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Will there be a bullfighting ban in Catalonia?

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Offline Clive

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« on: May 21, 2009, 21:38 PM »
Hi all,

I read today...

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Some 180,000 residents of sixty-five towns in the region have come out to vote against bullfighting

THE anti-bullfighting platform, ‘Prou’, has collected more than 180,000 signatures in support of an initiative to ban bullfighting in Cataluña, three times their original target. Their motion will now be presented to the Catalan Parliament, which will initiate a lengthy process during which a number of votes will have to be taken. Residents of 65 towns in the region have come out in support of the initiative, under which and the promoters are calling for a modification of article 6 of the Catalan Animal Protection Law, to ban bullfights and any other traditional ‘celebration’ that leads to the death of an animal, whether in or outside of a bullring.

The platform website is at http://www.prou.cat/ and should be used as an example to others for a really well designed site that is user friendly in more than one language (I refer to the save los monegros platform sites that are not so effective). I'm sure part of the success of this particular campaign is it's broad reach...

But... Will they really force a change to the law and see bullfighting in Catalonia completely banned and will/could this be a nationwide thing?
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 12:02 PM »
Can't see it as a nationwide thing. (Especially if the much-loved Catalans are 'leading the way'!)

Can see it as another reason for some (not the anti-taurinos obviously) in the rest of Spain to feel even more anti-Catalonian than they do now. That, however, is not a reason to be against the extension of the ban to other regions.


Offline lucy

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 13:50 PM »
Can't even see it as a Catalunya thing, at least for the moment.  The Socialists won't want to risk upsetting their considerable  number of voters who don't share Catalan cultural values (typically of Andalucian origin who live in the BCN metropolitan area), and the big conservative Catalan party Convergencia are only interested in the economy and won't touch anything that could be remotely branded as "ecological" with a barge pole.

Glennie's right, at least in certain parts of Spain. A ban on bullfighting in Catalunya would probably serve to increase enthusiasm for it elsewhere.

Offline Bob M

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 23:51 PM »
Depends.  It's not wildly popular in the Basque country.  I can't seem them following a Catalan lead on this though.

Bob

Offline nick

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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 11:58 AM »
I agree totally with Lucy. It's not going anywhere for the time being. The whole is issue is so mixed up with nationalist politics that it could easiy engender a backlash. I wonder how how many Catalans would vote to ban the barbaric bull running games of the Delta del Ebro and Montsià?

Bullfighting won't be stopped until there is a mass grassroots rejection in places like Andalusia and Madrid. Give it a century. Sorry, can't be more optimistic.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 12:03 PM by nick »
Nick
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2009, 13:54 PM »
Think you are being very realistic Nick. I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 15:50 PM »
That's what i thought as well, Interesting comments and thanks all

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Offline Maria

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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2009, 17:00 PM »
Hi all

I shall keep my fingers and everything else crossed that one day soon they will get to ban bull fighting and anything else that leads to a horrendous death of an animal.

Here in Andalucia bull fighting is still very much enjoyed but luckily our little town of Lanjaron does not have a bull ring or any harmful to animal traditions but our next town of Orgiva has a bull ring put up every so often! We seem to think that the younger generations are not that interested, so maybe as the oldies die out. . .  .. . . then who knows.

Offline Bob M

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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 20:17 PM »
To be fair, I have the impression that some of the more weird animal baiting that used to go at fiestas seems to being gradually eradicated.

Bob

Offline nick

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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 18:29 PM »
Hi Maria,

Yes, I heard that younger people weren't as interested these days, seeing it as an old person's thing - but I wonder will some of them, when they grow older, decide to take up La Fiesta Nacional? Petanca isn't going to disappear just because noboby under 60 plays. Every year there are new recruits, if you take my point.

Bullfighting has ceratinly gone from being a majority (if it were ever) to a minority sport (if you will allow me) but that doesn't mean it is really threatened.
Nick
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Offline Maria

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2009, 20:37 PM »
Hi Nick

Im sure you are right, there will always be new recruits and those who believe in their traditions will fight hard to keep them, but when you look at the UK and fox hunting, that has come along way in a short time, not completely sorted but well on its way .

