[pp.int.general] Pirates of Catalonia asking for your support

Muriel Rovira Esteva muriel at pirata.cat
Thu May 18 22:33:15 CEST 2017

Dear pirates,

We are the Pirates of Catalonia (PIRATA.CAT), member of the European Pirate
Party and Pirate Parties International.

First of all, we want to thank you for your time. This e-mail is important
to us and we would like you to share it with all your colleagues, specially
with your elected pirates in city councils and parliaments.

We need your support signing the main manifesto for the self-determination
referendum. Please, if any of you do that, mail us to partit at pirata.cat to
keep us up to date. You have until May 31st. Although the party does not
have a defined position about the Independence of Catalonia, we are a
pro-referendum party, as we defend the idea of direct democracy, citizen
participation and the right to self-determination.

It is an important topic for Catalan citizens but also for Europe, and some
MEPs, such as Ska Keller, Pablo Iglesias and Dimitrios Papadimoulis (also
vicepresident of the EU), have already issued statements. Julia Reda, MEP
from the German Pirate Party, has already showed her support to the
referendum of Catalonia signing the campaing for the "National Pact for the
Referendum", which you can find here in its English translation:
https://pactepelreferendum.cat/en. We need you to do the same. We want
Pirates to be a strong voice among Catalan parties in the biggest political
event since the transition from dictatorship to democracy in 1978.

As you may know, nowadays we have a complete lack of democracy in Spain,
this is why the 15M movement was so important here. The opposition of the
Spanish Government to negotiate or allow a self-determination referendum is
just another face of this bad democratic culture. To put you in context
about the Catalan referendum topic, for some years, Catalan people have
been making huge demonstrations on the streets asking for the right to
decide their own future and pressuring the politicians to act and be able
to do so.

2016 Demonstration (Go Ahead): 370.000-1.030.000 people
2015 demonstration (Free Way): 550.000-2.000.000 people
2014 Demonstration (Catalan Way): 500.000-1.800.000 people
2013 Demonstration (Catalan Way): 1.600.000 people
2012 Demonstration (Catalonia, new State in Europe): 600.000-1.500.000

In 2013, after several attempts to negotiate with the Spanish government a
better fit of Catalonia within Spain, who rejected all these attempts, the
Parliament of Catalonia voted a proposal called "*Declaration on the
Sovereignty and right to decide of the people of Catalonia"*. The
declaration asserted that Catalonia is a sovereign entity and agrees "to
initiate the process to exercise the right to decide so that the citizens
of Catalonia may decide their collective political future in accordance
with the following principles: sovereignty, democratic legitimacy,
transparency, dialogue, social cohesion, Europeanism, legality, role of the
Catalan Parliament and participation". The declaration was passed with 85
votes in favor, 41 against and 2 abstentions in the Parliament of Catalonia.

After that, the Catalan Parliament asked the Catalan Government to boost
the process in order to allow people of Catalonia to decide their own
future, always with dialogue with the International Communiy, the EU and
the Spanish State. Soon the Spanish Constitutional Court suspended this
declaration and said that it was not constitutional. Some years later, it
even had consequences in the form of a conviction for the former President
and PM of Catalonia, among other former government members.

The Government of Spain stated that the referendum would not be carried out
and that it was illegal. The Government of Catalonia converted the official
referendum in a citizen initiative with logistical support of the
government. Hence, people organized a non-binding referendum about
self-determination of Catalonia(1). This referendum took place the 9th of
November of 2014 with two questions in the ballot: *"Do you want Catalonia
to become a State?" *and *"Do you want this State to be independent?"*.
Citizens aged 16 and older were elligible to vote.

The participation was 2,305,290 out of 5.400.000 eligible voters and the
results were:

   - YES-YES -> 80,76%

   - YES-NO -> 10,07%

   - NO -> 4,54%

   - Blank -> 0,75%

   - Others -> 3,09%

In 2016 we held elections for the Parliament of Catalonia in which
independence was the main topic. The results were 47,8% of the votes for
independentist parties, 39,11% against and the rest of votes went to other
parties with no defined position. 56,3% of the total of votes went to
pro-referendum and pro-Catalan republic parties. In number of parlamentary
members, the independentist parties have the majority of the parliament and
they have started a roadmap to hold a referendum in 2017. This roadmap has
suffered a lot of attacks from Spanish institutions but it will end in
September 2017, if the referendum is carried out.

At this moment the Spanish State has opened a judicial trial against some
members of the current Parliament of Catalonia's Bureau for allowing a
debate about the referendum to take place in the Parliament.

In the next months, several Catalan parties, worker unions, and civil
associations pro-referendum will be working in a transversal board called
"National Pact for the Referendum" in order to facilitate and promote the
referendum. Among other things, this board is trying to negotiate the
referendum with the Spanish government until the last moment. However, the
referendum will take place anyway, even if the Spanish government refuses
to negotiate it.

This year (2017) a number of opinion polls have been held, with around
70%-85% of the Catalonian population supporting the referendum (2). Since
this is a very urgent matter concerning a region within the core of Europe,
and it's a matter related to direct democracy and people's rights, the
Pirates of Catalonia officialy support the pro-referendum campaign.

What we ask from you is a public declaration of support to the referendum,
as well as your collaboration on passing this message on to all your
colleagues, pirate or not, who would be interested in this. We think that
every support in favor of direct democracy should be accounted for, and
yours would be strongly appreciated.

With our best regards,

*Pirates of Catalonia*
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