October 22, 2017
I’m generally having a hard time paying attention to this.
But the situation does continue to intensify.
Half a million people on the street right now in Barcelona, banging pots and pans, whining about their freedoms.
— Luchismo Dogmatico (@LuchismoD) October 21, 2017
— Peronella (@peronelladarago) October 21, 2017
— Valors Democracia (@JordiCdf) October 21, 2017
And I’m just thinking like, yo – why can’t people get this passionate about the invasion?
The head of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, has denounced Madrid’s decision to transfer the powers from the regional authorities to the central government as a “coup” as hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Barcelona in protest.
Earlier, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government wants to dissolve the Catalan parliament and call a snap election to restore order in the region. He also said that the powers of the Catalan government would be temporarily transferred to Madrid, adding that the relevant proposal was already sent to the Senate for approval.
Madrid’s decision provoked a wave of outrage in the secessionist region as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of the regional capital, Barcelona, to voice their discontent with the central government’s move.
Forcadell harshly criticized Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s decision to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows Madrid to intervene and impose direct rule on any of Spain’s seventeen autonomous regions in case they are judged to have violated the law.
She said that the prime minister’s actions amount to a “de facto coup d’état” and strike “a blow to democracy.”
“Prime Minister Rajoy wants the parliament of Catalonia to stop being a democratic parliament, and we will not allow this to happen,” Carme Forcadell said in a televised speech, as cited by Reuters.
“This is why we want to send to the citizens of this country a message of firmness and hope. We commit today, after the most serious attack against the Catalan institutions since they were restored, to the defence of the sovereignty of the parliament of Catalonia,” she said.
In response to the central government’s decision to transfer administrative powers from Barcelona to Madrid, hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the center of the Catalan capital. Some 450,000 people took part in the demonstration, AFP reported, citing local police.
The massive demonstration, which initially was expected to be a protest against the arrest of the two leaders of the separatist movement detained by the central Spanish authorities on suspicion of sedition, turned into a show of resistance against the latest measures taken by Madrid.
The demonstrators also banged pots and pans as they protested Madrid’s actions. The protesters were carrying banners against article 155 of the Spanish Constitution used by the central government to seize the powers from the Catalan authorities, as well as placards that read, “Free political prisoners.”
The protesters waved Catalan flags and chanting “independence” and “freedom.” They also called for the release of Jordi Sanchez, leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and Jordi Cuixart, of the Omnium Cultural Association, who were detained on the orders of Spain’s High Court.
The Omnium Cultural Association spokesman, Marcel Mauri, told the protesters at the rally that Madrid’s decision to take powers from the Catalan authorities had “destroyed democracy.” He also made a call in English for international support: “Help Catalonia, save Spain, save Europe.”
A big part of the issue here is that the international community can’t comment on this after going so hard against Crimean independence (after having supported Kosovo, the last Euro-independence bid).
The Western establishment would certainly look hypocritical if they embraced the Cats.
So you just have this deafening silence – this huge event is happening, and Putin is the only one who will comment on it.
Merkel and Macron have backed Madrid. But not especially strongly. They just say blah blah blah rule of law. No big show of “united with Spain,” because public opinion isn’t really clear.
I’m not the public, but my opinion isn’t even clear. However, the fact that the establishment is against the Cats makes me inclined to support them.
Point being, the European establishment is keeping their options open.
I still think they’re going to crack. The only real issue that independence could cause is a triggering of other ethnic minorities doing the same thing, which could potentially end in chaos of some type.
But to be clear, the Catalan are pro-EU.
But at the same time there is no serious support for Madrid, there is none for Barcelona.
I think my position of not really caring very much is sort of the general global position. Seriously, this is the biggest world event that no one cared about.
— Tim Willcox (@BBCTimWillcox) October 21, 2017
Real talk though: long term, I’m not sure how the population of the region will be governable with this much bad blood. And the way Spain is handling thing, a few Cats getting together and deciding to go full-IRA is not totally out of the question.