miércoles, 15 de noviembre de 2017

Notes from occupied territory

I got tired from writing gonzo. I've got a family which comes first, so it was always going to be night work. I'm no longer up to that for very long. I'll keep up the weekly report for some time, as many crazy things are still going to happen - wait and see for the stolen elections - , but attempts like this one to prop up the old daily contribution scheme should be considered fruitless. I've been working on it for two days, first thinking and then writing, and I can't even get it finished today. The circumstances are not helpful. It's all become so ugly. The high energy emotions of October have slumped into the current mood of despair and depression, only the anties making noise, more than ever. So just some thoughts on how the power grab is being executed.

One of the nastier aspects of Madrid's cynical take-over of Catalunya is the judicialization of Catalan life. Any action, posture or idea which does not coincide with the strictest interpretation of often quite archaic rules, many of them stemming from the Franco era and never before used, can be considered reason for prosecution by a judicial system which cares not for its reputation, tightly leashed as it is to the political views of a ruling class which has carefully prepared its crime against one of the best functioning, modern and successful regions of Spain. What started with the imprisonment of the Jordi's for leading a popular movement, the submission of the regional police force and the suspension and persecution of the government, has now reached not only schools and care but even people's homes. Families taking their children to the peaceful and celebratory yearly independence gatherings are suddenly accused of putting their offspring in harm's way, which, in the case of protests with a rebellious nature, must be deemed a sign of shortfalling parenthood. There we go. Where have we heard that one before? This deliberately offensive claim, as far away from the truth as imaginable, is being swept over a land which in the last two weeks has seen all new measures turn out in the worst possible way. The courts in Madrid are basically chasing everybody they've got footage of, or some other proof, which must be thousands of ordinary people over the years. Ever been to a demonstration (participating in rebellion), seen putting up a Catalan flag (showing contempt for the holy unity of Spain) or shouting at an aggressively behaving police officer (disrupting the functioning of the law), found to have helped in preparing for a referendum (engaging in illegal activities) or voiced your opinion (inciting hatred)? You had better get ready. They may not come immediately, but in the end they will.

And now even the families. They are laying their dirty fingers on the holiest of institutions in Spanish society, the family. Remember, they did it before. Minus the obvious violence, which they could only show a measure of intent of, partido popular are following quite similar paths as their great hero seventy-eight years ago. They are certainly applying the same tactics, trying to inflict pain where it hurts most, the relationship between parents and their children. Back then, they tore families apart by sending children to re-education camps, now they are merely threatening, for the moment, to do so again. It is stunning, and it's not nice. I feared for culturecide early on and they certainly haven't given us any reason to believe the contrary.

Despite perceptions of Europe having required some largesse from Madrid, things are progressively going downhill over here without any reprobation by Brussels officialdom or the press. Left to our own devices, all we can do is protest, still in large numbers, though many children have chosen to stay home since the violent police crackdown of 1-O. Our best hope may be some honest judge making progress on Rajoy's corruption trial, though in today's climate not even that might make a difference, as parliament will most likely keep him in place in the case of a conviction, with the judge in jail. Meanwhile, we must stave off this assault, full of lies and smirky psychological torture. They really seem to be enjoying themselves.

If anybody still believes the independence movement was nothing but a reactionary rebellion by a well-off middle class refusing to share their wealth with lesser performing cousins, they should try informing themselves on alternative channels. Vilaweb.cat and ara.cat offer two or three English translations a day. They rank from fiercely to mostly indepe. From inside the belly of the beast, just like me.

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