The title of this post comes from a book by George Orwell.
He fought in the Spanish Civil War, in 1936 and 1937.
He joined the POUM.
Let me briefly recap that war. Spain had a left-leaning government in those days. It contained a huge amount of Communists who were (to an extent) controlled by Stalin and Moscow. General Franco declared war on the Communists. A civil war ensued. The Communists were helped by Stalin and Moscow and General Franco’s fascists were helped by Hitler and the Nazi’s. During that hell a revolution broke out in Catalonia, a region of Spain with its own language and culture. The Catalonians didn’t care much for Franco’s fascists and they didn’t like the Communists much either. Their revolution can best be described as anarchist. They began to take control of their lives and region. Factories were taken over by workers and run by workers, often producing better output than before. Needless to say, this was the most dangerous thing ever. So Franco, the fascists, the Nazi’s, the Western Allied Powers and yes, the Soviet controlled Communists… ALL worked together to destroy this revolution, which they did in quite gruesome ways.
After defeat, Catalonia has never been forgiven for being a “rebellious” region.
Even their language was forbidden to be written or spoken in schools.
The EU loves diversity. Provided it’s the right kind of diversity. So when Muslims in Bosnia rise up and say they want to turn their region into a regressive cesspool that’s mostly funded by Saudi Arabia? Well, then we all march in the diversity parade and go out of our way to help these poor oppressed people. When the people of Kosovo say they want to turn their region into a regressive cesspool that’s mostly funded by Saudi Arabia? Well same thing: we need to go and help these poor, oppressed and ethnically diverse people.
They have a right to self determination.
Yesterday, after decades of trying, Catalonia held a referendum for independence. They no longer want to be a part of Spain. They want to be a separate Republic, called Catalonia.
The central authorities in Spain didn’t like that one bit so they sent their stormtroopers to close voting stations, steal ballots and voting booths, arrest people under “administrative detention laws” (that indeed come from the Franco era) and wounded some 800 innocent people exercising their right to self-determination.
The conduct of the government of Spain and their stormtroopers has been disgraceful.
The EU’s conduct hasn’t been much better.
The EU doesn’t like referenda.
They never have.
People might vote the wrong way and that’s just horrendous.
While commando’s were kicking down doors, closing down voting stations and kicking in teeth…
… the fucking EU didn’t say or do a goddamn thing.
Apparently kicking down doors, randomly arresting people and trying to sabotage a legal referendum for self determination is “constitutional”.
Our own Prime Minister has since chimed in: he’s quite pleased with this repression.
Apparently if one of our own Dutch regions would seek independence, he’d use the same tactics.
The Spanish terror tactics didn’t help.
Catalonia overwhelmingly voted to leave Spain and become an autonomous region/country: The Republic of Catalonia.
I want to give a big shoutout and pay my respects to the people of Catalonia, especially my friends and colleagues in Barcelona.
At the same time I am terribly worried.
My guess is that the central government of Spain will simply not accept this outcome.
I’m afraid more authoritarian measures will be taken, more rights will be violated and more people will get hurt.