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Manifesto in defence of Catalan as the language of the education system

category iberia | education | policy statement author Thursday March 01, 2012 18:11author by Llibertarisauthor email at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

In a context marked by unemployment, welfare cuts and a host of measures that do nothing but push our lives towards abject poverty, a new hispanicizing offensive is now under way, in the form of various attacks on the teaching of Catalan, using the most rancid anti-Catalanism as bait and as a smokescreen. [Català] [Castellano]


Manifesto in defence of Catalan as the language of the education system

In a context marked by unemployment, welfare cuts and a host of measures that do nothing but push our lives towards abject poverty, a new hispanicizing offensive is now under way, in the form of various attacks on the teaching of Catalan, using the most rancid anti-Catalanism as bait and as a smokescreen.

These attacks, which are global in nature, have different nuances depending on the current status in each of the affected territories. In Catalonia, the model of linguistic immersion in the education system has been seriously threatened by decisions issued in the Spanish Supreme Court. In the Valencian Community, there is provision for the adoption of a decree that will eliminate the policy on teaching through Catalan, not to mention the closure of the repeater signal which carried TV3 [1]. And what is happening in the Balearic Islands is similar, as is the extremely vulnerable situation we find in La Franja [2], where the already-poor protection of Catalan and Aragonese will disappear during this legislature.

In this context the libertarian movement cannot remain impassive. Those who once had the back of the bourgeoisie to the wall, whose fingers caressed the winds of emancipation cannot - we cannot - ignore the growing minorization, which the Catalan language is undergoing.

The main battleground where this minorization is taking place is (how could it be otherwise!) in public education. It is this tool used by the State to transmit bourgeois values ​​and ensure the stability of its foundations that will contribute to dismantling stone by stone the wall that separates our language from its function - communication. We know what happens when there is a clash between two languages​​, a majority language, like Spanish, and a minority and minoritised language, Catalan. We know how far the social control today exercised by the State to keep down working people and their cultures will go, if they face up to the absolute power of the bourgeoisie that hides under the cloak of Spanish nationalism. It is thus no exaggeration to sound the alarm for the survival of our language.

The current public education system has not yet reached the rationalist principles that educators like Francisco Ferrer y Guardia implemented over one hundred years ago. We know that it remains a tool for the transmission of bourgeois values ​​which encourages us to accept the supposed naturalness of class society. But this is no reason to ignore it in our struggle. Although our goal is to develop a network of Free Schools, ignoring the influence of the public education system would mean giving up any social change.

We believe that the use of Catalan in education as a teaching language is an indispensable tool for its future in our society. But this should be accompanied by other means, such as those that make the most of the various languages ​​used by members of the school community, helping this struggle to become adopted by all Catalans regardless of their origin.

Our strength must be in the struggle for an educational model that has reason and science as its backbone, one which contributes to the autonomy of the human being, to their class consciousness and individual freedom. But it must also be in the recovery of our culture and our language.

For all these reasons, we the undersigned reject the systematic attacks on Catalan, as well as the use that is still made of the education system. At present, it is not only a tool used to ensure the survival of class society, but also seeks to be the guarantor of the minoritization of Catalan among the new generations. It is up to everyone to stop this hispanicizing drive and recover the ground lost by the working class as the protagonist of the processes of teaching and learning. Protagonist as teacher, and protagonist as learner. It's time to return to the people the tools they need in the fight for their emancipation and in this regard education plays a fundamental role.

Assemblea Llibertària del Vallès Oriental (Vallès Oriental)
Ateneu l'Estació - Albaida (La Vall d'Albaida)
Ateneu Llibertari "Estel Negre" (Palma)
Catarko - Autònoms El Prat de Llobregat (Baix Llobregat)
CGT - Baix Camp - El Priorat
CGT - Castelló de la Plana (Plana Alta)
CNT-AIT La Costera - La Vall d'Albaida
CNT-AIT - Fraga (Baix Cinca)
CNT-AIT - Olot (La Garrotxa)
Col·lectiu "A les Trinxeres" (Terres de Ponent)
Col·lectiu "Gatinada Negra" (comarques del Nord-est de Catalunya)
Col·lectiu "Negres Tempestes" (Barcelonès)
Grup "Puig Antich" (Coordinació dels Grups Anarquistes) - Perpinyà (Rosselló)

Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office.

Translator's notes:

1. Catalonia's main TV channel, broadcasting only in Catalan.
2. "The Strip", a Catalan-speaking territory in eastern Aragon.

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