Aamer Anwar speech in Lledoners

I bring you solidarity from Scotland and from Professor Clara Ponsati. She hopes that legal battles fought by the exiles has helped expose political persecution of her colleagues who have been in prison.

Stay strong, there can be no compromise with a Spanish state hell bent on acting like a dictatorship.

For any of the European leaders watching, peaceful democracies do not have political prisoners, democracies do not jail rappers, poets, and artists.

Clara sends her love but also with sadness that she cannot not yet return home to be with her people, her family , her colleagues and breathe the air of Catalonia.

Today the Spanish state has truly shown to the world what it thinks of justice and democracy. On the 1st October 2017 the Spanish state used every tactic possible to bully, blackmail, harass, intimidate and attack. Today once more they act in the spirit of Franco

A true democracy does not hold political prisoners. Pedro Sanchez is this the political solution you wanted? Up to 25 years imprisonment for what crime. The right to self-determination is a fundamental human right

The show trials will commence in January- Now is the real test- You must trust in yourself, you must drive the movement forward, pressure your politicians and use all peaceful means necessary to bring about independence.

We stand in solidarity with those who face trial. They want to try and put Catalonia on trial but they can never succeed. The prisoners wish to stand trial not because they accept the legitimacy of the Spanish state but because they wish to expose the deep rooted injustice.

This movement is bigger than any one individual, prisoner, politician or exile. You walk in the footsteps of giants who gave their lives fighting for freedom. What you do next will the determine the destiny of generations to come.

On October the 1st, the spanish police failed the test of democracy, they failed the people, they failed to uphold the rule of law.

Spain has criminalised opinions and votes-They have violated the presumption of innocence, The right to a fair trial, The right to freedom of expression, The right to freedom of thought, The right of association and the right to liberty and security

Spain accused your politicians of criminal acts but it can never be illegal under international law for a people to express their right to self-determination.

They accuse Jordi Cuixart of criminality, of violence because he used the words ‘No Passaran’ so let us all say ‘No Passaran, no passaran, no passaran’

The mandate for independence comes from the people on the streets, not from Spain.

Spain is no different from the colonialist mentality of the British empire which butchered its way across the planet through the policy of ‘divide and rule’ . I do not envy the task your political leaders face, they know every action has consequences. They have acted with dignity and principles unlike the Spanish politicians.

But there is no mandate for compromise with Spain, which will not even negotiate.The trials are due to start, but if one does not accept the legitimacy of those detentions or prosecutions by the Spanish state, then there must be a plan for now, during and after the trials.

The ‘political show trials’ will take place in Madrid another act of humiliation for the Catalan people.

You already have a solution, power rests with the people, Spain cannot imprison over 2 million people.

Justice is right and not a privilege, but the Spanish state is driven by vengeance and a total contempt for international law and human rights.

You do not have the luxury of waiting- In Catalonia there has always been a spirit of dissent, when it unites with millions of protesting voices, that dissent becomes your hope.

No tingueu por,

Els presos i exiliats serem lliures i Catalunya serà república!

Visca catalunya lliure!

Aamer Anwar

Lawyer of the Year 2017- Legal Awards of Scotland 2017

Solicitor of the Year 2016- Law Awards of Scotland 2016

Rector of the University of Glasgow