Monday, October 6, 2014

Ballot boxes in cages: the hijacking of democracy

Dissatisfied by the Spanish government’s response, pro-independence activists have been placing ballot boxes in cages in public spaces. Many still hope the November 9th vote will go ahead after a court appeal.

The day after the suspension of the decree for a non-binding referendum by the Spanish Constitutional Court, a group of citizens started a campaign which aims at drawing attention to this through a symbolic gesture—they are placing ballot boxes in cages all over Catalonia. 
Lleida

They are asking people to support the campaign by placing cages with ballot boxes or ballots in them and sharing pictures of these, especially via Twitter. They explain that “prohibiting the referendum is equal to imprisoning fundamental liberties. There is no reason, political or not, that would justify such a prohibition.”

Montserrat

This action also highlights the absurdity of the ban. A vote in a cage is still a vote. In a democracy, one cannot silence freedom. The right to stay or leave Spain belongs to the Catalans. The freedom to found a state belongs to the Catalans. “Freedom is the power to decide matters for our own community. The real cages are in our heads—it is our job to let votes be free.”








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