Tell you what though it would be good to see some over 60s in the ring with the bulls  >:D

Offline nick

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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 11:02 AM »
Hi Maria,

I'm not sure how much fox hunting and bullfighting are comparable. Fox hunting was always enjoyed by a tiny few and hated by the rest as much as anything else because of the privilege it represented. Bullfighting is genuinely popular across all social classes and is an element of national identity which makes it far more insidious and difficult to eradicate.

But, yes time changes everything.
Nick
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Offline Maria

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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 11:49 AM »
The problem with fox hunting was the tradition and alot of people wanted to keep it soley because it was a British tradition just like dancing around the maypole etc not becuase they took part in it. So it was difficult to stop, hense the years that past without a ban but I guess more people had had time to get used to the idea that killing was cruel. Maybe the Spanish just need more time to realise this awell.

Offline harryabbott

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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2009, 23:43 PM »
More chance of snow in Marbella this weekend!
All tickets for the current 9 days of corrida at Malaga Feria  sold out with such demand that some tickets increased from their face value of 100 euro to 1300 euro! At the moment the spanish papers in Malaga give the corridas about 4 pages of coverage and looking at the pictures of the crowds there are as many if not more women at the events, mostly middle aged but that could be because it is relatively expensive to attend.
 Bull fighting is not thought of as a sport, it is not an equal competition with an uncertain outcome. It has a certain outcome the, the death of the bull just as the slaughterhouse with its queues of animals in the  pens and then the shutes move gradually forward to be shot. I try not to think about it too much when I am enjoying a nice steak or plate of Rabo de Toro.
 

Offline Clive

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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 22:26 PM »

Latest from www.barcelonareporter.com .... Who? No comments yet on the article.... Thanks to http://twitter.com/EbroApartments for the link.


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Barcelona - Animal Rights Activists Protested Bullfighting might soon be outlawed in Catalonia.

BARCELONA — Here in Catalonia, this persistently separatist-minded region of Spain, bullfighting has been in trouble for ages. And the economy hasn’t helped. Ticket prices are akin to opera’s. Fights are expensive to produce. The number of bullfights plummeted across Spain this year.

But José Tomás still draws enormous crowds. For aficionados, he is the last best hope for toreo, as bullfighting is called. Reclusive, a matador of unearthly fearlessness and calm, steeped in history and mystery, he retired in 2002, at 27 and the height of his fame, only to return unexpectedly five years later in Barcelona for what turned out to be the first sellout in 20 years at the 19,000-seat Plaza Monumental, this city’s beautiful old brick-and-tile bullring.

Sunday he was back, for another special occasion: perhaps the last bullfight ever in Catalonia.

Over the last three decades or so, dwindling interest among young Catalans has combined with pressure from animal-rights advocates and from Catalan nationalists to cripple toreo in Catalonia. Across the region’s four provinces, bullrings have closed; Barcelona’s is the only one still active.

Now a referendum before the Catalan Parliament would end bullfighting here altogether. There has long been talk in this part of Spain about a total prohibition on toreo. Fans have played it down. But this time, even aficionados think a ban is likely to pass.

So Sunday’s corrida — the term refers to an afternoon’s regular card of three matadors and six bulls — was more than just the last bullfight of the season. It was possibly the end of an era. And José Tomás (José Tomás Román Martín, but everybody knows him by his double-barreled first name) had come, in what seemed almost like a last-ditch attempt, to lend his box office appeal and artistry to the anti-ban side.

Artistry, that is, to aficionados. There is the art of the ritual, ancient and colorful, with its sequence of movements, firmly established but, because the bulls always vary, different each time and entailing a kind of balletic grace on the part of the matadors, who are judged not least by whether they can make the bulls look graceful, too. Bullfighting is a matter of Spanish cultural patrimony, fans say. Europe may wish to come together around common social and economic interests, but national cultures must be respected, and toreo represents cultural diversity.

Opponents see it otherwise, of course. A dozen or so animal-rights protesters stood outside the arena Sunday, holding aloft handmade signs splattered with red paint.

Up the street, at La Gran Peña, a bar favored by aficionados, Isabel Bardón, the bar’s owner, balanced a tray of beers while navigating a swarm of patrons, some craning their necks to see the retired matador, who was smiling for photographs beside older men smoking thick cigars. “It would be bad news for me and my business,” she speculated about the ban’s possible approval.

