Catalonia general strike brings Barcelona to standstill - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Stephen Burgen and Sam Jones wrote:Catalonia general strike brings Barcelona to standstill

Workers downed tools, shops closed and activists blocked roads in Catalonia on Friday in a general strike called in protest at the jailing of nine pro-independence leaders over their roles in the failed push for secession two years ago.

Tens of thousands of people who have marched from across the region began converging in Barcelona this afternoon to protest against the Spanish supreme court’s verdict and to call for the leaders to be freed.

Their presence brought the city to a standstill ahead of the massive demonstration scheduled for 5pm local time.

The entrance to the Catalan capital’s most famous landmark – the Sagrada Familia church – was blocked by pro-independence protesters and 57 flights were cancelled at Barcelona-El Prat airport.

On Friday morning, the Spanish football federation announced that the Barcelona-Real Madrid game due to be played in the Catalan capital on 26 October had been postponed because of the unrest.

During the afternoon the atmosphere in the city was quiet and there were few incidents. However, there were police charges and two arrests on Via Laietana, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, after a group of several thousand students threw objects at officers guarding the headquarters of the national force.

Marchers entering Barcelona were also pelted with stones as they passed through the working-class neighbourhood of Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

The militant Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) have called for an indefinite protest camp to be set up at the key city centre junction of Gran Via and Passeig de Gràcia as of 6pm on Friday. Blocking this junction would paralyse traffic across a large swathe of the city.

Meanwhile a judge at Spain’s highest criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional, ordered police to shut down the website and social media accounts of Tsunami Democràtic, the pro-independence organisation that has used apps to co-ordinate and control protests. The group was behind Monday’s attempts to occupy Barcelona airport.

Peaceful protests, which have long been the hallmark of the pro-independence movement, have been eclipsed this week by violent unrest and running battles between protesters and police.

Barcelona had its worst night of violence on Thursday as pro-independence supporters clashed with police and rightwing groups in skirmishes that lasted into Friday morning.

After another large demonstration broke up, protesters fought police, throwing stones and at least one petrol bomb in an apparent attempt to reach the seat of the Spanish government in the city. A clothing shop was set on fire and a bank vandalised.

One pro-independence protester was badly beaten by a group of rightwing supporters while once again the streets were acrid with the smell of bonfires of burning rubbish. Numerous injuries were reported.

As the unrest continued, Catalan TV and the main Barcelona TV channel ceased broadcasting news, as did at least one of the online dailies, in support of the general strike.

The supreme court’s decision to jail the nine leaders for secession and misuse of public funds over their roles in the failed push for independence has provoked uproar among many Catalans.

Among those heading towards Barcelona on Friday morning was Anna Parella, a hospital worker from the coastal town of Calella. She had joined the march with colleagues to call for independence and the release of the jailed leaders.

“A lot of people have joined us as we’ve gone along and the mood is really nice and festive,” said Parella.

She said the marchers were all peaceful but added that some people had grown sick of the situation and begun to go about things the wrong way.

“I’m against the violence and we can’t have people starting to think we’re all violent,” she said. “Our calls will lose their force if they do.”

Also on Friday, Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president who led the failed bid for independence two years ago, handed himself in to judicial authorities in Belgium in response to the reactivation of an international arrest warrant against him this week. His extradition hearing has been scheduled for 29 October.

Catalonia’s pro-independence regional president, Quim Torra, has been criticised for being slow to condemn the violence – and for calling for civil disobedience while sending in Catalan riot police to restore order.

Speaking on Friday morning, Spain’s interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, said 16 people had been arrested overnight and 10 police officers injured. He repeated the government’s assertion that while people had a right to protest, any violence would be dealt with firmly.

Asked about reports that violent groups from the Basque country, France and Germany were planning to travel to Catalonia to take part in any forthcoming disturbances, he said such participation had already been anticipated by the authorities.

“We know that these kinds of radical, violent people – people with varying ideologies – have been present in Catalonia, particularly Barcelona,” he said.

“They tend to turn up for the kind of events we’re seeing in Barcelona.”

Reports have already emerged of some of the violent protesters speaking neither Catalan nor Spanish.

Despite the simmering tensions, Torra has suggested that another unilateral referendum on Catalan independence should be held.

“If we have been sentenced to 100 years in prison for putting out the ballot boxes, the response is clear: we’ll have to put them out again for self-determination,” he told the regional parliament on Thursday.

The Guardian


If one has to say why Hong Kong's movement is more prone to failure it is this -- people in Hong Kong are simply too reliant on their personal finances to make a general strike successful.

And as we can see, those preferring "national unity" seem to have few ideas other than beating up those who don't want to be with them. Shame on them.
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Patrickov wrote:If one has to say why Hong Kong's movement is more prone to failure it is this -- people in Hong Kong are simply too reliant on their personal finances to make a general strike successful..


You are comparing two protests that are different in many ways and in different parts of the world.

The most important differences are:

1. that HK protests are a regular feature of commercial media ( in support), while Catalunia gets the same type of blackout as the ongoing protests in Haiti-Chile-Ecuador-Argentina.

