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Lest We Forget

category international | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Wednesday February 23, 2005 12:27author by iosaf mac diarmada Report this post to the editors

Today the 23rd day of the 2nd month is traditionally a day of symbolic statements.

Democracy does not spring up out of the ground.
The rights to equal suffrage regardless of socio-economic class, gender, or creed in a secret ballot are European rights.

They have rooted in the arguments of Greek sychophants and intellectuals, who never allowed their wives, concubines, slaves or migrants the same rights.

They have roots in the declaration of the rights of man of the French Revolution.
every visitor is shown the bullet holes he left. "to remember"
every visitor is shown the bullet holes he left. "to remember"

They share roots with the constitution of the USA.

They have some roots in the equal decision making of the Calvinist and Presbytarian and other dissenting christian faiths.

They owe much to those men and women of the First International who yet again called for -

The Universal right to participate in your society and the decisions which effect it, without prejudice or hindrance on grounds of Race, Gender, Creed, Socio-Economic Class, Ownership of Property, and _in secret_.

Today marks the 24th anniversary of a failed coup d'etat in Spain on Feb 23 1981 by some members of the military "estate" which saw the congress held at gunpoint, and tanks on the streets of Valencia. A situation which lasted till the King Juan Carlos took to that then "new media" TV and called for a return to the democratic contract.

The Democratic contract, between state and people, between institutions of state and government and the "estates" of any nation or state, be they military, church, media, academia, or civil service, police, trade unions, political parties and social assembles, must never be taken for granted.

Nor is the only expression of Democracy found on "ballot day" when the enfranchised are called to poll.

The expression of democracy must be found every day, if it is to remain in any good health. Its expression relies on the rights of man, as articulated in the French Revolution and First International and United Nations charter of Human Rights.

Freedom of Expression.
Freddom of Association.

are amongst the most important.

In most recent times we have as social assemblies in Europe moved to define in _de facto_ terms if not _de jure_, additional rights of "civil disobedience" and "democratic dissent".

We will continue no doubt, to do so.

The values of Democracy, of Liberty and Equality and Fraternity are threatened when any of the estates party to the state or nation exert imbalanced and undue power.

These values are undermined by militarised societies, by unchecked police forces, by xenophobic political parties which move against migrants or minorites on ground of creed or race, by trade unions who do not properly represent the interests of their workers, by media owners who attempt to monopolise public opinion and stiffle or limit public debate or manipulate public opinion.

Democracy is about much much more than voting once in a while.

It is more than saying "yes" or "no", in our high technological society of today it is also about "abstention" and "participation". Democracy is about learning and teaching the values of participation in society. From the smallest communities to the largest international stages.

Democracy is a system of values, a constant search for dialogue, a constant re-affirmation of the Rights of Mankind.

It is my opinion that the anniversary of the last coup d'etat attempt in Western Europe is a fitting day to again urge all in the estates of society-
Military, Church, Media, Academia, Civil service, police, trade unions, political parties and social assembles, to continue to listen to each other to respect each other, to recognise that any modern society is a tapestry of cause and effect, injury and gift, hurt and understanding.

Together we teach the next generations, so that together we move, for we must all realise that our democracies are imperfect. As were the democracies of the ancient greeks, as was the republic of Rome, as was the time of the First International when the majority of Europeans did not vote on gender or class grounds. Together we must realise our democracies are "emergent".

Our role in social assemblies and as media collectives ought be to help that future democracy emerge, and curtail the threat of monopolised commercial media and opinion.

Our role is to balance the damage done in the name of free speech to the minds of the next generation who weren't born in 1981 and for whom February 23 is a day to "worry about spam".

(as always I thank sincerely the imc ireland collective for the space which is "ar oscailt")

author by -publication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the last remaining statue in Madrid of Generalissimo Francisco Franco Caudillo of España, in a saddle, on a horse, was removed from its pedestal where it had stood on Placa de San Juan de la Cruz for 49 years.

coffee for everyone-

A group of Franco supporters assembled in response to a mobile phone message and were present to give fascist salutes and be photographed.

Today the rightwing parties have accused the socialist bunch who govern the state of a "radical symbolic action" which ill befits proper memorial to the dictator who came to power in a coup d'etat in 1938 and remained so till his death in 1975.

