Will Catalonia Declare Independence After Spain Moves to Impose Direct Rule, Oust Catalan Leaders?


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracy
Now.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We begin today’s show with the political
crisis in Spain. On Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy said he’s moving to impose direct rule over Catalonia, stripping the northeastern
region of its autonomy in efforts to crush Catalonia’s independence movement. Following an emergency Cabinet meeting on
Saturday, Rajoy said he will invoke Article 155 of the Constitution, which has never been
used in Spain’s modern democratic history. Pending its likely approval by the Spanish
Senate, Article 155 will allow Spain to fire Catalonia’s elected leaders and seize control
of its police forces and public broadcast channel. The move comes in response to Catalonia’s
independence referendum earlier this month. The Catalan regional government said 90 percent
of Catalan voters chose independence in the referendum. More than 800 people were injured during the
vote, when Spanish police attacked them, the police stormed polling stations, firing tear
gas and physically attacking the voters. This is the Spanish prime minister, Mariano
Rajoy, speaking Saturday. PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY: [translated]
The ability to dissolve the Catalan government, if the Senate decides to do so, the powers
of the Catalan Parliament will be transferred to the president of the government. The president of the government, if the Senate
decides, will have to call for elections in a maximum of six months. However, I want to do this as soon as possible
to recover institutional normality, which, without doubt, is one of our goals for the
future. And for that, it is important that we all
work for recovering constitutional normalcy. AMY GOODMAN: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s
announcement prompted outrage in Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, where nearly a half-million
people poured into the streets in protest. The speaker of the Catalan Parliament called
Rajoy’s order a ”de facto coup d’état.” CARME FORCADELL: [translated] Today, Prime
Minister Rajoy, in an enormous act of political irresponsibility, has crossed all limits. He has announced the execution of a de facto
coup of state through which he intends to intervene and take control of the Catalan
institutions—an attack against democracy and against the Europe of the 20th century
with the goal of ending a democratically elected government. AMY GOODMAN: Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont
called Rajoy’s decision the worst attack on Catalonia since Franco’s dictatorship. Puigdemont said Catalonia’s Parliament will
meet in the coming days, amidst speculation he might unilaterally declare Catalan independence. For more, we’re joined in Los Angeles, California,
by Dominic Thomas, professor at University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes
in European politics. He’s chair of the Department of French and
Francophone Studies. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Thomas. Can you start off by talking about just what
happened over the weekend in Catalonia and, overall, in Spain? DOMINIC THOMAS: Right. Well, thank you so much for having me on your
show. So, this all started off with the prime minister
holding a Cabinet meeting in order to discuss how to proceed with the actual non-declaration
of a referendum, but nevertheless to bring, in his mind, the region of Catalonia back
into line. The Cabinet supported him. He also spent time building cross-party support,
going to opposition parties to make sure that when he goes to the Senate later this week,
he has the mandate that he needs to essentially put the region of Catalonia into receivership. The other extraordinary thing and development
was that the king of Spain—and this is a constitutional monarchy, very similar to that
of the United Kingdom, where the king is really the figurehead of this country—spoke out
again, announcing that there was absolutely no way that Catalonia would at any time separate
from Spain. And Rajoy had just returned from the summit
of EU leaders, where he came back with strong support from several important players in
the European Union. At that particular point then, the Catalonians
responded and spoke out. And I think one of the most symbolic moments
was when the leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, spoke in front of a European Union flag and
in front of the Catalonian flag and shifted, during his intervention, into English, appealing
to the international community and to bring attention to the fact that as far as they
are concerned, their democratic—basic democratic rights are being suspended in the region. AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s go right now to
the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, speaking this weekend against Spain’s plan for direct
rule. At one point in the speech, he switched to
English. PRESIDENT CARLES PUIGDEMONT: If European foundational
values are at risk in Catalonia, they will also be at risk in Europe. Democratically deciding the future of a nation
is not a crime. This goes against foundations that unite European
citizens through the diversity. Catalonia is an ancient European nation. It’s core to the European values. We do what we do because we believe in a democratic
and peaceful Europe, the Europe of the the Charter of Fundamental Rights that should
protect each and every one of us. AMY GOODMAN: And I want to turn back to the
Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, speaking Saturday. PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY: [translated]
The autonomy and self-governance of Catalonia will not be suspended. It will remove the people that put that autonomous
government outside of the law and the Constitution and statute. Self-governance will not end. It will be recovered for the sake of legality
and for coexistence of all Catalans and not just those who are pro-independence. AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s the prime minister
of Spain. Professor Dominic Thomas? DOMINIC THOMAS: Right. So, you hear them both, you know, sharing
their different perspectives on this. And this is really what has brought this political
crisis to the fore, is that the independence leaders are absolutely committed to moving
forward with what they see as a mandate delivered to them in the referendum of October 1st. Now, this referendum was, of course, highly
problematic, because it had been declared illegal and unconstitutional, and many people
stayed home. But Carles Puigdemont feels that the people
of Catalonia have spoken, and they want to proceed with this. But the Spanish government insists that, constitutionally,
this is just simply not possible, that these 17 states that make up the union of Spain
cannot separate, cannot secede from the unitary model that they embraced and signed off on
