Parties stand by ANC; membership surges

Since last week when the first threats against the ANC surfaced in the ABC editorial, the group has welcomed more than one thousand new members. Read more here:

http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4180286/20140320/parties-stand-by-anc-membership-surges.html

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[Updated] Popular Catalan Barbecue in Scotland

March 23rd of 2014, at Craigmillar Arts Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Calçotada, Popular Catalan Barbecue.

Organized by Catalan Assembly in Scotland (ANC Scotland). We are delighted to announce a Popular Catalan Barbecue in Edinburgh. It will be in Craigmillar Arts Centre in Edinburgh (Scotland) the next March 23rd, starting at 12.30 p.m.

Tickets available and more information at: https://ancescocia.wordpress.com/calcotada

Contact:
scotland@catalanassembly.org

calcotada

 

Price:

  • Ticket with calçots: £15
  • Ticket without calçots: £5
  • Ticket without calçots (under 16s): free

 

November 9, 2014 will be the symbol for our freedom

The Catalan National Assembly thinks the independence referèndum question is a good one and is determined to work for a Yes vote for the independence of Catalonia

Carme Forcadell: “November 9, 2014 will be the symbol for our freedom”

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) considers that the agreement reached today among the parliamentary groups that arè in favor of the right to decide is a very positive one. The community group, which organized the human chain for independence last September 11th, reaffirmed its commitment to defend the vote on the referèndum for independence set for November 9, 2014 and to follow through on the democràtic process of Catalonia’s self-determination.

The president of the ANC, Carme Forcadell, said that the group thinks that the referendum question and the date are very good, especially because the question asks explicitly about independence and will be held in 2014, both points considered non-negotiable by the ANC. Forcadell also noted that “the political parties have come to a consensus and they have done so before the deadline”.

The questions of the referendum in Catalonia have been announced this afternoon. The Catalans will have two questions to answer:

-Do you want that Catalonia becomes a state?

Those who answer yes to the first question, may answer the second question

-Do you want that Catalonia becomes an independent state?

Forcadell pointed out that November 9, 2014 will be the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that this date will be a “symbol for our freedom”. Finally, she said that the Assembly has always worked for a Yes vote, in a positive way, and from now on, it will work for a “Yes and Yes” vote.

With respect to the legality of the referendum, the ANC noted that many Spanish academics have demonstrated that it is legally possible to hold a referendum, and there are various legal frameworks for holding it if the political will exists to do so. In addition, Forcadell said that “in a democratic society, it’s not the laws that determine the will of the citizens, but rather it is this will that creates and modifies the laws.” “The Spanish State uses the Constitution, it interprets it restrictively against the rights of the citizens of Catalonia.” “Democracy reigns supreme over legality. In all the countries in the world it is legality that adapts itself to democràtic legitimacy,” she concluded.

 Source: http://catalanassembly.org/2013/12/13/november-9-2014-will-be-the-symbol-for-our-freedom/

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Why Scots are one step ahead (Post #RIC2013 thoughts)

After attending the Radical Independence Conference 2013 (RIC2013) held two weeks ago, one should assert Scots are one step ahead on the process. Let me share these thoughts.

Scotland and Catalonia processes share a lot and differ a lot. What is similar and what is different has been analysed and repeated here and there, and all seems to generate from a very distinct fact. This is, that UK is not Spain (for the minimally informed reader this says nothing and tells a lot) and having an agreement to hold a referendum changes it all.

Well, to be strict, cultural differences and distinct characters (I bet shaped by the weather) also contribute substantially to the way the two processes are seen at the streets. I heard some Scots envying the Catalan energy upon demonstrations, and to me they have reasons for that: Catalans have substituted their national flag (la Senyera) for a fighting (do not misunderstand that, the Catalan movement is thoroughly pacifist) flag (l’Estelada). And it is very difficult to walk across Catalonia’s streets and yet miss Estelada flags waving here and there. Not to mention the 2012 rally at Barcelona, or the 2013 Catalan Way (which had its branch in Edinburgh), both of over two million people participation (over the 7.5 million Catalans in Catalonia). This is enviable, and certainly (some) Scots do. However, what is the main reason for that? Catalans are not actually a brave people, they have a negotiating attitude and easily relinquish as not to take excessive risks. So, if they are currently so united is because they need it, because they know there is no other satisfactory solution to the current impasse. In other words: they need to be that energetic because the referendum is banned. And here comes the point I wanted to make: Catalans (generally!) see independence as a necessity to enable the retained prosperity, to preserve the threatened identity, in the end to be free and all this carries.

