On the evening of 16 October, the presidents of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural (ÒC), the two biggest grassroots organizations fighting for independence and self-determination for Catalonia, were sent to prison, accused of sedition because they organised demonstrations to protest the detention of Catalan government officials.
The two prisoners have been responsible for some of the most impressive rallies and demonstrations seen in Europe, which have always been peaceful. As Catalans and as ANC Scotland, we think that their imprisonment for political reasons is absolutely unacceptable and we demand their immediate release.
This is no longer only about ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to independence. This is about millions of citizens peacefully asking for self-determination and a state rejecting any idea of dialogue because of its Francoist roots. This is about democracy and freedom of speech, and the right of every citizen to defend their ideas peacefully without being repressed for them.
The Catalan government has repeatedly tried to open a dialogue, and many offers of mediation have been made, but the Spanish government remains hostile and insists there is nothing to discuss. After violence by the state against peaceful citizens during the referendum, and now the taking of political prisoners, it is time for the friends of Spain across Europe to speak out and call her back before she goes further down the route of repression.
Clàudia Alloza, Joan Baró, Marc Colell (also a member of Òmnium Cultural), Alba Crespi, Marc Duch, Laia Gazpio, Adriana Libori, Erola Pairó, Gerard Pelegrí, Laura Puig, Oriol Roig, Xavier Sala, Guillem Carles, Mireia Vergés, Laia Vilà, Xavier Rubio, Maria Yubero
ANC Scotland, the Scottish branch of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC)
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