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Catalan Independence and Media Hypocrisy

Kit Knightly

Not one of the big Spanish newspapers carried a picture of the massive protests in their front page.

1.3 million people marched in the streets of Barcelona on the 11th of November. They were protesting the arrest of Catalonian MPs and other officials. The charges? Sedition.

The Catalan independence referendum was held peacefully and fairly. On the day votes were cast riot police broke up crowds and raided polling stations. People were injured trying to vote.

To no one’s surprise, the people of Catalonia voted AGAINST the people hitting them with sticks for wanting to be free. The Spanish government dissolved Catalonia’s local government and had MPs seized. The ex-President of Catalonia fled to Belgium. He has since been handed over to the Spanish government.

1.3 million people marched against this. That’s a one, a three, and five zeroes. The Spanish press didn’t cover it. But fortunately, for now, people can upload reality to twitter.

The Guardian has hosted an editorial from two political advisors to the Spanish government, claiming that…

Catalan Nationalism isn’t the progressive cause you might think”

The Washington Post claimed to speak for the “great silent majority” who wanted Catalonia to remain part of Spain.

The Spanish government has blamed Russia for this mess, and baseless accusation that CNN, Reuters and all the usual suspects have gleefully repeated.

They don’t seem to realise they’re descending into self-parody. “Russian interference” is the new political “Get Out of Jail Free card”, to be played any time a vote doesn’t go your way.

The time has come to ask a fairly obvious question:

If these crowds were in Crimea or Tehran, would our media be as gentle to Russia and Iran as they have been on the Spanish government?
Imagine Kaliningrad held an independence vote, and Moscow had polling stations torn apart and ring-leader MPs arrested for “sedition”? Would the headlines be about US meddling in Russian affairs? Or about how Kaliningrad is full of rich elitists?

Would a crowd of over 1 million Chinese protesters, marching down the streets of Beijing, ever be so completely ignored by the Western press?
There will be applause, this week, for the military coup in Zimbabwe…while democratic independence is denied to the peaceful protesters in Catalonia. The hypocrisy is spiralling out of control.

How far down this rabbit hole are they going to try to lead us?