The association Òmnium Cultural has published a video in English with the title “Help Catalonia” in which it denounces that the Spanish State is attacking the “fundamental rights” of the Catalans.
The video takes inspiration from a Ukrainian tape broadcast in February 2014 to ask for help from the European Union in the face of the serious crisis that crossed the country – months later civil war broke out in the east.
The video situates Catalonia in a siege like scene, where the Catalans are submitted to a state repression. This is undoubtedly true. When Catalans stand up for their rights the Spanish State responds with oppression.
In the video, a woman speaking on behalf of all Catalans, to an European audience, to asks that the EU does not abandon Catalonia.
These are the facts she proclaims:
“In Catalonia, the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and social rights are being attacked”
Spain is an advanced democracy that should guarantee the freedoms of all its citizens and respect the individual and collective rights, including the right to vote an self-determination. However, the Spanish government, the courts and the media, each in their own way, impose force as supposed to upholding the rule of law and the division of powers.
Spain has signed all the conventions on human rights and freedoms of the United Nations, is a member of the European Union and the Council of Europe and is a signatory of all the conventions on Human Rights and freedoms of the latter two bodies; only to violate those very same treaties and accords by denying Catalans their natural right to self-determine their present and future.
“What crime did citizens commit on October 1?,” the woman in the video asks. Catalonia has committed the highest crime of All. The region and its people have grown tired of Spain’s economic and political abuses and have decided they no longer appreciate being part of that country. They have spoken truth to power and defied the disgusting status quo. But more than anything else, they have decided to take their lives into their own hands.
The decision to leave Spain is something that no authoritarian regime, such as the current one led by Mariano Rajoy and his deeply corrupt Popular Party (PP) would never allow. Why? Two main reasons. Firstly, Catalonia is Spain’s cash cow. It produces 30% of the country’s GDP. Secondly, because, in the words of European leaders, if Catalonia achieves independence, more regions in Spain and more nations in Europe will want to do the same.
The independence of Catalonia would provoke a domino effect that would encourage many people in Europe to secede from the failed Union just as the referendum in Scotland would have done it if the Scottish people had voted YES to independence.
The video refers to the independence referendum held on 1 October, previously suspended by the Constitutional Court, and documents the intervention of the National Police and Civil Guard Corps as they attempted to illegally prevent the citizens’ right to vote.
The police enforced the illegal judicial resolution to prevent the referendum, whose celebration was legal, no matter what Rajoy or the Spanish media say, because their arguments are contrary to the treaties Spain signed.
“The Spanish Government declared the vote illegal”
In Spain, the Executive does not have the power to outlaw a referendum. As it happened, it was the Constitutional Court that under a lot of pressure from pretty much everyone else, attempted to suspend the celebration of the consultation.
“Thousands of police assaulted the offices of pro-independence media and closed hundreds of web pages”
The police did attack media and indeed closed websites. Agents of the Civil Guard entered the Catalan Center for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CTTI) to forcefully implement the order of the Court of Justice of Catalonia to block the websites with which the Generalitat wanted to facilitate the telematic vote and count on October 1. Earlier, the weekly newspaper El Vallenc, of private ownership, had also been intervened because it was printing ballots for the referendum.
“The police arrested 14 officials of the Government of Catalonia without judicial orders”
The Civil Guard arrested on September 20 to 14 people for its alleged participation in the organization of the independence referendum on October 1. Legal procedures were thrown out the window, with one single magistrate in Barcelona ordering the operation.
“Spain used a level of force never before seen in a Member State of the European Union”
The Government appealed to the National Police Corps and the Civil Guard to prevent the referendum on 1 October.
Human Rights Watch stated that “sometimes” agents used excessive force in the three cases analyzed on the day of the consultation: the city of Girona and two municipalities, one in Girona and another in Barcelona. There were certainly more than three cases, as media worldwide has documented. Men, women and elderly people were dragged by their hair from buildings and building entrances by police.
Apparently, using force and violence is quite all right for Spanish government officials, who after watching the videos of the abuses responded that police had acted professionally.
Also the European Commission denounced the violence exercised by the police in some polling stations. Indeed, the images of the day show that there were injuries in the police charges.
The figure put forward by the Generalitat, 893 injured is a balance of injuries that has not existed in Europe since World War II.
“90% of Catalans voted in favor of independence”
The figure is clear. It is the official result of the voting. However, both the Spanish government and the Spanish media discredit it because it is the official accounting of the votes provided by the Generalitat, the Catalan government. They allege that voting did not have guarantees, but never mention that both the government and the media continuously undermined the referendum.
The Spanish government and the media would have been allowed to verify the result if they wanted to do so, but instead they decided to sabotage it from the beginning. They say that the Generalitat cannot claim that 90% of the people voted for independence, because they cannot validate them. It cannot be affirmed that 90% of Catalans are in favor of independence, they insist. Most likely, the corruptors and corrupted in the Spanish government will only see the results of any consultation as valid when they say so.
According to data from the Catalan Government, a census of 5,313,564 people, 2.286.217 deposited ballots on October 1. That means that 43.03% of the census exercised their universal right to vote. Of these, 92% voted YES for independence. Less than 10% voted NO.
“It’s a matter of Europe”
The video insists on involving Europe in the Catalan question. However, all the European institutions have assured that it is an internal matter of Spain. The reason Europe does not wish to get involved in national matters, although it as a long history of doing so, is hypocrisy. As explained before, European officials know that an independent Catalonia will spur more nationalism around the continent, which will mean the end of their power grab from EU countries.
The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, stated that “the Commission complies with what the Constitutional and the Spanish Parliament say.”
For its part, since the Euro-parliament, its president, Antonio Tajani, has stressed that “if a part of a Member State proclaims itself independent, it automatically becomes a third state and leaves the European Union.” This is a classic scare-mongering practice. The same type of threats were made against Scotland. No European nation needs to belong to the EU to be part of Europe. All nations in the European continent are naturally European.
“We, the Catalans”
The woman who appears in the video arrogates throughout the recording to be the voice of all Catalans, as did the 90% that voted YES on October 1. The demonstration that took place in Barcelona on October 8, organized in defense of the Constitution and the unity of Spain, was a show put together by the Spanish government and foreign organizations who bused people from other regions of the country to make it look like Catalans had changed their mind about self-determination.
The greatest sin committed by Catalonia was to defy the repressive regime in Madrid and to attempt to take back what is theirs: Their freedom to choose who they want to be and where they want to be. Catalonia is not Spain. It never was and it will never be.
The greatest sin committed by the Catalan government was not having declared independence immediately after the voting results were known.