Dear Catalonia: Solidarity groups ask supporters to write to political prisoners

Scottish and Catalan groups join forces in postcard campaign for imprisoned political leaders

A POSTCARD CAMPAIGN calling for supporters to send messages of solidarity to Catalan political prisoners has been launched by the Scottish branch of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), in partnership with with Yes Scotland’s Future, Independence Live, English Scots for Yes, Catalan Defence Committee Scotland, SNP Youth, SNP Friends of Catalonia and Ungagged.

Branded #DearCatalonia, the campaign seeks to show support to the political prisoners and to raise awareness of the actions of the Spanish state in imprisoning pro-independence Catalan government ministers following the referendum in October this year.

A website has been set up with information on the campaign, where the addresses for each of the prisoners can be found, along with a postcard which can be downloaded.

READ MORE: Catalan Defence Committee Scotland launched to further solidarity efforts

Oriol Roig Vilaseca, who comes from Barcelona and now lives in Glasgow, has been involved with ANC Scotland since it was revived in April this year and has played a key role in developing the campaign. Speaking to CommonSpace, Vilaseca said that the campaign aimed to show the prisoners that “they are not alone, not only in Catalonia, but also in Scotland”.

Sending letters to political prisoners is a “massive thing” in Catalonia, Vilaseca said, and ANC Scotland found that Scottish people were increasingly interested sending their own messages of support.

“Here in Scotland, people were asking for the addresses of the prisoners,” Vilaseca explained. “For example, at the Scottish Independence Convention conference in Edinburgh, someone had printed all the addresses.”

“So we saw that this was something that a lot of Scots wanted to do.”

From there, the organisation teamed up with Scottish independence and Catalan solidarity groups to launch the #DearCatalonia campaign.

Vilaseca said he had been surprised by the level of interest and solidarity shown towards Catalonia in Scotland. “It will never cease to impress me, and I can’t be more grateful and thankful,” he said.

“When I first arrived here, I was very surprised to see lots of Catalan flags in houses for example.”

READ MORE: Scottish pro-indy groups rally round Catalans amid Spanish state suppression

“But then I remembered when you had your referendum in 2014, there were Scottish flags in Catalonia.”

This, Vilaseca said, is because the two movements for independence are “very familiar”. With both movements struggling in their own ways for self-determination, it’s natural that “solidarity just appears”, he said.

Despite this obvious affinity, Vilaseca said that the campaign is not only for those who support independence. “In Catalonia, we are talking about democracy, about human rights,” he said.

“There are lots of people in Catalonia who don’t support independence but who don’t support article 155, and who don’t want to see political prisoners in Europe.

“Whether or not you support independence, you are a democrat. Believing in human rights is the only thing you need to send these postcards.”

Picture courtesy of Catalan National Assembly (ANC) Scotland

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Comments

MauriceBishop

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 21:26

They are not political prisoners. They are people charged with crimes committed while holding political office. Including but not limited to the theft of millions of euros of public sector funds, in defiance of the high court of Spain, in order to conduct a publicity stunt that was intended to serve as a fig leaf for a coup.

Peter Dow's picture

Peter Dow

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 14:44

If the law on human rights is to mean anything then a human rights court should issue an arrest warrant for the King of Spain (Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia) for allowing the government and officials of the Kingdom of Spain to take political prisoners.

Equally of course, there should be an arrest warrant issued for Queen Elizabeth for all the human rights violations committed by the governments and officials of the United Kingdom.

It is time to bring Europe's criminal monarchies to justice.

Peter Dow's picture

Peter Dow

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 15:26

This means of course that Common Space and Common Weal cannot go on seeking to have it both ways -

* rightly supporting the Catalan political prisoners
* wrongly quoting a reference from a royalist like Kevin McKenna who supports the UK royals and presumably other royals whose kingdoms take political prisoners.

So who do you really want to side with Common Weal / Common Space?

Do you really side with the Catalan political prisoners and other victims of human rights abuses of Kingdoms like Spain and the UK?

Or do you really want to side with King Felipe and Queen Elizabeth and their royalist supporters like Kevin McKenna?

At the moment it isn't very clear whose side Common Space / Common Weal is really on?

It's MAKE YOUR MIND UP TIME Common Space / Common Weal!

Peter Dow's picture

Peter Dow

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 15:05

Kevin McKenna -

Guardian. Prince Harry. Opinion.
It’s time a royal bairn came to live in Scotland
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/21/it-is-time-a-royal...

Kevin McKenna is also quoted in Common Space promotional adverts.

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