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Protests erupt as Spain convicts 12 leading Catalan separatists

25 Comments
By JOSEPH WILSON and CIARAN GILES

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A massive mistake, sending these brave patriots to jail. This will revive the cause for Catalonian independence, and rightly so.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

So they arrest leaders promoting separatism. Why isn't the English-language media condemning Spain, and supporting these pro-Democracy freedom fighters? I am speechless about the double standards. You have to be an absolute anti-Chinese hater not to condemn the double standards. I guess China should set up an international foundation - Harmony and Liberty for People, and support the Catalanian freedom fighters, and also send a strong warning to Spain that if they even touch these liberty loving pro-Democracy protestors, China will put sanctions on Spain. Let's see how that plays out.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Why isn't the English-language media condemning Spain, and supporting these pro-Democracy freedom fighters? I am speechless about the double standards. You have to be an absolute anti-Chinese hater not to condemn the double standards. 

I haven’t seen the English language media condemning China on HK either. I’ve seen them reporting on it. Same as they’re reporting on this.

Seems you’ve let yourself get angry about something you read incorrectly.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Seems you’ve let yourself get angry about something you read incorrectly.

I think you might not have an eye for the subtle differences in the way the two situations are being reported. Its as much to do with words that are not there as words that are. Plus, there is the cherry picking. Look at this:

Protesters fought back by throwing objects, spraying dark clouds with fire extinguishers, and breaking windows.

If they broke one window, and the press was against them, they would write "Windows". If they broke dozens of windows and the press was with them, they might not write "window" at all and just skate right by it. Or say "windows were broken" rather than squarely blame the protestors.

Also, rather than say "fought back", they might say "defended themselves by". They would also describe the protestors as having "converged peacefully" before the violence began. Contrast the above quote with this about Hong Kong:

Police said rioters tossing gasoline bombs also damaged a subway station.

They just damaged it eh? Nothing BROKEN? No details on the damage? And they don't say the protesters did it. They say "the police say".

Punches are being pulled. I cannot say how intentional it is though.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes. The question is 'who threw the first punch?'. Whodunnit?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Catalans deserve freedom... at all cost.

They already have freedom. Did you mean independence?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This situation is completely different than the situation. In Hong Kong because Spain isn't trying to erode the freedoms the Catalans have. Trying to draw an equivalency is disingenuous.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They already have freedom. Did you mean independence?

If they want independence but are not allowed to have it, clearly they are NOT free. They may have more relative freedom than others but they are clearly NOT truly free.

I don't know why they want independence exactly. But it does seem they do not feel they are being properly represented in government. Quebec and Scotland got independence votes. THAT was a display of freedom. Why shouldn't the Catalonians have this freedom?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So they arrest leaders promoting separatism. Why isn't the English-language media condemning Spain, and supporting these pro-Democracy freedom fighters? I am speechless about the double standards. 

The news comes first, the opinion second. However, the tone of a lot of reporting is pretty critical of Spain.

Have you actually looked?

Anyway, here is the condemnation you seek:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/14/spain-imprisonment-catalan-leaders-supreme-cout-jailed-nine

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Spain isn't trying to erode the freedoms the Catalans have.

Umm... Catalans obviously think otherwise.

Their leaders are being arbitrarily arrested for political crimes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

First of all, I have never ever wrote before this but after years of reading news giving only one side of the story I feel I should provide some additional information.

I want to be clear, I do not support any of them and I will be happy with Catalonia staying or leaving, the same feeling I have with Brexit. But both recent Catalonia issue and Brexit have been built upon lies to their citizens.

I always see people not literate enough to criticism this or many other movements as it is easy to sympathize with "weak" part.

Catalonia has always been since the constitution in 1979 one of the most privileged part of Spain in terms of auto-governance. In 2006 government offered a even more privileged status to Catalonia by the so called "Statue of autonomy of Catalonia".

All of this has made rest of the country regions way less privileged and has raised some criticism in the past so the government had provided all other regions some improved autonomy too.

Regional Catalonia government has discriminated since then all individuals, schools, companies and universities who provided services or made use of the Spanish language instead of or together with Catalan language with violates the Constitution and discriminates any non Catalonia individual.

Regional Catalonia government has force companies to issue books for schools and high schools with an absolute partial and hate speech against anything related to Spain and their citizens for many many years.

Regional Catalonia government has discriminate those roughly 50% of Catalonia citizens who do not agree with the hate speech and the use of unilateral/force to raise independence with lies and hiding information to their own citizens in order to make them believe such lies to support such behavior on streets.

Regional Catalonia government lied when they said for years that the government in Madrid steals money from Catalonia and their citizens.

There is a similar system to what I believe exists in Japan, USA or most of European countries to support those poorer regions within the country. Even so, Catalonia receives more money and sometimes even more than what they give to central government than other rich regions similar to Catalonia like Madrid.

Catalonia government has been committed many times to raise support and play within the legal democracy rules as they did in the past that led to Catalonia to archive the "Statue of autonomy of Catalonia in 2006". Despite that, leftist raise control in the Catalonia parliament and imposed their rules few years ago and made unreasonable claims to government which led them to use be unruly/illegal and find their way to get what they wanted with lies to their own people.

