appalled by police violence during the illegal referendum in Catalonia on October 1 that he would be voting for Carles Puigdemont’s pro-independence coalition on December 21.
Mr Servante, who was born in London and lives in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, was granted honorary Spanish citizenship in 2009 and has voted by post in previous elections.
He said: “I went to the Spanish embassy and got sworn in. I was asked where I wanted to be registered. I chose Barcelona. So I’m Catalan."
Fer, El Punt Avui, November 20
Spanish defence minister Dolores de Cospedal: "I've been rung by Russian spies, Chinese spies, spies from North Korea, Cuban spies...that Puigdemont is a moonlighter!
[NOTE: The reference is to the gullible PP minister being taken in by two Russian radio program pranksters who rang de Cospedal and pretended to be from the Latvian defence department, with "information" that Puigdemont was a Russian agent and that 50% of Russian tourists to Barcelona also engage in espionage.]
Pro-independence forces maintain majority in latest GESOP poll for El
On the Brink of an Authoritarian Turn: The Catalan Uprising
The pro-independence movement has undoubtedly made serious political mistakes—crucial among them, an unrealistic proclamation of independence without the support of a widespread democratic base. From a radical social justice and human rights perspective, though, this is not the most critical point. The eventual scenario in which part of the ousted Catalan cabinet may apply for political asylum in Belgium points to other political aspects of the current conflict, the most significant of which is arguably related to the content and scope of a democratic regime in twenty-first-century Europe. Concretely, these recent events raise the question of why and to what extent a legitimate political claim—which was peacefully and democratically debated in countries such as Scotland and Quebec in the recent past—may be addressed within a European jurisdiction as a law enforcement and criminal justice issue. Two interpretative lenses may provide an answer to this dilemma.
First, the unstated values and long-standing inertias of the Spanish political regime should be taken into account. According to mainstream ratings such as the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, Spain represents what may be defined a “regular” European democracy. Based on indicators measuring the prevalence of the rule of law, political stability, and political accountability, Spain ranks lower than the major EU nations and Portugal, but higher than other Southern European countries such as Greece and Italy. Yet, this perspective is somewhat distorted. In international assessments on the effectiveness of human rights against penal repression (see www.politicalterrorscale.org; www.humanrightsdata.com), Spain features either the worst or second-worst record of all EU jurisdictions in key areas such as political imprisonment. As a manifestation of a persistent Schmittian political mentality, Spanish hegemonic elites have time and again claimed the existence of “internal enemies” (nowadays located in Catalonia) to legitimate the transformation of political conflicts into penal issues. These authoritarian tendencies have also targeted social movements. For example, in the mid-1990s more than 1,500 anti-military activists were jailed for advocating the abrogation of military conscription. Today, Spanish courts are indicting and convicting hundreds of people for speech crimes allegedly perpetrated via social media. In short, Spain is to a great extent an effective embodiment of what Michel Foucault defined sovereign governmentality—that is, a technology of power that essentially rules through the law, the stipulation of prohibitions, and the enforcement of punishments.
Ferreres, El Periódico, November 22
Rajoy: "Given the good result, 155 will always be here."
García Albiol (PP Catalonia leader): "If they've got it overhead, they'll comply without a peep."
[NOTE. Looking on is Enric Millo, the Spanish government representative in Catalonia, soft cop to García Albiol's hard cop.]
La Punxa d'en Jap, El Punt Avui, November 23
Today we're doing maths: "PP + Citizens + PSOE = 155"
..the pp has been trying to shut this investigation down.
Judge offers those injured during 1st October Catalan referendum chance to report police
The judge investigating the police attacks in Barcelona during the 1st October independence referendum has rejected the public prosecutor's request to archive all the cases of those injured who still haven't brought complaints. Instead, he will contact them all, directly or through the police, to offer them the chance of taking action.
In an interlocutory order which Spanish news agency EFE has had access to, the judge in charge of Barcelona's court of instruction number 7 emphasises that there a "different reasons", including the "very clear social controversy" over what happened, which justify offering the possibility of bringing complaints to the fifty-odd people injured on 1st October who still haven't done so.
In so doing, the judge, who says that there are currently more than 230 complaints presented to his court by those injured in the police attacks during the 1st October referendum, rejects the petition from the public prosecutor to file all those cases of light injuries still without complaints.....
..14 min newscast
23-Nov-17 TV News: 'Independence movement will never surrender, says top ERC official'
National struggle and class struggle: complementary or contradictory?
Parallels between Catalonia/Spain and Quebec/Canada
A major item on the agenda of the upcoming convention of Québec solidaire (QS), to be held in the Montréal suburb of Longueuil December 1-3, will be a proposal for fusion with another pro-independence party, Option nationale (ON). This will entail revisiting the relationship between the parties’ support for Quebec independence (basically the entire program of ON) and Québec solidaire’s attempt to link the national question with its social justice program.
The current struggle for national self-determination in Catalonia quite naturally suggests parallels with the issues posed in the Quebec pro-sovereignty movement. In recent weeks, two leaders of Québec solidaire — Manon Massé, a party spokeswoman and member of Quebec’s National Assembly, and André Frappier, a member of the QS National Coordinating Committee — have visited Catalonia as invited guests of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), a left pro-independence party that is now contesting the December 21 Catalan election.