The socialist bunch have confirmed that the statue was not to the liking of the majority of the citizens of Madrid or Spain, and that in any case a metro line is due to be built underneath the former site of the seven metre copper iron and stone statue and plinth.

There remain 167 franco era plaques and memorials in Madrid ranging from "housing project falange plates" to little statues. The keeping of these are a matter of local neighbourhood assembly. If the locals want them - they stay. If they don't - they go.

The remains of the dictator are to be found in a mountain which was hollowed by slave labour drawn from those who fought on the republican coalition side. "pleasant dreams".

buen viaje Excelencia!
buen viaje Excelencia!

author by iosaf mac d.publication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chesterton once wrote that "a good novel tells you about the character and a bad one tells you about the writer". Today is the anniversary of the last generally recognised coup d'etat attempt in western Europe. It mark as every year an ocassion to stop and reflect on the relationship between the estates of any state. As I wrote above, and had written before and have written many time since.
& cheerfully I can admit that in the process of repetition the writing got better.

There were many players before the coup d'etat attempt of Feb 23. of course the guardia civil man firing his pistol at the roof of the Spanish congress on live TV (a nod to transparent government of that time so soon after the transition and still relatively unusual in any european state) provided the most memorable image. But no-one ever thought to pretend that he was the only plotter.

Since last year's anniversary, for the first time in Spanish democratic history, members of the armed forces were disciplined and in some cases house arrested for voicing their opinions on political matters. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73706 But despite the initial shock of such "saber rattling" all true indications are of a democracy which is amongst the most exemplary in the civilised world. Spain has acheived much and will go on to achieve much. the regime change which resulted from the popular outcry against the war on Iraq and terrorism in any form (Al Qaeda or ETA) the weekend of March 11-14th 2004 which saw people great and small join to defend the constitution and peace has proved itself. It has reached out to many sectors or the community and forged new alliances both within the state and afar. Yet there are still some who disregard any proper institutionalised expression of the democratic process. As I wrote above, democracy is not just about one day out, whether you assemble a hundred, or a thousand, or fifty thousand or claim more often than not without any justification attendence of a million. Democracy is about "give and take". It is about listening as much as speaking. It is about learning who your neighbours are, and why they are like you rather than different. It is a process which needs quotidien assertion. It is a value which requires a media such as ours.

This year I mark the phone conversation between the king of Spain Juan Carlos Bourbon and Jordi Pujol the then president of the Catalan Generalitat. tranquilo Jordi tranquilo . & I ask you to note that the King also phoned Manuel Fraga and said pretty much the same thing. Pujol led the Catalan generalitat as president for 23 years, and retired on the election of the tripartite coaliltion. He earned a grace and favour flat at number 23 Passeig de Gracía, Barcelona just down the road from the postcard images of Gaudí. Fraga the "ex-fascist minister" who had helped write the democratic constitution, of course was to lose to a coalition in his fiefdom of Galicia and now sits in the Senate. Both those old men were on two different sides of the democratic contract. One a fascist who served Franco and lasted forever as a dinosaur, the other a Catalan who worked to create over two decades a regional government with a clear catholic identity and obviously succesful linguistic revival. Today both Catalonia and Galicia are not led by men who survived in such a terms the night of Feb 23. & that is in many ways the beauty of the democratic process.
We need no longer fetishise the threat of that night. Just simply "remember"

author by iosaf .:. ipsiphi - (with a little running heckler in my head) publication date Sat Feb 24, 2007 04:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not much serious reflection on the meaning of the Coup d'etat attempt in 1981this year. But as is traditional now - I make a jayzhis he's off on the unmberto eco again symbolic statement. This year's symbolic statement comes with a heckler already installed in small italic print who will guide you through my prejudice as I argue that all prisoners deserve to be freed. Not brought into your living room free - but "freed".

