Catalan Esteladas flew next to Irish Tricolours at the GPO in Dublin on Saturday afternoon (25 November 2017). The occasion was a picket organised by the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee to protest the internment without trial of Irish Republicans and also of Catalan political activists for independence. Placards raised the issue of internment of Irish Republicans and their treatment once in jail, as well as criticising the lack of action of Amnesty International on this question. Some placards also declared that the “Spanish State jails Catalan political activists”.
Despite the seriousness of the issue and the bitter cold, the mood was upbeat, assisted by a music player broadcasting a range of songs, from Sifre’s “Something Inside So Strong”, through Warshaw’s “The Cry of the Morning” (sung by Christy Moore) to “Els Segadors”. Some protesters sang along to the songs and passers-by could be heard joining in too.
Many leaflets were distributed. A number of Catalan young women passers-by were excited to see the Estelada flags and were ecstatic when “Els Segadors” (“The Reapers”), the Catalan national anthem, was played.
Some people passing occasionally shouted “Viva Espaňa!” in hostility which gave rise to the response of “Viva la democracía! Viva la libertad!” On the other hand, other visitors passing by were very supportive, for example a young woman from Asturias (northern Spanish state) and an older man from Andalusia (southern Spanish state).
A spokesperson for the Committee briefly addressed the attendance at the end of the event, thanking them for attending to support Irish and Catalan political activists being jailed without trial. Referring to the few passers-by who shouted “Viva Espaňa!”, the spokesperson said that there is nothing wrong with pride in one’s country but queried why the sight of a Catalan flag brought that response and why the definition of Spanish nationhood for these people is bound up with the denial of the rights of another nation to determine its own future. The spokesperson declared that every nation has a right to determine its own future and to do so without threats and repression, pointing out that the Spanish State is attempting to jail the whole Catalan Government for carrying out their election promises and has jailed the leaders of two independence organisations without trial.
The spokesperson thanking the attendance once more, the event came to a close, flags were furled, banners rolled and placards put away for another occasion.
The Dublin Anti-Internment Committee was launched in 2013 and is independent of all political parties and organisations, holds regular pickets and people who support the civil and human rights of Irish Republican prisoners are welcome to attend.
The Anti-Internment Committee of Ireland: https://www.facebook.com/End-Internment-581232915354743/
Short video of event and short clip of Dublin Anti-Internment Committee representative at conclusion of event:
Labi Siffre’s “Something Inside So Strong” performed by Siffre himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otuwNwsqHmQ
Jack Warshaw’s “No Time for Love” sung by Christy Moore with the Moving Hearts band (no longer in existence)
Els Segadors (The Reapers): https://archive.org/details/ElSegadors