Catalan Independence Day

The chopper thrumming overhead is a loud vulture, swooping between the neighborhoods.  "POLICE" lettering stares down upon the busy Barcelona streets, a reminder that there are forces to be reckoned with should anything get out of hand.  Despite the visible swell of locals in the already crowded streets and a discernibly loud, actionable chorus of voices, everything seems peaceful.  It's Catalan Independence Day.  The people are out to show their support for the province of Catalonia, and Catalan culture itself, seceding from the country of Spain.

People are celebrating their true Catalonia colors: the red and the yellow stripes.  Lining bars and cafes, they're cheerily recapping the days events: 500,000 people registering to attend the massive rally that took part today in the Catalan capital of Barcelona.  Thousands upon thousands of Catalans are seen here, marching to show support for reclaiming their heritage, autonomy and economic power from Spain (via BBC). 

Today marks the first day of regional elections for the 135 seats of Spanish Parliament.  The new parliament will vote on a new President soon after elections.  The Pro-Independence President of Catalonia, Arthur Mas is ready to act.  And now.  In a unofficial 2014 poll, 80% of people in this Northeastern-most province voted for secession and independence.  If all goes as trending, Catalonia might be it's own sovereign nation within Spanish borders no less than 18 months.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo vows to block any separatist moves to reform.  But one can understand why the province of Catalonia wants to move away from Spain.  In 2010, residents of the province paid 61 Euros in taxes per person but received only 45 Euros in return; more economics here (via Telegraph UK).  More than tax autonomy,  the Catalan people are proud of their culture, language and heritage.  Heritage which has been under attack since 1469, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella married the provinces and country together.   In parts of Catalonia, people refuse to speak the national language of Spanish, to this day.  After hundreds of years, countless uprisings and much bloodshed, these "Spanish" arrived overwhelmingly unified to change the country. 

 

 

Youth activist group Arran, above, is vocal and visual about their opposition to the economic and political climate.  With a 25% unemployment rate in Spain, mostly among young people, a strong activist movement has risen up to challenge the status-quo and support positive change. 

 


But is it for the best?  Is the province of Catalonia doing the right thing in trying to reclaim their heritage?  Should we all be striving for a bit more unity these days?

Think about it: what would happen if all thoe Southerners seceded from the Union that is the current USA; would "The South Will Rise Again?"  Would the Confederate state succeed if it did secede?

What do you think guys?   I don't know.  Post your thoughts!

Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

Hello, good people.  Hope we're feeling swell out there!

Welcome to the Nice Banana online magazine.  Nice Banana is a "life-while" movement that you're now a part of every day on this blog.  I seek to gather, inform and inspire a community of creatives, activists, artists and musicians through a community of content.  For all days to come, expect a stream of art, music, fashion, design and progressive ideas.  Let's get turned on and tune in.  I want to hear from you.

As for myself, my favorite thing in the world is a rad, artistic T shirt.  And dope tunes.  Your narrator is a simple guy.  In months to come, I'll be teaming up with local artists from around the world to bring you locally-sourced, consciously-made apparel that is, to use the parlance of our time, "fresh."  Nice Banana is designed for those celebrating their unique life to the utmost.  Those that savor the unique and the unconventional.  That's why this is not a "lifestyle" magazine - our strengths come from our differences.  Why the eff would you wanna' look and act the same as selfie chick or "that guy?"  Dance the way you feel!

Did I mention that I'm in Barcelona all month?  More sweet Spain coming at ya' tomorrow!  Photo cred goes to Tyler Gillespie. 


...but before I go...Listen below to the very chilled instrumental hip hop, trip hop mix I was jammin' as I wrote this to y'all.  Most excellent for AM or work times!  Big love to Billy Cassano at The Philosopher's Dojo for the recommendation!