Catalan Pro-Independence Movement Remains Strong Despite Repression: Massive Demonstrations and Political Pressure Push for Self-Determination

The Catalan pro-independence movement has proven to be a resilient force in the face of repression. Despite the Spanish government’s efforts to quell the movement, it has managed to maintain a strong presence and continue to push for independence.

In recent months, the movement has organized massive demonstrations, with thousands of people taking to the streets to demand their right to self-determination. These protests have been met with heavy-handed police tactics, but the movement has not been deterred. Instead, it has only grown stronger, with more and more people joining the cause.

One of the strengths of the Catalan pro-independence movement is the potential to force political parties to move forward toward independence. In recent years, pro-independence parties have won elections and gained a majority in the Catalan parliament. However, the government has refused to take decisive steps to achieve independence. It could change if civil society keeps highly mobilizing and pressuring the political class.

It is clear then that the Catalan pro-independence movement is not going away anytime soon. The people of Catalonia are deeply committed to their cause and will continue to fight for their right to self-determination. The Spanish government would be wise to listen to the voices of the Catalan people and work towards a peaceful and democratic resolution of the issue.

Over 30,000 Pro-Independence Supporters March in Barcelona, Showing Strength Despite Repression

Barcelona saw a massive pro-independence protest earlier today, as thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the Sánchez-Macron summit. The rally was organized by pro-independence organizations and gathered over 30,000 people, making it one of the largest independence demonstrations in the last few months.

The protest showed strength for the independence movement in Catalonia, and highlights the ongoing tensions between the country and Spain. The demonstrators called for culminating independence and an end to repression. They also demanded that the Spanish and French governments respect the right of the Catalan people to self-determination.

The rally was interrupted by police violence at moments. Many participants carried Catalan independence flags and banners with slogans such as “Catalonia is not Spain” and “Freedom for Catalonia.” The demonstration was a reminder that the independence movement is still very much alive.

Pro-Independence Forces in Catalonia Unite to Protest Sánchez-Macron Summit, Demand Right to Self-Determination

Catalan pro-independence forces are uniting efforts to protest against the Sánchez-Macron summit in Barcelona. The summit, which is set to take place today in Barcelona is seen as an opportunity to demonstrate that the independence struggle is alive and that it will not stop until independence is achieved.

The protest, which is being organized by all pro-independence forces is expected to draw a large crowd of demonstrators. The protesters are planning to gather at the site of the summit, where they will hold a rally.

The main demands of the protesters include the right to self-determination and an end to repression against the Catalan independence movement. The protesters also plan to call for the resignation of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and French President Emmanuel Macron, who they see as enemies of the independence cause.

The protest is likely to be met with a heavy police presence, as the Spanish government has deployed thousands of police officers to the city to “maintain” order. The Catalan police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, will also be present to assist with crowd control.

The Sánchez-Macron summit is taking place amid a tense political climate in Catalonia, with the Spanish government continuing the crackdown on the independence movement. However, the protest is seen as an opportunity for pro-independence forces to show that they will not be silenced and that the struggle for independence will continue.

Spain’s King meets with the general who wanted to intervene Catalonia in 2017

Last week, Spain’s King Felipe VI met with ex-chief of the Defense General Staff (JEMAD), Fernando Alejandre, the general who designed a plan to deploy the army in Catalonia in the aftermath of the 2017 independence referendum. This meeting took place during an event to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the completion of studies at the various Spanish military academies.

In one of his books, Alejandre stated that he had designed a plan to deploy the army in Catalonia in the aftermath of the independence referendum. According to him, this plan had been accepted by the then minister of defense, María Dolores de Cospedal (PP). The intention was to respond to the independence movement in the event that the Catalans’ vote led to the implementation of independence.

Alejandre affirms that the orders to implement the plan were active for eight seconds, the period of time that the Unilateral Declaration of Independence lasted on October 10th, 2017 before being suspended by President Carles Puigdemont in order to facilitate negotiations. Since the independence of Catalonia never did go beyond those eight seconds, the military plan was not deployed.

The Spanish government says that they knew nothing about the military plan, though there could be documents proving the opposite.

EU Parliament report: The Spanish government spies on Catalans

The EU Parliament inquiry into espionage with the use of Pegasus, a surveillance spyware, suggests that the Spanish government is behind the mass spying on the Catalan independence movement. According to the report, the espionage “shows a clear pattern” and included, spying on court cases against independence leaders, mass demonstrations, and communications of exiles and several Catalan leaders.

In a conference in Brussels, Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, the inquiry committee rapporteur, stated that Spain was “probably” NSO Group’s first client in the European Union. The NSO is the Israeli company behind the Pegasus spyware.

Sophie in ‘t Veld: “There is evidence that Catalan politicians and others have been monitored, spied upon, while presenting no imminent, immediate threat to national security. We invite Spanish authorities to give us more information, so we can assess the situation in this very delicate matter.”

In ‘t Veld: “It is deeply worrying when there is no accountability.” She also called for sending a delegation to Spain to further investigate the case.

Reactions in Catalonia

President Pere Aragonès: “In a democracy, you don’t spy on your political opponents. We must get to the bottom of the matter.”

Foreign minister Meritxell Serret: “We celebrate the warning that has been issued to Spain.”

Òmnium and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC): “Spain is prepared to be discredited internationally before backing down.”

CUP party called for Spanish Justice Minister Margarita Robles and Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska to step down while demanding the Catalan government to stop “dialogue” with the Spanish government, warning that it is not possible to negotiate with those who are spying on you.

