The â€˜nationalism of small nationsâ€™ inevitably draws its emotional power from a sense of victimhood and a history of oppression â€” whether real or imagined. Watching the confiscations of ballot papers in Catalonia over the last week, I was reminded of the raid carried out by 300 Spanish Army officers on the Barcelona offices of the Catalan satirical magazineÂ Cu-Cut!Â on 23 November 1905.Â Outraged by a satirical cartoon lampooning the Spanish military, the officers trashed the magazineâ€™s offices. The Spanish government, under pressure from the upper echelons of the army, banned the magazine for five months, then passed theÂ Ley de JurisdiccionesÂ (â€œLaw of Jurisdictionsâ€), which forbade any criticism of â€˜Spain and its symbolsâ€™.
Some Catalan nationalists will remember that episode. Others will remember the â€˜Reapers Warâ€™ of 1640-52, or theÂ Nueva PlantaÂ decrees imposed on Catalonia by the Bourbon monarchy following the War of the Spanish Succession and the 1713-14 siege of Barcelona, which deprived Catalonia of the medieval charters and privileges it had enjoyed under the Crown of Aragon, and which set out to extinguish any trace of Catalanism â€” including the Catalan language itself. Some may recall the martyred general Josep Moragues i Mas, drawn and quartered in the streets of Barcelona by the Bourbons in 1715.
My piece on yesterday’s referendum for Ceasefire Magazine.Â You can read the rest here