Catalan Independence and Media Hypocrisy

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?

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: Europe, latest, Other Media, Spain


Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay

The Soviets would have known how to deal with the Catalan uprising. Thankfully the inheritors of Franco’s mantle in Madrid were more gentle.


According to the Spanish press, the culprit has been found: the Russians. From the Spanish press:
Socialists call on government for explanation of Russian interference in Catalonia
US “very concerned” about claims of Russian meddling in Catalonia
But Moscow says allegations are groundless and detrimental to bilateral relations between Spain and Russia
EU agrees to dedicate more resources to fight Russian propaganda
Interference from Russia in the Catalan independence crisis has spiked concerns about the manipulation of public opinion
How the Russian meddling machine won the online battle of the illegal referendum
The Spanish government and public media outlets did not react in time in the face of a network of fake news stories and social media posts
Russian network used Venezuelan accounts to deepen Catalan crisis
An analysis of five million messages reveals that RT and Sputnik used social networks to spread a negative image of Spain
All these articles are in English, and can be found on the web of the Spanish newspaper “El Pais”: https://elpais.com/agr/catalonia_independence/a/

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The anarchists are rising
And most of them don’t realise they’re anarchists.
BTW. Anarchism Is about non- violent action, aimed at dismantling hierarchies.


I do not know whether a majority of Catalans want independence or not.
I am more confident that a majority wish a vote on independence to be considered legal, as then all those wishing to vote No would have voted rather than abstained.
I am certain that a vast majority do not consider Catalan leaders to be worthy of imprisonment.
There is a difficulty, however. When you get ‘inependence’, what happens is that the power dynamic changes. In Scotland right now, more rural areas want less power in Edinburgh, as power has shifted from London to Edinburgh, not to Thurso, Lerwick or Stornoway. The northern Isles are now talking about wanting independence from Edinburgh. When does it end?!
So I do wonder whether anti Barcelona sentiment might emerge if Catalan independence were achieved?

Empire Of Stupid

The only way to gain a true consensus is to let the process run to completion. If this involves countries like Scotland or Spain fragmenting, realigning, recombining in new ways, nonviolently, so be it. Why should politics be set in stone? Maybe we should start to rethink concepts like ‘nation’ anyway.

Mark Mason

Meaningless. One million, two million, three million people in the streets is meaningless. I have seen this too many times to count in which a million people go out into the streets, wave flags, sing songs, and hold candles, then they go home to wait for more orders from the corrupt political bosses. This march was meaningless. So what? This is not a revolution for independence. This is a privileged middle-class picnic. If they were serious about releasing political prisoners they would march to the government offices and the prisons. They would throw open the gates to the prisons, but they are not serious. This is a meaningless symbolic gesture that tells the Madrid fascists that the Catalonian movement can easily be crushed.


You call the march ‘meaningless’ and then proceed to extract meaning after meaning from the reports of it which you have received: It was, you tell us ” is a privileged middle-class picnic” and “not a revolution.”
It may not be what you desire but it is far from being a “meaningless symbolic gesture”. It may not be the tactic that you would choose, and you might be right but the march of more than a million was very important. Apart from all else it confirmed the Catalan view that the Madrid based media is incapable of throwing off the tutelage of Franco’s successors-nothing has changed there. And that is one reason why Catalans want to run their own show.


I’ve just come back from & short trip to Barcelona & Girona so speaking from 1st hand knowledge & talking to people and seeing the flags hanging from most buildings wanting independence & some for unification.
To me it seems that nearly everyone I spoke to wanted 2 things :
Independent Catalonia
No blood on the streets
Some people did not want to talk about it but the vast majority did. I have to back on 23rd Nov & I will have similar conversations as most media are lying. I also understand that cafés, bars & restaurants and general people are not an accurate determination of fact but its what I experienced.
By your comment it seems you want to see blood to demonstrate commitment ?