Spain's right-wing government orders brutal police crackdown on Catalan independence referendum


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/21/austerity-logic.html


#2

This has several big errors/biases in reporting, but the general gist is that yep,this is very fucked up.

The current Catalonian government cant be described as “left wing anti austerity”. It has the “tactical” support of some left wing and very left wing parties as long as it goes for independence, but neither Puigdemont or his party are either. They are very much right wing, pro austerity… but also independentist.

The particular ways of calling this referendum have been also not preciselly stellar examples of democracy in action.

All of that, of course, is overshadowed by the fact that the Spanish government reaction has been so stupid and drastic as to give the independentist side a moral victory by default, and that the root of the problem lies on the refusal of most of the Spanish political establishment to even consider it possible to have the question of independence put to the people. They are correct in saying that as it goes now, this whole thing is unconstitutional; they cant get their head around the fact that they have to provide a constitutional way to get this asked and decided or we will be increasingly wondering how to handle 1/3 of the country that doesnt want to be in it… or more, if it spreads. Because in their minds the idea that this can be voted and we should be (for years now) looking at ways to win that vote by convincing people is alien to them. Like freedom of religion to a medieval monarch. “Unity of Spain” is not something they think they have to work to get - they think is not up to discussion.


#3

I’m sure this will put a stop to it, rather than making the Catalonians angrier.


#4

This cannot be repeated too often.

The independence movement in it self is a nationalist movement. I had discussions with self-identified leftist sane and intelligent Catalan friends who went bOnkErrrRRRrs on this topic and resorted to open racism to explain why Catalunya needs to be independent.


#5

Beat me to it.


#6

This reminds me of what happened in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, where the Republican government suppressed the anarchists.


#7

200


#8

Right wing political parties don’t have any kind of monopoly on racism. Just because there are only two significant political parties in the US, and the economically rightward one happens to have also picked the racist demographic to court…

In Quebec, the separatist Bloc Quebecois party is economically pretty leftish. And they can be pretty racist - which stands to reason because independence is somewhat favoured among white multi-generation francophone Quebecois, and strongly disfavoured among the less white and the first and second-generation Canadians.


#9

I don’t know how racist are your Catalonian friends, but no matter what Spanish government beats them by a nautical mile. We are talking about “shooting immigrants in the sea so they drown better than reaching land”, "praising and awarding medals to military units who fought voluntary for the Nazis"or “the moors should give up their religion and culture to be considered Spaniards” levels of racism.
You know the wall Trump’s want to build? We already have it in our frontiers with Morocco.
And the hate does not ends there; there is a constant stream of hate speech against ANYTHING Catalonian in Spain, Catalonians are talk about the same terms as Jews in Weimar’s Germany (Catalonians are greedy, Catalonians are traitors, Catalonians want the state to colapse, Catalonians are elitist snobs, Catalonians speak their language so we dont understand what are they plotting, etc ad nauseam).
I’m not Catalonian, but the constant HATE against the Catalonian peoples really drives me mad and really makes me hate Spain as a nation. And YES, I am a Spanish national living in Spain.
Spain nowadays is a far right government not unlike Erdogan’s Turkey: corrupt to the core, nationalistic, deeply religious, intolerant to minorities, with ever shrinking civil rights to all except of the very wealthy an loyal.
Catalonian independence movement is fuelled by Spanish bigotry and rising fascism.


#10

Soooo…Generalissimo Francisco Franco is NOT dead??


#11

Do native Spanish speakers really have trouble understanding Catalan? How hard do they have to work to “not understand” such a similar language?

My Spanish is pretty terrible (and my Catalan nonexistent), and when I was in Barcelona, I could read and understand signs much more easily than I could tell which language they were in.


#12

I’ll try to keep it snappy, shall I? Otherwise I’m just going to holler for the rest of the night.

Yeah, but kind of in regard to the combination racist nationalism.

This is not a pissing contest. I really don’t care if other assholes are more full of shit.