in the 1978 Constitution. And for the time being, neither side has been
willing to compromise, although both sides have claimed that they are willing to sit
down and to negotiate and to have discussions about this and reach some kind of compromise. AMY GOODMAN: So what’s stopping that? DOMINIC THOMAS: What’s stopping it is simply
that the independence folks are absolutely committed to going down that path. And as far as the Spanish government is concerned,
that is a red line. There is no mechanism in place to allow them
to move toward independence. And so, this is really the struggle, is that
the leaders want and feel like they have a mandate in Parliament, they’ve been talking
about this for a long time, that they want to have a vote on the referendum. And yet it’s illegal. It’s this sort of technical, bureaucratic
constitutional process that is preventing them from getting to this. The irony, of course, is that a few weeks
ago no statistics pointed to the fact that an independence vote would win. It seemed that there were people who were
disillusioned, who had genuine grievances with the relationship of Catalonia to Spain
and that were supporting the movement, but that had there been some negotiations, had
some of those grievances been addressed, their support for the referendum would have waned. And yet, the longer that this has gone on,
the more it has galvanized people in the Catalonian region, not so much because they believe in
the independence referendum, but that the violations of these basic democratic principles
have been very troubling and have mobilized people to come out and express support for
the independence leaders against the central government. AMY GOODMAN: Professor Thomas, can you give
us background? For people who are sort of parachuting into
this right now, trying to understand what this is all about, give us a lesson in Spanish
and Catalonian history. DOMINIC THOMAS: Well, it’s a long history. I mean, the roots of the region go back, one
could argue, all to the medieval period, and that the history of the formation of Spain
as a constitutional entity, as a monarchy, Catalonia has always been part of that. It is a region that has its specific language,
its specific cultural roots, that has been operating economically and politically as
part of one of the 17 states, but as an independent state that has developed its own cultural
background, forms of expression and so on. And during the Franco dictatorship, from the
late 1930s all the way through to the 1970s, they were persecuted. Their language was banned in schools and so
on. And this has left a sudden resentment vis-à-vis
the centralized government in Madrid. And for many years now, the folks have been
galvanized towards moving towards various measures towards achieving independence. In 2006, they wanted to implement certain
changes to their relationship to Madrid, and Madrid refused to ratify them. And since then, the leadership in the region
has been gradually moving in the direction of holding a referendum on their future belonging
to Spain. AMY GOODMAN: And talk more about Article 155
and why people of Catalonia are so deeply concerned, it not being invoked since the
fascist General Franco was in power. DOMINIC THOMAS: Right. It’s never been used, and it’s actually,
you know, vague. The one thing that’s not vague, as far as
Prime Minister Rajoy goes, is that he has the right constitutionally to bring regions
into compliance if they attempt to break away from the centralized state. What’s interesting, though, about that dynamic
is really the optics, is that if one just looks at the ways in which the government
has behaved leading up to the declaration of Article 155—preventing people from going
to the ballot boxes at the referendum, incarcerating some of the political leaders from the region,
and threatening the head of police, and then bringing the European Union in to support
them—is that, in terms of the optics of this, I think that people’s grievances against
Madrid and this feeling that the Madrid central government is overreaching have been enforced
by this. And this is, of course, one of the main arguments
that has been used by the separatists, is that Madrid is too interfering in the region. So even those people who might not have automatically
have been in favor of the referendum find this treatment and this way in which the European
Union and Prime Minister Rajoy have dealt hypocritically with some of the fundamental
questions of democratic rights in the region have disturbed people. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, 900 people were injured
when the Spanish police attacked voters on this referendum day. DOMINIC THOMAS: Right, and it was completely
unnecessary. They declared the referendum illegal and unconstitutional. So, from that point on, they were never going
to recognize it. What was the harm in allowing people to go
to the ballot boxes? Now, one can talk about the various pros and
cons of a kind of micro-nationalist movement within Spain, but it made absolutely no sense,
especially in this day of social media, to go in there with that kind of force and to
stop people from exercising what they fundamentally believe were their democratic principles. And this is why the situation has escalated
and why, when Puigdemont spoke out in English, he is well aware of the fact that the international
community is going to be interested in the ways in which Spain is conducting itself right
now, especially with all the attention on elections in Europe these days. AMY GOODMAN: So what’s going to happen next? DOMINIC THOMAS: Well, later on this week,
the prime minister is going to go to the Senate. He’s most likely going to get support, and
they’re going to go in and essentially put the region into receivership. In the meantime, the only way out for the
separatists and for the Catalonians is to have—is to preempt this by going to Parliament,
either declaring unilateral independence, which will of course escalate things even
further, or to call regional elections themselves, rather than the central government doing it,
and, hopefully, from their point of view, return a Parliament that has being re-democratically
elected by the people, that will give them the mandate to hold a referendum. And the outcome of that is highly unpredictable. This is also what is so problematic about
the central government in Madrid insisting that they have regional elections. They already had regional elections. They already returned a democratic region—leaders
to that area. And what it looks like is that Madrid is trying
to shape the outcome of the election, to hold an election and to hope that a sufficient
number of people return a government that is not pro-referendum, and, in so doing, will
humiliate the independence leaders in the region. And this will only further divide people living
in this part of the country, in which families are being torn apart, businesses are flocking
out of the region, and they’re facing a deep economic, as well as political, crisis.

