Random Politics Thread

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vijayjohn
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-20, 23:36

Meanwhile, in Kerala...

Apparently, the following has been happening:

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose members include both Narendra Modi and Gandhi's assassin (this part I definitely know is true), is responsible for a recent string of murders of Communist Party of India (Marxist) members in Kerala.
Then three friends of one of the victims killed the person who killed their friend in revenge.
The central government has been going apeshit ever since about how Kerala is now unsafe for Hindus boo hoo even though the majority of its population has always been Hindu and, like, none of us give two shits what these Hindu extremists say.

It seems the RSS has also been guilty of cultural appropriation lately in Kerala. Onam, our traditional harvest festival and the biggest holiday of the whole year, ended at the beginning of this month this year. There's a legend about it that...well, long story short, one of Vishnu's reincarnations sent a Malayalee king to hell just because he's South Indian and therefore a demon but he gets to visit us every Onam. This year, the RSS tried to write this legendary king out of the Onam festivities entirely and make it all about the reincarnation of Vishnu instead. The state government of Kerala responded by building a new statue of the aforementioned king, which of course also pissed off the RSS. Unfortunately, it also seems that the state government has begun bending to the will of the central government (if it hadn't already).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-21, 16:11

Catalan dockworkers refues to allow Spanish police ships to dock in Barcelona
https://catalunyadiari.cat/noticia/7141 ... ats-ciutat

Spanish police driven out of the anitcapitalist CUP party’s main offices by protestors
https://twitter.com/LaVanguardia/status ... 4964546560

More images of protests against Spanish police
https://twitter.com/Berlustinho/status/ ... rdia-civil

Spanish police car trashed and graffitied in front of the Catalan Department of Economy/Treasury
https://twitter.com/EliseGaz/status/910 ... %3Fpag%3D1

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Iván » 2017-09-21, 17:44

Some weeks ago, I didn't even consider voting at all. Yes, I know it's not fair I complain if I didn't have any desire to vote. However, due to the current situation, I think we should all vote regardless of what we want to vote. I can't accept they're trying to destroy and take our voting rights away from us.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Osias » 2017-09-21, 19:35

Brazilian politics are again trying to pass a 'gay cure' bill and also ban abortions even in case of rape.
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-09-21, 20:36

linguoboy wrote:If Spain's authoritarian response pushes other regions towards secession, whose fault is that?

What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.

Or for the formation of a world order that is less wedded to the notion of the nation-state.

I don't know how you are going to achieve that without stamping out the competitive nature of humans.

What would China have to gain from convincing a Chinatown to secede? Sure, it would like to see the US weakened politically but it craves stability in order to serve its economic goals and a move like that would completely undermine them.

Governments are by nature poor at showing restraint. They are inclined to do too much rather than too little. Just look at the history of US overseas expansion. So it's completely unrealistic to expect powerful countries to not take advantage of new...opportunities, which your free-for-all secession rights would provide in abundance.

I would even make the case that US overseas expansions have on balance been detrimental to the US. And it's undebatable in specific cases like interference in Iran. That doesn't stop the US from continuing to meddle. China seems to show more restraint than the US, but then so did the US as it was still just a rising power.

Organising a referendum like this, let alone winning it, are just not as simple as you seem to think. Look at the example of Quebec. Canadians bitch about it winning concessions from Ottawa, but does it really punch much above its political weight? When push comes to shove, its citizens have ultimately concluded that the perks of independence pale next to the difficulties and uncertainties. And why? Because the Canadian government is open to negotiation and compromise and is not going to send in tanks to stop them. It's the same in Scotland. But these enlightened models don't suit the centrists in the Spanish state so here we are.

You think Quebec would be more likely to secede if they felt that doing so would put their lives at risk??? Moreover, being open to compromise and also being willing to use force in the last instance are not mutually exclusive.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-21, 21:25

Yasna wrote:What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.

You think Quebec would be more likely to secede if they felt that doing so would put their lives at risk???

Funny that you should be so outraged by these possibilites while living in a city where that's exactly what happened. The British government implemented increasingly harsh policies towards American colonists, closed Boston Harbor, and massacred Bostonians, which culminated in the Thirteen Colonies winning their independence in a war and becoming the United States.
I don't know how you are going to achieve that without stamping out the competitive nature of humans.

You've never heard of a non-territorial nation? North Sentinel Island? Anyone who's indigenous to the Amazon rainforest? Or heck, just a multinational state?
Governments are by nature poor at showing restraint. They are inclined to do too much rather than too little. Just look at the history of US overseas expansion. So it's completely unrealistic to expect powerful countries to not take advantage of new...opportunities, which your free-for-all secession rights would provide in abundance.

