Since last Monday, the day when the arrests of nine independence supporters took place, Catalan society has been both outraged and stunned by the barrage of rumours beaten up into news stories, leaks from the Civil Guard and scandalous headlines aimed at nothing else than establishing a nexus of union to allow the Catalan independence movement to be linked first with violence and now directly with terrorism.
When you thought you'd seen it all in the lies and ignominies of the last few years, having witnessed, dumbfounded and incredulous, as a narrative of rebellion was assembled against the Catalan government, its parliament and the leaders of the ANC and Òmnium civil groups, who will soon be given harsh sentences from the Supreme Court, and when you are already lost for words to describe the machinations activated against Catalonia and against the truth, perhaps the only things you can appeal to are serenity and firmness.
The serenity and the firmness to avoid being dragged into the swamps prepared by those who for a long time have wanted - and have failed - to convert Catalonia into a mudbath, people who are completely at ease about inventing terrorist organizations in order to tell a tale, both here and abroad, of a terrorism in Catalonia which doesn't exist. What a coincidence: not very long before the Spanish elections on 10th November and even closer to the Supreme Court's announcement of the referendum trial verdicts.
And, in particular, before the new requests for extradition of the exiled Catalan leaders in Brussels, Geneva and Edinburgh. Might it be that someone in the upper echelons of Spanish judicial power believes that extradition for terrorism could be easier than extradition for rebellion which was already denied in Germany and Belgium? Might it be that this new context is being built in response to the fear of another rejection from European justice and that this is why the prosecutor in the National Audience spoke of "the construction of a Catalan Republic, without ruling out violence"?
The Catalan independence movement is radically peaceful by conviction and because this is the path it has chosen. There are the more than two million Catalans who have taken part in the so-called "revolution of smiles", who have gone to mass demonstrations, who have won all the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia since the year 2012 - when the movement entered the institutions led by Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras, and later with Carles Puigdemont at its head; Catalans who have faced state repression without any other protection than their own bodies, and who today are facing reprisals, in some cases, and imprisonment and pending trials in others. And all of them called into question for giving political support to a peaceful referendum on Catalan independence.