Wednesday, 17 May 2017

16 international personalities join the ‘Let Catalans vote’ manifesto


Barcelona (ACN).- International personalities such as Nobel Peace Prize Rigoberta Menchú, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams or US actor Viggo Mortensen have joined the ‘Let Catalans vote’ manifesto. The document, first published in 2014, supports the Catalans’ “democratic right to vote on their political future” and warns that “preventing Catalans from voting seems to contradict the principles that inspire democratic societies”. The manifesto now boasts 40 signatures, including Nobel Peace Laureate Ahmed Galai, vice-president of the Tunisian League for Human Rights and a member of the National Quartet Dialogue;South African archbishop and Nobel Peace Laureate, Desmond Tutu; and American linguist Noam Chomsky, among others.

The manifesto emphasizes Catalonia’s “strong demands” to call a referendum, which results from the “longstanding disagreement between the governments of Catalonia and Spain over the degree of cultural, political, and financial autonomy that Catalans should enjoy, despite several attempts to reach an acceptable solution”. The document refers to Scotland and Quebec and adds that those examples prove that “the best way to solve legitimate internal disputes is to employ the tools of democracy”.

Argentinian activist, co-founder and president of Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, Mirta Baravalle, also joined the manifesto in 2017, together with African-American activist and philosopher Angela Davis; Jason Y NG, member of the pro-democracy political movement in Hong Kong "Umbrella Revolution"; Piedad Córdoba, leader of Colombians for Peace and mediator of the humanitarian agreement between FARC and the Colombian government; José Bové, alter-globalization movement activist, French syndicalist, and MEP for the European Greens; José Shulman, national secretary of the Argentinian Human Rights League; Scottish writer Irvine Welsh; Tibetan writer and poet Tsering Woeser; Portuguese playwright theatre and writer Hélder Mateus da Costa; and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, German intellectual and Stanford University comparative literature professor.

Ronald Kasrils, South African writer, former anti-apartheid activist, and minister; Wuer Kaixi, Chinese dissident and Tiananmen student protests leader; Hu Jia, winner of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought; Tariq Ali, Pakistani writer and activist; Ambler Moss, former US ambassador; Saskia Sassen, Dutch sociologist; Richard Sennett, American philospher; Harold Bloom, American literary critic; Paul Preston, English historian and Hispanist; Portuguese writer António Lobo Antunes; Argentinean pacifist and Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; Mārtiņš Brauns, Latvian composer and author of the Baltic Way anthem; Ignacio Ramonet, journalist and former Director of Le Monde Diplomatique; Andrea Camilleri, Italian theatre director and writer; British filmmaker Ken Loach; Bill Shipsey, founder of Art for Amnesty International; Irish writer Colm Tóibín; American writer and illustrator and winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award Peter Sís; Mexican rock star Saúl Hernández; and Latvian new age composer, Pēteris Vasks are amongst the signatories since 2014.

In addition, there are several personalities who recently passed away, such as footballer Johann Cruyff, Italian dramatist and Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature Darío Fo; Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, and Czech architect Bořek Šípek, who also supported the manifesto.

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  • Some of the signatories of the 'Let Catalans Vote' manifesto