Comments 57

  • Attention REAL NEWS alert.. the Clinton Foundation accepted $ 145 million from Russia to sell THEM nuclear uranium.. Bill Clinton even went to Russians president Vladimir Putin private house shortly after that Clinton received $500,000 for a speech he made in Russia..

  • Amy looking good in blue now you need to report real news instead of propaganda from the DNC

  • Free Catalonia!

  • Dominic Thomas is a shill for corporate interests. Best regards from Slovenia, winning independence in 1991. Big powers have given green light to hurt Russia. Also in the background of Spanish situation is a class struggle and corruption of the Spanish oligarchs in collusion with EU oligarchy.

  • Can please say the percent of people who vote !!!!!

  • CAN YOU PLEASE SAY THE PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO VOTED!!!!! Wtf

  • Why do you keep pushing for civil war? The separatists are not legitimate at all. Report accurately and thoroughly or stop pushing this narrative.
    The separatists are fascists who don't act democratic at all. What percentage "voted" in that "referendum"? What percentage of Spain overall really voted for the separation of the region?
    It IS part of Spain. Any separation in democratic spirit NEEDS to be democratically decided by ALL parties involved, not just some nationalist extremist in the region.

    WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? This reporting is legitimizing this separatist effort and is inevitably leading to civil war.
    Do you think the horrors of the Syrian civil war couldn't happen in Spain?

    Your reporting is absolutely one sided! How can you report this is democratic if it's ALL unilateral?

    I DO NOT WANT CIVIL WAR IN EUROPE! No you are not "better off alone". Stop this bullshit!

  • Catalonia not free?

  • If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.

  • The separatist government is violating the rights of all the other Spanish citizens that are not from Catalonia to have their vote into a matter of sovereignty. This is complete garbage.

  • I still don't get why Catalonians are pursuing this independence so feverishly, selfishly and unlawfully imposing their demands on their entire nation. Are they REALLY suffering THAT EXTREMELY that the only option they now have left is to fight aggressively against their own nation? Are they being mass murdered for practicing their religion? killed for being a certain color? denied basic healthcare and education for their children? no access to clean water, even basic food? their towns and cities riddled with wretched poverty, disease and violent crime? Are they SO EXTREMELY FUCKIN OPPRESSED by a despotic murderous regime that their entire lives are forever trapped in turmult and fear, their every human right nonexistent? Or are they just being spoiled ungrateful 1st world bubble dwellers that are advantageously garnering support from the global awareness of and movements against the TRULY UNIMAGINABLE oppression and suffering in the world, and just want their VERY comfortable affluent spanish lives a little bit more comfortable and affluent?