Putting the appropriate words (Feb 23 - coup d'etat or golpe de estado) through the search engine I learn more about a top Uribe (president of Colombia) aide who has been kidnapped by the FARC a few hours ago. Just after Uribe gave his citizens the all clear to negotiate with them (if the citizen has a relative kept hostage by FARC and want to know how much to pay up to get wife/sister/missing loved one home). Which is very likely for 2 simple reasons :-
(1) FARC have lots of hostages - conservative estimates vary but most right thinking people reckon FARC has taken hostage most of the southern provinces of colombia, the good coca growing bits and the rain-forest which they lease to Smersh / Spectre billionaires like Michael O Leary to fire their moon rockets from. Indeed FARC have more hostages than guns.
(2) There are very few actual "proper" citizens of Colombia (you know with like a security implant a armed guards) , meaning the sort of people who know who to vote for and can fill out tax forms and are functionally literate but still living at home in the Patria instead of studying at a university in Europe whilst making ends meet by cleaning toilets. Of the very few citizens in Colombia - about 99.99% are on the kidnap list which is why they have the implants. These are the only people who can afford to pay the FARC rates on kidnapping - time which is by the way claimable from your hostage insurance broker. So it all works out nicely in the end. "hand in glove" as they say in spanish : guanteymano.

human interest stuff :-
It is really sad (they say) that the prime minister of the Spanish transition to democracy Saurez has suffered from Alzheimer's for many years now. His brain indeed is mush. & he can no longer remember being pm or standing up to plucky little Aznar look-a-like Sergeant Tejero with the gun. It was about this time in the small hours of the 24th of February 1981 that some brave souls climbed out the toilet windows of the Congress and the other Alzheimer's man Reagan had decided it was an "internal matter" and adopted a "wait and see" attitude. The Vatican took their time condemning it all as well. In fact the only "world leader" at the time who made any kind of fuss was Margaret Thatcher. She declared it was a "terrorist act".
Of course a lot of people still blame the King for arranging the whole thing to put people off socialism and Basques. But there is an equally influential bunch of people who believe ETA infiltrated the Guardia Civil and were thus "the unseen forces to keep the status quo".

In the Spain (as the Spanish state is known to more experienced readers) of 2007 democracy is strong and healthy - THANK God the Blessed V.M. and the power of a good confessional!
To prove it - today hundreds of foreigners marched quietly in the Basque holiday resorts in support of Catalan & non Catalan anarchists who regularly get tortured by the police and speak enough of the language (catalan) to be taken more seriously than....... a foreigner. .....without papers. Great solidarity there from the Pyrennean foreigners! Kaixo! josebiiii! Bake! Do you have any issues?

The PP marched with the AVT under the lead of Angel Acebes (the consistent) to protest a decision by the Supreme Court to reduce an earlier sentence for threats made by the ETA guy who by now you should recognise and respect - he still isn't eating you know - it's a terrible burden, but at least he's not in that jail. They (the PP & AVT ) had absolutely no problem undermining the independence of the judiciary. Because the lumpen mass voters who are as thick as shite just see this as democratic. They are really happy behind it all to have de Juana Chaos to rally against. He has brought joy to the far right of Spain. Anyway - only one brave and upright citizen Spaniard is reported as using the Castilian words for "coup d'etat" today - the noble spokesperson for the PP of Castile and La Mancha. (that's the home world of their empire) & he was outraged...................obviously...............coup d'etat is no light word..........it's french.

He is upset because the PP lost the vote on their proposals to add another party to the il-legalised list which they thought up a few years back. This is a great twist on democracy which means if you don't say certain things like - "yes Mr Healey, sorry Guvnor - King George is the sovereign of the Free State now first thing I'm doing is rewriting the anthem" you don't get to sit and vote. It might seem familiar to you in Ireland because elections are held every few years for an assembly where no one sits or votes but in fact this is a much skuzzier deal. In Northern Ireland they still get paid their wages. Not so in Spain. The PP don't want to ban the EHAK as they're called because they're terrorists - they most certainly are not - they are mega-squeeky clean-... not even I dear "oxymoronic hermeunetic one" am so squeeky. But EHAK vote the way batasuna would have done - which is an abstention in case you're wondering...............yes you're very bright - it doesn't really make a difference.............yes tell ruari o bradaigh...........why not?)

& they speak basque (EHAK not the o bradaighs). & they're rojos (reds) up to their plain collared shirts in masonry and jews. The real giveaway is how they can listen to the Catalan language without squinting or going into jaw spasm. They're Probably gay as well.

I know I'm confusing ye - But This is all really simple and explains how democracy survives!

the PP voted yes to their proposal as the biggest party of the opposition but only a about a third of the congress! Yes they said! meaning :- not on my nelly to red-separatists having representation and not voting! and then everyone else voted no! meaning "would you ever fuck off?"
Seemingly according to the PP man - this display of horrible majority rules and constitutionalism is not only a "coup d'etat" but typical of a "banana republic". & this is why they keep former criminals in jobs walking around with guns in their pocket guarding them they're not in the empire of Castille - they are in fact in a banana republic. Look around you? do you see Spaniards??

