Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Suing a Symposium: Spain against Catalonia

The unionist populist UPyD party has filed a suit in the Superior Court of Catalonia against the Center of Contemporary History claiming that the Spain against Catalonia symposium "may constitute a crime of incitement to discrimination, hate, or violence", which according to Article 510 of the penal code can be punished with a three year prison term and a fine. They base their suit on the titles of some of the presentations, including "Spain and Catalonia, 30 years of political conflict" or "300 years of pro-Spanish activism in Catalonia".

The spokesperson for Ciutadans, a unionist party in Barcelona, Jordi Cañas, announced yesterday that his party would join UPyD's judicial action in bringing suit against the symposium. According to Cañas, the meeting "educates hate" and presents everything that is Spanish as an enemy of Catalonia, which he considers very serious. After Ciutadans' announcement, the PP (ruling party in Spain, also unionist), said that it too would denounce the symposium because it "is a clear and unequivocal incitement of hate". [Last two paragraphs translated from Vilaweb, 11 December 2013]

What is the Spain against Catalonia Symposium? 
An academic symposium being organized by the Center of Contemporary History, a department of the Catalan Government at the Institute of Catalan Studies starting Thursday, Dec 12, and going through Saturday. The program is divided into four parts:
  • Institutional, Political and Administrative Repression
  • Economic and Social Repression
  • Cultural and Linguistic Repression
  • Exile
Many prestigious and recognized historians, including Jaume Sobrequés, Josep Fontana, Lluís Duran i Solà, Josep Ma Solé i Sabaté, will participate.

Meanwhile, Francesc Canosa, a columnist for the daily El Punt Avui wrote this column:

Spain against Catalonia

Hello, we've set up a symposium to spread lies. Our friends will now tell us the truth. Come in, Mr. Abad de Vianco, secretary of the Council of Castille, who addressed the magistrates in a defeated Catalonia in 1714: "it's convenient to give careful thought to introducing the Castilian language with concealed instructions and advice, so that the objective is obtained without being noticed". OK! Manuel Godoy, head of the government, you're next: "It shall be forbidden to perform, dance, or sing pieces in any theater in Spain in any language that is not Spanish" (1801). Ah! And now you say you want to learn Catalan? "The grammar and spelling rules of the Academy of the Spanish Language will be the single required textbook for these subjects in public education" (Moyano Law of public instruction, 1857. In 1768 the use of Catalan had already been abolished from the school system.)

And let's not stop there. "Crimes against the security and unity of the Fatherland, including anything that tends toward separation, a lessening of its power, or lowering the conception of the same, will be judged in Military Tribunals" (decree of Miguel Primo de Rivera, 1923) During the Republic, things changed: "Even in the case that all Spaniards agreed on converting Catalonia into a foreign country, doing so would be a crime, deserving of heavenly wrath" (José Antonio Primo de Rivera, MP for the [fascist] Falange, 1934).

But, since I'm an equal opportunity columnist, let's hear from the left: "I'm not waging war against Franco so that a stupid and parochial separatism can sprout in Barcelona. I'm waging war because of Spain and for Spain. Because of its greatness and for its greatness! Those who imagine some other motive are wrong. There is only one nation: Spain!" (Juan Negrín, president of the Spanish government, 1938, during the Spanish Civil War). And from the right: "Because you, Catalonia, you belonged to us! and to no one else! And we had the right to make you cry! Because we loved you!" (Ernesto Giménez Caballero, writer, from the microphones of the occupied RAC radio station, 1939). I have no more room, no more room. And we have cried so many times that we are already acquainted with our own tears.


Meanwhile, more than 200 people have registered for the symposium. The IEC has had to open an extra hall to accommodate the overflow crowd, and no other registrations are being accepted.

No comments:

Post a Comment