International community, listen to the voice of the Catalan people.
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The scale of repression over Catalonia is exposing the crisis of the Spanish stat.
On Wednesday 21, Mariano Rajoy lost control of the narrative on the Catalan question. Appearing before the press after a series of raids and arrests designed to halt a referendum on independence planned for 1 October.
Over recent weeks, judges in Spain have used startlingly loose interpretations of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the referendum’s illegality to issue orders that violate many of the rights they’re charged with upholding. Local police across Catalonia have seized posters and banners related to the 1 October vote, and the Spanish Civil Guard has searched a number of newspaper offices for incriminating materials. These aren’t signs of a state that’s confident in its authority.
The scale of state repression in Catalonia and its extension to the rest of Spain mark a significant shift in the ongoing dispute over the national question. The conflict is less and less about competing conceptions of democracy and increasingly about the defence of the basic rights like freedom of assembly, speech and the press.
The question now isn’t whether or not there’s a wafer-thin majority in Catalonia in favour of independence. It’s whether there’s a social and political majority capable of standing up to the most regressive elements of the Spanish state and defending basic freedoms and the values of the Republic, be it Catalan or Spanish.
That is why I call on international institutions to support the cause in defense of fundamental civil and political rights.
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