Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The radical Cataloonies are at it again. This time a group of about 50 of them were blocking the access of PP leaders Josep Piqué and Angel Acebes to the site of a political rally in Martorell. Pushes and punches broke out as the radicals shouted "Fascists" and "murderers" at the PP supporters, threw plastic water bottles full of urine, and shot off fireworks in their direction. The leaders needed police protection to enter the building, and were forced to leave by the back door after a 40 minute delay for their own safety. Nonetheless, they were pursued to their cars by the radicals, who tried to physically attack them.

Disgraceful, of course. A blatant attempt to interfere with the rights of Piqué and Acebes to express their opinion, and the rights of their supporters to hear said opinion. This, Mr. Carod-Rovira, is truly anti-democratic behavior, but somehow I doubt you will condemn it.

By the way, as I write, this is the top story on El Periódico's website (photo included) and it's the third on La Vanguardia's. Fascinating, though, it doesn't even make TV3's webpage.

This episode comes in the wake of confrontations last Thursday between radical nationalist squatters and police in Barcelona, in which the rioters fired at the police with a homemade bazooka and threw dozens of bottles of paint at the facade of the MACBA, a modern art museum. These morons attacked an art museum! How much more anti-cultural and anti-intellectual can they get?

Now, get this. The housing ministers of the EU countries were to have held a meeting next week in Barcelona, but it has been canceled, apparently because the regional administration and the Barcelona city government did not feel able to guarantee security after these incidents.

Boy, that sure makes us look great in the eyes of the rest of Europe, don't it?

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Catalan and Basque "national" soccer teams faced off before 55,000 screaming fans in the Camp Nou. Now, that of course is just fine, let them play and everyone can have a good time watching a soccer game and cheer for their homeboys. Terrific. Unfortunately, as always, it was turned into a political event by the radical Cataloonies, including the burning of a Spanish flag.

The non-Cataloony moderate nationalists are somewhat to blame here, I'm afraid, since CiU has been trying to make a political issue of Catalan "national" sports teams in this upcoming regional election. The UEFA, Europe's football federation, reminded everyone that only countries recognized as independent by the UN can compete at the national level, and Catalonia and the Basque Country therefore do not qualify. This isn't nasty Spanish centralism, as even the moderates are trying to paint it (remember the TV ad where the Spanish kid won't let the Catalan kid play?) It's official UEFA and FIFA policy for everyone. Great Britain is the one and only historical exception; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (who recently whupped Spain's butt in an official Eurocup qualifying match) each has its own team; that's because the various British national teams existed before there was an international soccer governing body.

Oh, by the way, I found the video of asshole "comedian" Pepe Rubianes insulting Spain and the Spaniards on TV3. Note the way the host, Albert Om, encourages him, and the audience applauds.

Translation: "I don't give a shit about the unity of Spain. Let them shove Spain up their fucking asses and see if it explodes inside them and leaves their fucking balls (unintelligible). Let fucking Spain go shit at the beach. Ever since I was born, it's been fucking Spain. Fuck them."

Rubianes is clearly a very violent and hateful person. I don't know why anyone pays any attention to him at all, since he's so obviously vile.

Note: This was on an afternoon TV show, the equivalent of, say, Donahue or Oprah. Such potty mouth would, of course, be completely unacceptable in the United States.

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