freedom news

What’s going on in Catalonia?

A few days ago, the Parliament of Catalonia voted in favour of holding a unilateral referedum asking its citizens if they wanted Catalonia to be an independent state. This was without the consent of the central government, which is basically repressing freedom of speech in the region.

 Several people have been identified by the police when they were doing public acts in favour of the referendum, and the police has seized all the posters that support voting “Yes” to independence. The national post service has stopped delivering magazines that support the referendum. The police also entered the headquarters of newspapers, threatening them if they publish anything in support of the referendum (it seems that in a democracy journalists cannot talk about what’s going on)

Today, things got worse. 14 people have been arrested, which has led to a spontaneous protest (video). The headquarters of la CUP, one of the pro-independence parties, has been surrounded by the police (there have been protests and the protestos have literally thrown the police away). The police has also registered some offices of la Generalitat, the government of Catalonia.

The university deans of all the public universities of Catalonia have condemned these acts for attacking freedom of speech, and even el Barça, the football team, has condemned what has happened today. The central government has taken control (financially) of all the public institutions and the police claim to have seized around 10 million ballots for the referendum.

The president of the Balearic Islands, from the Socialist Party (anti-independence) has condemned these acts, while some other socialist politicians, like Susana Díaz, have asked the government to take control of the region ( = no autonomy for Catalonia). 

The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, says that the central government has declared the state of emergency “de facto” in the region.


03/October/2017. Catalonia today.

If you follow this blog or have been paying attention to the news, you will know that the Spanish military police tried to stop the Catalan independence referendum by using violence against the voters, including throwing elder people down the stairs and jumping over them, shooting rubber bullets (which are illegal in Catalonia btw) at voters and even at nurses trying to help wounded people reach an ambulance, getting clothes off girls and throwing them to the floor naked while laughing, graing women by their hair and dragging them out f the voting center while kicking them, etc. Over 800 Catalan people were hurt for trying to vote.

Today, to protest police brutality carried out and defended by the Spanish government, there has been an “aturada de país” which means we stopped the country. Practically all businesses have closed, and about 60 highways have been cut (including the border with France) by citizens playing chess or cards in the middle of the road. The economy is stopped and thousands of people are protesting on the streets. Many people also used the day to go bring flowers to the schools that were violently assaulted by the Spanish police.


“I’m a man of my word”

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luffykun3695  asked:

I have a question. I am American and I keep seeing other Americans bring up "freedom of speech" in arguments having to do with things that happened in Canada. Does this even apply? Does Canada have any similar laws regarding freedom of speech?

The answer is yes and no.

The yes, is that yes, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of speech (as far as freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression is concerned):

In Canada, section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”.

BUT absolute freedom of speech has never been the norm in Canada. If you are hateful in your speech you can be charged.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada:

Public incitement of hatred

319 (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL! White House blocks news outlets from media briefing
The White House has blocked several high-profile media outlets from its press briefing. The Trump administration on Friday blocked legacy outlets including CNN, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, the New York Daily News, the Daily Mail, and others from the White House press briefing. Officials also approved outlets who typically provide favourable coverage of the new administration. Several media outlets including the Associated Press and TIME Magazine declined to attend the briefing to boycott the President's decision.

Justin Carissimo at The Independent:

The White House has blocked several major news outlets from covering its press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Spicer on Friday hand selected news outlets to participate in an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the James S Brady Press Briefing Room.

The news outlets blocked from the press briefing include organisations who President Trump has criticised by name. CNN, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, were among the news outlets barred from the gathering.

Instead, the press secretary hand-picked news outlets including Breitbart News, One America News Network, The Washington Times, all news organisations with far-right leanings. Others major outlets approved for t group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Reuters and Bloomberg.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

Several media outlets including the Associated Press and TIME Magazine declined to attend the briefing to boycott the President’s decision.

The White House Correspondents’ Association also criticised the decision.

“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.

“We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

And it’s also anti-American, to boot.

Sean Spicer, December 2016“We have a respect for the press. When it comes to the government, that is something that you can’t ban an entity from. I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy, versus a dictatorship.”

Sean Spicer, February 2017: CNN, New York Times, Politico, and other news outlets are banned from a White House press briefing. 

(original video source: Politico)