Once again this Sunday, Barcelona has been the scene of a massive demonstration, just on six months after the day when Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart were imprisoned. On 16th October 2017 the "Jordis", the then-presidents of the two major Catalan pro-independence civil groups Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural, were sent to jail on remand and there they continue, arbitrarily and unfairly deprived not only of their liberty but also of rights that they should still be fully entitled to at this stage of their cases. Just as, in other Madrid penitentiaries, members of the Catalan government deposed by article 155 and the former speaker of the Catalan Parliament continue to be held unjustly, and just as president Puigdemont and four further ministers continue in exile.
The independence movement has been pursued by the Spanish state far beyond anything written in the law. International institutions and organisations denounce this reality and world public opinion is starting to discover a Spain that is very different from the one it imagined. A Spain with a democracy of very poor quality, which makes indiscriminate use of force against its own citizens, which is incapable of opening any negotiation. A repressive state in which rights and freedoms are taking giant steps backwards.
It was because of this that hundreds of thousands of people went out to the streets again today. So that the world knows and hears what Catalans are asking for, in Berlin, in Brussels, in London and in Switzerland. With yellow ribbons and in the Catalan way. As many times as it is necessary, people will fill the streets, until the current situation is brought to an end.
Since 2010 in Catalonia there have been exceptional demonstrations that have surprised the world because of both their enormous scale and their civic spirit. This Sunday's protest, however, had two special focuses: the call to release the Catalan prisoners and the attention centred on Germany, where Carles Puigdemont is currently on bail. Behind the slogan "For rights and freedoms, for democracy and cohesion. We want you home", the people have once again responded to the call to express themselves peacefully and freely. As always. However much the state insists on an imaginary violence, on street destruction and on a whole string of lies. The best answer is, as always, through democracy and the ballot box. Which the Spanish authorities have not shown any respect for since the results of last December's election.