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Showing posts from March, 2019

Fears of rising tide of racism after vicious attacks on migrant children in Catalonia (The Independent)

In February 2017, a tide of blue flags flowed through the old Gothic centre of Barcelona towards its Mediterranean coast. Carried by a crowd at least 160,000 strong, they were coloured to symbolise the sea, which was claiming the lives of thousands of Syrian and North African refugees trying to make it to Europe. United behind a banner proudly proclaiming “We want to welcome you”, it was one of the biggest pro-immigration marches the world has seen. Many taking part were outraged that Spain had pledged to accept 17,000 refugees as the crisis peaked, yet by that point, the conservative government in Madrid had only taken in a little more than 700 – and only a third of the 1,250 places provisioned for Catalonia had been filled. “The social impact of the protest was incalculable,” recalls rally organiser Ruben Wagensberg in an interview with The Independent . He is now a member for the Republican Left of Catalonia in the regional parliament. “Now, unfortunately, our progress is

Wives of Catalan leaders on trial speak out: 'All we can do is keep supporting them' (The Independent)

Barcelona and Madrid are roughly as far apart as Glasgow and London, and yet you could be forgiven for thinking the distance was even greater. For the loved ones of the 12 Catalan separatists on trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid, this distance is both a painful metaphor and proof of what they insist is an unjust and “politically motivated” response by the central government to the Catalans’ failed drive for independence after the unsanctioned referendum in 2017. Yet it is in Madrid – the capital of a country they do not consider their own and condemn as a “dictatorship” – where the future of those on trial will be decided. “It sums up the disparity between Spain and Catalonia on every level,” Txell Bonet tells The Independent , near her home in the Gracia district of Barcelona. Her partner is Jordi Cuixart, the president of Omnium, a grassroots activist group committed to Catalan independence, who along with most of the accused parties is charged with rebellion and fa