It might be, who knows. What’s clear is that during the early years of the last century, Barcelona had no fewer than three bullrings. It was a mecca for aficionados. There were more corridas here from the 1920s to the 1960s than in any other Spanish city.

But Catalan nationalists began to spread the notion that toreo was an imposition on Catalonia by Franco’s fascist regime, which promoted it, like flamenco, as a patriotic symbol. Opposition to bullfighting became a declaration of separatism by other means. Animal rights came along and fueled the nationalists’ agenda.

That the issue remains, above all, political is demonstrated over the border, in the Catalan region of southern France, where bullfighting is embraced as fiercely as it is opposed in Spanish Catalonia, for exactly the same separatist reasons, in that case because it is banned in Paris.

“At a point when Europe is becoming bigger and more multicultural, Barcelona is becoming smaller and more Catalan,” is how Robert Elms, a British travel writer who has lived here, saw the situation. He had come to see José Tomás and remarked, before the corrida, how the dark but magical city he once knew has become a shiny, designer-label hub that nonetheless looks increasingly inward.

“It’s vanity,” he said “That’s the only word. Vanity describes an insecure culture.” The possible ban on bullfighting, he added, is akin to a law here requiring schoolchildren to receive much of their education in Catalan, not Spanish.

Paco March nodded at the mention of that connection. A Barcelona native, he is the bullfighting columnist for La Vanguardia, the city’s second biggest newspaper. His 15-year-old daughter is called a fascist by her classmates, he said, because she has a picture of a torero pasted into her notebook.

“I feel rage that in the name of democracy,” Mr. March added about the pending referendum, “a minority of opponents of toreo could erase the rights of another minority, aficionados, who are enjoying what is in this country a legal spectacle that expresses deep truths about life and death taken to their extreme.”

Aficionados talk this way. They point out how bullfighting makes death plain and visible at a time when most people, those who can do so, choose to put distance between themselves and the reality of it. Some of these same people condone factory farming by eating meat, but they condemn bullfights. Or they go to bullfights in places like Portugal, where the bulls are not killed by matadors.

They’re killed afterward, offstage, so nobody has to watch.

To matadors, that’s truly unfair, because it denies them their duty to the bulls, with whom they have fought, and spares them the particular vulnerability they are meant to experience at this point in the bullfight.

Whether or not you buy this argument, it would be a mistake to conclude that an end to bullfighting here portends its prohibition across Spain. While nearly three quarters of Spaniards say they have no interest in bullfighting, they’re loath to have foreigners tell them what they can or can’t do. This is why Spain has consistently resisted pressure from the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights to end toreo. What will end it, if anything, is public indifference, competition from cheaper entertainment like soccer and video games, and the passing of a generation of aficionados.

And so, in the failing light of a warm early autumn afternoon, amid the bursts of flashbulbs and chants of “Torero!” and “Olé!” José Tomás appeared at least one last time in Barcelona, the standard-bearer for an afflicted art. He orchestrated his usual series of hair-raising passes with the bulls. Like Roger Federer, he makes every action look impossibly slow and stylish.

His costume sparkled under the spotlights. A brass band struck up a pasodoble. The fans cheered as if somehow his sheer eloquence might, at the last minute, save toreo from extinction here. They tossed flowers, hats, scarves, notebooks and just about anything else they had at hand onto the blood-soaked sand as he circled the ring.

“This artful corrida to end the season may have been the last in this plaza,” lamented El Pais, the Spanish newspaper, the next morning. “What a shame if politicians banned bullfighting here.”

Mr. March, the bullfighting writer from La Vanguardia, put it more bluntly. “We want to be different from the rest of Spain by not killing bulls,” he said. “But we’re just killing off our own culture.”
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Offline Maria

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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2009, 22:36 PM »
Well I shall be keeping my fingers crossed that this is the end of it in Barcelona good on them if they do it  :clapping:

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2009, 08:39 AM »
Lets hope that the referendum has the desired effect of putting an end to this dreadful ritual.

Offline lisa

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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2009, 09:48 AM »
The Catalan parliament starts voting today. From BullfightBan on Twitter.
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2009, 10:38 AM »
The BBC have picked up the story though it is not a very in depth article....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8418014.stm
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