  • I still don't get why Catalonians are pursuing this independence so feverishly, selfishly and unlawfully imposing their demands on their entire nation. Are they REALLY suffering THAT EXTREMELY that the only option they now have left is to fight aggressively against their own nation? Are they being mass murdered for practicing their religion? killed for being a certain color? denied basic healthcare and education for their children? no access to clean water, even basic food? their towns and cities riddled with wretched poverty, disease and violent crime? Are they SO EXTREMELY FUCKIN OPPRESSED by a despotic murderous regime that their entire lives are forever trapped in turmult and fear, their every human right nonexistent? Or are they just being spoiled ungrateful 1st world bubble dwellers that are advantageously garnering support from the global awareness of and movements against the TRULY UNIMAGINABLE oppression and suffering in the world, and just want their VERY comfortable affluent spanish lives a little bit more comfortable and affluent?

  • #freecatalonia

  • This supposed “expert” doesn’t have any idea about catalan history. This goes back centuries where Catalonia is a whole other nation, but force and intimidation has been part of Spain’s way dominate and preserve power

  • Free Catalunya!

  • The EU are bad news Big business and banks will F you up the people mean nothing England voted. Out we got F you people all ways mugged off 🤔🇬🇧

  • Firing Cat's gov leads to unrest and strikes requiring hired/borrowed outside police producing occupation tactics yielding a response that'll shock and rattle cages all the way down to Palestine, Somalia and the Congo, and up to Ireland, Quebec, Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, Beijng and beyond. The fiery 2017 summer europe endured is just getting warmed up and to liberally quote Hedges, "…the world is a nuclear tinderbox today."

  • They will NOT declare Independence.
    Rajoy has gifted them a million extra pro-independence votes for the elections next Spring. Also, any economic downturn in Catalonia (certain with civil disobedience) will be blamed on Madrid.
    Every weekend there will be protests in Barcelona demanding an end to occupation.
    For Puigdemont it is win win.
    Dunce-Rajoy has made nothing but bad moves and this is the worst.

  • it seems to be the logical thing to do, they have their own culture, language, traditions, history and even their own cuisine. it could get bloody this up coming confrontation if Spain's history of raping and pillaging thru the Americas is anything to go by.

  • Catalonia President should be thrown in jail along with his scumbag cohorts.

  • Looks like fascist Franco holds power, even from the grave. Why where the Allies when Franco was alive, in power after losing WWII?

  • Could you get someone that actually knows what he is talking about?
    First of, there is no such thing as states within Spain, there are autonomous communities, that are far from a federal state system. And, the reason why there are 17 of them is because Euskadi (ie the Basque country), Catalonia and Galicia had historical basis for self government, going back to the second republic and way before, they were identified as "historical regions" entitled to certain rights, but to dilute the caliber of their demands the post francoist transition (or better said reform), structured the state in 14 other communities with the same structures, in order to avoid the appearance of any special treatment or the recognition of any national diversity within the spanish state.

    Otherwise, historically the independence movement was quite minoritary, with a high symbolic component (by this I mean that most catalanist parties had youth groups clearly defending the independence premise but it almost never progressed as a serious question within the party structure) and, more importantly, situated on the left and extreme left part of the ideologist structure (a friend of mine jokes that in demonstrations, you can clearly distinguish veteran independentists from those that joined after 2010, because the former raise their fists when the national hymn is being sung and the latter raise their four fingers in relation to a medieval foudational story and our flag which would take too long to explain here, and probably no one cares about). The catalanist center and right was always more focused on seeking a pact, traditionally in the way of an improved fiscal deal, with the central state akin to that which the Basque already have.

    Also there is no constitutional prohibition to the referendum per se, there could be a referendum if the spanish legislative agreed to it, of course they wont, but the constitution doesn't prohibit it as such, the impossiblity of the referendum is due to a lack of political will across the the spanish right and left that refuses to see the spanish nation, as anything other than one great and free (una, grande y libre).as per the constitutional provisions for secession that is a more contentious issue that is like most things up to the interpretation of the Constitutional Tribunal, which is highly partisan and a big explanatory actor of the current situation.

