archivi delle proteste globali
archives of global protests

Andalusian nationalism in solidarity against neoliberalism

MAJOR THEME 2.2.2 DISCUSSION PAPER - Miguel Moya Guirado y Mariano Junco Gonzalez, Nacion Andaluza activists.

Andalusian nationalism in solidarity against the neoliberalism that marginalises and imposes uniformity. It's nothing new, but every day it's more insistent. Cultural uniformity is trying to impose itself on the vitality of the different peoples. They are trying to make us forget even who we once were.

The Andalusian people is suffering a constant assault on its identity, and European and Spanish ways are forced upon us which are not our own. The Andalusian people has always lived in a relationship with the Mediterranean, and more particularly with its Southern and Eastern limits. Today we have naturally much more in common with the peoples of Latin America than with those of Europe. But when one of our sisters or brothers from Latin America (so close in terms of culture and history), or from the Magreb (so close in geographical and historical terms) wants to visit our lands, the European Union requires us to act as police dogs, because our lands do not belong to us but to Europe. On the other hand we are supposed to consider people who are at a distance of thousands of miles from us geographically, historically and culturally. Why must we hate those close to us and yet be forced to love those who are most distant from us?

Let us speak of three ways in which we are oppressed:

1. Our history is stolen from us. In Andalusian schools pupils study about kings whose only relation to us is that their countries invaded us centuries later, while we are told practically nothing about how the people of Tartessos, Betica or Al Andalus lived, these being three of the epochs of our very rich history. The coats of arms of our cities bear the symbols of the Monarchs who conquered us and made us lose our independence. In several important towns and cities this conquest is celebrated, which really meant the ruin of the whole Andalusian country and a genocide for its people - a prelude to what occurred in America. The brainwashing has reached such an extent that even in progressive circles it seems natural to protest against the genocide commenced by the Castilian Crown in America in 1492, but they forget that it was accompanieed by another, proportionally similar genocide in Andalusia itself, and that the same date is equally significant and unfortunate for us, for it saw the conquest by the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando and Isabela) of the last bastion of independence in our lands and allowed an implacable campaign of ethnic and cultural cleansing to commence. In fact, today this day is celebrated in various cities (Jerez, Granada, Sevilla, Malaga, Almeria). UNESCO condemned this barbaric custom in 1996, but the authorities continue celebrating it.

2. Our culture too. We might speak of how our traditional forms of singing have been prostituted or how many people are now ashamed of our popular traditions. But let us speak only of our language. The language we speak is quite different from the Castilian of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language. There is nothing wrong with this: our language meets the requisite of every community of speakers - it serves them as a means of communicating. It is also a good deal more universal than the form of language they want to impose on us, since some of its features are fairly widespread on the American continent. But instead of respecting the way we speak they revile us. Children are made to believe from the very beginning that there is something wrong we speaking in Andalusian, that it shows a lack of education. In the media broadcasting from Andalusia the presenters make a constant effort to avoid speaking in the Andalusian language. Thus people speak one language when broadcasting but another as soon as they are back in the street.

3. We are used as police dogs against the Third World. Andalusia is one of the areas of lowest production per capita in Europa, and constant limitations are placed on its opportunities for economic development (attempts to close shipyards, some of us think that the EU doesn't care about us). And yes, one of the missions entrusted to us is that of guard dogs for the European "paradise", to prevent the entry of the disinherited people of the Third World. Andalusia has closed its borders and since 1990 has been the gendarme of the South in impeding the free movement of people. This authentic marine fortress has caused countless deaths among people desperately trying to get across from the nearby African coasts (a mere 14 km away).

As left-wing Andalusian nationalists we believe that the best way to struggle for human freedom in this land is to join up the different alternative struggles (feminists, trade unions, ecologists, young people, international solidarity groups, etc.) in the fight to recover our identity as a nation and to take our place among the community of peoples and thus be able to act in solidarity instead of being used as a barrier.

To the For Humanity and Against Neo Liberalism index

1st encuentro | 2nd encuentro | |