Read in Catalan

Well yes. What do you want me to tell you. Listening to the calm statements, of great dignity and democratic strength, of an emotiveness that's very hard to explain in just a few lines, from people with deep democratic convictions, for more than two hours, in a document for history, has been very tough. Nothing prepares you to see how people you are fond of are preparing themselves for draconian sentences, people with whom you've spent many hours over the years. With all of them, some more and some fewer. People, none of whom want to be martyrs, but who have no bad blood, bad gestures or over-the-top words.

Political and social leaders who accept their destiny as links in a chain for Catalonia's national fight, for freedoms and for the recognition of the right to self-determination, something which today means agreeing on a referendum. Catalan nationalism previously and the independence movement today have a fundamental characteristic: perseverance. Something which, at the worst times, at the most difficult moments, brings light in the dark. That which a Mariano Rajoy overwhelmed by the hyperactivity of initiatives by the pro-independence base found no better way to describe than with that "los catalanes hacen cosas" (the Catalans do things).

Sometimes it's a speech, others a gesture or a simple look. On this occasion, it was a sentence. Said by the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, after 604 days in prison (alongside Jordi Sànchez, the longest of any of them in pretrial detention) and with his characteristic vehemence: "Ho tornarem a fer" (we'll do it again). Cuixart was speaking for himself but those four words included the starting point for the new stage which is getting underway now and moving towards to the verdicts. Date: 12th June 2019.

They were hours of great tension as, unlike the public prosecutors or the others prosecutions which limited themselves to doing their jobs or what they were ordered to do by their superiors, the twelve democrats sitting in the dock, each of them with their personal experiences and their own situation (nine of them in prison, three free), had had the day for their final statements marked in their diaries for many weeks and had worked hard on what they were going to say in the fifteen minutes they were each given by the Supreme Court. They didn't protest the limited time they had been granted by judge Marchena and all of them left an idea to be able to construct an account of their statements.

One by one, Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Quim Forn, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Jordi Sànchez, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa, Jordi Cuixart, Santi Vila, Meritxell Borràs and Carles Mundó sat at that small table facing the panel of judges and defended themselves from the accusations and the enormous lies that have been heard over four months and fifty-two sessions, almost all of them morning and afternoon.

Even in a room like the one in the Supreme Court and before judges who are apparently numb to what was happening there, all their statements echoed and echoed between those four walls which have seen everything during their long history. How is it that although the year has 365 days, even the dates are the same? On 6th June 1935, the Court of Constitutional Guarantees sentenced, with ten votes in favour and eight against, Lluís Companys and the members of his Catalan government to 30 years' imprisonment and banned them from holding public office. Issue 163 of the Gaceta de Madrid dated 12th June(!) of that same year published it in its pages 2123 and on and included the dissenting opinion from the dissident judges who called for their acquittal with an argument which could easily work today: "The defendants should be acquitted; judgement can only be passed on their conduct by public opinion in the field of politics and by History".