    With reference to the current standstill I think its a fundamental mistake, to say that the independentist movement will accept nothing other than independence, another referendum that counted with legitimacy and was binding would be welcome by the whole movement, the negotiations of which could stop the current free fall and the unionist could seriously try to rally for the no. But from a survival standpoint even if the article 155 wasn't approved the catalan president couldn't hold off much longer on declaring (or reinstating the declaration) independence with no steps from the central state, both because the law of the referendum (which was annulled by the constitutional tribunal pending resolution, but is recognised as legitimate by the independentist movement as it emanates from a parliamentary majority) clearly states that if the yes wins over the no the president must declare independence within 48 hours. But also because the bases won't accept something akin to going backwards on the process, we must remember that the parliamentary elections that elected the current Catalan legislative were presented as a plebiscite because there had already been another consult on independence, but then the consensus was that a referendum would garner more legitimacy to any declaration of independence. What must be understood here is that even though you are just hearing about this, for catalans this has been a 6-7 year process, which is often seen as somewhat eternal. For the some of independentist parties to call now for elections would be regarded as an eternal recurrence problem and they might loose part of their base.

    Another thing that he obviously lacks knowledge of, is that in 2006 what happenened is the Catalan authorities agreed with internal discrepancies on a new Estatut (which is something akin to a constitution on an autonomous level) that seeked to increase the level of autonomy but wasn't by any means a radical change of the status at the time, it went to the congress (that at the time was controlled by the socialist party) in Madrid, suffered some cuts and was approved there, then it was ratified by the catalan population in a referendum, this was part of an effort to sell the idea of Spanish state that was plurinational and could better accommodate historical demands like the basque (that one is another issue altogether though, and the Basque context was very different at the time) or catalan. What did happen is that the conservative Peoples Party (PP) headed then by the current president Rajoy, was against the text but didn't have the political force to stop it in the legislative, so they organised a process to bring the Estatut to the Constitutional Tribunal, in what was clearly seen at the time as an anticatalan campaign. Fastforward to the summer of 2010 when the Tribunal finally gets around to emit a sentence about the catalan text (which caused a certain degree of tension within the court) and the original text comes out severely cut as inconstitutional. And here is when the independentist movement clearly starts, on September 11 (which is the catalan national day, and reveals much about our masochist culture, as we commemorate a resounding defeat that resulted in the elimination of the governing structures and our cultural life for the next century and a half, but this too would be a much longer story) of that same year houses in Barcelona what at that point had been one of the most massive demonstrations since the ones in the 1970s, that has for the first time the recurring slogan of independence, and this is a key factor, the independentist movement is a grassroots one, it emanates from the civil society and not the political parties, that is illustrated by the catalan president (that belongs to the same party as the current one, another long story) whom after this demonstration doesn't really try to negotiate more self government or national/linguistic recognition for the deal, but instead comes out and declares that he will try to negotiate an improved fiscal deal with the central government, he is completely rebuffed at the time of course, funnily enough that is what the central government was offering not some months ago, but it was a case of much too little far too late.
    It is the people that push the politicians towards a referendum in a long process of self-organisation, which if studied could clearly explain how in October first, very few hours after state representatives had came out and said that they had made the referendum technically impossible to realise, despite the brutal police repression, a large number polling colleges where open (thanks to families neighbours and all kinds of people keeping them open over the weekend, sleeping there and transforming them into spaces of popular vitality) there where pool boxes and ballots (which themselves were subject of the most elaborate smuggling and protective scheme that the country has ever seen), or why people made hours of cues to be able to vote and then stayed afterwards organising themselves to protect the ballot boxes from the police, and how three days after the country witnessed the most massive general strike in its history in protest of police violence. All this would have been literally impossible if the independentist movement wasn't intrinsically a grassroots one. It also explains why the first prisoners of this process are not politicians but civil society leaders (see the whole Free Jordis signs held by demonstrators in the images), which, I think, also belies a fundamental misjudgement by the central state on how the movement really works. Really, I cannot emphasise enough the social marvel that October 1st was, and what it heralds for the coming days and weeks, the people are not only galvanised, they are mobilised and more importantly they are self organised to the point where they have managed to elude state surveillance apparatus.

    By the way the complete number of civilians attended in hospitals due to police violence has been upped to 1.066 people.

    I do realise that probably no one will read all this, but you know for the sake of accuracy.

  • Independence from what? Their own country? They are Spanish. They would still be Spanish.

  • Democracy and ballot tickets are just kid's toys, dreamers 🙂

  • Catalonia won't be able to declare independence, there is no plan B and how it will make its own money and trade with other cities and nations.

