Solidarity With Catalonia – Defend Democracy & Human Rights!
ATTACKED FOR WANTING TO VOTE
We remember the shocking scenes in October last year of Spanish police violence on ordinary people in Catalonia voting in a referendum on independence from the Spanish state.
Decades of attempted and failed dialogue with Spain resulted in October’s referendum mandated by a coalition of the majority of members of the Catalan Parliament and supported by a strong grass-roots movement.
The right of nations to self-determination is a long-established democratic right recognised in several UN Human Rights Covenants and Charters.
However, the Spanish State sent its police force to confiscate ballot boxes, storm voting centres, baton and shoot unarmed protesters with rubber bullets. Despite thousands injured, including many elderly, they failed in their violent attempt to stop the vote.
The referendum resulted in a majority in favour of Catalan independence. Since then the Spanish State has jailed without bail 11 people - these are elected politicians and cultural activists charged with rebellion and treason. 12 others were arrested and released without charge. Arrest warrants have been issued for a further 12, many of whom are in exile, including the first elected President of the 'autonomous' Catalan Government. The chief of the Catalan police (Mossos d'Escuadra) faces trial. School teachers have been threatened with jail. The Spanish Government took over the Catalan autonomous government following the referendum and sacked 259 public servants.
The response of the EU leaders has varied from outright support of the Spanish State (President of the EU in October: “ We don't want an EU of 99 states”), through non-interference in the “internal affairs of another state” to urging the Spanish Government to engage in dialogue with the Catalan Government. But not one EU Government has stood up for the right of the Catalan people to self-determination, democracy and human rights. Disappointingly, this includes the Irish government despite our own history of fighting against oppression. Dublin City is twinned with Barcelona. Where is the outcry at the violent repression
of ordinary people exercising their right to vote?
YOU CAN HELP by following events in Catalonia and solidarity events in Ireland, by sharing
news and by calling on Irish politicians to stand up for the same thing for which so many Irish
suffered famine, jail, torture and death: the democratic right to self-determination.
Issued May 2018 by With Catalonia/ Leis an Chatalóin.