Friday 20 October 2017

The Spanish political establishment are plotting to attack Catalan political and social autonomy

The right-wing Spanish governing party (PP) and the pseudo-socialist opposition party (PSOE) have announced that they've concocted a plan to seize control of the autonomous region of Catalonia.

Just days after the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont decided to disappoint the secessionist movement by appealing for talks with the Spanish government instead of unilaterally declaring independence (like he said he would before the referendum), the response of the Spanish political class has been to completely ignore the calls for dialogue, and to further escalate the situation by threatening to launch a Spanish nationalist power grab in the region.

The Article 155 plan that the two main Spanish political parties have concocted isn't just to scrap the Catalan parliament and impose Madrid rule until new elections are held, they've also decided to take over local Catalan language TV and radio stations (TV3 and Catalunya RĂ dio), and take over running of the Catalan police force (los Mossos) [source - in Catalan].

The reason the Spanish political establishment in Madrid want to exert control over the Catalan police is obvious. They're furious that the Mossos didn't join in with the Guardia Civil and Federal Police to violently repress the October 1st independence vote. In fact the Mossos were actually seen protecting non-violent civilians from the brutality of the Spanish police, and the head of the Mossos was hauled to Madrid to be questioned on trumped up "sedition" charges. 

The reason the Spanish nationalists in Madrid want control of Catalan media is even more obvious. They want to exert as much influence as possible over the Catalan public in order to influence the outcome of the election they're forcing.

They're obviously trying to claim that they're only planning to take over these broadcast organisations to "enforce neutrality", but the extreme lack of neutrality of those plotting this move was betrayed by the PSOE polotician Carmen Calvo who accused the Catalan President of "mounting a revolution against democracy"

It takes a massive amount of chutzpah to make an accusation like that when you're the one who is plotting to force the closure of a democratically elected parliament and to seize control of broadcast organisations, and just weeks after your allies in the plot sent police in to brutally attack non-violent citizens and actually steal ballot boxes!

The problem is that this plot to seize control of TV stations and radio waves is a very 20th Century approach to mass indoctrination.

There's absolutely no way Catalans are going to take this attack on their autonomy lying down, and if their local TV and radio stations suddenly begin spewing endless pro-Madrid propaganda, they're hardly likely to remain silent about it on social media, or in the streets, cafes, and bars of Catalonia.

Sure, seizing control of broadcasters worked a treat back in the 1970s for the likes of the brutal Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, but in order for the indoctrination efforts to work these days the Spanish political establishment are clearly going to have to significantly increase the cyber-warfare tactics that they deployed against the referendum organisers in September 2017, including the kinds of social media clampdowns witnessed in dictatorships like Turkey and Egypt.

In any other country this kind of anti-democratic scheming would be seen as a political coup d'etat, but somehow there is very little outrage over this outright attack on Catalan political and social autonomy that the Spanish nationalist parties are plotting.

The EU have continued to do nothing to intervene, even after the grotesque displays of state violent state repression of EU citizens during the October 1st independence referendum, and neither have the governments of other supposedly liberal democratic European states like Germany, France, the United Kingdom or Italy.

The craziest thing of all is that this continuous escalation from the Spanish nationalist establishment (cyber-warfare, violent police repression, the taking of political prisoners, veiled death threats from Spanish government ministers, the abolition of democratic Catalan autonomy, seizure of Catalan broadcast organisations ...) is exactly the kind of behaviour that is likely to drive more and more non-partisan Catalan civilians into the welcoming arms of Catalan secessionist parties, who can easily position themselves as the moderate non-violent democrats in this kind of situation.

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