Curiously Peru had a trial today looking back at its horrible history (a civil war for 25 years and a dictator with presidential powers, Reagan and Thatcher on the orders books and named after a Japanese camera. Well ex-minister of economics Carlos Boloña was accquited today of plotting to overthrow his boss in 2000. "for the good of all peruvians naturally".
http://www.elcomercioperu.com.pe/EdicionOnline/Html/200....html

My favorite article this year was not the congratulatory clap on the back from "El Pais" who credit themselves and themselves alone with the whole democratic project from bumping off Franco's successor ............to joining the EEC ..........to defying the fascists of 1981 (of whom only 33 saw trial)......... but they have also arranged all the royal marriages............beckham............herself as well......... for Barcelona football to win (except to Liverpool)...... and the protests against the war. And if that wasn't enough - they find me work when I need it. Well that wasn't my favorite article . "El Pais" was shite today. AS if one day like Feb 23 or 11/9 or 11/3 could give you a easy reference point in history. Utter brainwash shite.

My favourite media take was "the best court cases the Spanish democracy has ever had".

Great!------------------ are we all sitting comfortably?

Remember we're talking a state where no-one ( I mean no-one ) understands the rules on remission - and prosecutors such as the M11 trial seek sentences of over 70,000 years "out in 30".
1982 The trial of Tejeros
(the Aznar lookalike with the gun in the photo at the top of the page was let out of prison for holding a state to gunpoint after only 14 years. Put that through your relative morality - he was holding his own state to gunpoint, not someone else's state - and he only shot at the plasterwork not like into the fragile flesh of which we are made. But unlike his coup d'etat attempt (actually his second one he had had another go the year before and served 7 months in prison for that) his court martial wasn't shown on live telly. It was a sign of how "transparent" Spanish democracy would be after Franco died that the telly cameras were there. We sometimes see bits of guilty people in trials in glass bullet proof boxes - especially if they're angry and looking foreign. So really it was just a case of Spaniards being told the courts had got it right -"again". No one ever questions them...
By the way Tejero is alive and kicking in a village just outside Madrid in walking distance of Franco's tomb- He wet himself last year when a general threatened to invade Catalonia if they didn't stop with their "home rule" estatut shite. Of course that general was house arrested and is now an "ex-general". But Tejero saw his opportunity and wrote letters to all the newspapers calling for an all Spanish referendum on how exactly to tell the Catalans to fuck right out off for eternity without that actually meaning independence and them taking their tax money. "It's all about love".

Other great law cases of Spanish state history have included - the Hipercor supermarket bombing by ETA in 1989 which targeted the strategic and tactically vital discount supermarket in the working class area of Clot in Barcelona killing 29 people "just like Omagh". The ETA team responsible were sentenced to 794 years for killing civilians (something their fan in Dublin denies they ever did - oh yes bright spark knows all the names and can parse a sentence but hasn't got to "collateral damage" and "innocent bystander" nor worries why the largest drop in popular support for basque abertzales is still relevant) As far as I know they got out after serving most of the time and never really made "household name" status. One was a "joseba" !

oh jayzhus he's at it again - mercilessly ribbing the euskadis. and they're very sensitive you know - It's fair and balanced reader , the spin stops here!

1991 saw the great court case against the GAL the Spanish state terrorists under the first socialist government of democracy - who are now the subject of a movie to help people feel better about themselves. (The Basque people - not the people in the GAL) only 2 ex-police people faced trial for the "dirty war" which is the subject of a good book by Irish author Paddy Wordsworth-Livingstone
Domingo Troitiño and Joseba Ernaga got 108 years for their role in state sponsored murder just like we got Ireland both sides of the border but obviously less people killed and no-one faced trial and Ken Loach did a movie about it because we don't have such expertise in Eire yet. (oooops those are Basque names back there aren't they? ) I mixed up my murderers there. ever so sorry!
José Amedo and Michel Domínguez got 108 years each. You know it happens at times. Blogger's rights! hey!!! more than that - indymedia contributor privilage. I'm feeling brave! more volunteer activists linked to indymedia global have been murdered than in the last 7 years than proper paid up journalists have been shot at in Iraq by the US. This is because our gentlemanly approach to the game belies a vicious tongue and lust for blood and scrapping. Enough of that.

