Sunday, 10 September 2006

I want a state for Catalonia – Vull un estat propi per a Catalunya

And this is exactly why. Read the link from the Barcelona Reporter. Another example of how intolerance and fascism is ingrained in the mainstream of Spanish society and politics.

Pepe Rubianes is an actor. He was born in Galicia, northwest Spain, north of Portugal. He moved to Barcelona and now is an adopted Catalan. A few months ago, during an interview in the Catalan TV station TV3, he made some ‘tongue in cheek’ remarks about the Spanish far right, saying, translated loosely, that “they can go to hell and fuck off”, “they can stick their sacrosanct unity of Spain up their arses”.
This, let’s remember, referred to the Spanish Fascists, Hitler’s Allies, that executed Federico Garcia Lorca, the great Spanish poet. As it is clear from the video clip, and the subsequent declarations of Rubianes, he was referring at all times to the fascists that kill Lorca. His latest play, ‘Lorca eran todos’ is about the great Spanish poet, killed by Franco’s troops in a field in Granada. His remains have never been found.

A big storm generated in the Madrid-based media. The radio network COPE, owned by the Spanish Catholic Church, and other media in the right started a campaign of hate mail and public pressure to stop his play about Lorca from performing in a Madrid’s theatre. Hate mail, dead threats and calls for a boycott in a campaign with the support of the right-wing press (COPE, El Mundo, ABC, La Razón and other smaller, regional newspapers) and the Partido Popular, the Spanish right-wing party founded by Manual Fraga, a Franco’s minister in the 70s.

Last week, finally Rubianes cracked under the immense pressure and announced that he was pulling out the show. At the same time, the regional president of the Madrid region, owners of the theatre the play was to be performed, said that he was also banning the play to be performed in the theatre.

Let’s be clear about this. Rubianes is not a supporter of Catalan independence. He has been critical of the whole independence movement before. . If anything, he is an uncompromising figure, a bit aloof, a harmless leftie. Rubianes is nothing more that a leftish actor. Yet, he has been banned from performing his play. Nevertheless, he has been criminalised by the Madrid-based right-wing press as a Catalan separatist and insulting Spain. Anti-catalan sentiment in Spain is rife and widespread, as this shameful case illustrates this again.

Now, like 70 years ago, the Spanish right bans artists because of their political ideas.
Now, like 70 years ago, the Spanish right threatens Catalonia with commercial boycotts, the deployment of the army, and the suppression of our institutions of self-government, banning artists, attacking our culture and identity.
Now, like 70 years ago, they are in a crusade to obliterate our nation from the map.

This is precisely why we need to wake up and break away from Spain. Spain is rife with anti-Catalan feeling. They hate us. They want us removed from the history books.

That’s why I want an independent state for Catalonia.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

I also want a state for Catalonia – Jo també vull un estat propi per a Catalunya

Today, thousands of Catalan bloggers across the world will unite under a common message: “Jo també vull un estat propi”, I also want a state for Catalonia.

For almost two centuries, Catalonia has tried to establish a fair settlement with Spain. There have been numerous parties that believed that Spain could accommodate us. They tried to negotiate, to dialog, to compromise, to pact. They all have failed.

Spain will never accept our culture, language and sense of identity. We, if we want to survive as a nation, have to pursue the independence option: we need to have our own state and be a free nation in the European Union.

The campaign was started by Xavier Mir and there have been numerous adhesions of support. Tonight sees the start of the campaign.
We are just a week away of commemorating our National Day. 11 of September 1714 is the day when the city of Barcelona fell to the Spanish troops supporting the Borbons. They proceeded to suppress our national institutions of self-government and implementing their policy of cultural genocide and extermination of the Catalan nation. If you want to read more about Catalan history, I recommend you read Free Catalonia, select language (English, Spanish or Catalan) and go to the ‘Our history as a nation’ section.


Catalan language and blogs

By the way, it is worth mentioning that according to this organisation, there are about 123,000 bloggers publishing in Catalan in the internet. That puts our language second in the blogosphere, behind English.

Some voices have questioned whether these numbers are accurate and if the algorithm used by this organisation is correct. Jokingly, some have gone as far as suggesting that the algorithm counts as Catalan all blogs published by our Spanish neighbours full of hatred and racism against us.

I have had a look at the methodology used and I have to say that the 3-word (trigram) algorithm used looks a bit dubious. Looking at the TextCat meta-file used, there seems to be many inaccuracies in the Catalan language text used to identify a published text as being written in Catalan.

I will keep an eye on this matter and advise of any developments.

In any case, blogging is a very popular activity and the internet is the only place where we can be a free nation, without being constantly attacked by Spain. Perhaps that’s why so many Catalans have taken to blogging in great numbers.