Sinn Féin leading a democratic peoples revolution in Ireland, again?

May 26, 2014

‘Sinn Féin hasn’t had this strength since 1918’ – Gerry Adams

Interesting times in Ireland again. Time to truly leave Civil war politics in the South and move on?

On Friday it was the local and European elections in Ireland, Sinn Féin have scored massively in local elections, especially in the cities. They are set to be the largest party in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork city councils. The mixed bag of independents and small parties also scored hugely. Sinn Fein are an island wide party, not the only one, as People Before Profit also are island wide and took seats.

The established political system has been given a massive shake up, with ex TD Joe Higgins on RTE radio calling it nothing short of a “democratic revolution for change”. Present Irish Fine Gael minister, Leo Varadkar went as far as saying he could see Sinn Féin leading the next government, something considered impossible only five years ago. No one was expecting such a sea change, who knows what it might lead to further down the line?

Going back to 1918, we remember what huge changes came from little sparks. As it is not the first time that there has been a huge surge in support for Sinn Fein. Soon after the failed rebellion of 1916, after executions and imprisonment of many Irish rebels, the party grew massively all over the island. They formed their own illegal government and fought a war for Irish freedom, the results of which were the half win of a partitioned island that led to a bloody civil war and the party’s demise. But the world took note; a small island nation stood up to the greatest empire the world had ever seen, the took them on and they forced change. Sinn Fein have done it before, might this weekend be the first step in another chapter in that story?


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Adeu Spain??? (Is Catalonia about to start the breakup of Spain?)

November 30, 2012

Will Catalonia become Europe’s newest state? We examine the increasingly popular Catalan separatist movement. (Farewell Spain? Will austerity drive Catalonia to independence? : Al Jazeera)

Is Catalonia going to be Europe’s newest state? Nearly 1.5 million Catalans took the streets of Barcelona last week calling for independence from Spain. Catalonia is recognised as a “nation” within Spain, but the country’s financial crisis has exacerbated the region’s independence movement. Catalans say their nation gives more taxes to the Spanish government than it receives and that austerity cuts have unfairly squeezed their economy…

#25N elections – The results of the Regional Catalan snap elections of 25th of November were a bit of a surprise to many people. Arthur Mas, the man who perhaps saw himself at the helm of the ship, leading his people to a promised land, a Moses like figure, didnt get the massive support he had hoped for his centre right party CIU (50 seats),  instead we have seen a rise of the more radical left wing independence groups such as the Republicans ERC (21) the eco socialists ICV-EUiA (13) and the radical anticapitalists CUP (3). This is definately a reflection of the growing anger in Catalunya at the very severe cuts that Mas has launched onto the people here.

Reports from world media after the #25N elections (see Vilaweb for full global list) : English Speaking: BBC | The Guardian | The Telegraph | Financial Times  | Wall Street Journal | The Scotsman | Aljazeera  | Russia Today  | CNN  | Houston Chronicle | The Globe and Mail Other: History of Catalonia (wikipedia) Help CataloniaCatalan news agency | Vote listing via ARA | Donostia es la hostia*

Reports from world media before the #25N elections (via Vilaweb, night before the 25N Vote): English Speaking: The New York Times: Catalan Vote Could Be a First Step Toward Self-Rule | The Guardian: Catalonia independence timetable: ‘Once it has started it cannot stop’ | The Wall Street Journal: Catalonian Calls for Independence Increase | Reuters: Immigrants and youth drive Catalan independence movement | The Times: Should it stay or go? Catalonia faces its moment of decision | The Scotsman: Catalonian vote will decide future of Spain | The Australian: Catalan leader seeks ‘freedom’ in election | Aavaz: Catalonia: Adios to Spain? | Wales Online: Independence? Europeans may soon be witnessing the birth of a new state …


Special Guardian series: Barça-loners: A Catalan history of Spain – interactive | If Catalonia wins independence, where will it end? | Catalonia is voting on its future in Spain – and Madrid is worried | The case for Catalonia’s independence | If Catalonia wins independence, where will it end? | Immigration complicates Catalonia’s separatist picture | Catalonia independence timetable: ‘Once it has started it cannot stop’ | Catalonia tales: ‘Spain is like a father forbidding his son from leaving home’ | Catalonia tales: ‘Independence began as something small in my heart’ | Catalonia tales: ‘would the average Catalan citizen really be better off?’ | Lessons that Catalonia can learn from Scotland | Catalonia independence for business lights is best economic option all round | The economics of Catalan independence don’t add up  | Catalonia tales: ‘I can’t see anything but a hypocritical interest in independence’ | British expats unconvinced by Catalonian independence | Catalonia independence: the views of foreigners who live there | Immigration complicates Catalonia’s separatist picture | More than a club: FC Barcelona and Catalonia’s road to independence – video | #CataloniaTales (on Twitter)

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Donostia es la hostia* (Languages and peoples; Basques, Spain and Europe)

October 24, 2012
The ikurrina flag

Just back from a wonderful few days up in Euskadi, the Basque country, up in the north of Spain. The few days we were there coincided with the snap elections which were held on the 1 year anniversary of the full cease fire of the basque independence terrorist group ETA. We were there for a wedding. Heres a few things of interest about that wonderful place

* Donostia es la hostia = San Sebastian is amazing (Donostia is the Basque name for San Sabastian, “es la hostia” directly translates as “Its the host of Christ”)
Linguistic map of Spain

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