In the following article, which I have translated from Presse-toi à gauche, André returns to a topic he has frequently addressed in recent months as a coordinator of a pan-Canadian network of left social movement activists that is now beginning to develop. An earlier article by him was published here on October 5.
André’s article is followed by a statement of the newly-formed Quebec coalition of solidarity with Catalonia, which includes major nationalist organizations, trade unions and political parties. Its first public meeting will be held tomorrow, November 18, in Montréal. See its web site for particulars, at www.solidarite.cat.....
The EU is beginning to grasp the high price it is paying for the repression in Catalonia
Yesterday we learned that, on occasion of the inter-parliamentary meeting between the EU and the People’s Republic of China held in Brussels last Friday, the Chinese delegation formally asked to broach the subject of Catalonia. The item was added to the official agenda and the Chinese representatives made the most of it, not for Catalonia’s sake but for theirs.
Specifically, the Chinese MPs asked whether the EU supported Mariano Rajoy’s decisions on Catalonia. When the confirmation came that it does indeed, they asked if the two basic rules implied by the intervention would also apply to the EU’s relationship with China from now on. In other words, they asked whether in future the EU would regard Tibet and Taiwan as China’s internal affairs and, therefore, it would refrain from criticising any of Beijing’s actions there. They also enquired if the same measures adopted by Madrid, which violate human rights in Catalonia, would no longer be slammed if they were adopted by Beijing. We are talking about the violation of private correspondence, shutting down web pages and jailing political leaders.
The anecdote is both interesting and revealing. Clearly, China can only sympathise with Mariano Rajoy when it comes to his authoritarian stance. Therefore, it is obvious that China’s interest in Catalonia is merely instrumental. Still, China’s attitude is forcing the EU against the ropes. Catalans have rightly complained about Brussels’ tough, wholly insensitive position on Catalonia. There is also a great deal of discomfort about it in the EU’s capitals, but not within the EU’s leadership. At least not yet. And I would like to emphasise this because what has happened with China reveals the hurdles which individuals as nefarious and uncompromising as Jucker are having to face at the moment and will continue to face in the future. These difficulties are bound to increase and will cause no end of problems for the Union, simply because Brussels’ position is untenable.....
Catalonia held a referendum. Russia won
..from post 187
By André Frappier
The Catalan independentist movement, and more precisely the left, will have to take this into account, especially because Rajoy accuses Catalonia of benefiting from economic resources more ample than the Spanish average and claims that the Catalan population wants to keep its wealth for itself, depriving the rest of Spain. The Spanish working class is in this way pressed to support those who are applying the rules of austerity against it and to fight against its objective ally in Catalonia.
The struggle of the Catalan people must therefore find a way to link their fight for national liberation to a perspective of struggle against the austerity imposed on the entire Spanish state by the government in Madrid, as the movement of the indignados did a few years ago.
The dynamic of struggles is not linear. The fight for social change and the overthrow of the old state does not begin everywhere at the same time, and develops more intensely within nations oppressed by the central state. It is essential that the Spanish working class likewise find the way to supporting the struggle of the Catalan people against the oppressor state headed by Mariano Rajoy. This is in its own interests. A defeat of the Catalan struggle would be a major victory not only for the right-wing government in Madrid; it would also ensure some stability to the European Union in its domination of the working class throughout Europe, which could continue to enrich itself through increasingly drastic austerity measures as it did with the Greek population two years ago.
So also in Quebec. The fight for control of our national fate, our resources, our environment and our industry cannot be successful without challenging the control by the ruling classes. That inevitably means looking beyond Quebec’s borders and calling on the working people in the rest of Canada to support our fight for social justice against the equally inevitable intervention of the Canadian state and its financial institutions, which will apply the same medicine as the World Bank did to Greece or Madrid and the European Union is doing to Catalonia. Didn’t Trudeau say that there was only one united Spain?
So the net result has been to embolden the right. Great effort!
"The Catalan crisis is the Spanish crisis. It is the European crisis. It is the return of the face of authoritarianism within the heart of Europe. It is more than just a shame that short-sighted political interests, such as maintaining Mr Juncker in office or promoting a right-leaning Spanish European Finance Minister mired in allegations of wrongdoing, take precedence over speaking up for the founding principles of the European Union. Betrayal of the ideals of Monnet and Adenauer places the entire European project at risk, and in far graver a way than the 2016 British vote to leave."
The EU Is Beginning To Grasp The High Price It Is Paying For The Repression in Catalonia
"Nobody should ignore the reality that the meeting with the Chinese MPs has exposed..."
Catalonia Referendum Allegedly Funded By Bitcoin
"According to Spanish newspaper of record El Mundo, much of the media used to promote Catalonia's (0-1) referendum to secede from Spain was paid for in bitcoin..."
Gee, what a surprise!!!
Venezuela and Russia Teamed Up to Push Pro-Catalan Fake News
During the Catalan secession crisis, a flood of social media posts from Russia and Venezuela spread fake news. The evident purpose: to undermine European as well as Spanish unity.
I don't seem much in the way of similarities between Catalonia and Quebec. Quebec's referendums have been respected and the people of Quebec have rejected separation twice and don't want to revisit the issue.
Spain wouldn't allow a vote and used violence against unarmed citizens. Ironically Spain's actions have increased support for separation whereas Canada's have diminished the threat.