Friday, October 20, 2017

A mistake

On October 1st, Catalans marched to the ballot boxes in the face of Spanish police batons, and voted loudly and clearly for independence. This then, there's been an esclating crisis as Spain has lost its shit over people peacefully and democraticly choosing for themselves what they want to do. The Catalan government has tried to de-escalate this, by suspending its declaration of independence in order to allow for negotiations. The Spanish government has rejected that, instead doubling down on repression by jailing independence leaders for "sedition" (a concept which simply has no place in a democracy). And now, they're threatening to suspend Catalonia's regional autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid:

The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.

The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the Spanish government said Puigdemont had ignored its calls to drop his independence plans and had once again failed to confirm whether independence had actually been declared.

As a result, it said, article 155 of the Spanish constitution would be invoked to begin the process of suspending the region’s self-rule.

And the response will be pretty obvious: the declaration of independence will be unsuspended (or there'll be a formal parliamentary vote), and the thing Spain sought to prevent will undeniably happen. With the overwhelming support of the Catalan people - because Spain's actions throughout this have been seemingly calculated to drive people away rather than win them over.

As for what happens then, who knows? But Spain clearly thinks it can solve this problem by force, beatings and repression. It can't. Or at least, it can't while still remaining a democracy. Sadly, it looks like Spain's non-Catalans don't really care about that.