On ‘Real Democracy Now’ with Arcadi Oliveres

Published on the Occupied Times on December the 15th 2011 (click here)

arcadi oliveresGreenpeace.org

The Occupied Times speaks to Spanish economist Arcadi Oliveres about the RealDemocracy Now movement and the failure of neoliberalism.

Laura Alvarez: What is ‘Real Democracy Now’ (RDN)?

Arcadi Oliveres: I think it is a movement that came to light on May 2011, although it probably originated a long time ago. It tries to highlight discontent towards the economic, political, labour and social situation we suffer from, in Spain, and now also in other countries that are beginning to rise up

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Nationalism in times of economic crisis: Promoting pro-independence discourses in Catalonia

By Laura Alvarez Soler
For Goldsmiths University of London

Introduction

The advocates of Catalan secession from the rest of Spain are no longer a minority. In the light of the current economic crisis, which is affecting Spain particularly badly, Catalan nationalist discourse has gained ground among citizens to the extent that today more than 50% of Catalan people would vote ‘yes’ if a referendum on independence took place (UOC, 2009). However, the current precarious economic situation is not the only contributing factor to the upsurge in the Catalan desire for independence.

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The rise of Islamophobia as a political trend

The contemporary political arena is being taken over by right-wing political parties promoting xenophobic discourses. With right wing-populist parties increasing their support in European elections and burqas being banned in different European states, xenophobic discourse has now entered Spain’s political sphere.

By LAURA ALVAREZ
Published: 27 May, 2011 in The Vibe

LONDON – The third most populated city of Catalonia (northeastern Spain) could be soon governed by a man who was brought to court for launching a racist campaign advert. His name is Xavier Garcia Albiol, and he is the leader of the right-wing People’s Party (PP) in the city of Badalona (near the city of Barcelona).

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The recovery of the historical memory in Spain

“The major problem of the Law of Historical Memory is not that it has not been implemented, bur rather that it was very limited. The primary reason for that is that the Spanish state sees itself as a continuation of the previous state and therefore cannot eliminate sentences that were dictated under the previous regime. That means that the sentences imposed by the fascist courts, like the assassinations of thousands and thousands of people, cannot be reversed. Is this shocking? But that is how it is” (Navarro, personal interview, 2010). In an interview with the reputed Catalan politician and economist, Dr Vicenç Navarro, he pointed out the limited freedoms still existing today in Spain as the main obstacle for the development of democracy. For him, this is also the reason why the Spanish establishment does not want to come to terms with its past. Actually, the process of recovery of the historical memory began a few years ago, after a long period of social and political silence that followed the establishment of democracy in 1978. Within the last decade younger generations detached from the dictatorship and therefore not afraid to face any kind of reprisal started the reestablishment of the historical memory of the country. Social movements are emerging claiming dignity and justice for the victims and this contributes to the general awareness of the necessity to recover the historical memory. The case of Judge Baltasar Garzon is the greatest example of Spain’s denial to come to terms with the past. Two years ago Garzon accused fascist leaders of having committed crimes against humanity, and called for the investigation of the disappearance of more than 114,000 people. He is currently suspended and facing a private prosecution for overstepping his powers. Continua llegint