I would even make the case that US overseas expansions have on balance been detrimental to the US. And it's undebatable in specific cases like interference in Iran. That doesn't stop the US from continuing to meddle.

No, but when was the last time you saw the US engage in overseas expansion?
Moreover, being open to compromise and also being willing to use force in the last instance are not mutually exclusive.

I don't think stubbornly refusing to allow people to make decisions for themselves gives much credence to the possibility of compromise.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-21, 22:19

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:If Spain's authoritarian response pushes other regions towards secession, whose fault is that?

What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.

Like it did during the Spanish Civil War? Everyone just laid down their arms after Guernica, didn't they?

Yasna wrote:
Or for the formation of a world order that is less wedded to the notion of the nation-state.
I don't know how you are going to achieve that without stamping out the competitive nature of humans.

We somehow managed to do it for the vast majority of our existence. (How old do you think the nation-state actually is?)

Yasna wrote:
What would China have to gain from convincing a Chinatown to secede? Sure, it would like to see the US weakened politically but it craves stability in order to serve its economic goals and a move like that would completely undermine them.

Governments are by nature poor at showing restraint. They are inclined to do too much rather than too little. Just look at the history of US overseas expansion.

So because the USA can't be trusted to show restraint, no one can?

Yasna wrote:You think Quebec would be more likely to secede if they felt that doing so would put their lives at risk???

You think otherwise? History is filled with examples of peaceful movements for greater democracy which became violent and ultimately revolutionary or secessionist because of militarised response from the central government. Remember how the Syrian Civil War started? Literally with a child writing on a wall. For that, he was tortured and killed. Protestors responded by marching peacefully--and the government opened fire on them. They started out just wanting democratic reforms and the ultimately ended up taking up arms, invigourating both the cause of Kurdish separatism and the rise of Islamic State.

Or look at Northern Ireland. The Troubles began with peaceful civil rights marches and ended with massacres of civilians. Far from being pacified by military intervention, ordinary citizens were radicalised by it. Peace wasn't achieved until the UK government upheld the right of regional self-determination--even if that meant that the inhabitants might ultimately decide to disassociate from the UK. (Speaking of which: You honestly think a Scottish independence referendum would be more likely to fail if the British Army intervened to prevent one from being held?)

You say governments lack restraint and yet you seem to think people are easily cowed by a show of force. Some are--but others only become more committed. Depending on how many are in the latter category (and in Catalonia, both pro- and anti-independent camps are roughly equal), you might end up with a very serious problem on your hands.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-22, 8:06

Yasna wrote:What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.


Have you been paying attention to what's happening in Catalonia at the moment? Did I post too many links or something?

This is how Spain's "firm response" was welcomed in Barcelona (in other places police cars have been totally trashed, covered in pro-independence stickers and graffiti and with their tires punctured):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21y4vB-0OSY

Some of the main worker's unions have the same reaction:

http://www.ara.cat/politica/Sindicats-e ... 12838.html

The dockworkers' union is actively showing its contempt for the Spanish police as it tries to dock in Barcelona

https://twitter.com/portuarioscnt?lang=ca

All the main Catalan unversities (UB, UAB, Pompeu Fabra, ) are condemning the central government:

http://www.upc.edu/saladepremsa/al-dia/ ... anguage=en

I also have a couple of 'soft' unionist friends (i.e. not really Spanish nationalists) on Facebook, who've never really shown much sympathy for independence, attacking the central government in their statuses. That's of course anecdotal but other people have said that the same thing is going on in their friendship circles.

Ada Colau is the centre-left mayor of Barcelona, who belongs to a party that's associated with Podemos, and she's always been against independence ("Madrid can be our capital again") and kept an ambiguous line about whether she would help out in the referendum or not. Her response to this police action has been to condemn the central government unequivocally and affirm that the Catalan people will vote:

https://www.facebook.com/ada.colau/

Moreover, being open to compromise and also being willing to use force in the last instance are not mutually exclusive.


I mean, theoretically I guess. Spain has shown for many years now that it's not at all open to compromise, instead preferring to attack Catalan institutions even as secessionism grows. Let's not forget that Catalans have been portrayed in mainstream Spanish political discourse as language nazis for having any sort of pro-Catalan legislation at all (even as the Spanish Minister of Education openly says "it's in our interest to Hispanify Catalan schoolchildren") and every request for the federalisation of Spain or the implementation of the same tax regime that's in place in the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre has been met with open scorn ("why should we give them more concessions? we gave them their autonomy and their language and they're asking for more!").

