CATALAN PEOPLE WENT OUT ONTO THE STREET IN BARCELONA ON DECEMBER 1, CLAIMING ITS RIGHT TO DECIDE (SELF-DETERMINATION)
Last December 1, between 400.000 and 500.000 people went out onto the street to state their discontent with Spanish Administration.
More than 200 organisations and civic entities called for the demonstration and so a high number of people took part in it. The first demonstration call came from the Platform for the Right to Decide and among those taking part in it there were personalities belonging to civil society (up to 500) and parliamentarian political parties (ERC, IC-V i EUIA and CiU) and non parliamentarian parties and organisations. The only political parties that did not participate in the demonstration where the two pro-centralist parties (Popular Party and C’s), and also the PSC (Catalan Socialist Party), though some of its member and close people were among demonstrators.
Among the organisations representing the civil society, we highlight the presence of the Platform for Public Transportation, the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations, the Catalan Committee for International Solidarity, the Commission for Dignity, Omnium Cultural, the Football Club Barcelona, the IPECC, the Platforms in defence of territory, the associations of users affected by the public works for the Spanish high speed train (AVE), by the traffic jams in Vallirana and other Catalan cities, etc.
This is the first time, since February 18, 2006 when a similar number of people went out onto the street to protest against the Spanish cuts of the Catalan Statute passed by Catalan Parliament, that so many people has gone out onto the street.
Now, Catalan people’s patience is running out for different and continual reasons: last summer there was a power cut affecting almost half city of Barcelona and this situation lasted for many days, and this fact suggests a decadent picture of the Spanish companies in charge of electrical service and infrastructures in Catalonia (ENDESA and RED ELÉCTRICA ESPAÑOLA). The works attached to the High Speed Train, that is meant to arrive in Barcelona from Madrid to connect with France, are delayed and moreover this has caused some scours and for this reason 3 suburban railways of Barcelona have been blocked and also some sections of the Catalan railroad.
Moreover, the El Prat airport is still the focus of a commercial war between companies, but the truth is that it is still a second-class airport because some people believe that Madrid airport must be the only first class airport with intercontinental flights.
For these reasons, many Catalan are fed up with successive Spanish governments’ lack of responsibility and investments; the State’s investments in Catalonia have been insufficient since more than 20 years ago and we can realize the lack of investments in the lack of maintenance and defective operation.
Catalan demands have become exigencies, in spite of the lack of sensibility of the Spanish Minister Magdalena Alvarez, whose resignation was requested by the majority of Catalan Parliament. But moreover, many Catalan people do not accept any more a political and administrative system appearing to be very far and foreign. Some time ago Catalan politician claimed Catalan Government to manage Catalan transports, the port and the airport without having any answer to it. Recently there has been some reference to this matter, but we do not know if we can rely on it because the promise to transfer some infrastructures (not all of them) comes from J.L. Rodríguez Zapatero, who in three month is going to face up to general elections and he needs the vote of Catalan people.
Catalan claim has gone from managing the infrastructures to manage everything and many citizens believe that the most suitable to them is the independence of Catalonia.
It cannot be put down to chance that during the demonstrations, the text that you could read more often on banners was INDEPENDENCE, and some others like “Catalonia says that’s enough” or “We want the right to decide” (Self-determination), and against Spanish Government' mistreatment. Three of the more important media in Catalonia highlighted in the front page “CATALONIA SAYS THAT’S ENOUGH”.