A Madrid court has suspended an event in support of the upcoming Catalonia independence referendum planned to take place in the Spanish capital next Sunday and which had been authorised by the city council. The event, organised by the group "Madrid residents for the right to decide" was meant to be held at midday on 17th September in one of the buildings of Matadero in Madrid, a former slaughterhouse, now a public arts centre. It had been given the approval of Manuela Carmena's city council.
This was revealed by Spanish newspaper El País, which says that the judge has suspended the council's authorisation as a cautionary measure, after it was appealed by the Partido Popular (Popular Party).
The judge has suspended the city's authorisation to use the space, believing that it could go against the Constitutional Court's rulings on the Referendum Law, passed by the Catalan parliament last week and subsequently suspended by the magistrates.
Last Monday, the PP group in Madrid's City Council presented an appeal to ask for the event to be cancelled, invoking the Constitutional Court's resolutions which have suspended both the Referendum Law and the decree officially calling the referendum. PP also criticises the mayor, Manuela Carmena, for having ceded city premises for an event which, they say, "is an exaltation of the illegal referendum".
The event, called "In Madrid for the Right to Decide", was meant to involve a number of speeches, accompanied by poems, videos and songs.
The use of the location had been requested by a former candidate for Carmena's Ahora Madrid party. Specifically, by Pedro Casas Álvarez, number 41 on the party's list of candidates for the City Council in 2014.