Last Monday, September 20th, marked four years since the Civil Guard, a Spanish military police force, stormed several departments of the government of Catalonia and the headquarters of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) in an attempt to prevent the October 1st independence referendum. In response, over 60,000 Catalans peacefully demonstrated outside the Department of the Economy, where the main police operation was taking place, in defense of the government of Catalonia. This peaceful demonstration was used by the Spanish state as an excuse to jail civil society leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, by accusing them of sedition.
Both leaders recalled the events during an interview for “El Matí de Catalunya Ràdio,” and stated that it was a “trap” set up by the State. “We had never imagined ending up in prison due to the events that took place outside the Department of Economy that day.”
Jordi Cuixart said, “That day was a turning point in the defense of fundamental rights. Catalan society was empowered in a non-violent way.”
Jordi Sànchez: “We did what was right in the face of an absolutely irresponsible decision by a judge to allow the Spanish police to enter government offices to try to prevent the independence referendum on October 1st.”
Both of them also stated that the fact that police officers left firearms in a car of the Civil Guard with the doors open in front of the protesters is clear evidence that what happened four years ago was a “trap.”
Jordi Cuixart: “In a democratic country there would have been an investigation into why there was a police car with weapons inside and the doors open.”
Cuixart and Sànchez also affirmed that the independence movement remains active as shown in the last elections and the mass demonstration for the National Day of Catalonia where over 400,000 people took to the streets demanding independence. “The demand for self-determination remains stronger than ever and the sovereignty movement is still standing,” they added.
Jordi Sànchez, who is now leader of Junts party, also confirmed that he had filed an appeal against his 9-year prison sentence for sedition to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the “continuous violation of fundamental rights” he has suffered.