Thoughts on Catalunya & Independence

I am currently in Barcelona lecturing for Smithsonian again. We arrived into the city (the last leg of our tour) just an hour before the manifestation began. From our centrally located hotel, we can view the manifestation. But for whatever reason, I found myself in the thick of it.

READ MY POST ABOUT THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION

Walking the streets an hour before the manifestation was beginning to rally, I felt as if I were in a different city: not the city I lived in and know so well. This one felt tense. How is that so? Barcelona has seen many manifestations. People in the USA get a bit nervous by the word “manifestation”. Think peaceful march. Because that is what they usually are…

This time, the Guardia Civil was patrolling the streets: not the Mossos d'Esquadra. What is wrong with this picture? Catalunya has its own police force, so why is the Spanish Military here? I felt like I couldn’t fist pump… maybe one of them would hit me. You definitely couldn’t look at them, or say anything. Somehow this uncomfortable feeling is hitting me so familiarly… oh yea, it reminds me of any kind of Third Reich propaganda film I have ever seen.

READ ABOUT A PAINTING I CREATED IN RESPONSE TO THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION IN CATALUNYA

Is there about to be a civil war in Spain? Are we all standing right in the middle of it? Has the situation really escalated that badly?

I plan to write a response to this blog post at a later time. A post that compiles all I know about the current political situation with a summary of Spain & Catalunya’s history up until the contemporary day. All I can speak to now is emotion… emotion stemmed from terror that I felt from the Spanish Military marching around a province they should not interfere in. And emotion stemmed from compassion of the Catalan people who just want a dialogue about cultural independence and fairness towards people who have been unrightfully taken as prisoners, rather than a mix up in further political conversation.

My immediate thoughts 24-hours after the manifestation to free Catalunya’s political leaders Jordi Cuixart & Jordi Sanchez:

I am still trying to process the emotion from yesterday. Fascism still exists in so many examples all over our world & Spain is a direct example. Por favor no comenten si no están de acuerdo - no quiero discutir. Quiero exprimir lo que siento y lo que he leído de la historia de Castilla y Cataluña.

Spain has recently demonstrated something that raises a bigger international issue. All over citizens of the world are fighting for their voices to be heard, for freedom & equality - judged by the color of their skin, language they speak, their customs, or the side of history (or country borders) they fall under. In a TRUE DEMOCRACY... people would have the right to vote, freedom of speech & to practice one's culture. Spain isn't demonstrating that right now for Catalans. It seems more and more democracy means a few people have power, a side pass to corruption & those in power want to protect that privilege with everything they have + continue to ostracize anyone who could change that situation of power for them. Have we truly learned nothing from our collective histories? Oh, privilege - you are like the pandora's box of control. Una enorme falta de respecte... When, oh when, are we going to learn how to LOVE? #libertat