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-22, 8:47

I'd also like to point out that the main worry of the pro-independence camp was that voter turnout would be too low for the international community to take the referendum seriously, especially since a lot of people seemed to have burned out from the whole "independence process" as it's called (it started in 2012, let's not forget). No-one seems to be worrying about that anymore, people have gotten active again and many of the people who wouldn't have voted will definitely vote as a "fuck you" to the central government (regardless of whether they'll vote Yes or No).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-09-26, 10:06

Spanish police being sent to Catalonia from Huelva.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABnVft2EmyE&feature=youtu.be

At 4:20 the crowd sings "¡a por ellos, a por ellos!" (go get them!). Got to love Spanish "non-nationalism".

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Osias » 2017-09-26, 11:31

This is wrong.

I mean, at 4:20 they should be chanting for decriminalization of cannabis.

Just saying.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-01, 10:53

More images of the "firm response" provided by the State. I'm sure this will prevent the Basque Country and the Balearics from wanting to leave (and of course, from China wanting to annex parts of the US).

Image
Image

Chucking protesters down the stairs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2fUWTMIghg

Grabbing protesters by the ear:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6yB2mRuVEs

A compilation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBUJNbLa4ko

Got to love that law and order. ¡Viva España!

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-01, 15:28

I saw a headline that Internet blackout is attempted by Spain during the crackdown in Catalonia.
Any truth in that? Did they go full "flawed democracy*"?

* My understanding of this term is "authoritarian, but NATO ally so we don't want to call them out".
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-01, 16:55

md0 wrote:I saw a headline that Internet blackout is attempted by Spain during the crackdown in Catalonia.

Yeesh, that's like my dad a few years ago.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-01, 17:01

linguoboy wrote:Like it did during the Spanish Civil War? Everyone just laid down their arms after Guernica, didn't they?

A ridiculous comparison. Police stepping in to stop an independence referendum (killing no one) versus a state requesting that its foreign allies bomb one of its own towns, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Whoever can spot the most problems with that analogy gets a cookie.

We somehow managed to do it for the vast majority of our existence. (How old do you think the nation-state actually is?)

The nation state is deeply entrenched in today's world. If not even the EU can overcome it, what hope do other more nationalistic regions of the world like East Asia and the US have?

So because the USA can't be trusted to show restraint, no one can?

I tend to think that the US functions a lot more like other countries than Americans like to believe. What sets the US apart is mostly just its relative strength at this moment in history, which is in turn largely a function of its extremely fortunate geographic position. Unless you buy into that hype about American exceptionalism.

You think otherwise? History is filled with examples of peaceful movements for greater democracy which became violent and ultimately revolutionary or secessionist because of militarised response from the central government. Remember how the Syrian Civil War started? Literally with a child writing on a wall. For that, he was tortured and killed. Protestors responded by marching peacefully--and the government opened fire on them. They started out just wanting democratic reforms and the ultimately ended up taking up arms, invigourating both the cause of Kurdish separatism and the rise of Islamic State.

Or look at Northern Ireland. The Troubles began with peaceful civil rights marches and ended with massacres of civilians. Far from being pacified by military intervention, ordinary citizens were radicalised by it. Peace wasn't achieved until the UK government upheld the right of regional self-determination--even if that meant that the inhabitants might ultimately decide to disassociate from the UK. (Speaking of which: You honestly think a Scottish independence referendum would be more likely to fail if the British Army intervened to prevent one from being held?)

Once again, apples and oranges. Spain has showed no signs of an intent to murder anyone, but rather simply uphold Spanish laws.

Saim wrote:
Yasna wrote:What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.


Have you been paying attention to what's happening in Catalonia at the moment? Did I post too many links or something?

I bolded the key part for you.

I mean, theoretically I guess. Spain has shown for many years now that it's not at all open to compromise, instead preferring to attack Catalan institutions even as secessionism grows. Let's not forget that Catalans have been portrayed in mainstream Spanish political discourse as language nazis for having any sort of pro-Catalan legislation at all (even as the Spanish Minister of Education openly says "it's in our interest to Hispanify Catalan schoolchildren") and every request for the federalisation of Spain or the implementation of the same tax regime that's in place in the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre has been met with open scorn ("why should we give them more concessions? we gave them their autonomy and their language and they're asking for more!").


