For almost 1 year, signatures were collected in the Comunidad Valencia for a language law that respects the rights of Valencians to use their mother tongues.
The requirement for a corresponding ILP (People's Legislative Initiative) is 10,000 confirmed signatures and was exceeded almost 4 times. There are about 5 million inhabitants in the Comunidad, so almost 40,000 signatures doesn't seem like much and why did it take almost 1 year?
1. the free choice of the language finds its way into the official language of instruction
2. bilingualism in administration
3. education free from nationalist indoctrination
4. a public administration without language obligations
5. the restoration of official place names in Spanish
6. assistance for artists/creators in one of the official languages
The signatures could only be collected by persons who had previously been sworn in at a notary. These were usually working people who could only pursue their collection activities in their free time. The collection had to be registered with the municipalities in each case, and so although 200 stands could be registered in the various towns of the Comunidad, it was not only the weather but also the special conditions imposed by the Corona restrictions that made it difficult for the volunteers to work.
But the response of the people was overwhelming. People queued patiently to be able to sign. The collectors saw brides and grooms just coming out of church as well as innkeepers leaving their bar to sign up at the stands of the „Hablamos Español“ collection initiative.
Its success remains to be seen. The „Corts Valencians“ (Valencian Parliament) now has to deal with this initiative, which will certainly enliven the political debate. This will also be necessary, because only pressure from the street will really change anything. The political parties are used to ignoring even rulings of their own autonomous highest courts when something does not suit them.
It will be a long road, but the first important step has been successfully taken.
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