diumenge, 17 de gener de 2010

Burning of Vila-real (1706) remembered

The Succession war was used by Castille to transform the Spanish kingdoms in a centralist structure. It reversed the federal basis where every country had their own institutions. Catalan countries, allied with Britain, fought fiercely against the Franco-Spanish alliance to preserve their own constitutions and parliaments. One of the sadest chapters of this war was in Vila-real (Valencian Country).

On January 12th, 1706 Spanish troops were stopped by the Vila-real population. The battle was hard and died about half a thousand people. Once defeated, Vila-real was sacked by the Spanish with hate. About 10 % of the local population was killed. Never again so many people of this city died in only one day. Later the Franco-Spanish army burned the village. Just for this battle a British-Catalan army conquered València hours later because the Spanish army sent to defend the main city was delayed in Vila-real.

The local independentist movement, Esquerra Independentista de la Plana, demonstrated on Saturday 16.01.2009 with the slogan “We’ve memory. 1706. We don’t forget.”. One of the movements which form the EIP is just called Maulets, the name of the Valencian fighters who opposed the Castilians in the succession war.
About a hundred people marched by the Vila-real streets shouting songs against the Spanish occupation which, in fact, has its roots in battles as the 1706 Vila-real burning. Later, a popular lunch and a concert took place too. This is the second consecutive year that such a commemoration tooks place after a decade without a signle independentist demonstration in the Vila-real city.

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