Here is a more even-handed analysis of the situation:

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21729438-there-are-better-ways-referendum-address-regions-legitimate-grievances-catalonias

"Catalonia enjoys a standard of living higher than the average in both Spain and the European Union and more self-government than almost any other region in Europe, including powers to protect the Catalan language."

"The Spanish constitution, adopted by referendum in 1978—and backed almost unanimously in Catalonia—proclaims the country’s “indissoluble unity”. It vests sovereignty in the Spanish people as a whole, not in the inhabitants of its constituent parts. The Catalan government claims the right to self-determination. But international law recognises this only in cases of colonialism, foreign invasion or gross discrimination and abuse of human rights."
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-01, 19:01

md0 wrote:I saw a headline that Internet blackout is attempted by Spain during the crackdown in Catalonia.
Any truth in that? Did they go full "flawed democracy*"?

* My understanding of this term is "authoritarian, but NATO ally so we don't want to call them out".


I've only heard about them taking down specific sites with information on the referendum.

Once again, apples and oranges. Spain has showed no signs of an intent to murder anyone, but rather simply uphold Spanish laws.


There are literally several hundred people in the hospital right now because of the police. They've also damaged public buildings, including schools.

""Catalonia enjoys a standard of living higher than the average in both Spain and the European Union and more self-government than almost any other region in Europe, including powers to protect the Catalan language."


HAD self-government that includes powers to protect the Catalan language. The Spanish constitutional court ruled the Catalan education system is unconstitutional and imposed a linguistic model that has no support in the teaching community and wasn't even proposed by unionist parties (they wanted "free choice" between Spanish and Catalan, this new model meant that a single student asking for class in Spanish would make the teacher have to default to Spanish even if every other student wanted Catalan). This was after years of attacks from the Spanish media and political parties talking about how "Spanish is under attack" in Catalonia for the same alleged "linguistic rights" that prove that they're treating the Catalans well.

So no, Catalonia does not have full autonomy regarding linguistic matters. The Spanish Minister of Education literally said "it is in our interest to Hispanify Catalan schoolchildren" in a debate on the medium of education in Catalan schools. What do you think that means? Why did the Spanish Minister of the Interior have a leaked conversation where he talked about how "we" [the State] have destroyed the Catalan health system (he doesn't even deny it, he just says it's "out of context" without specifying what context is missing).

Also, the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre already have the right to collect their own taxes (they then send a percentage to the central government rather than the other way around). The right-wing of the Catalan movement would've been easily sated with that sort of arrangement, and indeed the concert econonòmic was the maximum of their aspirations for years. You know what the Spanish justification for why Catalonia can't have this tax regime? Because the Basques have a special historical relationship with Spain that goes back to the Middle Ages (los fueros).

"The Spanish constitution, adopted by referendum in 1978—and backed almost unanimously in Catalonia—


People voted under duress. It was either that constitution or continued dictatorship.

But international law recognises this only in cases of colonialism, foreign invasion or gross discrimination and abuse of human rights."


International law sucks.

Also why do they "arguably" apply to the Kurds? What kind of wish-washy, vague approach to international law is this? Southern Kurdistan has much more autonomy and language rights (they not only have their own education system that Iraq is powerless to interfere in, but they even have their own military) than Catalonia.

I also think it's telling that you think third-hand summaries from Americans are (I don't care about how prestigious the paper is, the vast majority of what is huge internal news in Catalonia isn't reported in Anglophone media, you haven't seen the progression of this conflict over the last couple of years) more reliable than following Spanish or Catalan media directly. Honestly, any account of the history of the recent explosion of the independence movement that talks about how brilliant Catalan self-government is without mentioning what happened with the 2006 Estatut or the 2013 LOMCE is extremely misleading.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-01, 21:22

Saim wrote:
"The Spanish constitution, adopted by referendum in 1978—and backed almost unanimously in Catalonia—

People voted under duress. It was either that constitution or continued dictatorship.

That particular line infuriated me. Full independence was not on the table in 1978. Catalonia was offered a choice between greater autonomy within the Spanish state and the status quo, which was continued incorporation into the Spanish state with no autonomy. Only hardcore separatists boycotted the vote entirely; the rest voted for autonomy with the hope that in future they could negotiate a looser union--up to and including complete dissolution.

Moreover, this was forty years ago. Nearly half the present population of Catalonia wasn't even alive, much less of voting age. Why should they be bound for all time by a pragmatic decision their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents made?
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Iván » 2017-10-01, 22:19

HEM VOTAT A FAVOR DE LA LLIBERTAT I DE LA DEMOCRÀCIA. :yep:
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-02, 4:22

It seems like we have some very different criteria for when it is justified to break laws, especially fundamental ones that hold a country together.

