Moment 4.- Years 2010-2012: economic and social crisis; Constitutional Court sentence on the Statute of Autonomy and popular local referendums on independence; emergence of the alternative social movements

Catalan MonitorHistory, Special Report

Three factors characterize these years and they are interspersed in Catalan society: a very real global financial and economic crisis that reaches the Spanish State and Catalonia and causes a real social emergency with massive unemployment and a great precariousness and cuts in social resources. It is a situation that is at the base of the response of movements known as “15 M” or the “outraged” (indignats) and the birth of new political parties such as the current Podemos. They are regenerationist movements that do not pose a break with the Bourbon monarchy born as a direct heritage of Francoism nor a rethinking of the structures of the centralist Spanish state. They do propose an ethical regeneration of the party system and a fight against corruption and against the excesses of the capitalist financial system and its beneficiaries (“the caste” they call it). The economic and social crisis also causes the emergence of diverse social movements and platforms such as the so-called Platform for those Affected by Mortgages (PAH), environmental movements that fight to protect the territory of real estate depredation and energy giants (fight against the MAT), the struggle for universal health and education, the fight against immigration laws …


But it is the struggle for national emancipation that constitutes an authentic political and social challenge: for two years, without interruption, in successive waves, the so-called popular referendums on independence are organized. They are considered by the experts to have been a foundational constituent stage of the current political independence movement: from September 2009 in Arenys de Munt until April 2011 in Barcelona, self-called, self-organized and self-financed consultations are carried out in 555 localities, summoned outside the Spanish legality among the registrars in each locality older than 16 years old; the consensual question for all the queries was sufficiently clear and explicit: << It is agreed that the Catalan nation (or Catalonia) becomes a legal, independent, democratic and social state integrated in the European Union (or Europe) >> ? More than 60,000 volunteers managed and verified 885,000 votes. The majority favourable to YES was between 80 and 90%. It was thus an outstanding exercice of popular sovereignty.


The actions of the PDD and the action of the popular consultations prepared the reaction that took place in 2010 as a result of the negative decision of the Constitutional Court that invalidated the statute approved by the Catalans in referendum. It had accumulated a great deal of tension and the mobilization of popular protest and indignation was enormous: regional autonomism at that time signed it own death sentence, while more than half a million people marched on July 10, 2010 under the motto “We are a nation, we decide”.


All this effervescence and all this organized work explains the historic importance of September 11, 2012 with a million people’s participation under the slogan “Catalunya, the new state of Europe”. But it also explains that Catalan society reacts and manifests massively in relation to international issues such as the wars in the Middle East and the shelter of refugees who flee from these wars (our House-house movement, the Stop Mare Mortum platform, demonstration multitudinous “We want to welcome” February 2017)