SPORT #01: Guardiola (Part 1: Estat Catala)

In 1922, Estat Catala was founded.

It was known as the group who brought blue version of Estalada to public. As political organization with it own paramilitary wing, Estat Catala was actively campaigning against Don Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, an aristocrat, prime minister of Spain and dicatator from 1923 to his death in France 1930.

The most known action of Estat Catala was a failed attempt to assasinate King Alfonso XIII of Spain by Santa Germandat Catalana de Bandera Negra, guerrilla group whose majority of it members were anarchist. The other military campaign was an attack carried by Exercit Catala led by Francesc Macia to occupy Principat de Catalunya, an early modern political entity of state situated at the border of southern France and northeastern of Iberian peninsula. These amongs many, led General Miguel Primo to banned all the separatist movement. As the major target, Estat Catala went underground and it leaders were forced to exile, included Macia.

Estat Catala symbol (The Estalada)

In August 17, 1930, a meeting led by Niceto Alcala Zamora and Miguel Maura, took place in San Sebastian. It was attended by representatives from main anti-monarchy/republican group all over Spain. Estat Catala was represented by Jaume Aiguader. The meeting was later known as San Sebastian Pact where it founded a revolutionary committee who eventually became the first provisional government of the Second Spanish Republic. The meeting agreed to launch a military coup in favor of the republic and to overthrow the Spanish monarchy. The date was decided in December 15, that year.

The coup failed following the failure of insurrection couple days prior to the event. The military officers who was supporting the coup were executed.

In 1931, an event called Conferencia d’Esquerre held in March 17-19 took place in Sants District of Barcelona. The meeting brought together three major leftist organizations whose fighting against Spanish monarchy either for independence or full autonomy. The conferences concluded a common need for all parties to come together and join forces. Estat Catala agreed to merge itself with L’Opinio and Partit Republica Catala to form Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC/The Left Republic of Catalunya). Regardless it merger, each member still maintaining it autonomy within the coalition. It led Estat Catala to influence the massive numbers within the youth section of the party -known as Joventuts d’Esquerra Republicana. April 1931, they proclaimed the establishment of Generalitat de Catalunya and appointed Macia to helm it. Barcelona was selected as it capital.

But the coalition did not last long.

The death of Macia in December 1933, the failure of armed insurrection in 1934 mixed with the winning of regionalists -a call to mock those in favor of autonomy- faction from Partit Republica Catala to take over the leadership played parts to bring the coalition to it end. Estat Catala accused Lluis Companys -then leader of ERC- of insubordination and in favor with Madrid, voted out to be an independent party. The step followed by Joventuts d’Esquerra Republicana.

In 1936, the Spanish civil war began.

Estat Catala actively fought on the war fronts. It created numbers of columna -battle unit volunteer consists of 500-1000 soldiers- who were operating across Pirineus mountains in southwest Europe at the border between Spain and France. They was not alone there, since the anarchist columna were also fights against Franco.

The civil war experiences and ideological differences played an important role within the Estat Catala stance to opposed Company decision to deliver power to anarchists and libertarian socialists to run their social revolution where most of agrarian areas became collectivized and factories were run through workers committees.

Estat Catala planned a conspiracy to take over the Autonomous government of Catalonia where anarchists and ERC were working together. Taking control was considered important to re-launch a campaign for the independence. The plan was exposed to the authority and forced Estat Catala leaders to flee to northern Catalonia in southern France. This is maybe the hardest period of the group where many of their leading members were executed or died in exile.

The global legacy of Estat Catala was their 1942 publication of Catalan Countries Map which included Principality of Catalonia, La Franja, Valencian Community, Balearic Islands and the ancient town of Alghero in Sardinia.

A year before the 1977 general election, Estat Catala came up above ground.

It was recognized by the Spanish Ministerio del Interior and registered as political party. The same year where the group launched their campaign against the Spanish Constitution 1978 and the regional political autonomy granted by Madrid. Estat Catala strongly believes that it contrast to their demand for full freedom as nation; as Catalans. The party called the Constitution as re-emerged of Madrid dictatorship.

Despite their strong opposition to Madrid, Estat Castala has contested several Spanish General Election and at the regional level. The group avoided to participate at lower election in order not to prevent the fragmentation within the nationalists over the votes. They proposed a broad coalition called Accio Municipal Democratica who went to participate in 1978 General Election.

But in 2004, Estat Catala did not contest with the General Election at national and regional level. Regardless that Accio Municipal Democratica was participated at the same time. It led to disputes and fights over claims by different groups within the Catalonian pro-independence in recent years regarding who are the heirs of the historical party.