Sunday, November 9, 2014

9N2014: Synonymous with participation and tolerance

The majority of Catalan society wants to decide their own future, because they legitimately believe that they have the right, and because they want a different future. And they want to decide this in peace and freedom, without excluding anyone and without going against anyone. This spirit, which combines firmness with tolerance and pluralism, is the best asset in a complicated political process.

This is particularly true because on the other side of the issue is a state with a political class that has closed the door on finding a negotiated solution, and that has decided to always respond with a restrictive interpretation of the law. The result can be seen in the consecutive and implacable challenges, via the Constitutional Court (TC), to the consultation on 9N and the participatory process of the new 9N. But the process isn't complicated just for this reason, but also because within Catalonia this process must be done --and is being done-- without harming the coexistence of its citizens, without looking for enemies at home, and without dividing the country into good and bad Catalans.

The process has not been presented in terms of identity, but only in political and democratic terms, a call to allow the people to speak, to give voice to the citizens, to everyone, whatever they believe. Isolated episodes such as the attempt by the University of Girona to withdraw the honorary doctorate given to Encarna Roca, the one Catalan judge on the Spanish Constitutional Court, are the unfortunate exceptions that prove the rule --exceptions that would be best if they ended in nothing. The right to self-determination is inseparable from a respect for the feelings of all. It is critical to make this clear one more time.

The Catalonia that emerges from this new democratic transition will be on a path towards being more politically mature, inclusive, and respectful. This character, this calm strength, this deeply tolerant and positive component that has characterized the Catalan claims to date, is not only the best guarantee that things, despite the obvious difficulties, are generally being done properly, but also serves as a magnificent calling card for the international community. Seen from abroad, both via the media and in the eyes of governments, it is very difficult to condemn a people who simply want to vote and who once and again have, with dignity and in peace, taken to the streets to claim their right to be heard.

Source: Ara

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