A Homage to Catalonia

Words by Alexei Obolensky and Isidor Coma. Photos by Guillem Cruells

Words by Alexei Obolensky and Isidor Coma. Photos by Guillem Cruells

“And the whole huge town of a million people was locked in a sort of violent inertia, a nightmare of noise without movement.”  - George Orwell. A Homage to Catalonia

We try and remain neutral. Read not politically motivated nor influenced. We're a little surf / skate zine based out of south west France and everything in our little bubble is going just fine thank you very much. However the events of yesterday in Barcelona ripped our collective hearts out. Firstly we love Barcelona, we've spent much time there on numerous trips, have had the best of times and emerged with many great friends. Friends, that after seeing them beaten under the cosh of a Guardia Civil Baton for merely participating in a peaceful (albeit it unconstitutional) vote - nearly brought a tear to our eye. 

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   Whilst we're not qualified in any respect to pass comment as to the political sphere behind it (can the will of the people be deemed unconstitutional?! Are the Mossos d'Esquadra themselves now a rebel force in the eyes of the state?) All we do know is that this has echoes of the Spanish Civil War, and life under Franco which although not being that long ago is downright terrifying. That combined with the somewhat global trend of increased police brutality makes for a generation defined by the degeneration of fair political rule...

   Here are some words from two Catalans, Isidor Coma - a Politics Student and Guillem Cruells - our man on the ground in Barcelona, who can comment better then we ever could. 

"Right now we are facing a situation in which Catalonia and its people is more united than ever under the idea of becoming an independent country, on the other side, spanish people is more united than ever (and more radicalised than ever) under the idea that Catalonia CANNOT leave the country because that would be illegal. Keep into account that the judges deciding whether something is illegal or not are extremely politicised and under the control of the Spanish government. We are facing this whole situation as the beginning of a revolution that could end, as Assange tweeted - in the birth of a new European country of 7.5 million people -  or in the beginning of a civil war (the situation is somewhat similar to the one being lived through in eastern Ukraine). Yesterday the Spanish government showed to the world that the only way to control (even if they showed that it was impossible to do it) is by sending police forces from the rest of Spain to neutralise a peaceful vote. The days to come are going to be much more intense than yesterday.. and yesterday was one of the most intense days of my life. History is right now being written here. Its pretty crazy and amazing what is going on here" -  Isidor Coma

"I grew up in small village under the “Senyera” (the Catalan flag) and listening to my grandparents talking about how hard the civil war was and being Catalan during the dictatorship. During the last few days It’s been crazy here... But at the same time it’s going amazing -  Catalans are more united than ever! I think my skin had goosebumps for the past 48 hours! I don’t really know what’s the next step for Catalonia, maybe if the Catalan government declares a independent state without the permission of Spain?  Anyways, we showed to the world what’s our situation and we showed to Spain we remember the past and we will remember October 1st" - Guillem Cruells 

Visca Catalunya lliure!


 

Benjamin Boyd