dijous, 14 d’abril de 2011

Power To The People

Tres dates importants i ja famoses en l’historia recent de Catalunya. La primera consulta a Arenys de Munt el 13-09-2009, el milió de persones als carrers de Barcelona el 10-07-2010, i ara la consulta més gran dels més de 500 municipis on s’han celebrat. A Barcelona han participat 257,645 persones el 10-04_2011! Un 20% de la població, en una consulta no-vinculant, no-legal, en un diumenge de sol i platja, organitzat per voluntaris i amb els diners que han rebut dels ciutadans. Impressionant!!

El poder de decidir, ho tenim la gent. Fins a on arribarem? Quin és el proxim pas? Podem fer-ho sense caure en el "joc" de baralles politiques? Podem fer-ho sense els politics?


The history of Catalonia’s struggle for independence is a long and complicated tale. So, let’s fast forward and look at three recent steps.

On 13th September, 2009, the independent mayor of a small town called Arenys de Munt decided to hold its own referendum on independence. This was a non-legally-binding act, a mere symbolic gesture according to its detractors. There was an overwhelming turnout. This led to a chain reaction where volunteers got together in other towns around Catalonia to organise their own. A citizens’ group was set up to validate them and check they were being held correctly and strictly, so no one could question the results. Over the last 18 months over 500 towns (of the 1000 in Catalonia) have voted, with a total of over 600, 000 votes in favour of independence. Until last weekend.

The final stage in this chapter was the breath-taking organisation of a referendum in Barcelona, the capital city, on 10th April 2011. Breath-taking as these activities receive no public or institutional help or money. Over 5000 volunteers took part at make-shift polling booths on street corners, all funded by private donations. All this in a cosmopolitan mixing-pot of a city like Barcelona where the organisers had serious concerns regarding the interest for this issue. They took as their reference, last years referendum on city planning decisions organised by and supported by the chief political parties. This had achived 11% participation, over 3 days of voting. Well, last Sunday, a day of sun and beach, for a non-legal symbolic gesture, over 20% of Barcelona’s inhabitants turned out to vote!! 257,645 people. Bringing the grand total to almost 900,000 Catalans of voting age (from an overall population of 6-7 million), and many towns still not having voted. The conclusion is that the people’s will is clear. What will the people do next?

We must remember also the million who demonstrated in Barcelona on 10th July 2010 to say Enough is Enough.

Will we be let down once more by our political representatives, more interested in in-fighting for their share of the cake?

How far can the strength and stamina of the people take us?

Can we take on the role our politicians have deserted?

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