All in all, now they complain because those who where many times told not to do that illegal statements and promote illegal secession and play the legal game (which by the way has been very useful for Catalonia to get unfair privileges) are now condemned by a judge.

Even after all of this, people abrod spain will support Catalonia no matter what, but think about what any other country like France, Germany, Italy and many others with local separatist regions will do. For example what should Japan do if Hokkaido or Okinawa decides to declare independence without any sort of previous legal agreement and by lying to their own people to collapse the region.

By the way, this is in no way similar to HK or Scotland as Spain has no control over Catalonia government (they are free to decide unless they go off-road the current legality) and Scotland is a country itself which is not the case of Catalonia despite their claims.

You may do not agree or believe what i wrote but that is the reality.

I support freedom of speech but in Catalonia now a days those who do not buy their lies or those who do not agree with them are being chase and discriminated and that is not freedom in any from either.

PD: Please, my apologies for all the grammar of spelling mistakes you may find in this post.

Greets.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Catalan identity is a passionate issue in the northeastern region bordering France, but elsewhere it has failed to capture the public imagination and, crucially, lacked international support.

And understandably so. The last thing ppl want is more social instability. Who's next? The Basques, occitans, bavarians, sards, bretons, Rhine ppl, Sicilians, tatars, Frisians, corsicans etc?

9-13 years sentences is far too harsh though, they're just adding fuel to the fire.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

People have to understand that the Catalan pro-independence leaders were convicted by the supreme court, basically for this.

Article 2. Spanish Constitution.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make it up and solidarity among them all.

The independence of Catalonia is impossible if this constitutional article is not modified first. And for that, it is necessary the favorable approval of 2/3 or more of the 2 legislative chambers and the celebration of a national referendum that ratifies it. In case the Spanish population agrees with it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

mizu Today 04:41 pm JST

Excellent explanation. Everything that has been exposed is 100% true.

In Catalonia the only thing that differs from the rest of Spain is that they have a different language. And that's the only argument they have to ask for their right to independence.

I live near Valencia. About 130 kilometers south of Catalan territory. I speak the Valencian language. A linguistic variant of the Catalan language. I know this problem very well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@mizu

Good post. Keep them coming.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

After serving a short, symbolic sentence the "disloyal" Catalans will probably be pardoned and released at the pleasure of the King of Spain who will himself be able to derive some political capital from his act of mercy and goodwill toward his "subjects", a "gracious" gesture sure to win him personal sympathy and burnish his image with some of the more "moderate" folk in Catalonia. Quien sabe?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The independence of Catalonia is impossible if this constitutional article is not modified first. And for that, it is necessary the favorable approval of 2/3 or more of the 2 legislative chambers and the celebration of a national referendum that ratifies it. In case the Spanish population agrees with it.

In other words, the constitution essentially removes the right of self-determination for minority groups.

Legal justification is not the same as moral justification.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Catalonia the only thing that differs from the rest of Spain is that they have a different language. And that's the only argument they have to ask for their right to independence.

Lots of counties around the world exist with multiple languages sitting side-by-side - in mainland Europe there is Belgium, Switzerland and Italy for example, without significant pro-independence movements. The thing that differs about Catalan is that a significant portion of the local population wants independence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Catalonia the only thing that differs from the rest of Spain is that they have a different language. And that's the only argument they have to ask for their right to independence. I live near Valencia. About 130 kilometers south of Catalan territory. I speak the Valencian language. A linguistic variant of the Catalan language. I know this problem very well.

I think you're over-simplifying, The Catalans do have their own culture, food, history, architecture, specificity etc it's not only a language thing (and so do other regions). The Moorish influences, for example, are less visible in say Barcelona or San Sebastian than they are in Cordoba/Sevilla.

Question is, where do we start, where do we stop? What do you say to other ppl/nations/regions/minorities etc? I'd like to think than catalans & other spaniards have more in common than they have differences.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some day Catalonia will be free !!..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In Catalonia the only thing that differs from the rest of Spain is that they have a different language. And that's the only argument they have to ask for their right to independence.

Do you need a reason to seek independence other than just wanting to be independent? The United Nations Charter seems fairly clear about "respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples". I'd say the right of independence is automatic if that's what the people want.

(It seems my earlier post on this thread was removed. Not sure why. )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A non-issue, really. Most medium to large-sized countries have fringe groups that want independence. If every one of them were catered to, there would hardly be a major country not torn apart by secessionism. And to the fools who condemn Spain as a whole in this matter, why do you choose to ignore the majority of Catalans who favor unity with their country? Why are you so desperate to project your own issues with ego and authority onto an entire country that isn't yours to begin with?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And to the fools who condemn Spain as a whole in this matter, why do you choose to ignore the majority of Catalans who favor unity with their country?

You haven't provided evidence of this claim. There is also good reason to doubt it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And to the fools who condemn Spain as a whole in this matter, why do you choose to ignore the majority of Catalans who favor unity with their country? 

If that's the case, why prevent a referendum where the majority of Catalans can express their opinion?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no reason to doubt anything. Internal polling carried out over years consistently shows a majority of Catalans wanting to stay a part of Spain. There is no need to lend legitimacy to an illegitimate movement by having or allowing a referendum. The fact that most Catalans boycotted the referendum means something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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