Searching for dignity

jordis-presJordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart are now in jail for 140 days because of their political ideas about an independent state of Catalonia. For the same reason, vice president Oriol Junqueras en minister Quim Forn are deprived from their liberty now during 127 days. They are accused of sedition, which implies armed violence.

This article was initially written to my contacts at LinkedIn.

A dignified job, and life in general, is impossible if fundamental human and civil rights are broken. This is the case in Spain, member of the European Union and with its permissive silence.

To my friends and professional contacts at LinkedIn,
The LinkedIn network is mainly concerned about jobs, professional connections and career development. Though, the most important aspect of life, at least to me, is dignity. A dignified job is all we search for, of course. Although it might be one of the most important aspects, such a job will definitely not give the glorified thing if dignity in general is absent. Currently I have been confronted with this situation.

My second country where I have been living during the last 22 years was Catalonia, an autonomic region in Spain with its main city Barcelona. About eight years ago people of this region concluded they could not be part anymore of Spain. Their dignity had been reduced to a minimum when the Constitutional Court sentenced against the new Statute that the Catalan language was not allowed to be the main language of the area as Catalonia cannot be regarded as a nation. After the Franco regime, many years of struggle, negotiations and non-fulfilled promises about the ways to fit the region within Spain as a common project had become exhausted. People started to search a way to decide about their own future. Since 2012, protest demonstrations were held for an independent Catalan state within the European Union. All demonstrations, where often more than a million people participated, have been exemplary peacefully and the entire political process towards the Catalan independency has always been democratic and with respect of its minorities and the Spanish state. Even though the Spanish government has never been willing to negotiate about a referendum about an independent Catalonia. After all terms for negotiating were exhausted and the Catalan government was forced to organize a referendum on its behalf to fulfill their promise against their voters, a referendum was organized at 1 October 2017. We all have seen the violent images of the Policia Nacional and Gaurdia Civil on that commemorative day, not in order to stop the referendum, but just to spread fear and violence among the Catalan people. Since then, civil and political leaders have been put in jail and others, like president Puigdemont, moved out from Spain in order to fled injustice. The Catalan autonomy has been intervened and fundamental human en civil rights have been deteriorated severely. The results of the imposed, illegal elections by the central government of president Mariano Rajoy, however, were won again by the independency parties. The central government, and their political alliances, however, do not accept this democratic result. In addition, the highest courts in Spain, like the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court, are directly influenced by the political forces. This deterioration of democracy has been denounced by different independent parties, like Amnesty International.

All this annoys me very much. That’s why I am currently not mainly concerned about a dignified job, but in a dignified live in general in this part of the world where life has led me to. As an engineer, solving non-linear differential equations, like the Navier-Stokes equation, or validating its results by experimental technologies like Particle Image Velicometry, have currently become a lower priority than optimizing the boundary conditions of LIFE. Although I mostly prefer to solve the first problem, the second one is of more importance to me.

Further reading.
If you like to read the Spanish government’s opinion and its typical view on democracy and on reality in general, so to say, any large Spanish newspaper will perfectly serve you. Only the Spanish newspaper El Publico is an exception on this. Concerning the Spanish unity, the central government, justice and the media form a tremendous team of collaboration against the Catalan will to become an independent republic. In Catalonia the regional diaries Ara (ara.cat), Vilaweb (vilaweb.cat), El Nacional (elnacional.cat), who publish their main articles in English as well, give quite a good idea about the conflict from a different point of view. The Emma collective (http://www.collectiuemma.cat/) gathers press publications from worldwide. The Wilson collective (http://www.wilson.cat/en/), an association of international recognized scientifics, and the Praga collective, an association of lawyers (mainly in Catalan and Spanish, http://collectiupraga.cat/) explain the cause and their point of view about the conflict. For those who understand the Dutch language, I keep up a Web blog about this conflict at http://vdgraaf.cat/wp

“Where did this guy learn to write? He wrote a disastrous PhD thesis with very few citations, if any.”
“Oppression provokes creativity”
“No, it’s the wine.”
“OK, I admit. I drunk a glass”
.
.
.
“Did you ever hear about the Stockholm syndrome?”
“Yes, quite a few politicians in Catalonia suffer from this.”

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day -4

Besiege of schools
The public prosecuter in Catalunya has issued an order to the Catalan police, Mossos d’Esquadra, to besiege the schools and other buldings where the voting of the referendum will take place next Sunday. Schools will have to be emptied at Friday afternoon, closed hermetically and keys will have to be handed over. Following Spanish law, the Mossos d’Esquadra are oblidged to follow the orders from the public prosecuter. Not doing so will be regarded as disobedience, which is regarded as a grave crime, especially in case it concerns a police. The Catalan referendum law however, implies its own legality in order to allow the voting. This legality is opposite to the Spanish one as it does not accept the Spanish constitution. It may be clear that the Spanish justice does not accept the Catalan legality. So the big question is whether the Mossos will obey the Spanish or Catalan legality the day before and during the day when the voting takes place. The Catalan minister of internal affairs and head of the Mossos said the order of the public prosecuter will provoke a disruption of public order and, therefore, is in contrast with the police’s main task.

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day -5

5 days before the referendum to be held at 1 October about the independence of Catalonia

More restrictions on freedom of expression
Yesterday about ten people and private organizations were visited by the police or Guardia Civil (GC). They will have to declare at the public prosecutors office because they cloned the official websites of the Catalan Government concerning the referendum on independence. The official site is closed after the law of referendum was declared non-constitutional, but it may freely be published by private organizations and citizens.

Also the Internet site of Assemblea Nacional Catalunya (ANC), the private organization of the independence movement, has been closed yesterday night by the GC, even without any notice beforehand as required by Spanish law. During the last hours about 140 private websites related to the referendum have been closed. Meanwhile the European Commission, by means of  Margaritis Schinas, declares it concerns an internal Spanish affair, as usual. Even after repetitive questions that fundamental rights are vulnerated in Catalunya.

Announcement imprisonment president Puigdemont
The head of the Spanish public prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, did yesterday not exclude the possibility to arrest Catalan president Puigdemont. He said this during an interview at radio channel Onda Cero. Though at this moment it is not the most convenient moment, as his imprisonment will be taken as an argument for the independence movement. He prefers to take action after 1 October, the date of the referendum. The public prosecutor is performing as a politician here. Maza does not even hide anymore he is vulnerating the three pillars of democracy.


Refusement Catalan police

The Catalan police, Mossos d’Esquadra, refuses to hand over its command to the head of the GC and third man at Internal Affairs, Diego Pérez de los Cobos, who is also the brother of ex-president of the Constitutional Court. It’s all in the family.

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