The other trials which were for horrible family murders, remember Spain has the highest quota of gender and family related murder in western Europe - one big fraud case - of which there is generally one a year - the big Aznar "lock up every boy named Joseba" case which saw too much evidence brought to the court to actually read. It was great money for the lawyers though - and the accused who denied having any connection with each other - all wore the same protest t-shirts and sang the same songs in euskera. Ah well - they made friends - Great time was had by all. State Oppression is very good at bringing people together. Not that anyone was in any doubt that the only foreigners to use the "Ñ"(enya letter) come from Donegal or the Basque and are actively subversive, very proud, catholic, have bull rituals, lovely language, great food as well. But they don't do flamenco. - Do they? Why not? eh??? But you need judges to test these things.

Yes indeed. For as you know the greatest & most significant trial of all Spanish state history was that of Francesc Ferrer i Guardia anarchist, libertarian, educationalist, freemason and generally surprisingly nice bloke. He was executed for opinion pieces he wrote between 1900 and 1909 against war, conscription the feudal Catholic church and Spanish pre-fascist militarism. It was quite simple - kathurlicks didn't get conscripted coz the priest had the authority to forgive them the duty . It may not have just been th articles though - Ferrer i Guardia had been instrumental in the start up of the CNT/ FAI which formally began the year after his death. And the success of the "free lodge of the balearics and catalunya" didn't go down well with the catholics. For some reason they are very against charity, fraternity, liberty and having a brain.

- his opinion articles of 1909 saw him charged with "leading" the burning of many churches in Barcelona. The day after he was shot by Spanish troops in revenge Peter Kropotkin had this to say "Now he is dead, but it is our duty to resume his work, to continue it, to spread it, to attack all the fetishes which keep mankind under the joke of state, capitalism and superstition".
http://www.laic.org/cas/fig/index.htm

oh jayzhus he's at it again - mercilessly gettin in the fetishes & slagging off the church - do you see his religious poster illustrations this year? forgotten the pope though for the moment... what is it with these anarchist-imites? got free education and sex on the brain. Look at last year's comment fetish in the last line. obsessed. can't you get off without your fetish?

His trial was a show trial kids. I've been to court like many of you. They are all show trials. I've visited prisoners in a few states - they are not for show. no one group of a democratic society may ever be allowed to monopolise discourse or words especially those most resonantly associated by the lumpen masses thick as shite brigade don't know why we worry about them - with Rights.

Liberty belongs to all or to none. All Prisoners regardless of the weight of their peer group or threat of same merit equal treatment. All prisons are immoral if they seek retribution rather than rehabilitation. There are no practical reasons to disperse any of the prisoners of the Spanish state. It doesn't matter if they got 60,000 years, 7,000 years, 107 years, 7 months or the firing squad and eternal rest .:. But the Spanish state is not so exceptional - in its best regards its penal system outshines Ireland's (whose investigative team sent by Mc Dowell admired the dinky conjugal right facilities, but decided they wouldn't be appropriate for Ireland - "cough cough" we wouldn't like to be blamed on the spread of the disease. you know what we mean?

We learn and may be taught properly how to punish and be punished. There is no ethical or moral sense in either long or short term to allow retributive justice. There is no evidence to think prison is not punishment for anyone. And the poorest, the weakest, the trully rebellious of spirit, the addicts and unlucky fill our prisons. Who will organise them? Jesus? In which case we will be waiting.



I wrote one of my cryptic poetic things yesterday - read it if you will - it is supposed to get you thinking about prison. & screws as prison guards are called. & also get you thinking about massacres and sport stadiums. On the global scale of massacre and murder in sports venue - Croke Park isn't really worth the hyperbole. The Chileans still let the army into their stadium to play their own national anthem.

http://indymedia.ie/article/81155

Oh yeah the March 11th trial is really big too. I didn't have time to fit that in. Very significant.
http://indymedia.ie/article/81047

If a coup d'etat attempt happens in Ireland - I'll go on the internet and tell you all. I Scratch your back U squeeze my tit - ok? If you notice any collapse of the democratic process in the Spanish state.... oh forget it.

Don't live your life and not see a Prison .:. put that noose on your neck to be free. Take down the Prisons
Don't live your life and not see a Prison .:. put that noose on your neck to be free. Take down the Prisons

 
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