  • Let the people decide.

  • Execute Order 155.

    Once more Castille will rule Spain, and there shall be… peace.

  • Catalonia has right to self determination, the referendum was clear

  • That was some real clear explanations.

  • 5:10 "Democratically deciding the future of a nation is not a crime…" He said the one that is trying to deciding the future of Spain pretending that 45.000.000 people doesn't have the rights to be questioned about an affair that it's clearly concerning their future.

  • Democracy Now is a Leftist leaning outlet but can be informative.

  • Puigdemont has already declared independence and signed the declaration to that effect but then suspended its effect. A declaration is nonetheless a declaration. He and his colleagues already crossed the Rubicon in doing so. Mariana Rajoy was left with no choice but to pull the Catalan government into line by invoking Art 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

    Having perused the English text of the Constitution of what is a unitary Spain I am amazed to see what a democratic and pluralistic document it is. It would be tragic to see a liberal and democratic Spain destroyed by in effect a war with Catalonian separatists which once started will also impact on all regions of Spain already having suffered economically over the past decade. Other Spaniards on the whole (likely excluding the Basques) will not thank Catalans for such a conflict but will support Madrid in its determination to maintain a unitary Spain. Conflict will divide family members and Catalans and other Spaniards even further – any sympathy for the other will go the way of the Dodo.

    Catalonia realistically needs to make an accommodation with the Spanish state and not drive the whole country into a downward spiral. The Spanish state also needs to grant Catalonia concessions but those that do not endanger the unitary state. The tax issue does need to be addressed although that will not be enough for the separatists.

    Spanish and Catalan ought to be given equal importance in Catalonia by its government and institutions. Spanish should along with Catalan be equally used in the Catalan Parliament as in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and similarly in all government communications and publications. It may be necessary to review the education system in Catalan to sort out the language issue but the principal objective ought to be that students are at least versatile speakers of both languages. Catalan university graduates and tradesmen ought to be bilingual so they can work outside their region.

    Puigdemont's appeal for dialogue with Rajoy whilst refusing to withdraw the declaration of independence seems only to have one objective from the former's viewpoint which is to set a timetable and arrangements to establish a Catalan Republic and thereby destroy the unitary state. Rajoy and his ministers see through Puigdemont's tactics.

    Catalonia has been a part of Spain since the 15th century and even longer as part of the Kingdom of Aragon that united with Castile to become Spain. It is plain unrealistic to think that a proud Spain will allow its richest region to depart. Catalonia is not a Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia or Kosovo.

    The USA had to prove by a Civil War that no state could unilaterally leave the Union and there have been similar conflicts involving Catalonia and Madrid over the centuries including the War of Spanish Succession that ended with the fall of Barcelona in 1714 following a 2 year siege by royalist forces. Catalonia's present drive to independence could result in something similar if the conflict escalates.

    Even if one sympathizes with Catalan aspirations and many will especially if violent images increase on TV screens which the separatists seem to want as a tool to achieving their aims it is rash to push the envelope as they are doing as a vale of tears will be the result.

    I would not want to see the beautiful wealthy region of Catalonia devastated by civil conflict but it seems the separatist leaders are prepared to see that happen if it brings a Catalan republic closer. This is madness!

  • Spain's Constitution is like ours, in which Article 2 prohibits secession. The Article can be amended by a 2/3 note in favor by Congress, also the same as in Spain. Let's imagine that:

    CA held a binding referendum on secession. Because they declared it 'binding', it would also declared illegal by the US gov. They procede anyway, despite the additional fact that the independence movement has never been a majority. They call this democracy and the US government Fascist.

  • Article 155 administrators will need to be extraordinary people.
    Each Morning a police escort through protesters,
    every evening plastic bullets fired to clear an exit.
    The administrators will need to be committed fascists :
    probably Civil Guard armed Colonels.
    Picture the scene :- an armed fascist colonel taking control of
    TV3 and forcing them to broadcast propaganda.
    That is why the EU (PACE) committee said article 155 is
    the "worst option".
    It can't work without traducing Dunce-Rajoy's good name.

