Undod / solidarity with Catalunya
Yesterday the Spanish Supreme Court finally gave their verdicts against the nine Catalan political prisoners on charges, including ‘rebellion’ and ‘sedition’, associated with the October 1st 2017 referendum on independence for Catalunya. All were prominent politicians or cultural leaders and Catalunya has been anxiously awaiting the expected harsh sentences since their arrests and pre-trial detention beginning with the two Jordis on October 16th two long years ago.
Throughout the detention and trial period communities and towns and cities throughout Catalunya have kept up an unrelenting campaign of solidarity with the prisoners and demanding their freedom, and further demanding that the Spanish state honour their democratic right of self-determination under European, International and Spanish law.
The conduct of the Supreme Court and the judicial system, the prosecution authorities and the former PP and now PSOE governments in Madrid regarding the democratic wishes of the Catalan people have been widely condemned by jurists and parliamentarians across Europe and the world.
However what has been notable by its absence is any criticism of the Spanish state by the institutions and government of the European Union or any of its constituent members. And this dereliction by the EU despite the actions of the Spanish judiciary and government being contrary to the EU’s and its member states’ own laws.
If the Spanish state themselves wanted to provoke an independence movement in Catalunya they couldn’t have done any better than they have done. What was a movement mostly content to accept the equivalent of a ‘devo-max’ devolution settlement with Madrid as late as 2012 has become an out-and-out independence one today. A repressive state which was already plain to Catalans became plain to the world at the O-1 referendum in 2017 when Madrid’s military police, the Guardia Civil, viciously batoned young and old for the ‘terrorist’ crime of putting slips of paper into ballot boxes.
Over the past two years, though massive annual demonstrations of well over a million people, gatherings and protests across the nation on a daily and weekly basis and a constant stream of denunciations of repressive Spanish state actions have continued undimmed, nevertheless, there has been an overarching counter-feeling of self-restraint during this period. And the explanation is plain – the Catalans had nine political prisoners in jail awaiting sentencing by a politically corrupt judicial system slavering to take revenge on anyone daring to challenge the Spanish political union. Until this moment Catalans have exercised exceptional self-control lest they make things even worse for their political martyrs.
Yesterday the sentences were pronounced, between 9-13 years for ‘sedition‘. In Spanish unionist eyes promoting self-determination is sedition, no more no less. If this was International and European law, Scottish and British jails would long since have been overflowing with independentistas.
MAJOR BREAKING: Protesters block the AP7 motorway in Girona. pic.twitter.com/xpnPRqkwCR
— Catalans for Yes 🎗 (@CatalansForYes) October 15, 2019
Taking nothing away from the magnificent grass-roots resistance to repression from Madrid that we have seen over the past two years, all of it may now well turn out to have been but a warm-up act for the main event – a self-disciplined and non-violent struggle that will intensify until every political prisoner is free and Catalunya is an independent state. No more and no less.
Yesterday we saw the occupation of Barcelona Airport, gatherings across the country and a people, young and old and everyone in-between, on the march for freedom. No more and no less.
Such a movement of civil disobedience deserves our support for their and all our sakes. No more and no less.
Llun gan Marta Pastor