This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The Uncertainty of Spanish Reaction to Barcelona Revealed 

"Who knows what will happen if the Guardia Civil comes?"
"If they tell me I can't be in a public school to exercise my democratic rights, they will have to take me out of here. I won't resist, but they will have to carry me out."
Quim Roy, activist, Barcelona
People form a line in protest as police try to control the area in their attempt to cast their ballot in Barcelona.
Riot police shoot rubber bullets. People form a line in protest in an attempt to cast their ballots in Barcelona. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

"[The use of rubber bullets by Spanish police against crowds of unarmed voters was shocking.] We did expect a normal democratic process."
"We knew that a lot of police were here but still, you know, there should be a respect for the will of the people to vote regardless of what you think of the referendum."
Ksenia Svetlova, member Israeli parliament, part of a delegation of 33 invited by Catalan officials to observe the voting process

"[The violence, while] unfortunate [and] unpleasant [was] proportionate."
"If people insist in disregarding the law and doing something that has been consistently declared illegal and unconstitutional, law enforcement officers need to uphold the law."
Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis
Police move back to their vans followed by members of the public after storming into polling station to confiscate ballot boxes and ballots in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, Sunday. - David Ramos,Getty Images
A deadline had been set; six in the morning on Sunday, police warning activists along with parents and their children in the Catalan schools they took to occupying to prevent the police from shutting them down from polling place activities three hours later. In Madrid there were protest marches against separation; balancing the thousands who marched in Barcelona to remain united with Spain. The Spanish parliament warned that the referendum should not, and would not take place, characterizing it as 'anti-democratic'; a rather surprising interpretation of democracy.

But the nation's constitutional court three weeks earlier had suspended the independence vote supporting the government's identifying it as illegal. Making it entirely expected that the police would be dispatched to stop the process to intervene by whatever means seen to be necessary to stop ballots being cast. They began by confiscating millions of ballots and posters. And the following, predictable course of action was indeed to haul people away from their intended vote.

Armed for business with truncheons and rubber bullets police from other regions were sent to put a stop to the voting, to confiscate ballots and in their zeal some were shot on video dragging people away from polling stations by their hair, others being pushed down stairways, being kicked and shoved to the ground. The physical violence was emphasized by peoples' frightened screams. One voter's amateur footage was of police attacking unarmed people and other locations revealed similar rough tactics, people being kicked, punched, thrown about, including the elderly with dogs, young girls and all manner of other people attempting to protect their heads from truncheon blows.

 An estimated eight hundred people were injured, some aeriously. They may have been peaceful protesters, unarmed civilians who felt it was their human right to cast ballots, but they came against well-armed and -instructed police who felt otherwise. Of the 2.26 million Catalans who managed to vote, 90 percent significantly voted "yes", to favour independence. Close to eight percent, a negligible number, rejected independence, while the other ballots were either voided or simply blank.

The region's 5.3 million registered voters made the most of their difficult opportunities to express themselves in the only way they could. The government of Spain penalized them with an amazing reaction, a violence that would make a tyranny proud of its capacity to quell rebellion. Of the ballots accounted for, there were others, confiscated by Spanish police during the violent raids planned to put a halt to the vote process.

The leaders of other nations in the European Union were undoubtedly dismayed and gap-mouthed at this undemocratic, violent display of raw anger and power to dissuade a significant proportion of a population that their opinion and their wishes in a purportedly democratic nation were of no value whatever; enforcing their loyalty and citizenship to a regime and a national process they no longer want any part of. There will be an appeal by the Catalan government to the European Union to focus on this abuse of human rights.

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