A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Catalans for Independence; and On to Castelldefels, Last Stop Before Barcelona

Pere, in front of his father's fishing boat
 Pere is the 'Son of a son of a sailor', or more accurately, a fisherman, but he's the first in a long line of fishermen to break tradition. He's tried fishing, but decided social work was more in tune with his social conscience. Currently unemployed, as is 24% of Spain's population,( and more than 50% of Spain's young population) Pere is nevertheless working for what he views as a better world through Socialism and independence for Catalunya.
Both he and his flatmate, Quim, are members of Catalunya's CUP, Candidatura Unitat Popular, and Quim is one of the party's three representatives in Vilanova i la Geltru's 25-member City Council. Neither Quim nor his party colleagues accept pay for their work in the City Council, and the party has no leaders; no one to assume power and call all the shots; no one to be corrupted. They are believers in grassroots Democracy, and they would rather walk out of a City Council meeting than be forced into voting on one of two unacceptable propositions. They are gaining in popularity, and have become  favorites of the press, which Quim says has it's negative side; they are being encouraged to structure themselves like other political parties by choosing a leader and getting themselves into the national (or rather, Spanish ) political scene.
In any case, whatever one's political orientation, CUP presents a model of what down-to-earth real Democracy looks like.
Oh, and both Pere and Quim were fantastic hosts too.
The town hall of Vilanova i la Geltru

Quim, CUP representative, in casual and office attire

On the left, a Catalan independence flag, and on the right, the Scottish flag. Scotland is up for a referendum on independence in 2014

Two supporters on the walk from Vilanova to Castelldefels


This walk offered a beautiful view when I wasn't dodging cars and trucks

My generous host in Castelldefels, Susana, who has taken up a form of Korean meditation called 'Maum'.  With a degree in Industrial Electronics, she is now studying History and English.

The castle in Castelldefels

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