You must not make that comparison if you want to argue with me on a civil basis.

Yes. Written, on street signs, is no comparison to the spoken language.


#13

I’m honestly not trying to step on your toes here - but I chose the example I did specifically as an example of a left-wing racist nationalist party, in my country.

I am totally willing to accept that in Spain generally and Catalonia in particular, the racist nationalist parties are also economically right wing - I just meant to provide a counter example to show that it wasn’t a universal monopoly.


#14

From 2008. For those not into Formula 1, Hamilton is black:


#15

I apologise for being short and quite harsh in my reply. I’m quite tense. You do have a point that no-one has the monopoly on racism.
And I actually don’t think I know enough about the Catalunya crisis to point the finger at the people who want independence. But I am very much opposed to bigoted nationalistic asshattery, and I had my fair share of that both with Catalans, and Spanish. And French, come to think of it. (I didn’t visit the Baleares, and I don’t know people living there.)


#16

None, it’s very easy to understand.

And that’s part of the problem: when a Spanish hears Portuguese, Galician or Italian they say “OH I CAN UNDERSTAND ALMOST EVERYTHING! GREAT!”, but when they hear a Catalonian they say “SPEAK SPANISH YOU FUCKING CATALONIAN!”.


#17

A guy I was on a tech team with a few years ago showed great restraint (in hindsight) when someone said he was Spanish and he corrected them just by saying “I’m Catalonia, there’s a difference” and refused to go into it any further than that because he wanted “to stay polite”.


#18

¿Sixteen judges of a court eat the liver of a convict? (Seriously, it’s more different than some German-language dialects from other, and there are plenty of dialect speakers which don’t understand each other. I don’t think it’s that easy. You can understand it. But it needs time, and some effort at the beginning.)

I heard the exact same complaint from a friend of her experience living in Catalunya. She was born in Columbia, and has very own opinions on colonialism via language.

It works both ways.


#19

WHAT?

To native romance language speakers it is very easy to understand other romance languages because they share a good amount of vocabulary, structure and syntax. I do not expect a native german or english speaker to understand most romance languages just by learning one because they have not being exposed to the vast vocabulary and structure flexibility (and verbal conjugation hell) of the romance languages.

Ok, lets talk about history. During the Spanish Civil War there was an extraordinary effort in Catalonia and the Basque Countries to defend the republic, but the fascist won. The fascist regime of Francisco Franco retaliated with extensive pogroms directed at any expression of the regional identity of those who opposed them; all languages not Spanish were forbidden. If you were talking your native language in the streets the Guardia Civil could just detain you on basis of being a traitor to the regime and you would be lucky if they just let you go with a beating. In the schools were taught that those other languages were “badly spoken Spanish”. Of course no books or newspapers or advertisements were allowed to be printed in those “traitorous languages”. This lasted until the death of the dictator. With the democracy came also the freedom to write and speak local languages again, but the political heirs to Franco’s regime (PP) still fight against this freedom up to this day. A few years ago the Spanish culture and education secretary Jose Ignacio Wert (PP) said that it was his mission to “Españolizar a los niños catalanes”, to “Turn Spanish the Catalonian children”, this was seen as a direct attack at the identity, history and language of Catalonians by every political party (except for the PP).
Nowadays both Catalonian and Spanish are used in Catalunya, not unlike French and English in Quebec, and official documents, signs and communications are both written in Catalonian and Spanish.
So, if we try to talk about colonialism via language we could talk long about how Castillian Spanish has being used to suppress any identity that differs from the ruling status quo. Even my native dialect of Spanish, Andalusian, is attacked by portraying their speakers as foolish uncultured parasitic slackers.


#20

Hey, Catalonian is “easy”, but not completly trivial. I mean, I have trouble understanding it if spoken fast, I need time ot understand it, and help.

Which means absolutely nothing, of course, I mean, is not like anybody has the duty to speak languages I can trivially understand, or all of Spain would be speaking my bad Galician castrapo.