"In dieser Konfrontation ist die spanische Regierung im Recht. Sie verteidigt in Katalonien eine der Grundlagen der Demokratie: Politiker haben sich Gesetzen und Gerichten unterzuordnen. Die Lage in Katalonien unterscheidet sich grundlegend von der im Baltikum oder auf dem Balkan in den achtziger und neunziger Jahren. Die Sowjetunion und Jugoslawien waren Diktaturen, Spanien dagegen ist ein demokratischer Rechtsstaat.

Diesen haben die katalanischen Separatisten unterminiert, indem sie auf dem Weg zu dem sogenannten Referendum am Sonntag reihenweise Gerichtsurteile missachtet und Staatsangestellte zum Rechtsbruch aufgerufen haben. Was wäre wohl von einem katalanischen Staat zu erwarten, der mit einem solch schweren Geburtsfehler auf die Welt käme? Würden die nationalistischen Anführer, die jetzt meinen, sich über geltendes Recht hinwegsetzen zu dürfen, um ihre Ziele zu erreichen, das anders halten, wenn sie in einem eigenen Staat die ganze Macht hätten?"

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/katalonien-kommentar-warum-spanien-das-richtige-tut-15227244.html?GEPC=s6

And what a poorly run referendum, even considering the interference from the Guardia Civil.

"El referéndum, ilegalizado por el Tribunal Constitucional, está incumpliendo todas las garantías mínimas.

La principal irregularidad es que a 45 minutos de empezar la votación se hayan cambiado muchas de las reglas del juego.

Además: hay urnas opacas, no hay papeletas oficiales ni sobres, el censo electoral solo está alojado en servidores online, no hay junta electoral, ni hay sistema de recuento."

https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/01/hechos/1506847430_088864.html
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-10-02, 5:06

vijayjohn wrote:No, but when was the last time you saw the US engage in overseas expansion?


Really, really?????

Then what do you call the war in Afghanistan, which was driven purely by oil, and resulted in the US setting up a puppet government in the nation??? They even removed an official the Afghan people voted into power, purely because they didn't like him!!!!!

How is that not expansionism????

As for this Catalonia thing. Years ago when they tried to have a referendum, the Spanish government did threaten military action if Catalonia tried to succeed. Spain has made it overly apparent, not just in the past, but with their recent barbaric actions, that if Catalonia wants independence, they're going to have to literally fight for it.

I wonder how the other powers in western Europe are going to react to this? I've seen some people claiming that the US is actually backing Spain (though I'm not sure of the validity of that, American news media is infamously unreliable). That would be rather scary though, if some European nation(s) decided to side with Catalonia. This means that US troops could end up having to battle European troops. That would obviously really sour relationships between the US and Europe. And from what I've seen online ever since the war on terror began, many Europeans despise the US quite a bit already. I mean, they're banning Americans on wordreference purely because of their nationality!

Unless Catalonia decides to back off (which may or may not happen), there may be a civil war over there. I don't know if the Catalonians could win though. I wonder if the Catalonian government would go ahead with a civil war even if they were in no position to win? They did go ahead with the referendum despite Spain threatening military action just 2 or 3 years ago.

I'm suspecting that this is going to get really ugly. Of course, in all honesty, it already has.

And what was Spain thinking with their response anyway??? Let's think about this: a territory of theirs tries to have a vote for independence. They send in riot police to steal voting machines, who then decide to assault voters, and the Spanish president (or w/e his title is) goes and claims that no referendum occured, and makes NO mention of the police brutality. Okay, he may not have ordered the cops to beat up people, but he still should've condemned it!!!! Spain's response was just absolutely terrible. All its accomplished is win sympathy for Catalonia. Seriously, who's in charge of their foreign policy over there???? It obviously isn't going to win them any friends in this.

And to be frank, I was somewhat sympathetic towards Spain before this. I know that they're going to suffer economically if they lose Catalonia. But this???? I mean, people are claiming that their response looks like something you would've seen in the middle east!

And now, they've set themselves up as the aggressors in this. They didn't wait for Catalonia to actually succeed, they just went over there and started beating up civilians before they even knew the results of the vote!

Its astounding just how inept Spain was in handling this. If it wasn't for the recent events, I would still be sympathetic towards Spain over this. Granted, I was more neutral on the subject. But I'm certainly not the only person appalled by their behavior????


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