By Cristina Pujol
I could try to explain Catalonia’s current turmoil and where its political and national destiny should be bounded to with tons of ideological bullshit, but I won’t. It is not necessary to get airy and idealistic about something that can be explained by a simple rationale. If the independence of a particular nation (Catalonia) from a country (Spain) is necessary to ensure that nations’ basic and democratic needs are met, it means that people are pushing for a process that should not require a deep empathic understanding. It really is about democracy, rights and self-determination. Catalans should be able to decide how they want their country to look and determine its political, social, economic and cultural priorities. Catalonia’s independence is not an irrational impulse. There are plenty of reasons why millions, yes, millions, of people go out to the streets and protest every year in favour of a split that has nothing to do about national hatred towards Spain, but about realising a political dream that has a plurality of horizons.
WHY should Catalan people keep on putting up with a state that does not fully embrace its plurinational reality?
WHY should we continue to be part of a country that refuses to recognize our culture, history and language. As Catalans we have our own traditions and if the state will not defend them, we will.
WHY should Catalan people desire to be in a country that does not want to understand and resolve its past? Why should they be part of a country that does not fully condemn the fascist dictatorship that ruled with an iron fist 40 years ago? Why should we live under its historical memory of brutal fascist oppression?
“Catalans should be able to decide how they want their country to look and determine its political, social, economic and cultural priorities”
WHY should Catalan people tolerate a Minister of Education who thinks that schools should be a tool to indoctrinate kids to “feel Spanish” (as said openly in the Parliamentary Assembly), instead of thinking of education as a means to provide equal opportunities for everyone to prepare for their future, to give them freedom and critical thinking skills?
WHY should Catalan people put up with a Constitutional Court that tears down laws approved by the Catalan Parliament which try to protect people from resources, poverty or unjust eviction? Should I remind that these laws stem from a democratic mandate based on the people’s will of having a country with some political and social priorities?
WHY should Catalonian people respect a state and a government that is incapable of finding a political solution to the desire of independence through dialogue, negotiation and restructuring of the governmental layout in Spain? Today’s formula does not work, not for Catalonia nor for the rest of Spain. Why not give it a look and accept that it needs reform? Why such a reticence to move forward?
This is a state which systematically punishes a social movement which is democratic, peaceful and civic minded by completely ignoring it. This state has previously denied the opportunity of political change for the whole country to prevent Spain from suffering a national split. Over the last decade this has been done by dialogue and by dealing a new political redistribution of power and autonomy. They do not deserve another chance to humiliate Catalonia and its people. This birthright is what the Catalonian people and their government are striving for. Enough is enough.