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James von Puchow reports on Catalan referendum

James von Puchow reports on experiences as an accredited international visitor during the Catalan referendum on self-determination; October 1, 2017.

Following an open invitation by the Government of Catalonia – the Generalitat – for members of the international public to observe the planned self-determination referendum in Catalonia on Sunday 1 October 2017, I attended several polling stations on the day of voting across north-eastern Catalonia.

Based in the coastal town of Vilassar de Mar, I was part of a group of people from Scotland who made use of their accreditation to ensure that the vote taking place was conducted according to transparent principles whereby voters were registered, given free access to the ballot box and were not restricted in voting for one of either options available on the ballot paper.

Whilst I am able to confirm that voting took place in the dozen polling places I visited and consulted, and that there were clear contingency plans in place to prevent individuals from having more than one cast vote assigned to their Spanish ID number, I regret the police violence on the day of voting which not only resulted in several hundred voters being injured, but also prevented many others from attending their polling place to vote for fear of being hurt.

It is of course understandable that many on the day will have not turned out due to their principle opposition to the referendum being held, as the Madrid central government did conclude that this poll went against the Spanish constitution and principles of permanent unity of the autonomous communities which make up the state, I did meet voters who turned out to vote against independence – many of whom had decided to camp outside polling places with fellow residents the night before 1 October to make sure there was peaceful resistance to any attempts to shut down the referendum.

Although my sympathies for Catalan independence and a democratic consultation being held are known, my role in Catalonia during the referendum was to act impartially and allow for a vote to take place – be the final result a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an independent Catalonia in the form of a republic.

It was upsetting however to witness the consequences and aftermath of police action, for example, in the town of Sant Julia de Ramis, where the national police had smashed open glass doors, ripped the shirts of those forming human chains, bruising and cutting those who peacefully resisted the seizing of ballot boxes and voting materials. I maintain that if the Spanish state was authentically steadfast in not recognising the result of any referendum on independence, it would have let the referendum in Catalonia take place as planned and ignore the declared result.

It should be underlined that I am most of all in favour of an accorded referendum being organised between the administrations of Barcelona and Madrid, and am highly worried that any declaration of independence based on the events of 1 October in the coming days will make any attempts of talks near impossible.

This being said, Madrid and the conservative Spanish government appear unwilling to allow any consultation, and the Generalitat is clear in its demands for questions of Catalan independence to be addressed. A current stalemate is not healthy for what I hope to be a modern European democracy, and it is highly unfortunate that any actions by either administration from now on will prevent all voices in Catalonia being heard – be they for independence, federalist, or, in support of continued unity within Spain.

I urge the Austenasian Government to watch events closely as either the birth of a new European nation or a crackdown on the pro-Catalan independence movement forms the narrative of this chapter in the history of Catalonia. Questions regarding Catalans’ rights to self-determination, their right to vote and right to express themselves are not just questions to be addressed within the confines of the Spanish constitution as these are rights we all have as citizens of the modern world. It is ultimately heartbreaking to have watched scenes of extremist pro-Spanish protestors in Barcelona use fascist salutes in defiance of this referendum – as police stand by doing nothing – yet at the same time witness members of the public be attacked in broad daylight for simply holding a ballot paper.

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Wildflower Meadows protests against sovereignty infringements

A plastic fence which has been placed around most of the border of Wandleside, blocking off much of the access from the UK.

Princess Hannah of Wildflower Meadows has today sent letters of protest to local British authorities regarding infringements of her country’s sovereignty.

A plastic fence was yesterday erected around Wandleside, one of the principality’s several sovereign claims, blocking most of the border with the UK.

Letters of protest were sent to the London Borough of Sutton Council, which is assumed to be responsible for the erection of the fence, and to the MP responsible for the constituency surrounding Wandleside, Tom Brake.

Princess Hannah has informed the local British authorities that while she is “pleased to note… [their] government’s tacit recognition of the new international border”, she “demand[s] an end to the blockade”.

Earlier in the year, barriers were installed in the road running past Wandleside, restricting vehicular access from the UK, and mere weeks after the land was claimed in November last year, a security camera was set up by the British observing the newly independent territory.

The United Kingdom’s blockade of Wandleside has also been criticised by local British residents on grounds relating to the environment and to traffic safety.

