Sunday, December 9, 2007


Catalonia's Independence Movement is very active and present in Internet. As an example, we can bring the high number of weblogs written in Catalan, that form the Catosfera, a neologism from Catalonia and Blogosphere. A large number of them, 553 to be exact -and growing-, are members of Xarxa de Blocs Sobiranistes (Sovereignists Blogs Network), that is, they push for Catalonia's Independence. This network is a prove of the Online Independentist Movement' strength.

Unfortunately, few Independentists websites or weblogs offer an English version or translation. That's sad, because this limitation discriminate all the surfers unable to read and understand our National Language. And if the independentist movement, including parties, personal weblogs, civic platforms and media, do not offer it, these surfers are compelled to read Spanish media, such as El Pais, El Mundo or ABC, all of them totally opposed to our demands.

In fact Spanish Media are the Spearhead of current Spanish Nationalism, who has as one of its top obsession the Catalanophobia. Following Mr. Xabier Arzallus words, a former leader of Basque Nationalist Party, Spanish Media assume the role previously developed by Armed Forces: to watchdog the Spanish National Unity and Integrity. That's why he call them the Brunete Media (Brunete is the Spanish 1st Tank Division's name). Other analysts of the same phenomena, opt to use the term Spanish Jihad to describe the fanatical stand of these media.

Back to Catalan Online presence, there are, in fact some examples of good practices. I mean some online pro-independence initiatives that include English version. Let's take a look:

1. Estatpropi (Our State), is an online campaign that wants to gather surfers living in the Catalan Territory. For everyone who joins it, there is a Catalan Flag that is displayed in the exact location where he resides, in a Catalonia's Google Map. The purpose is to have a flag-based Catalonia's Map. Those interested in the campaign, do not hesitate to enter here.

2. Freecatalonia (No translation needed, of course), is an activist website that focus his attention in provide historical, social, cultural, economic, and of course, political information about Catalan Nation and Fight dor Independence. One of their most influence and impact activities is the tourist-adressed information campaign, that wants the milions of Tourists that every year visit us, to be informed about where they travel. More information, here.

3. Comissió de la Dignitat (Blood Papers Commission), another activist website that focus in the retrieval of all Catalan public and private records and papers stolen by Spanish Francoist Army since 1938. Not few of this documentation was used by Spanish Fascists to repress Catalan Democratic and National movement and elements, including imposing death penalties. Following, literally, Nazi methods they elaborated a data base for the repression. The current citizen and online campaign wants bring back all the papers stolen to their legitimate owners (including private letters between soldiers in duty at front and their relatives at home). To Know more, enter here.

4. Second Catalonia, is one of the growing examples of the Catalan colonization of Second Life 3D Virtual World. Just take a walk or join a Catalan SL Group, to know more about our Culture, Art, Design, and of course, about our people. You can also become owner of some portion of Second Catalonia Land. Don't miss the oportunity!

Two more cases: .Cat and Eric and the Army of the Phoenix
However, in recent times, two cases have focused the Catalan Independentist Cause in Internet.

One was the most important Catalan initiative developed in the Internet: the Campaing for the recognition by ICANN of .cat domain. The second, a case of political repression by Spanish police and courts known as Eric and the Army of the Phoenix case.

a) After defeating the Spanish opposition, ICANN Board accepted .cat domain, to be reserved to webs related to Catalan culture and Language (not to Catalonia as a Country). The starting date to register .cat domain was February, 13th, 2006. Currently there are 25.901 .cat domains. It is the biggest success in our digital history, and an example to other non-state nations. Even foreign researchers were interested in it.

b) Èric Bertran, in 2004, was a 14 years old kid, that sent an anonymous email to three shops, asking for Catalan labels and signals. He did so pretending to be the headmaster of the Army of the Phoenix (in an obvious inspiration in Harry Poter's saga). A few days later, 20 Spanish Civil Guards anti-terrorist SWAT elements stormed his parents home, and accused Eric of terrorist activities. This was the beginning of a nightmare for Eric and his relatives. A nightmare that now has reach an international dimension and impact thanks to You Tube. This case is a clear-cut example of Spanish police and justice paranoia towards Catalan Patriots. To put only an example, a Public Prosecutor said that Eric was mentally incapacitated, because he considers himself as Catalan national, not Spanish. To know more, watch the videos dubbed in English (1,2,3,4,5).

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