I’m in Barcelona this week for a Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) workshop tomorrow.
Barcelona is a wonderful city, but this week it’s in a bit of disarray. All week there have been protests against the convictions of Catalan politicians for their acts in support of the separatist movement.
Monday, the airport was closed down by protesters. Last night, there were street demonstrations, with dumpsters set on fire. Tomorrow, thousands of people are supposed to be marching on the city to signal their protest. People have been arrested, but for the most part, life goes on.
It’s messy and a little disconcerting, but not like the situation in Hong Kong where protests are now in their seventh month as China attempts to clamp down on the situation. The NBA was caught in the midst of this when a team official sent out a tweet supporting the protesters, angering the Chinese government and cutting off support for the league.
Even worse, consider what happens to people who don’t support the government in fully totalitarian states. They’re often not heard from again–jailed, exiled, or killed for their actions.
In America these days, we see polarization and strongly worded accusations by both sides. The House is conducting an impeachment investigation, and the White House is accusing Congress of a witch hunt. It’s not particularly fun, but it’s all happening without violence, arrests, or firing squads.
Yes, democracy can be messy, but considering the alternatives, that’s not such a bad thing.
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