Letter to Members of the European Parliament

lizcastro Catalonia 0 Comments

Hello. My name is Liz Castro. I am originally from the US but I have lived off and on in Barcelona for more than 30 years. I know this place and this people very well. And I have been watching this independence process from the beginning. I have written books about it, and I have witnessed an adamantly peaceful, strictly non-violent, absolutely democratic process that should be encouraged and lauded, and not beaten down with police batons and tear gas. Every people deserves to be heard. The Catalan people deserve to be heard. Up to this week the Catalans were …

Catalonia is everyone’s business

lizcastro Catalonia, Chronicle, Diari ARA 0 Comments

These are such difficult days. I’m going to try to add more frequent blog posts here so that you know what is going on in Catalonia, and almost more importantly, so that you can share it with others. What is happening here is a test of democracy. People have mobilized for ten years peacefully and democratically just in order to be able to have a voice about their political future. If you support democracy, please support Catalonia. This is an article I wrote before the referendum. It was originally published in ARA. Julian Assange has suddenly taken an interest in …

Democracy’s broken windows

lizcastro Catalonia 1 Comment

Spain’s hybrid military/national police raided twenty-two Catalan government buildings Monday morning and arrested twelve mid-ranking officials and a businessman who ran a printing business. The reaction from the Catalan people was immediate, massive and peaceful: thousands have been chanting and singing in front of the Ministry of Economy where the first arrest took place. It might be hard for people around the world to grasp the significance of these arrests, and the importance of their reaction. I can hear them saying, “I don’t know much about Catalonia and Spain seems like a democratic country. I better stay out of it.” …

President Puigdemont Statement on arrests September 20

lizcastro Catalonia, Translated Announcements 0 Comments

Good morning everyone. As you know, a little while ago the executive of the Government of Catalonia met urgently and extraordinarily, and we came to an agreement on the following official declaration that I want to share with you now. The Catalan Government was the recipient today of a coordinated aggression from the police forces of the Spanish government’s interior ministry, with the objective of blocking all Catalans from being able to express themselves, freely and peacefully, on October 1. And in order to suspend the activity of the government that was elected at the ballot boxes on September 27, …

Statement on Spanish attempt to take over Catalan @Mossos Police

lizcastro Catalonia, Translated Announcements 0 Comments

Yesterday, reports in Madrid newspapers said that Spain was taking over Catalan police. Home Affairs Minister Joaquim Forn made a statement at 3pm to dispel the rumors: “Good morning. This morning there was a meeting at the Head Prosecutor’s office in Catalonia between the security forces and corps of the State, the Municipal Police of Barcelona and the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police force). The legal department of the home affairs ministry is studying the edict in order to offer a legal response. In addition to the commander of the legal police, also present for the second time, was a high-ranking officer of the …

Catalonia’s debt to Twitter

lizcastro Catalonia, Technology 0 Comments

How do you change the world peacefully and democratically in the 21st century? By connecting, educating, and getting the outside world to listen. Catalans have spent the last six years determined to have their say in a country that neither listens to them nor respects them, and they have done so in the most exemplary fashion: with five massive peaceful, smilingdemonstrations, with debates, conferences, and canvassing, with citizen-led and government-supported though non-binding referenda, and by simply and steadfastly demanding the most basic of democratic rights which Spain refuses to grant: to vote on their political future. At this moment when people are questioning Twitter’s future, I love …

Spain doesn’t understand democracy so is it any wonder Catalans want out?

lizcastro Catalonia 0 Comments

Originally published in International Business Times This week in Portugal, right-wing president Pedro Passos Coelho has decided to overrule the decision of the people and decline to invite the left-wing majority to form a government. Meanwhile Greece’s ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is travelling across Europe, trying to explain how 60% of the Greek people voted no to the EU’s austerity plan yet were ignored by the government who accepted it anyway. And every week in Catalonia, the Spanish government tells us that we have no right to peacefully, democratically, decide our own political future. When did Europe become so afraid …

The Need for Necessity

lizcastro Catalonia, Diari ARA 0 Comments

 Originally published in ARA, May 8, 2015 Often, when people find out I’m American, they say “Wow, I’d love to learn how to speak English, I’ve been taking classes for years but I still can’t get by.” They look at me and my kids with envy since we learned English naturally, without classes. I always give the same answer: to learn a language, you have go where it’s spoken so that you NEED to speak it. There’s nothing like having someone right in front of you hanging on your every word. It’s the only way. Time and necessity. And it’s …

When can Catalans stop apologizing for being Catalan?

lizcastro Catalonia 0 Comments

It was a terrible accident. My daughter was in an exchange program with kids from Dusseldorf last year, like the group that lost its life on Flight #4U9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf yesterday. My son is on a school trip this week. A friend lost his wife. I have flown dozens if not hundreds of times. The flight left from my home city’s airport. It’s way too close to home. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s so sad. I confess I didn’t think quite so much about the Malaysia accidents. A little, but not as much. It’s true that …

5 Reasons Catalonia Should be on your Radar

lizcastro Catalonia 0 Comments

Update: The Catalan Government has called the Catalan people to voice their opinion on their political future on Sunday, November 9th. Because the Spanish Congress refused to allow Catalonia to hold a binding referendum, Catalonia passed a Law of non-referendum ‘consultations’ to hold a non-binding one, which nonetheless was suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court in record time on September 29. After negotiations fell apart with the other pro-referendum political parties, the President announced a new formulation for the vote. Yesterday, November 4, the Court also “suspended” this new system for Sunday’s event. The Catalan Government, Catalan community organizations like the ANC and Òmnium, and individuals have all said they are maintaining course …