A civic statement on Col·lectiu Emma (@CollectiuEmma)'s blog criticizes the way the Spanish government is dealing with the political situation in the region of Catalonia, where 55 % of the population favors independence [ca] from Spain, according to an official poll. The statement explains the “strategy of fear” and other “hostile” arguments, and claims for “a friendly separation, preferably under international supervision and with external support for both parties.” The post is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch.
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The Spanish Constitutional Court just suspended Catalonia's Declaration of Sovereignty, which the regional parliament of Catalonia approved by majority on 23 January, 2013. Amid rising tensions between Spain and Catalonia, the decision has generated strong reactions on offline and online media.
Thanks to a diverse team of collaborators, the online Catalan-language publication Vilaweb [ca] offers the Declaration of Sovereignty in 50 languages.
From the Patagonia to Havana, hundreds of computer users across Latin America are choosing freedom over control by installing free software on their computers. On April 27th, groups of free software enthusiasts will be installing free software in dozens of cities across Latin America as part of FLISOL [es], the Latin American free software installation festival.
The International Journalists’ Network, IJNET, recently announced the release of the Spanish translation [es] of The Data Journalism Handbook, “a free, open-source book that aims to help journalists use data to improve journalism.”
Both the original English version and the Spanish translation are freely available online under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, which means that they can be freely downloaded, shared and built upon.
Every week, a different Catalan citizen or any person who lives or has lived in Catalonia (regardless of her/his nationality or citizenship) will tweet from the account @CatalanVoices to talk about what she or he likes, feels and thinks about Catalonia. What they share will also be published on the project's blog. This is a project launched by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and inspired in existing initiatives like @ScotVoices.The project's goal is to “raise awareness about Catalonia” and boost discussion about “the current democratic political process concerning Catalonia’s political status in Europe and Spain”.
‘L'endemà. Respostes per a decidir‘, a documentary project about Catalonia's potential independence from Spain, produced by Isona Passola [ca], earned a record-breaking €150,000 on the crowdfunding platform Verkami on February 15, 2013. Passola, who produced the award-winning film Pa Negre [ca], hoped to reach that amount in 40 days, but reached that goal in just eleven. Previously, the crowdfunding record in Catalonia was €,50,000, according to the Catalan-language journal Diari Ara [ca].
The Catalan Association for Scientific Communication, the Spanish Association of Scientific Communication and the Society for the Progression of Critical Thinking have started an Internet campaign via online petition platform Change.org asking for scientific accuracy in La Vanguardia, one of the widest circulated Catalan newspapers and part of the Grupo Godó. So far they have collected 826 signatures. The petition, which is in the form of a letter addressed to the editor of La Vanguardia Josep Rovirosa, demands “not only respect for science but above all quality journalism, whether scientific, specialised or of a general nature” [all links lead to Catalan speaking pages].
On January 23, 2013, amid rising tensions with the Spanish government, the regional parliament of Catalonia approved by majority vote a Declaration of Sovereignty [ca] — seen widely as a prelude to a referendum on independence, expected to be held by 2014. Thanks to a diverse team of collaborators, the online Catalan-language publication Vilaweb [ca] has been able to offer the document in thirty-six languages. More »
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression:
The religious wars were never about religion as such. They were about who held the power of interpretation, about who controlled the knowledge and culture available to the masses. It was a war of gatekeepers of information.
More » A prominent Macedonian sports journalist
From Bolivia, blogger Eduardo Bowles refers to the nationalization of Spanish company Iberdrola [es]:
[...] amidst a severe credibility crisis and when the bumpings with Chile weren't enough for “beating around the bush”, MAS regime has ordered the nationalization of four branches of Spanish multinational Iberdrola, thus putting an end to its presence en Bolivia. [...]
More than once, [Bolivian] President Morales has joked about the idea of solving problems between countries on a football field.
An article on online newspaper Núvol with the title “Send up #Wert” [ca] collects discussions, cartoons, jokes and word games inspired by statements and the education law reform proposed by Spanish Minister José Ignacio Wert.
The recently released Free Software Assessment Report 2012 shows the opinion, assessment and preferences of more than 5,000 people from Spain and Latin America. The study published in its fourth edition is promoted by PortalProgramas and supported by a number of experts and collaborators [es]. The report aims to contribute to a better understanding, use and dissemination of free software in Latin America. The summary of the study can be accessed online [es] and more information can be found on the report's conclusions for 2012 [es].
I don’t know whether we will need gasoline, electric or hydrogen cars tomorrow. I don’t have to know, because I designed my car so that I can change the motor in about the same time that it takes to change a tire.
Joe Justice, founder and Team Lead of Wikispeed, explains on Ouishare how the Wikispeed team worked to build a 100 mile per gallon car in three months coordinating via free tools such as Skype, Dropbox or Google Docs. Wikispeed recently presented workshops in Rome, Barcelona and Paris.