Junts and ERC also called for an international investigation into the matter.

The Spanish government has so far ignored the EU parliament’s findings and has defended their “tackling” of the case.

Catalan independence movement denounces in Brussels mass Spanish illegal espionage

Elizenda Paluzie, former President of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and David Fernández, former CUP MP, denounced in Brussels the “mass political espionage” against the independence movement using spyware such as Pegasus. They both said that they would use all available judicial tools to bring Spain to justice.

Paluzie: “It is necessary to exhaust all judicial avenues against espionage. We must fight everything. We must not let things happen.” She also emphasized the need to not let the espionage scandal have a “paralyzing effect” on the independence movement. “It is important for the movement that we give a positive message of empowerment and persistence in our ideas and activities,” she said.

David Fernández: “The use of spyware is an attack against a peaceful political movement. We would hope that all the democratic parliaments did something so that it would not happen again and that it would be investigated, but this isn’t happening. It is not only that they do not respond to us, nor in the European Commission.”

Chloé Berthélémy, an expert in digital rights, also participated in the event organized by ANC Brussels. She criticized the European Commission’s response to espionage against the pro-independence movement. “They said that it is a European competition as if being spied on was normal. That sends a very bad signal to the population. It is necessary to agree on what is and is not acceptable in society. There are things that people want to keep private.”

Catalan civil society to demand independence on September 11th and October 1st

Catalan civil society will demand independence on September 11th and October 1st with what are expected to be mass demonstrations.

September 11th

This year, the traditional demonstration organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) for the Diada of Catalonia on September 11th will start in Plaça Espanya at 5.14 pm and will end at Estacio de França via the Avinguda Marquès de l’Argentera, where political speeches will take place. The slogan of the protest will be: “Let us go again for victory: independence.”

October 1st

The Catalan Council for the Republic, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium, and other diverse organizations have called for mass demonstrations and events on October 1st to commemorate the 2017 independence referendum.

The main protest will start at Arc de Triomf in Barcelona at 5 pm. In parallel, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium will organize decentralized events across the territory, such as spending the night at the schools used as polling stations during the 2017 referendum.

This year’s protests will take place at a time when the Catalan government refuses to take decisive steps towards independence despite having a clear popular mandate. The success of the demonstrations will determine whether the government re-thinks its strategy and puts the independence struggle on the agenda again.

Spain’s government to keep state secrets confidential for up to 60 years

The Spanish government has approved a new bill that will let the state keep secrets confidential for up to 60 years. The bill will grant the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency the authority to propose the declassification of documents. For now, this power rests with the Ministry of Defense.

The new law establishes four categories of protection of official secrets: top secret, secret, confidential, and restricted. Depending on the category of documents, the declassification terms range from 4 to 60 years.

In this way, the ministry led by Félix Bolaños will assume the authority to recommend the declassification of documents. However, the final decision will ultimately rest with the council of ministers, at least for documents with a higher degree of protection.

Catalan pro-independence parties oppose this law, arguing that the Spanish administration wants to continue hiding what happened during the Transition and the 23-F coup attempt.

Over 4,200 Catalans suffer repression from Spain for defending the right to self-determination

Over 4,200 Catalans have suffered repression by Spain for peacefully defending the right to self-determination, according to Òmnium Cultural.

“The repression of the Spanish state must be transformed into more civic commitment, more democratic struggle, and more social empowerment,” said the President of Òmnium, Xavier Antich, during an event in Barcelona.

Antich also denounced that the judicial and political persecution of the independence movement is far from over: “The Spanish state has long since ceased to be the guarantor of fundamental rights to become the main perpetrator of its violations.” For this reason, he urged civil society to organize to take advantage of the fight against repression with the ultimate goal of exercising the right to self-determination.

According to figures by Òmnium more than 4,200 people have been retaliated due to political reasons since September 20, 2017. These include 1,432 investigated in criminal proceedings and 1,639 victims of police violence from October 1st to 4th, 2017, and from the protests regarding the independence trial sentence in 2019.

Òmnium has also launched the digital platform antirepressiva. “We have to show the repression of the Spanish State to the world because the state is responsible for the violation of rights by its executive and legislative powers, the police, and the media,” denounced Antich, who added: “They want us to mourn and stay at home; but we take pride in it and show our antirepressive solidarity.”

Spain’s government refuses real dialogue with Catalonia

The Pedro Sánchez administration once again refuses real dialogue with Catalonia and denies the existence of a conflict that was previously recognized by the international community.

Sánchez wants to gather the “negotiating” table between Catalonia and Spain in the last week of July, even though his administration has already warned that important matters will not be discussed. His intention is to whitewash his international image by staging a photo opportunity.

This is happening at a time when the Supreme Court could soon revoke the pardons granted to the 9 pro-independence social civil society leaders and politicians who led the 2017 independence bid. The pro-independence camp has demanded amnesty since the struggle was democratic and no crimes were committed. Amnesty would also prevent the Supreme Court from taking political action in order to unfairly jail Catalan leaders again.

The negotiations between the Catalan and Spanish governments were initially aimed at resolving the ongoing conflict. However, they have only gathered a couple of times in over two years without any results. No even serious discussions have taken place in those meetings.

It is clear, then, that the Spanish government does not want to discuss Catalan independence or amnesty. Instead, it wants to pretend as if Catalonia is no longer pushing for it. Despite the fact that its citizens voted for independence in the last election.

It is also clear that the only possible solution to the conflict necessarily involves letting Catalans exercise their right to self-determination.