Support the Referendum on Catalan Independence
Direct democracy, citizen participation, and the right to self-determination are three of the most important tenets of Pirate Parties International. In a recent letter, to all fellow members of Pirate Parties International, the Pirates of Catalonia have requested public declarations of support for the referendum on Catalan independence. At Present time there is no referendum scheduled partly because Spain’s national government has refused to allow the region to hold a binding referendum.
In 2014, a non-binding referendum on Catalan independence saw the region vote overwhelmingly in favor of independence. This came after Spain’s authorities declared the vote “illegal” before it was to be held and then forced the regional government to convert the election from a referendum to a “citizen initiative,” which carried no weight.
Citizens in Catalonia, the region in Spain whose capital is Barcelona, have fought for independence from Spain for decades. The Franco dictatorship repressed all expressions of Catalan sovereignty for many years, including a ban on the use of the Catalan language. After democracy began to be restored in the late 1970s, Catalonia has been granted a degree of autonomy within the Spanish Republic.
Since 2011, when the ongoing anti-austerity 15-M Movement was launched in Spain, the people of Catalonia have taken to the streets in astonishing numbers each year to demonstrate in favor of Catalan independence. The most conservative estimates of the size of the demonstrations each year put the number of protesters near a half a million people each time.
A consortium of pro-referendum political parties has published a manifesto called the “National Pact for the Referendum” in favor of finding a solution to the so-far intractable problem of holding a binding referendum on independence that both sides—the anti-Catalan-independence Spanish government and the pro-independence Catalan voters—will respect, regardless of the results of the vote.
“We declare that democratic culture demands political solutions to political problems. This is done by appealing to the fundamental mechanism available to contemporary societies: acknowledging and validating the majority will of the people in the form of a vote,”
the manifesto continues:
“We urge the governments of Catalonia and Spain to overcome the political obstacles and their preconceptions, and to finally reach an agreement that establishes the conditions and the fair and necessary guarantees for holding a referendum recognized by the international community, the result of which should be politically binding and effective.”
Featured image: Public domain, the ballot corresponding to the past 9N consultation (2014)
This was a guest post by Mark Aldrich.
I have been writing about social justice issues for decades, most recently at my website TheGadAboutTown.com
Since January 30, 2017, I have written several features about green card holders detained by ICE in the U.S. I have participated in the social media movement to free Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi since January 2015 and four of my articles were re-published on his foundation’s website. Articles I have written about the imprisoned Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan have been highlighted on the website Movements.org. An article about the imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak was featured last year on the website AllAfrica.com.
The website is unaffiliated with any organization, and I am an independent blogger with credentials from the U.S. Press Association. In 1997, my newspaper column was recognized with a “Best Humor Column” award from the New York Press Association.
I have been a member of Pirate Parties International since 2017. With its full embrace of grass-roots solutions to our neo-conservative/neo-liberal political and economic problems and its core value of liberty for the individual, the Pirate Party has an enthusiastic supporter in me.