But Scots, and that was really appreciated in RIC2013, are much more concerned on what is the model of society they can build for the future. RIC2013 showed an inspiring “another Scotland is possible” subtitle and participants really felt it was the case. I really could appreciate enthusiasm and excitement on the proposals for a better, fairer Scotland, and how can this be actually done. They embrace on the so-called utilitarian nationalism to see independence as an opportunity for that. And this shows a clear step beyond. Independence is not a goal but a tool. RIC2013 speakers emphasised RIC2014 to be more important and to gather “architects of another Scotland”, I found this quite significant. And that is enviable: instead of shouting, they are listening, debating, and deciding. The UK represents a model of society which Scots might not want to buy, yet do not threat Scotland prosperity. The democratic tradition is also enviable (at least it should, for the Spanish counterpart), the electoral manifesto voted by the people is to be respected: and that is why the referendum is taking place. And that is enviable, Catalans cannot see this accomplished because of a Spanish law (embraced in a constitution which succeeded the dictatorship), and certainly envy this.

RIC2013 was a well organised conference. The enthusiasm showed by volunteers, stewards, organisers and participants contributed to the feeling of being constructing something new, something big. Gathering that diverse audience and yet focusing on the “another Scotland is possible” point avoiding differences and enforcing what is common is a great achievement on the RIC2013 organisers.

One of the RIC2013 messages was that a fairer society is not possible under UK administration, hence replication of the UK model at Scotland scale would not be an acceptable option. Meanwhile, Catalans go: we want to vote. Is it not different? Replicating the Spanish administration to the Catalan state will work for Catalans as a first instance (I should say, Catalans do see an opportunity in independence, and definitely will construct a modern, flexible state, nothing to do with any spanish-like model; indeed relevant movements are already working towards it and lots of interesting ideas and fruitful debates are taking place; but I think this holds anyway). Because, as one said once, it is not that Catalans have no state to count on, it is that they have one against (lots of examples demonstrate this hostility). I am convinced Catalans and Scots share a lot in their processes, in the end we are building Europe (whatever this might mean to everyone). It is however clear that Scots are one step ahead, and that there are differences, but the two processes are parallel and are about constructing fairer and more prosperous societies. Catalonia and Scotland are at a different stage and their processes show a very different face, but are not far, and probably should be doing what is always best, collaborating on these common and ambitious tasks.

November Statement – by Assemblea Nacional Catalana

The National Secretariat of the Catalan National Assembly, meeting in regular session on November 16, 2013 in Barcelona, and considering the momentous issues that will have to be dealt with in the immediate future, has adopted its position, and makes it public by means of this

NOVEMBER STATEMENT

PREAMBLE

The National Assembly Catalan is a popular, unitary, plural and democratic organization, based on grassroots democracy and unity of action, and composed of people who want Catalonia to become an independent state.

On 11 September 2012, the Catalan National Assembly demonstrated the Catalan people’s ability to mobilize. And it did so with a huge demonstration that gathered more than one million and a half people in the streets of Barcelona. On 11 September 2013, we again demonstrated the ability not just to mobilize but to also organize, by spreading two million people across the country in an orderly way, to form a chain over 400 km long.

These massive popular demonstrations, and the enormous impact they achieved in the media around the world, have put the independence of Catalonia in the centre of the political debate and have placed the Catalan issue on the tables of the world’s main foreign ministries.

The result of the 25 November 2012 elections and all solvent public opinion surveys attest to the ample support of the citizens of Catalonia for exercising the right of self-determination. Moreover, the desire for Catalonia to become a new independent state is the Catalan citizen’s majority option.

Neither the failure of the 2005-2006 Statute nor the economic crisis suffice, in themselves, to explain why we have reached this situation. Like many other European countries, we are living through a crisis of traditional political values and of the social model. In our case, this is complemented by Catalonia’s national demand, unresolved by Spain, a state with alarming democratic deficits and a historic inability to reinvent itself as a multinational polity.

In other words, we are living through three crises: economic-social, democratic and national.

Catalan society, without the power mechanisms that define a state, has had to find other ways to progress and to organize itself. Paradoxically, this has given it a unique robustness. This alone explains why, historically and currently, Catalonia has been able to successfully cope with challenges such as the integration of successive waves of immigration, preserving social harmony and cohesion, and defending the underprivileged, through social networks providing support.

The Catalan people have realized that to fight against the triple crisis real tools of state are needed.

The autonomy supposedly guaranteed by the 1978 Spanish Constitution is a bluff. Catalonia is not recognized as a nation, nor is the level of home rule it has achieved respected. The systematic economic throttling of the Catalan government, as well as re-centralization and Spanish nationalism’s deliberate attack against the language and culture of the Catalan-speaking lands, are clear examples that Catalonia will only fit in Spain if we are willing to disappear as a nation and as a people.

The aim of the Catalan National Assembly is the recovery of Catalonia’s political independence through the establishment of a democratic and social State where the rule of law prevails. The National Assembly has channelled the energy of Catalan civil society that is pushing towards a new, promising national horizon that will allows us to build a better country.

We want a Catalan state because, as a people, we have a right to one. But above all, we want it because we regard it as an opportunity to build our own framework of social, economic and political relations, a State at the people’s service, in which the citizens will be at the centre of public policies.

