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Police State Repression in Catalonia 

Catalonia

Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain’s northeast, bordering France and the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona its capital and largest city.

In November 2015, Catalan lawmakers approved a secession plan from Spain by 2017. October 1 is the moment of truth, Catalans to vote by referendum on whether to remain part of Spain or secede, establishing an independent state.

Self-determination is a universal right. It’s a core principle of international law, enshrined in various treaties, affirmed in the UN Charter and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The following characteristics are necessary to qualify a nation-state status:

• a determinable territory, fixed or otherwise;

• a fixed population;

• a functioning government; and

• the capacity to engage in relations with other states.

Approval by the Security Council and General Assembly requires the following conditions. The aspirant must be a state, peace-loving, willing to accept the UN Charter’s obligations, be able to carry them out, and be willing to do it.

Catalonia qualifies on all counts. It’s legally entitled to declare its sovereign independence from Spain. It’s for Catalans alone to decide, no one else.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has other ideas, enforcing police state harshness on the community.

On Wednesday, leading Catalan officials were arrested, an illegal intimidation effort to prevent the scheduled October 1 vote. Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras tweeted: “They are attacking the institutions of this country and attacking the citizens. We will not allow it.”

Catalonia’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family Dolors Bassa tweeted “a state of siege” exists.

Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont called Madrid’s actions “totalitarian.” Despite warnings to cancel the October 1 vote, he vowed it’ll be held.

Not easily with thousands of Spanish police ready to swoop in and halt things. Reportedly 10 million ballots were seized.

Whether in favor or against independence, tens of thousands of Catalans took to the streets, chanting “(w)e want to vote,” and “democracy.”

Spain’s state prosecutor opened a criminal investigation, targeting hundreds of Catalan mayors for cooperating with referendum plans.

In a 2014 referendum, 80% of Catalans voted for independence. Madrid declared the election invalid and unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Spanish police raided the headquarters of the pro-Catalan CUP independence party. An eight-hour standoff followed part of police state repression to prevent the October 1 vote.

The harder the Madrid regime cracks down, the more determined most Catalans may become to free themselves from its repression.

Turmoil is likely to continue for days. Speaking to reporters, Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief Raul Romeva said “(t)he issue…isn’t independence or not, but democracy in Spain and the EU” or tyranny, the Rajoy regime opting for the latter.

About the author: Stephen J. Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

4 Responses to Police State Repression in Catalonia

  1. M. P. Gutiérrez

    Mr Lendman, you don’t really know what you are talking about. What the Catalans want to do is illegal according to the present Spanish laws, so you are completely wrong when you say “It’s legally entitled”. Greetings.

  2. Faustino

    Muchos estados en su ordenamiento juridico no permiten la sedicion, al igual que España, tampoco los EEUU tiene en su Constitucion la separacion unilateral de alguno de sus Estados.
    España es un Estado de Derecho donde prevalece el imperio de la ley por encima de cualquier otra consideracion.

  3. Faustino

    Este articulo falta constantemente a la verdad, no es madrid sino los jueces y fiscales los que estan actuando. En la Constitucion de 1978, la vigente, no se permite los referendun unilaterales de cualquiera de la Autonomias, pero tampoco es irrevocable, se puede modificar la Constitucion, tiene articulado como se debe hacer en derecho.

  4. Luis Miranda

    Democracy is a universal value that is based on the free will of The People to determine their political, economic and social systems. Although democracy has some common traits in different places, there isn’t one unique form of it. Democracy does not belong to any government, it belongs to The People. It should only serve The People. It only exists because of The People, not because of government. Laws don’t make democracy, especially if those laws limit the rights of The People, such as self-determination. No government and now law can or should limit those rights.

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