Homage to Catalonia

Another Spanish Civil War appears now to be taking place, though fortunately at the moment rather less bloody than the last, though the repercussions of that and the repressive Franco regime are still at least in part behind the current unrest.

Without that history, the referendum in Catalonia would have not have stirred up the same problems. It might have been rather more like the Scottish vote here in the UK, raising some fairly bitter arguments and probably being won by dint of promises made by the government which turned out to be largely fairy stories.

In the end I suppose I’m not a great supporter of independence, whether for Scotland, Catalonia or for that matter the UK. Rather than proliferating countries I think we should be setting up more clearly federal structures, recognising our interdependence, devolving much more to regional authorities at every level of government, from country or even continent down to street level, setting up a truly participatory and democratic system. It’s clearly the solution for Syria too, with Rojava an inspiring model.

Spain seems to be sitting on top of a pressure cooker, managing to hold the lid down for the moment, but things inside are building up and it can’t be long until they explode, unless something fairly dramatic is done to ease the pressure.

There was a lot of anger and energy on display at this event where several hundred, mainly Spanish and many Catalan came together to wave flags and show their support for the Catalonian people, demanding the immediate release of Catalonians imprisoned for their political views and calling on the UK government to condemn the police violence against civilians who wanted to register their vote in the Catalan referendum.

It’s always the problem of how your pictures show what the event is about, both the issues and the feeling. Words – on banners, posters, placards – and actions, and particularly gestures and expressions are mainly what we have to tell the story.

March in Solidarity with Catalonia

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