Mass Solidarity Rally in Barcelona

Spain’s Political Dictatorship
October 18, 2017
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October 18, 2017

Mass Solidarity Rally in Barcelona

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Madrid’s fascist regime governs by aligning with America’s killing machine waging war on humanity, exploiting its own people, repressing them, beating up voters exercising their legitimate franchise, silencing dissent by closing web sites, and imprisoning its citizens for political reasons.

Its actions following Catalonia’s legitimate October 1 self-determination referendum ripped off its mask, revealing its viciousness, its contempt for international law, its flagrant abuse of power.

In response to the Monday political arrests of key Catalan separatist activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart disgracefully accused of sedition, tens of thousands of Catalans rallied overnight in Barcelona’s Placa Sant Jaume – in solidarity with their comrades, chanting “Freedom for Sanchez and Cuixart,” a powerful display of contempt for police state ruthlessness.

Similar demonstrations were held in Tarragona, Lleida and Girona.

Barcelona’s rally was a peaceful candlelight vigil march, Catalan officials involved, demanding Sanchez and Cuixart be immediately released – calling them “political prisoners.”

The rally included five minutes of silence for Sanchez and Cuixart – followed by someone yelling “Freedom.” Thousands in the crowd responded in kind.

Barcelona’s rally was organized with help from Committees for the Defense of the Referendum (CDR), neighborhood groups created to “defend the Catalan right to vote,” Anna Martinez one of its organizers.

She called Madrid’s ruthlessness “shocking. The situation has become very serious,” she stressed. Activist Joan Folch said “(e)very day the Spanish government gives us more reasons to continue the struggle.”

On Tuesday, hundreds of Barcelona university students abandoned their classrooms in solidarity with Sanchez and Cuixart.

They remain in custody extrajudicially without bail, how police states operate, Madrid a political dictatorship masquerading as democratic.

Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull tweeted: “Cry for freedom of two political prisoners. Militants of pacifism, democracy and freedom for Catalonia.”

Separately, he said “(g)iving up isn’t an option that’s being considered. On Thursday (Rajoy’s extended deadline to say yea or nay on independence), we won’t give anything different than what we gave on Monday.”

Activist Pere Robles said “(w)e want our own state and if we have to wait, we will. (W)e survived 40 years under Franco and we continued to be Catalonia. We’ll put up with whatever we have to put up with, and we have to keep fighting.”

Barcelona Professor of Political Science Josep Costa said imprisoning Sanchez and Cuixart marks “another episode showing the complete breakdown of the rule of law in Spain.”

“It’s the government filing the charges and seeking the imprisonment of political opponents.”

US academic Jordi Graupera agreed, saying both men “are political prisoners. They are being punished for being successful in their peaceful resistance strategy.”

If Catalan President Puigdemont formally declares independence or fails to abandon it by 10:00 AM Thursday local time, Rajoy will likely suspend the region’s autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid, perhaps inciting a firestorm.

What happens next is unknown. Catalan activists vow to continue their liberating struggle.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.