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The Catalan political prisoners have decided to initiate a series of protest actions against the Constitutional Court, which Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull have begun this Saturday by going on an indefinite hunger strike. The other five political prisoners who are also in Lledoners prison —Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Cuixart, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva and Quim Forn— will in the next few days announce what initiatives they intend to take, as will Carme Forcadell and Dolors Bassa, held in the Mas d'Enric and Puig de les Basses jails respectively. The hunger strike, a clearly exceptional step, has been undertaken by Sànchez and Turull in the face of the clear bad faith of Spain's Constitutional Court, which has systematically blocked all appeals lodged against their preventive jailing, ignoring what the law lays down, which is that these complaints must be resolved in a period of 30 days. The first such appeal was presented no less than 365 days ago and has not received any response.

It is evident that the objective of the Catalan pro-independence prisoners' protest actions is to show up the Spanish state before the international community as intolerant, undemocratic and willing to flout the law to achieve its aims - in this case, mostly through the idea that the more time the Constitutional Court takes to respond to the prisoners, the more time will go by before the European courts get to make a ruling. A complete disgrace that leaves the prisoners in a state of absolute defenceless before the law. The contempt with which the Spanish government's prime minister greeted the news of Sànchez and Turull's hunger strike shows the extent to which the Socialist executive has been marching to a different beat since giving its support to article 155 and the suspension of the Catalan institutions of self-government. Pedro Sánchez has not stepped out of this vicious circle, while the international community follows the situation of political prisoners with more and more interest.

The hunger strike by Sànchez and Turull and the rest of the actions to be taken by the other prisoners also break the stagnation that had begun to infect the independence movement, a certain sensation of apathy while waiting for the referendum case trials to open in the Supreme Court, an event which still has no date, although the unanimous view is that it will be at the beginning of next year. This new dynamic once again places the focus on the prisoners as well as the pro-independence parties, civil society groups ANC and Òmnium, and on the requirement for strategic unity, something that right now is far from a reality.

The Catalan independence movement must be united in its support of the initiatives taken by the prisoners, who in addition to their clearly unfair jailing also the most basic violations of all their rights. A hunger strike is a very serious message to send to the Spanish state, busy fighting its own wars down in the sewers and still to find out how they will end up affecting the monarchy.