Mañana Belongs To Them


Pro-unity activists at Saturday’s anti-Catalan independence march in Barcelona, Spain

Luke Ming Flanagan MEP writes:

Last week I got an email from Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso in which he asked me to “please look at ‘the bigger picture’ today”, every word emphasised but with ‘bigger picture’ picked out.

Ramón Luis is a member of the EPP – the same close-knit European Parliament family as Fine Gael – and is also a Vice-President of the Parliament, in which case you’d say he carries some clout.

Last week also, in Plenary, we heard Manfred Weber, the German MEP who heads up the EPP, and Commissioner Frans Timmermans – First Vice-President of the Commission and thus also an EU heavy hitter – both comment on events in Catalonia last weekend.

For all three, the ‘bigger picture’ is that the Catalan government were in conflict with Spain’s constitution, were thus putting themselves outside the ‘rule of law’ (that phrase came up again and again).

NONE of the three could bring themselves to condemn those who had created the situation whereby a militarised police force was brought into Catalonia to stop people from holding a peaceful vote (Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his ironically named People’s Party, part of the EPP)

NONE could bring themselves to condemn the subsequent violent assaults on peaceful citizens (authorised, obviously, by Rajoy and his government);

NONE could bring themselves to denounce and distance themselves from the subsequent announcements by Rajoy and his government – and by the King of Spain – that the actions taken were justified.

Oh, they said it couldn’t be condoned. But they couldn’t bring themselves to condemn Rajoy, his government, and his militarised police. If you DON’T condemn it, in the positions in which all those people hold, you condone it.

Why could they not bring themselves to condemn it? Because in their monolithic EU, run by the EPP and its like-minded friends, there is no room for dissent.

Protest is slowly but surely being made practically illegal, the police and justice systems increasingly politicised, peaceful protesters demonised by a compliant media as mere ‘populists’, or worse, as confrontational, contributing to their own assaults.

In this monolithic EU there is room only for their neoliberal global corporatist policies – austerity for the poor, rapidly increasing wealth for the few, all those in between set against each other and gradually ground down.

Watching the frightening and disgraceful scenes from Catalonia, let no-one in Ireland be complacent. Not alone can it happen here, it HAS happened here, and no, I’m not just speaking of the RUC and their antics over the decades across the border.

Think of the Shell to Sea campaign and the violence visited on the protesters there; think of the water-charge protesters and sometimes bloody scenes as peaceful protesters were attacked by Gardaí protecting the interests of a private company; think of the balaclava-covered black-clothed goons who have accompanied the Sheriff in various evictions around the country; think of our own militarised police wing, the platoons who stood by at the mass water-protests in Dublin.

Think of all the above, and ask yourself – where is all this headed?

Whether or not you believe Catalonia – or Scotland, or the Six Counties, or Roscommon for that matter – should be allowed have a referendum on its own independence isn’t the issue.

The issue is the growing crackdown on dissenting voices, the increasing officially-sanctioned violence, justified in the Catalonia situation by Commissioner Timmermans in his speech.

I’m telling you, my friends; with Mr Juncker’s White Paper, with the €5.5billion ‘Common Defence Fund’ announced by the Commission in July, geared towards the greater ambition of a powerful EU army, we’re on a very dangerous road.

I do NOT believe in all this centralised power; I do believe in devolution, in local governments making the decisions that affect local people

It’s time to pause, time perhaps even to turn back.

Visqui Catalunya!

Luke Ming Flanagan (Facebook)

Previously: Tony Groves: I Am A Catalan

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34 thoughts on “Mañana Belongs To Them

  1. don alatriste kid jensen

    that is a francoist salute. Franco was a lot of things but he wasn’t a Nazi.

    1. ahjayzis

      Franco was not a Nazi!

      He may have been a liar, a pig, an idiot, a Nazi, but he was NOT a porn star!

    2. Brother Barnabas

      Franco was on so many levels a nazi – permeating almost every policy and position he adopted (right down to the ridiculous effort to “prove absolutely” Aryan supremacy and the claims of racial superiority over the Jews. In letters from Franco to Hitler, he tries to convince him that the Aryan race originated in the Canary Islands, making out that the islands were the last remaining part of the lost continent of Atlantis. He was also bonkers (like most nazis).

        1. Brother Barnabas

          Have always had a soft spot for Franco. Not saying he was the best ever fascist – that was Hirohito, hands down – but he was way better than Mussolini who was a wussy-fascist. Hitler was obviously good but just too hard to relate to – kind of unlovable in a way. Who was your favourite, Harry?

