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9 November 2017 00:00
Major protest in Catalonia: Live report back from the ground, from inside the Free Catalonia Movement.
Carles Puigdemont, the rightful president of Catalonia gave these remarks in response to the imprisonment of the vice president and seven ministers of the Catalan government.
The Spanish State has decided to imprison the vice president and ministers of the legitimate government that was elected at the ballot boxes on September 27, 2015. It is a very serious error. Indeed it is a terrible attack on democracy. To imprison political leaders for having fulfilled their electoral commitments and the commitments in the Parliament that they took on with broad public support is an act that breaks the basic principles of democracy.
The Spanish Government in this way has renounced the dialogue necessary, dialogue that is required to resolve political problems, and this is a political problem. And instead of seeking dialogue, what it does is choose police violence, which we already saw on October 1st, and imprisonments. And it chooses the path of repression. This fact is a blow to the upcoming December 21st elections which will take place in an environment of unprecedented political imprisonments and repression which are unacceptable in 21st century Europe.
This is no longer an internal Spanish affair. It is necessary for the international community and in particular for Europe to realize the danger that these attitudes represent.
As the legitimate president of Catalonia, elected at the ballot boxes on September 27, 2015, I demand that the vice president and ministers be freed. I demand respect for all political options and I demand the end of political repression. To imprison a government, let me say again, FOR HAVING FULFILLED ITS ELECTORAL PROGRAM, approved by the Parliament, is completely outside the rule of law.
The first, which of course couldn’t be any other way, is for the families of my friends and colleagues, families of people who have been unjustly imprisoned for a non-existent crime. You have all my support. All my warmth, from me and from the rest of the members of the government, and also from millions, millions of people around the world who at this moment are the astonished witnesses of events of extreme seriousness.
A long and ferocious repression awaits us. The fury with which the Spanish State has raged against what this old nation has done is limitless and it threatens everything. But not only can we not shrink in fear, we must stand up and fight. But we have to fight it the way Catalans do things, the way we have done things that have made us mature as a country, as a people, as a nation: without violence, in peace, and with respect for all opinions and all people.
Catalonia’s freedom is not possible if there are Catalans who are not free to defend their ideas and fulfill their democratic commitments. Even behind bars, the legitimate government of Catalonia is infinitely more decent than their misguided jailers.
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