We live in an increasingly interdependent world, but where no state waives its own independence. In this world, the Catalans want to take part with our own voice in building Europe, because we believe in diversity, freedom and in the equality of individuals and peoples. Moreover, Catalonia fulfils all the conditions to be able to become a perfectly viable and prosperous state in economic terms, and legitimately aspires to share the changes that Europe must face to overcome the current common crisis of structures and values, which is deep and disturbing. None of this is possible if we are simply a Spanish region.

Catalonia’s political forces need to put aside their partisan tactics and think about the common good. This is why they need to work with the greatest possible unity to firmly face the final stage of the process to independence. Unity can be expressed, depending on the circumstances, by forming a broad unity government, by means of wide-ranging parliamentary agreements, by means of broad united election lists, or by sharing programmatic positions regarding Catalonia’s political future. In any event and in the last analysis, it is up to the political parties and their sense of responsibility to specify, in the most appropriate way, how to express the unity which we believe citizens currently call for.

We know where we come from and where we are going, but we must also say how we can get there. This is why, at the present stage in the political debate, the Catalan National Assembly considers it is necessary to underline a number of points it feels are inalienable.

We are facing a strictly political debate, with no legal constraints. In democracy, it is only up to the people of Catalonia to decide on its political future. In this regard, holding a referendum on the independence of our country is an essential objective that cannot be subject to delays or watering-down

For all these reasons, the National Secretariat of the Catalan National Assembly make public its

 

POSITION:

1. A referendum on the political future of Catalonia must of necessity be held in 2014.

2. The referendum must take place as soon as possible, preferably before 31 May 2014, and must be convened as soon as the applicable legal framework has been defined.

3. The request addressed by the Parliament of Catalonia to the Spanish Congress of Deputies to be able to organise the referendum must not be used as an excuse for delaying it. Parliament should fix a deadline to receive a reply. After this date, the Declaration of Sovereignty and the Right to Decide of the People of Catalonia, adopted by Parliament on 23 January this year, should be applied and the referendum convened under Catalan law.

4. The referendum has to be a single, direct and clear question, to which an affirmative or negative answer can be given, and has to specifically ask about the independence of Catalonia. Any other possibility would be a fraud, because the result would not be decisive and might not be recognized by the international community. To this end, the Catalan National Assembly proposes the following question: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state?”

5. To address the current phase successfully the greatest unity of action between the Catalan institutions, civil society and political parties is essential. Catalan political forces must act with the utmost sense of responsibility and with unity, for this is what the vast majority of citizens call for, and putting collective interests ahead of party interests. The unity of political action must be visible through permanent and broad parliamentary agreements and, where appropriate, with the formation of a government of national concentration. Unity is the best tool in the face of the constant attempts of the Spanish state apparatus to undermine the process, and to defend our institutions should the Catalan government be dissolved or intervened.

6. The May 25 2014 European elections will be a challenge and an opportunity for Catalonia. Mobilization will be needed to achieve as high a level of participation as possible, because our national determination will be observed and evaluated by European countries as a function of the votes obtained by the candidates supporting the referendum and independence. The Catalan National Assembly thus makes a call for to work from this moment on, to build a list with a broad socio-political base, which can have the support of as many political parties and popular movements as possible.

7. The Catalan National Assembly will closely monitor developments and will call, if need be, for new demonstrations to ensure the democratic right of citizens to be clearly asked about the future of Catalonia and to defend our national institutions.

Barcelona, November 23, 2013

‘Call it by its name: Democracy’ – Major Catalan newspaper editorial (in English version)

RECOMMENDED!

Major Catalan newspaper with editorial in English on independence issue: Call it by its name: Democracy.

“Catalonia is at a critical crossroads. After more than a century of building a nation that was based on the tenets of Catalanism, a pluralist political and cultural movement that left behind a legacy of commitment and progress despite the tumultuous history of the 20th century, the country has entered a new phase in order to resolve the endemic disconnection between Catalonia and the Spanish state. Despite the hopeful start of the Transition, Spain’s four decades of democracy have not resolved the territorial dispute. The relationship between Catalonia and Spain has reached a dead end, and the majority of Catalan society has come to the rather bleak realization that it doesn’t have enough strength to change Spain and have it understand Catalonia’s needs regarding self-government, linguistic and national recognition, the economy and the welfare state, co-existence and social cohesion […]”.

Read more here: http://m.ara.cat/opinio/Call-by-its-name-Democracy_0_1022297997.html#.UoEkI_nc1Op

 

Editorial

 

Convocatòria per assistir conjuntament a la manifestació independentista d’Edimburg

L’ANC Escòcia convoca a tots els catalans que ho vulguin a assistir, de manera conjunta i dins d’un mateix bloc, a la manifestació per a la Independència d’Escòcia que es celebrarà el dissabte dia 21 a Edimburg (http://www.independencerally.com/main/).

El punt de trobada serà aquí: http://goo.gl/maps/URy3l a partir de les 11 del matí.

Es demana als catalans que vinguin que portin estelades i qualsevol altre distintiu català per tal de ser el més visible possible.

web_rallyThe ANC-Scotland invites all interested Catalans to join us in the demonstration in favor of Scottish independence taking place in Edinburgh tomorrow (21/09/2013).