New alliance of Galician pro-sovereignty groups being born / Further restrictions in Hong Kong in defending right to self-determination

26 January to 1 February

Founding meeting of Vía Galega at CIG headquarters.
Founding meeting of Vía Galega at CIG headquarters. Author: CIG
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. Organizing the Galician society around the right to self-determination is the goal of newly formed Vía Galega grassroots alliance, which is set to be formally launched on March 3, driven by seven Galician foundations and a handful of local groups and unions. The right to self-determination, by the way, is yet once more at the centre of the latest row in Hong Kong: a pro-democracy candidate has just been barred from running for election as her party wants Hong Kongers to decide which relationship they want to have with China. Meanwhile, Catalan political prisoners Junqueras, Cuixart and Sànchez are taking their case before the United Nations.


Birth of Vía Galega (Galician Way). The new pro-sovereignty alliance will be launched in public on March 3, after some 40 grassroots groups, unions and foundations have been agreeing on the issue in several December and January meetings. The Galician Trade Union Confederation (CIG), one of the driving forces behind the initiative, says that the goal of Vía Galega is “to organize the Galician society” around the principle of the right to self-determination of the Galician nation, with emphasis on social issues in the face of the “emergency” situation, the alliance’s drivers argue, that Galicia is suffering as regards unemployment, emigration and dismantling of social services.

Seven foundations of Galician nationalism are at the origin of the initiative, namely Artábria, Alexandre Bóveda, Galiza Sempre, Manuel María, Moncho Reboiras, Terra e Tempo and Vía Galega.

All over 2018, the alliance will carry out presentations throughout Galicia. It will also draft a “charter of rights of the Galician people,” to be ready in November.


Agnes Chow banned from election in Hong Kong. The former British colony has forbidden the activist to stand as a candidate to the11 March by-election for a seat in the Legislative Council. Chow is a member of the left-wing party Demosisto. The fact that the party upholds Hong Kong’s right to self-determination is the reason the Hong Kong Electoral Commission has found to disqualify Chow. Hong Kong government chief Carrie Lam (pro-Chinese establishment unionist), has justified the decision on the grounds that “any suggestion of ‘Hong Kong independence’, ‘self-determination’, independence as a choice, or self-autonomy, is not in line with Basic Law requirements, and deviates from the important principle of ‘one country two systems’”. Ironically, the seat put into election is Demotisto president Nathan Law’s. A Hong Kong court ruled last year that Law should be unseated after having irregularly taken his oath of office in 2016. Another five Legislative Council members from the prodemocratic bloc were stripped of their seats for the same reason.

Catalan pro-independence political prisonersto take their cases to the UN. English lawyer Ben Emmerson, a specialist in International Law, will be leading an appeal that Catalan government vice president Oriol Junqueras and grassroots leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart will submit to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The three political prisoners are looking for a declaration from the body —whose decisions are non-binding— that sedition and rebellion charges against them are unsustainable. “This case [...] seeks the UN’s reaffirmation that governments cannot repress political dissent through arbitrary detention,” Emmerson has said.