Castro on Catalonia

The latest in Phantom Power’s Perspective series. Castro on Catalonia, an exclusive interview with writer Liz Castro on Catalonia’s historic independence referendum. Liz gives her insight into the history and politics behind the vote including Catalonia’s complex relationship with Spain, the rise of the independence movement, campaign strategy, parallels with Scottish self-determination and what happens next. Liz is a writer and publisher living in Barcelona. ‘Many Grains of Sand’ documents the creative and highly effective campaign methods of Catalonia’s independence movement and is available @ Follow Liz for news and updates @

30 comments on “Castro on Catalonia

  1. I would much appreciate a full factual update. Right now, I don’t know whether the referendum will actually go ahead, who the police in Catalunya are taking their orders from, what has happened/may happen to the 700(!) mayors arested, or how this all affects the stability of the minority Government in Madrid. And there must be much more that I don’t even know I don’t know

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug Castro on Catalonia The latest in Phantom Power’s Perspective series. Castro on Catalonia, an exclusive […]

  3. Willie John says:

    Looking ahead to IndyRef2 one must wonder what Police Scotland will do. Will they follow the orders of the Scottish Government, and that means the people of Scotland, or London?

    • Guga says:

      An interesting question Willie, considering that the Scottish government seemingly continues with its policy of putting English people in the top positions in both government and non-government organizations in Scotland.

      I find it difficult to believe that there are not enough talented Scots to fill all these positions, or that there is any real excuse for putting foreigners in many, many positions of power in Scotland.

      Are there too many people in the Scottish government that believe that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid to run our own country?

      • Andy Anderson says:

        Everywhere does not need a conspiracy theory.

      • Anne says:

        What’s happened to choosing to live and work in Scotland and being accepted as a valued human being?

      • LF says:

        I’ve always felt the SNP was too concerned with being “respectable”. It’s the party’s great Achilles heel, the fear of alienating the chattering classes. That’s probably why they go out of their way to employ English people, so they can’t be accused of blood and soil nationalism. The irony is, they are anyway.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Remember many police will vote yes

  4. Guga says:

    The Spanish government is merely a continuation of the Franco fascists, and think they can dismiss normal human rights and ignore international law. I am quite surprised that the EU has not condemned them for trying to prevent the Catalans from having the right of self determination. The EU should threaten the fascist Spanish government with sanctions for breaching both international law and EU law.

    We can only express our disapproval of there fascists by refusing to have anything to do with them, and by boycotting Spanish goods and refusing to contribute to their tourism income.

    I note also that the English government has yet to condemn the Spanish fascists, but, then again, the English government has a similar attitude towards human rights, i.e. they don’t want even the English people to have them, let alone the Scottish people.

  5. Michael Lafferty says:

    Not our circus, not our monkeys.

  6. Melvin Penman says:

    The blanket false reporting across Europe is a concern and to be expected.I am afraid for the good people of Catalunya . The Spanish have a very poor history of human rights and the EU sitting back and watching is discgraceful. It’s too late for cool heads as the Spanish will take the silence as support of their position. If the army or guard civil get nasty then, we will see another Spanish civil war. Self determination of people is the heart of democracy. Unfortunately the elected have been doing their best to limit democracy across the world as ” they know better for people than the people do themselves” the oppression of democracy is disgraceful. It can only lead to terrible and tragic events. Spain needed allow a vote, passing a law to change the constitution was the right path, then let the people decide. The government in most countries view themselves as authorities over the people, when they should be governments of and for the people.

    Self detremination and freedom can never be suppressed. Only by mutual respect and truth can nations live with each other.

  7. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Shame on Espana

    As democrats we must now avoid all Spanish goods and services, that includes your week on the Costa del Sol.

    • Anne Martin says:

      I can’t do that as I live in Spain!

      However, speaking to Spaniards in my area at least (Almería), they feel the same way about Catalonia as many English do about Scotland in that, if they had a vote on it, the Catalans would get their independence.

      It’s bloody Rajoy and his cohorts that are terrified of losing the Catalan wealth!

      Also, on a personal note, Rajoy looks far too much like Fluffy Mundell for me to like him lol!

  8. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Another thought, where the hell is the EU?

  9. Max_B says:

    Great video… sitting here in the UK, I’ve been exploring what is going on in Catalonia for only the last 2 days, but I am disturbed by Madrid’s recent actions trying to frustrate the citizens of Catalonia from exercising their rights enshrined under European law. Now that I know more about the history over the last 15 years, I just don’t know what else the people of Catalonia can do, other than keep pressing forward, when the other side is simply intransigent and isn’t listening. It seems clear that the Spanish administrations way of dealing with grievances and alternative opinions with Spain, remains under the shadow of Franco.

  10. Anne Martin says:

    Bona sort a Catalunya avui. Espero que obtingueu el resultat que voleu.

  11. I’m watching the Al Jazeera report on the Catalan referendum. The people are being prevented from voting by imported police. Some Catalan police have refused to interfere with the vote. The people are taking on the police very peacefully and with great dignity.
    I believe there are international observers present, so I hope they will report what is going on and shame the Spanish Government.

  12. Anne Martin says:

    I’m watching the RT livestream and it’s absolutely disgraceful.

  13. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Will there be outrage from Westminster and the British Nationalist party’s?

    Will the EU step in and demand the Spanish Government behaves?

    Doubt it.

    Shame on all the European governments and the EU.

    I think we all salute the bravery of the Catalan people .

  14. Macart says:

    Thoughts go out to the Catalonian people.

    This posted by Wings.

    Some of the images and news coming in are pretty grim.

    • Anne Martin says:

      I’ve just been looking at these. So, people peacefully trying to exercise their right to vote is illegal, and this behaviour by the Spanish police is legal and acceptable? I think not.

      Another point. If the police think they are doing the right thing by seizing ballot boxes, why do they find it necessary to wear full balaclavas to hide their faces!

      • Macart says:

        There are many governments/regimes throughout history who enacted reprehensible, discriminatory or downright bad laws in the name of the state Anne.

        If there is anything history has taught us, it’s that being the legislator doesn’t make you in the right.

  15. Macart says:

    So, Labour and international solidarity, the right to peaceful protest, popular vote, democratic rights and self determination or what?

    In your own time Mr Corbyn.

  16. Norwaywalker says:

    Liz Castro is now calling on Spain to be suspended from the EU under Articles 2 and 7 of the Amsterdam Treaty.

  17. The Scottish Play says:

    ‘If you can look into the seeds of time,
    And say which grain will grow and which will not……..

    ,,,the 69 votes in favour of holding an Independence Referendum by the Scottish Parliament on 28th March 2017 versus the 59 votes against (this mahority ‘in favour’ of holding such a Referendum had already taken firm root, in the form of the already elected majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament being O’ independent mind…. the Scottish Electorate’s representatives in Parliament, thier MSPs voting for this Independence Referendum … the legal, constitutional and democrtatic mandate to hold an Independence Referendum being enacted,

    Also all consitituencies in Scotland (the entire Country) voted by majority to Remain in the EU, in that particular Referendum.

    A vote on Independence and in due course remaining in the EU, for Scotland awaits.

  18. Macart says:

    The Spanish government and police have lost a great deal more than credibility today.

    Appalling scenes.

  19. It is illegal in Spain to photograph the police in exercise of their duty if that could lead to retaliation against them. So it may be legally safer to photograph police with balaclavas than those without. (English language Wikipedia “Gag Law” could use a section on this, which does have a section in Spanish Wikipedia; the law made me abandon half-formed plans of retiring to Spain).

Comments are closed.