On Wednesday we went to Barcelona and we visited the Museum d’Historia de Catalunya. Our tourist guide started talking aboutCatalan story from the succession war of 11 September 1714 to nowdays.
The Spanish resistance was admired by much of public opinion in Europe. But the city’s fall also signalled the end of the state of Catalonia. Then we talked about 19th century and employment conditions for the working classes that were extremely hard. The working day of 12 or 13 hours was very long, and the pay was barely enough to live on. Mills were unhealthy places, with extremely high temperatures, high noise levels, pollution, accidents at work etc. Children started work at a very young age. Women generally worked in textile industry and earned less than the man. Jobs were insecure and recessions led to periods of unemployment. Injured or ill workers had no protect rights. The employers and the authorities imposed strict labour discipline. Then in Catalonia there was the civil war. And we’ve seen the difference between Spanish education at school before and after the Franco’s tyranny. The tourist guide showed us the effects of Franco’s dictatorship: the assemble of Catalonia was set up on 7 November 1971 and as an anti-franco platforms it led popular demonstration right through to the early years of the democratic transition. It program included liberty, amnesty the statute of self government as the first step towards self the termination and co-ordination with the democratic struggle taking place everywhere in Spain.
By Elena Porto and Irene Failla