Over 100 demonstrations took place across Catalonia as thousands of Catalans took to the streets under the motto “Enough repression: independence!”. 21 activists and representatives of Catalonia’s pro-independence movement were arrested by the Spanish Guardia Civil and 31 premises were searched under highly irregular claims
The Catalan National Assembly, together with Òmnium Cultural and other social and political entities, organized over one hundred rallies across Catalonia on Wednesday evening to denounce the raids carried out by the Spanish paramilitary police, Guardia Civil, which took place on the morning of the same day, and to demand the release of those arrested.
The detainees, several Catalan pro-independence activists and representatives, among them well-known publisher Oriol Soler, former ERC party senior official Xavier Vendrell, former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right-hand man David Madí, a promoter for Catalan national sports teams Xavier Vinyals, as well as the Chief of Staff of Catalan President in exile Carles Puigdemont, Josep Alay, and others were arrested in a Spanish police operation dubbed ‘Volhov’, accused of alleged misuse of public funds, money laundering, and breach of official duty.
The investigation attempted to link the Catalan independence movement with Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and the Russian government with claims based on a report written by Guardia Civil Colonel Daniel Baena, whose false witness at Spain’s National Court’s case against Catalan police chief Trapero earlier this month might jeopardize the Spanish judicial scheme against the Catalan pro-independence movement.
A similar case of baseless criminal prosecutions was the ‘Judas’ macro-operation on September 2019, when 13 Catalan pro-independence activists were initially arrested for terrorism, and later released without charge; ‘Volhov’ is the name of a battle in which the Spanish Fascist volunteer regiment ‘Blue Division’ fought beside the Nazi army on the Russian front, thus evoking the true ideological and political intent behind this operation.
As a prelude to the mobilizations, organizations, political parties and unions held an event at 13h in Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona, in which Assemblea President Elisenda Paluzie took part. Ms. Paluzie stated: “today we have experienced a new operation that is part of the general cause against independence. Let us not be deceived, this is why they have been persecuted and arrested,” and added “We must move towards the national freedom of Catalonia and leave behind a state that understands no other words than repression, political persecution and the violation of rights.”
Together with parties and organizations, more than a hundred protests took place throughout the territory at 19h, and in particular, the Catalan National Assembly organized a rally at 20h in front of the Civil Guard barracks on Travessera de Gràcia, Barcelona, where the detainees are being held. Several hundred people gathered there, as the organization denounced the new wave of repression perpetrated by the Spanish state.
The Catalan National Assembly denounces that once again, Catalonia’s pro-independence movement has been the victim of political and judicial persecution. It has been made clear that the Spain only knows the language of oppression, political persecution and the persecution and the breach of rights, a fact proven again and again. The false pretence of dialogue displayed by the Spanish authorities have proven sterile.
The Catalan people has had enough of Spanish repression: independence is the only way to protect the rights of the Catalan minority.