Most of you will have followed the ‘outcome’ of the Catalonian elections. I write ‘outcome’ as it is far from clear what the outcome will be. How does one get an outcome through imposed elections when half the people respect the centre that imposed those elections and the other half resent the same centre? How does one get an outcome when two positions are defended from a typical male approach of immovable strength? Rhetoric without listening… re-telling history that does not address injustice, but keeps a wound open and increases the depth of the wound.
The result of the vote seems to clearly indicate one thing – the 7 million people are divided and the division is very deep. When we have prayed – and we have prayed into these issues for the past years – we have been calling for a Spain that recognises diversity. One land mass but a family of nations / cultures. For diversity to rise voices have to be heard and voices have to be listened to. What though is ‘the’ Catalan voice? Almost 2 million of those in Catalonia are not from that ‘Communidad’ but adopted Catalonia mostly for economic reasons. Does their voice carry any weight? The historical perspective – is there / was there ever a Catalan nation (defined by language)? The Catalonian region was a semi-autonomous region of Aragon…
Perhaps the inconclusive result was the best result we could have hoped for. Central government had a bad night with their returns being a clear ‘no-vote’. The independent parties had a good but not overwhelming night. Back to where we were.
Our conviction is something much deeper is going on. There is something seeking to break through from the hidden place, away from the public eye. Change is from grassroots. That is certainly in line with the ‘Christmas’ message of one born to save a nation from exile. The economy of Barcelona (the capital) will be impacted greatly and sadly those on the margins are almost always those who feel the effect deeply at a survival level, but behind the neo-liberal prosperity is a city that has a long history of pulling together. In June 2017, Barcelona en Comu held the world’s first ‘Fearless Cities’ International Municipalist conference, gathering 700 urban activists from over 40 nations. The invitation to Fearless Cities began with a ringing declaration:
In a world in which fear and insecurity are being twisted into hate, and inequalities, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise, towns and cities are standing up to defend human rights, democracy and the common good.
We (Gayle and I) are committed to continue to pray for Catalonia, but wider for Spain. We were recently at the Supreme Court in Madrid. We are committed to see corrupt judiciary being exposed and for the constitution being changed. The judiciary are political appointments and as noted in The Guardian
Certainly the alacrity with which the justice system has responded to the Catalan crisis is in marked contrast to the glacial pace with which it is handling the hundreds of corruption cases involving members of the ruling Popular party.
In all places there is a Babylon that rises up. That Babylon will dominate, refuse to shift, and any beast that represents it that has a mortal wound will simply live again to dehumanise the many while rewarding those who comply. There is also a gift from heaven that can come. Tomorrow marks the day when God appeared in a surprising way. That event is unrepeatable, Jesus is unique. Signs point to the event, but the event also releases signs. Those signs are surprising, but are marked by those who occupy the high place losing their seat, and of the hungry being fed. Mountains brought down and valleys brought up.
So Spain, Europe. Bumpy ride – wide swings and shocks in 2018… but signs for those with eyes to see.