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Statement on the Catalonia Independence Referendum Vote and Spanish Government’s Response

Statement on the Catalonia Independence Referendum Vote and Spanish Government’s Response


B.J. Murphy

On October 1, the autonomous community of Catalonia came together to vote for the future of its independence from that of the Kingdom of Spain. While the referendum was initially peaceful, chaos began to ensue once the Constitutional Court of Spain gave the order for police to raid Catalan government buildings and spots known where the referendum would be held, after having determined that the referendum is illegal.

In response, the Catalan people began protesting the police raids, demanding for recognition of their votes and for Catalan independence. Even the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, took to Twitter to condemn the raids, stating, “A cowardly president has filled our city with police. Barcelona, city of peace, is not afraid.”

Despite heavy crackdown and reported police brutality of the protesters, 42% of the autonomous community was able to successfully cast their vote, including Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont. The results: 90% voted in favor of independence.

And while King Felipe VI has since made a rare televised statement on the matter, accusing Catalan leaders of “unacceptable disloyalty,” Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has officially determined that his government would unilaterally declare independence by “the end of this week or the beginning of next,” according to BBC.

While United States Transhumanist Party has no official declaration of support for other foreign general regions to secede from their respective countries, according to Article III, Section XXXI of our Constitution, it states:

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.”

As such, we firmly believe that a similar moral principle should be extended to the people of Catalonia who peacefully voted for independence from the Kingdom of Spain. We condemn the actions of King Felipe and the Spanish government for attempting to violently suppress the Catalan people’s right to democracy and to peacefully protest when the former is withheld.

Given our own country’s history of fighting for independence from the United Kingdom, we know all too well the lengths of which the powerful will try to demean, belittle, and oppress those who stand up to them. The events which led up to the American Revolution, too, were deemed illegal in accordance with then-British law. This gave our Founding Fathers a lot to think about as they began building this country – in particular, it was Thomas Jefferson who once declared, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

And so, unlike the Kingdom of Spain, we, the United States Transhumanist Party, recognize and stand in solidarity with the Catalan peoples’ quest for freedom by breaking away from the country and to become an independent nation themselves.

Ed. Note: Originally, the article had erroneously specified that King Felipe VI had given the orders for the police raids of Catalan government buildings. After further inspection, we’ve realized that, while King Felipe did appoint the magistrates of the Constitutional Court of Spain, all decisions – including that of the police raids – were given independently by the Court itself. Our statement has been refined to accommodate this change of information.

B.J. Murphy is the Director of Social Media for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, Featured in Catalan TV Documentary on Cyborgs

Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, Featured in Catalan TV Documentary on Cyborgs


Gennady Stolyarov II

The Catalan television channel TV3 has published a new documentary, entitled “Sense ficció – Cíborgs entre nosaltres” (“Not Fiction – Cyborgs Among Us”), which is available to be viewed on YouTube. In addition to featuring today’s cutting-edge augmentations to human senses and several individuals who have already been enhanced with such augmentations, this documentary, in its latter segment, focuses on Zoltan Istvan’s 2015-2016 campaign for President as the candidate of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. As part of that segment (starting at 48:13 in the linked video), the documentary features screenshots of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights – Version 2.0, which was adopted democratically by the members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via an electronic vote held between December 25 and December 31, 2016.

While the film is in Catalan, it is possible to receive an approximate automated translation of the subtitles into any major language, including English. To see the translated subtitles in English, go to the YouTube page linked above and click the “CC” button for “Subtitles / Closed Captions”. Under the gear-shaped “Settings” button, select “Subtitles / CC” > “Auto-Translate” > “English”. The translation is not perfect but is mostly intelligible. This feature is a fitting illustration of how technology has advanced in certain areas – such as auto-translate algorithms – which renders it possible to now watch films in other languages and mostly comprehend them without needing to learn those languages directly.

As the organizer of the vote to adopt the Transhumanist Bill of Rights – Version 2.0, I consider it an honor to have spearheaded this endeavor and thus to have contributed to how transhumanist ideas are perceived in the media. It is excellent to see that the new Transhumanist Party website is beginning to become a go-to source for media and other interested persons to find out about our positions and aspirations for the future.

Screenshots of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights from the documentary are below.