2. Also, the Hong Kong protests are being described in non-commercial media as yet another Western-funded fake color révolutions.

Are you suggesting that the Catalan protests are also fake and Western superpower funded?
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QatzelOk wrote:You are comparing two protests that are different in many ways and in different parts of the world.

The most important differences are:

1. that HK protests are a regular feature of commercial media ( in support), while Catalunia gets the same type of blackout as the ongoing protests in Haiti-Chile-Ecuador-Argentina.

2. Also, the Hong Kong protests are being described in non-commercial media as yet another Western-funded fake color révolutions.

Are you suggesting that the Catalan protests are also fake and Western superpower funded?


There is no blackout of Catalan protest, I can see it on BBC, CNN, Euronews etc no problem. The reason we pay more attention to HK and Catalan is because they are closer to home or have a lot of expats living there.
Since you live in Canada, i guess Canadians are not really interested in Catalan protest. Its too far. In Europe it is different.

As for the basis or them being lead by somebody else. Don't be ridiculousness. Both HK and Catalan are grassroots movements for something that people believe in. In both cases. You can't "lead" more than 50% of the population to protest without there being a cause or a very huge reason.
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JohnRawls wrote:Since you live in Canada, i guess Canadians are not really interested in Catalan protest. Its too far. In Europe it is different..

Actually, Canada's élite (media and financial) is non-supportive of Catalan indépendance for the same economic reasons that Canada has no interest in Qiebec independence, or First Nations independence : parasites need a healthy host to live off of.

And Haiti- Chile-Argentins-Ecuador are much closer to North American media viewers than Hong Kong, which is on the other side of the world. The blackout here of their protests is due to our élite (media and financial) being part of the very kind of unequaity, and genocidal-extiction-causing exploitation that is the main reasons why those countries are in turmoil.

Also, expat-protector, Hong Kong is as British as the Suez canal : get over yourself.
Last edited by QatzelOk on 25 Oct 2019 23:35, edited 1 time in total.
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https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/10/25/fight-oppression-hong-kong-catalan-protesters-hold-parallel-solidarity-rallies/

The Thursday rally was the subject of a heated online debate, with some activists saying the event was a “trap” that could cost Hong Kong international support – especially in the United States where support for Catalan independence was limited. The rally may jeopardise the chances of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act being passed in the US Senate, they argued.



I find this opinion to be somewhat unrealistic. Do Americans care much about Spanish unity? I doubt it. I think the HK protestors can support Catalan protestors to their hearts content if it is just American opinion that is at stake.

The article also describes the Spanish and Chinese opposition as nationalists. Is nationalism about suppressing separatism? In its original form, nationalism was about fending off imperialists attempts at integration in a larger polity. Examples are the Scots versus the English, Swiss versus the Holy Roman Empire, and the Flemish versus the French.

Are those described as nationalists in this day and age really nationalist? Or is it a reinvention of imperialists in a post Westphalia order?
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QatzelOk wrote:Also, expat-protector, Hong Kong is as British as the Suez canal : get over yourself.


This statement has an unfortunate effect of making the speaker in concern fit the definition of Lebensunwertes Leben. No one is saying I am important, otherwise I would rather engage in extensive propaganda, which I really despise. However, trying to ask us to stop fighting is itself a capital offence.
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JohnRawls wrote:There is no blackout of Catalan protest, I can see it on BBC, CNN, Euronews etc no problem. The reason we pay more attention to HK and Catalan is because

HK is a historic matter between the Anglosphere and China. However, Catalonia was a big issue two years ago and people are not really interested in the aftermaths it seems.
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Beren wrote:HK is a historic matter between the Anglosphere and China. However, Catalonia was a big issue two years ago and people are not really interested in the aftermaths it seems.

What does "people's interest" in something have to do with mass media's coverage of it?

You are suggesting that mass media is there for "people's interests" rather than trying to manipulate people's interest with distorted representions of reality, and a subjective decision on what constitutes "news."

Mass media stops covering an issue when it can no longer frame it as "capitalist good guys" versus "others in black hats." This is why only certain, specific protests (HK), which are usually the Western false flag type, get lots of sympathetic coverage. The anti-capitalist, anti-Western corruption protests... gets a bare recognition that "something evil is happening somewhere."

Yves Engler wrote:November 1, 2019
Haitian Revolt Targeting Canada
by Yves Engler

Haiti is the site of the most sustained popular uprising among many that are currently sweeping the globe. It’s also the most explicitly anti-imperialist, which is part of the reason why it has received the least coverage.

For six weeks much of Port-au-Prince has been shuttered in the longest in a series of strikes since the revolt began 15 months ago. There have been innumerable mass protests by diverse social sectors calling for presidentJovenel Moïseto go.

Last week protesters reportedly threw rocks at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. On Friday Radio Canada’s Luc Chartrand highlighted the widespread hostility towards the US and Canada: “The walls of Port-au-Prince are covered with graffiti against the UN and also against what everyone here knows as the ‘Core Group’, a group of donor countries, including Canada, the United States, European Union and the Organization of American States, without the support of which no Haitian president can remain in office long. During protests it is common to see people disparaging foreigners and symbols of their presence such as hotels.”
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