Given the current situation in Catalonia, we feel we must speak out, as we have often done over the past 3 years.
We support the Catalan peoples’ right to vote.
Over the past few years we on this page have sometimes been subject to criticism of our support for the Catalan independence movement’s drive for a recognised referendum on the future governance of their currently autonomous region. Over the last few days this has increased considerably. From people with sentiments along the lines of “we can sympathise, but don’t get involved – it doesn’t help us with Scottish Independence” to others who insist “Catalonia was never a country – it’s completely different from Scotland – you don’t know what you’re talking about so stop promoting it”
Whether they vote for or against independence, a democratic exercise must be allowed to be undertaken. People can argue until the cows come home whether or not Catalonia was “ever a country” – Such a position is arguable. But what we feel is not defendable is a position refusing to recognise or respect the right to self-determination and denial of access to democratic participation.
Some of us behind this group are decedents of Spanish diaspora: refugees who fled Franco’s fascist Spain. We have grown up knowing personal family histories, of their experience of the cruel treatment of dissenters, and of losing family members to Francoist Death Squads.
We may not have roots in Catalonia, but we understand the impact of the repression of the democratic rights of Catalans by the Spanish government.
And through our generations spent crossing Europe, and our time spent living in Scotland, we understand that Spain’s attempted enforcement of homogeneity, and disregard for cultural diversity and democratic plurality, is too dangerous a course to sit by and ignore.
So while we ask our fellow EU Citizens to Stand Up for Scotland, we implore our fellow Scots to also Stand Up for Catalonia.