The Principality of Wildflower Meadows is a protected state of Austenasia, and the Emperor has ensured Princess Hannah – who is also his fiancée – that the Principality has the full support of the Empire.

King of the Grove visits Wildflower Meadows

King Calum I shakes hands with Princess Hannah during the former’s state visit to Wildflower Meadows yesterday.

King Calum I, ruler of the Kingdom of the Grove, yesterday met Princess Hannah of Wildflower Meadows in a state visit to Deva Victrix, capital of the Principality.

The two were accompanied by their respective romantic partners, Princess Hannah’s being Emperor Jonathan I, who has known King Calum since high school.

The King and the Princess signed a treaty of mutual recognition and national friendship on behalf of the Grove and Wildflower Meadows.

Calum I had previously met Jonathan I and Princess Hannah in Deva Victrix in December 2016 and March 2017.

New Wildflowerian claim in south London

Forestedge, the newest land claim of Wildflower Meadows.

The Principality of Wildflower Meadows expanded again yesterday with the claim of a grassy area of parkland near Princess Hannah’s residence in the United Kingdom.

The new territory, claimed as the Barony of Forestedge, is uninhabited and measures roughly 53,200 square feet.

Princess Hannah was accompanied yesterday by Emperor Jonathan I and Wildflowerian noble Lady Laura when the land was claimed.

Forestedge joins the Marquessate of Wandleside as one of the only two areas of Wildflower Meadows enclosed by south London, the majority of the Principality’s land being an enclave of Cheshire.

Further expansion for Wildflower Meadows

Maybridge spans the River Dee, and is connected by the Queen’s Park Bridge.

The Principality of Wildflower Meadows annexed yet more land yesterday, following expansions in October and November last year.

A strip of land connecting its three largest territories was claimed by Princess Hannah yesterday afternoon, with the approval of Emperor Jonathan I.

Maybridge, as the new county has been named, consists of two areas of land on either side of the River Dee, connected by the Queen’s Park Bridge.

While the northern area includes historical landmarks such as a Roman amphitheatre and the ruins of the city’s original cathedral, the area south of the river consists mainly of residential properties.

The new land claim connects the county of Grosvenor Park to the two duchies of Deva Victrix and Chester Meadows, the latter two being the original land claim of the Principality.

A map of the three territories now connected by Maybridge (the new claim in red) can be seen here.

Adam takes charge of GUM

[Disclaimer: The Austenasian Times does not by publishing this article recognise the claim of Thomas of Zenrax to imperial rank.]

The Occidental Chronicle

ROSEWOOD – King Adam of Überstadt is the 25th Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational after winning half the vote in a three-way race. He assumed office on 25 December at 00:01 UTC, relieving Acting Chair Jonathan I of Austenasia.

Adam received nine of 18 votes, with three member-states not voting. King Eden of Edenopolis placed second with six votes, and Emperor Thomas of Zenrax came in third with three votes. Seven votes were sufficient to guarantee victory, which Adam attained two days into the week-long voting period.

Eden found some of his strongest support among younger members, while nations often counted among the so-called “old guard” of the MicroWiki community tended to favor Adam. Such preferences were not without exception. Paravia, Roseland, and Shorewell, all founded since 2014, voted for the winner. The new chair will still face a generational gap in the organization, and will have to avoid…

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Expansion for Wildflower Meadows

7 November 2016 1 comment

Princess Hannah claims Wandleside while holding the flag and sceptre of Wildflower Meadows.

The Principality of Wildflower Meadows expanded yesterday for a second time since its foundation in May.

A 550 feet-long stretch of the River Wandle and an adjoining area of grass and trees were claimed by Princess Hannah and named Wandleside.

Wandleside is situated mere feet away from the Princess’ home in south London, where she was staying having travelled from her university accommodation in Chester for the mid-term reading week.

The new annexation has been recognised by Princess Hannah’s fiancé, Emperor Jonathan I, who was present at the annexation and co-founded the principality with her earlier in the year.

Wandleside is the first area to be claimed by Wildflower Meadows within the vicinity of the Carshalton Nations, having previously been based entirely in Chester.

The principality also expanded last month with the annexation of Grosvenor Park in Chester.