The 28th of September is the celebration of the Campaign for the Legalization of Abortion, which has taken place for years in Latin America and the Caribbean and this year will be celebrated all around the world for the first time. The group known as“Feminismos 15M”[es] has chosen this date to convene a demonstration, tomorrow, the 28th at 7pm at the Puerta de Toldeo in Madrid. The protest mainly denounces the new Spanish abortion law, proposed by the minister of justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, as a regression of women's rights. If the law is passed, abortion will no longer be legal and would also be prohibited in abnormal cases and cases of deformed fetuses. This reform is strongly discussed by the feminist movement. The foundation Derecho a Vivir [es] (The Right to Live) supports this law change.
The Spanish indignant movement has convened a rally tomorrow, September 6, 2012 in front of the European Union headquarters in Madrid due to the meeting between President Mariano Rajoy and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel under the slogan “Merkel go home.” The intentions of the first social protest of September will be commented on social networks with the denominations: #MerkelLlevateaRajoy y #6S.
‘We Are The Pigs‘ - in reference to the derogatory PIGS acronym - is a crowdfunded photojournalism ‘road trip’ venture, to collect people's stories from European countries affected by the debt crisis. The project, started by two young Central European women journalists frustrated with the stereotypical hyperbole and abuse levelled in the media against Greece and other crisis-ridden countries, will hit the road in early August, starting in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Due to the outcry produced by parliamentarian Andrea Fabra's declarations, she had to publicly retract [es] (PDF) and present a written apology after having declared ”¡qué se jodan!” (“Fuck them!”) when President Mariano Rajoy announced the harshest social cuts in the history of Spanish democracy. The letter is an apology to the House of Representatives and to the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Labour Party), but not to the people.
Le café pédagogique links [pdf, fr] to the results of a survey launched in 15 cities from 7 U.E. countries, among immigrants in possession of their legal documents and with or without citizenship of their host countries. The questions were aimed at integration, which appears to be highly wished for.
Russia: State TV Justifies May 6 Police Violence, Cites Spanish Bill Criminalizing Online Protest Organization as Example
In the final segment of the report [ru] on the May 6 protest in Moscow, which ended in clashes with riot police, the Russian state-owned Channel 1 mentioned, among other things, a Spanish draft law [en] criminalizing online organization of public protests, as an example of the “much tougher” treatment of protesters by the “colleagues” of the Russian law enforcement officials “in the countries with the so-called established democracy.”
Saint George's Day (Diada de Sant Jordi in Catalan) is a unique celebration in Catalonia. Tradition holds that the festival revolves around roses and books. April 23rd has always been a day of protest in the name of Catalan language and culture. This year will see more protest than ever because people will also be organizing against government cutbacks that affect education and Catalan culture.
In topics centered around children and youth, the Barcelona International Audiovisual Festival is calling for entries with a 31 May, 2012 registration deadline for audiovisuals that not only entertain but also educate and teach. More information on Young People's Media Network.
Al bloc “Els nous pobres” es recullen testimonis de persones que s’han vist afectades per la crisi, que ha limitat considerablement les seves possibilitats econòmiques i personals.More »
Days after Felipe Juan Froilan accidentally shot himself in the foot during shooting practice, his grandfather, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, fell while he was hunting and broke his pelvis. This would have been minor news, had it not been for the fact that he was hunting elephants in Botswana on the kind of safari that can cost up to $60,000 USD [es]. That the King of Spain would pay thousands to kill animals (while his country is suffering from recession, no less) has been deeply troubling for many, and this was clear on the blogosphere. Carlos Canicero sarcastically mused: “What's going on with the Bourbons and shotguns? Can't they live without shooting?” Lola Pardo of El País pointed out that Rann Safaris, the agency through which Juan Carlos booked his hunt, had shut down its website [es], shortly after a photo disseminated through the internet, showing the King posing before an elephant carcass.
A religious community in Malaga, Spain have decided to forego the Easter Week processions and celebrations so they could donate the money destined for flowers and music to three families in need, saving two of them from homelessness as shown on this video by 20minutos.tv [es].
Three Barcelona-based journalists, Lucija Stojevic, Jennifer Baljko and Marc Herman, have launched the excellent digital magazine 51percent with the mission “to go beyond the news headlines and put a face to the youth unemployment crisis facing Spain. We’ll be investigating this issue for the next couple of months, on-the-ground around Barcelona.”
Shared Vegetable Gardens (Huertos Compartidos) is a project in Spain that brings together people who wish to grow their own food but don't have the land, with landowners who may have the land but not the time to tend to them. This video [es] explains how this non-commercial system works, where food grown on these plots is not sold but only used for personal consumption.
The blog Toma la Plaza announces meetings and assemblies tomorrow March 24 in various cities in Spain to coordinate their participation in the global actions planned for next May.