  • The dictatorship ended more than forty years ago.
    The Catalan grievances, in general XD are in their heads … surely they feel them but … let's leave it is that there is a certain mix… In one hand xenophobic touches and feelings of superiority towards the rest of the Spaniards and on the other hand certain touch of antiglobalization and antisystem politic interest. The only thing the have in common is that they want the independence.
    Democracy is a method of government under the law, not an end in itself, the fact that something has been decided democratically (and is not the case) does not imply that it is not an outrage, that is not destructive or wrong.
    New elections are necessary because the current Catalan leaders have broken the law, a lot (they have been lying and encouraging hate for years but that does not matter to anyone in XD politics) and they have lost the legitimacy that the law grants them (and not a primitive tribalism).
    The following elected leaders can do whatever they want but will be legitimated to do so.
    What does that dude teach at UCLA? Not international law or ethics, that is clear.

  • Coup d'etat that will organize elections to replenish the institutions in no more than 6 months…. are all Catalonians morons or just the separatist ones? It's a lawful intervention to restore order in a province that had a "government" that breached the law.

  • The people wont to be set free from spain and the EU i dont blame them FREE THE PEOPLE

  • Trump = USA / Rajoy = Spain / FMI = UE.

  • seems democoracy is a game

  • People of Catalan, we love you, please don't leave Spain. We are stronger together.

  • I thank my stars every day for Amy Goodman & Democracy Now!

  • Only 40~% voted in the referendum. That's hardly a majority. They already stand as an autonomous region. They aren't being otherwise physically harmed.

    I'm not sure why we need to put this on the same level where the opposite is true?

  • Will they? They must they have been left no choice this is going to end with Spains own version of the Orange Revolution. The EU versus Catalonia.

  • #freecatalonia

  • Don't insult the United Kingdom by relating our monarchy to the Spanish.

  • A mistake in the text of introduction to this record: Mister Carles Puigdemont is the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia). The speaker of the Parlament de Catalunya (Parliament of Catalonia) is Lady Carme Forcadell. This record gives a short introduction to recent events in the Catalan Movement of Independence from Spain, and then interviews Mister Dominic Thomas (Professor of the University of California in Los Angeles). Mister Thomas offers a very intelligent assessment of the current situation, albeit without going into the historical background of centuries of tension between Catalunya and Spain. He correctly warns that decisions taken in these next days (late October 2017) by both sides, will have unforeseeable consequences for Catalonia, for Spain, and possibly for Europe. His words of warning deserve careful attention.

  • Of course you can have Democracy, if you do what you are told lol.

  • those 900 injured were simply a HATE CRIME, infested by an evil media machine owned by FASCISTS in madrid, simple as THAT.

  • Catalonia hace años que esta a la vanguardia de la sciencia, produccion, recerca y obra social
    Todo esto es gasto, yo no entiendo porque Madrid recorto el Statut Autonomico y la financiacion.
    Ha sido un ejemplo para el resto de España a seguir. Muchos han seguido el saber vivier y saber
    hacer de los catalanes. Los catalanes son los alemanes/franceses de los españoles.
    Cuando una sociedad es libre, tiene autonomia holgada es mas creativa , mas productiva, mas valor añadido;
    a cambio si aprietas tuercas a una sociedad, se vuelve mas desconfiada, conflictiva, menos productiva, sin creatividad y
    depresiva.
    Que pretende Madrid con el 155 ? "Le va a salir el tiro por la culata"
    Es solo una opinion, estoy en el medio…
    Espero que alguien me entiende
    Na zdrovia !

  • Free Catalonia! i used to live there for 5 years! La Garriga Barcelona Spain.. its a thing of beauty! Free it!

  • The US is also moving to break up due to the Central tyranny and it's rejection of democracy. This issue of democracy applies to all of us.

  • FREE CATALONIA! SPAIN GET THE HELL OUT!

  • Kosovo is Serbia
    Catalonia is Spain

  • Testing, testing, testing,.

  • A more original and interesting perspective would be to examine the roll played by corruption in this political crisis. Both Puigdemont’s old CIU party and Rajoy’s government were drowning in corruption scandals before this independence referendum business was raised. Ciu have traditionally never been secessionists until the corruption scandals came to the fore and the declaration of independence is a god-send for Rajoy’s Spanish nationalist party. The real losers are the Spanish left, and the radical left Podemos party will be severely punished by voters in the next elections for their ambiguity and leniance towards the independence movement, and the left-wing pressure exerted by the Stalinist CUP party. Workers of the world unite! We need to destroy national barriers and not raise them. Instead of dreaming of building borders to protect us from the Empire, we need to take control of the Empire.

  • that's why US has militia
    to keep the commies and feminazis out of their country

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