DOZENS of towns and cities in Catalan refused to celebrate or even recognise Spain’s national holiday yesterday.
Some 40 municipalities across the region ignored court orders to close for the day to mark Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas in 1492.
Many Catalans associate the holiday with the millions of indigenous Americans who died as a result of the explorer’s discovery and the Franco regime that brutally repressed the region.
Deputy mayor of Badalona Josep Tellez said ‘there’s nothing to celebrate’ as he tore up a judge’s decree in front of city hall.
Xavier Garcia Albiol, regional president of the Popular Party, criticized municipalities’ ‘brazen and disobedient attitude’.
He said: “There should be some sort of reaction from the justice because if not we’re going to end up turning this country into a jungle.”
Left-wing lawmakers proposed taking down a statue of Columbus in Barcelona and banning the holiday last month.
They said: “The celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America represents the intolerable act of the glorification of colonialism and imperialism.”