Manifesto denounces Spanish “offensive” on Catalan education, language and freedoms

The text is signed by approximately 100 names in the world of journalism, politics, art and culture

A sign during the demonstration on October 3 against police violence in Barcelona
A sign during the demonstration on October 3 against police violence in Barcelona / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 19, 2017 02:36 PM

A manifesto titled 'The New Culture for the Republic' denounces Spain’s “offensive” against the "Catalan educational system, linguistic immersion, culture and democratic freedoms of assembly and the press."

The text, published by the cultural magazine Mirall, begins by stating that Catalonia is in a “state of emergency” since September 20.  In it, the authors list previous independence demonstrations and movements over the last years, and argue that they have “not been respected by the Spanish government.” They also criticize “judicialization” and the “police repression of the October 1 vote.”

The manifesto states that “the Spanish government acts arbitrarily and with impunity against any opposition to the idea of a uniform and centralized Spain” and that “to curb any new thinking, the Spanish government is capable of making use of fear tactics, repression and incarceration.”

Inasmuch, the text mentions Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart, presidents of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural grassroots pro-independence organizations, respectively. The two men were incarcerated without bail on Monday October 16 awaiting trial for sedition charges, regarding their role in organizing protests and demonstrations in the past month. The manifesto states that the organizations in question defend “free exercise of the right to self-determination” and that the charges against the two civil society leaders mean that things have become “serious.” They note that the “political repression” of the Spanish State “is not uniform,” but instead “transversal", and they say that they are “many more” people who have been jailed for political issues.

Finally, the text also criticizes the fact that the Spanish government "denied and denies" the Catalan political reality represented by its institutions “with a paternalistic and condescending treatment against the will of the Catalans who want to self-determination.”

Because of this, the manifesto declares that, as “the youth,” the authors have no alternative but to oppose the situation. They encourage readers to “stay committed” to the cause of “defending the values of democracy, feminism” and “all freedoms of existing.”

In the text, the authors advocate for a constituent movement “without delay” towards a country that is ecologically sustainable, with gender equality, one that fortifies civil rights that have been achieved, and works for those that have yet to come. The manifesto is signed by approximately a hundred personalities from the world of journalism, politics and culture.