Our freedom belongs in usufruct to the living

Spain has not been a democratic country for most of its history. Last century, we had a democratic government from 1931 to 1936, a civil war for three years (a very hard and unequal fight against a pro-nazi general), a long dictatorship, first elections in 1977, a Constitution in 1978. General Franco died in 1975. Spanish Constitution was drafted with fear --in fact, some generals tried to abolish democracy in 1981. So, we the people of Catalonia are bound, aren't we?, to that Constitution passed by the dead, as I see now, with a little help from Thomas Jefferson (a letter to James Madison) --in Jefferson, Thomas. Appleby, Joyce and Terence Ball, ed. Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, third printing 2005, first published 1999, pages 593-598).

Paris, September 6, 1789

Dear Sir, -- I sit down to write you without knowing by what occasion I shall send my letter. I do it because a subject comes into my head which I would wish to develop a little more than is practicable in the hurry of the moment of making up general dispatches.

The question Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government. The course of reflection in which we are immersed here on the elementary principles of society has presented this question on my mind; and that no such obligation can be transmitted I think very capable of proof. I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, "that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living"; that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. [...] What is true of every member of the society individually, is true of them all collectively, since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of individuals. [page 593]


It can be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct. They are masters too of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please. But persons and property make the sum of the objects of government. The constitution and the laws of their predecessors extinguished them, in their natural course, with those whose will gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires [...]. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right. [page 596]


Catalan National Assembly constant campaign


Catalan National Assembly is always campaigning on independence. Last Friday I was supporting a team at a main street in my neighborhood (Sants-Montjuïc), in Barcelona. We gave brochures to everybody. We talked to many. It is a cheap and effective way to reach all kind of people. Catalan National Assembly is a grassroots, democratic, peaceful, non-partisan organization. It is organized through local and regional assemblies. For instance, I am working in Sants-Montjuïc per la Independència (Sants-Montjuïc for Independence; we are 1.200 activists in the neighborhood).

I picked up a brochure in English. I copy its text:

For our future: independence!! 
Assemblea Nacional Catalana

Independence for Catalonia:

  • To bring to an end the plundering fiscal tax of 60 million euros a day.
  • To have a first-class health system.
  • To have a satisfactory pension system and an effective employment policy.
  • To promote the establishment of leading companies.
  • To have a sound infrastructure, well-connected international ports and airports and modern trains that are safe and efficient.
  • To have Catalan sports teams that compete internationally.
  • For Catalan to be the common language used in trade, product labeling, justice, media, brochures...
  • To ensure immersion in Catalan at school, as a way of integrating everyone.
  • For Catalan to be a language of official use in Europe and international organizations.
  • To have our own diplomatic representations and defend our legitimate interests worldwide.
  • To be one of the most advanced states of Europe, simply by virtue of everyone's efforts.
  • To be a nation that is respected everywhere.

For all these reasons and many more...
we want an independent Catalan State!

www.assemblea.cat | Sants-Montjuïc per la Independència | www.smxi.cat



We agree on independence


Catalan activism and media are fast. Before midnight, we had a translation into English of the agreement on holding a referendum, by Liz Castro, and a wide selection of the first international media that were covering the topic, by Vilaweb:

Also worth reading is a sharp editorial by Vicent Partal: "The Moment We've Been Waiting Centuries For".

Artur Mas, leader of the center-right party, 
and Oriol Junqueras, leader of the main center-left party 
(December 18th), by Vilaweb

Catalan National Assembly supported the agreement between
both parties, on December 15th. This photo and the linked one
were made by Josep-Lluís Gonzàlez (Creative Commons by-sa)



The Spanish plan against language immersion


The Spanish government is promoting a law on educational quality. It intends to put the Catalan language in a secondary position in Catalan schools.

This is Catalan National Assembly's declaration about the Spanish plan:

  • This bill is the most serious attack the Catalan language since the end of Franco's dictatorship. It is a cowardly attack, issued after the parliamentary elections in Catalonia. The Spanish political and judicial apparatus pushes a systematic approach of contempt and margination of the Catalan language, especially regarding the educational model of immersion.
  • The law denigrates the Catalan language, and it undermines the cohesion of Catalan people. It stands for segregation and division between Catalan speakers and Spanish speakers. It tries to create a conflict that did not exist in Catalonia. We chose our educational model freely and we will not allow any interference that violates our will. The language immersion and the use of Catalan as basic language in schools is a successful model, which is recognized by experts and institutions.
  • The attack of the Spanish government can not be separated from the political context. It had never gone this far in over thirty years of parliamentary monarchy, because we had never been so close to reaching freedom.
  • The only possible answer to this bill is civil disobedience and the raising of a united front of parties, unions, organizations and society against this new attack, in a forceful, peaceful and clear response.
  • Once again, it appears clearly that independence is the only and desirable solution for Catalonia's economic and cultural survival. Any false exit will not solve the aspirations of a society, as evidenced by the results of elections on November 25th, that opted mostly for Catalonia to be the next state in Europe.
  • These attacks and these difficulties give us more strength to build persistently a new country, an exciting and inclusive project for all Catalans.
  • Catalan National Assembly supports the response to this attack that emerged from Som Escola (We are School), and calls on its members and society to defend the Catalan school.

Full text (in Catalan), by National Catalan Assembly



Elections on November 25th

  • Pro-independence parties: 87 deputies.
    • CiU: 50 deputies (-12)
    • ERC: 21 deputies (+11)
    • CUP: 3 deputies (+3)
    • ICV: 13 deputies (+3) --they are pro-referendum, not exactly a pro-independence party
  • Unionist parties: 48 deputies
    • PSC: 20 deputies (-8) --they stand for a Constitutional reform and federalism
    • PP: 19 deputies (+1)
    • C's: 9 deputies (+6)
  • Participation: 70%
  • See also a detailed analysis: "Mapping the Catalan Elections results. Pro-referendum parties win" (video, 10' 13'', by Vicent Partal and Vilaweb)

Àmplia majoria sobiranista al parlament

By Vilaweb