          1. nando

            Franco was never a fascist. Franco was a military man with no talents out of the army (and not sure if any within apart from his luck escaping death). He admired Hitler, his leadership and the german military power and copied some of their gestures. But fascism in Spain was limited. Franco abhorred the so called fascists, considered them as a bunch of useless posers. Franco only believed in god and considered himself his ambassor and the martial life. He wasnt particularly racist either, his favourite troops were the moorish guard.

            Franco was intolerant but this is not fascism. Was a dictator but this doesnt make a fascist, was crazy as saw himself as God sent, but again this is not fascism and was a cruel son of a bitch, but sorry, fascism is not that. If fascism is anything it’ll end up meaning nothin.

          2. Harry Molloy

            I’m only learning now, just getting into fascism I suppose you could say, so I don’t really have a favourite as of yet but I do love the Gestapo uniforms

          3. Brother Barnabas

            I hear you. They’re good alright. Thing is: if you’re going to wear Nazi garb, you’ve got to get the walk right – straight, starched lower back with a slightly camp gait. And suck your cheeks in ever so slightly, not too much, clench your buttocks and off you go. Be interested in hearing how you get on.

  2. newsjustin

    I’m not sure what to make of all this.

    Sure, Catalan nationhood and nationalism, fair enough. Self determination is important.

    But is it kosher for a Catalan government to declare itself independent of Spain based on a referendum that was maybe illegal (and obvs it’s a catch 22 here, referendum is illegal so that’s why we need the referendum), was boycotted by 58% of the population (assuming the no shows actively boycotted it) and even 10% of those who did vote are against independence.

    It’s a tricky one. As the French said today (I hear), the question of Catalan independence is about far more than one suspect referendum.

    1. ahjayzis

      I see it more as putting it up to Spain. Madrid is determined to give the Catalans no legal, constitutional options here – the opposite of what happened with Scotland. You can’t expect Puigdemont to just shut up shop and stay quiet, he has to escalate and bring Rajoy to the table.

      1. newsjustin

        Yeah. Sounds right. I was thinking it’s a good way to get negotiations. The issue is top of the headlines now.

  3. Cian

    Um. In the videos that I saw from Catalona the protesters were sitting down. They were lying down, they we offering roses to the riot police. This was a peaceful protest. They were also being beaten and kicked down stairs by the riot police.

    In the videos that I saw from the Water Protests the protesters were standing, they were pushing the guards, they were hurling abuse (and more) at the guards. This is not a peaceful protest.

    There are two important words in the phrase “peaceful protest”. Many of the IW protests only scored 50%.

    1. Chris

      Sigh. You are so brainwashed you are arguing for the right for them to carry out their protest and against the right for us to carry out ours. Why, because the selections of images or writings you viewed and processed using your own bias confirmed these biases. I note I was not at either protest, but clearly if you feel one is ok then the other certainly is. However, you conjur up romatic images of roses for the Catalans but paint the Irish with a very different view, using disparaging language to justify it, where the Catalans brought our attention to the beauty of Roses, the Irish ‘hurled abuse’ as if the Catalans spoke only in poetry and verses. The disparity in your argument is very telling of how manipulative political spin in Ireland really is and how widely reaching it is as well.

  4. The Ghost of Starina

    It’s not the monolithic EU. You sound like a stoned first year.

    Spain has quite the history of nationalism, colonialism and fascism, which was never resolved after Franco. Don’t try to pin this on, like, the maaaaaan, dude.

  5. shitferbrains

    Ming, along with almost everyone else , is a bit late to the party. The Francisco Franco Foundation gets subsidies from the Spanish government and has done for decades as part of the transition to democracy and Francoists still hold positions of power . None of which raised an eyebrow till the Catalonian crisis came about.

  6. spudnick

    Trying to pull the EU into this as somehow being the shadowy string-puller is crazy and just trying to fit an already-held opinion. The Castilians themselves are more than capable of sending in the thugs.

  7. Nando

    For people with family in there reading some articles and comments is quite a laugh. First, sorry to say this but in this story and relating to the media you better trust no one.

    I’ll share a couple of examples, last week in various high schools students were bullied by some teachers telling them they should be ashamed of what their parents (policemen), did. Students were forced to protest by teachers and principals, happened at universities too. Sorry, teachers bullying teenagers?, Are them the good ones?

    1. bisted

      …teachers bullying students…really…well no, really…I’m sure students are no more susceptible to influence by fascist teachers than they are to attempts at bullying…

      1. Nando

        Carme Forcadell, president of Catalan parlament. “Those who don’t support independency are not catalans”.

        Not even bad ones. They are 60% of them though. You don’t think like me, you’re out of the tribe. Counts as fascism?

  8. John Murphy

    ‘Driver Check’ app free on the App Store reveals these taxi drivers’ identities. Perhaps use it to make an official complaint.

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