A call for a new approach to protests from the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC). On Saturday, the civil society group's president Elisenda Paluzie, called for a "switch from classical mobilizations to more direct actions" as well as to "take risks", always following the principles of "non-violent struggle and peaceful resistance". Paluzie was speaking at the end of an overnight occupation of the European Commission's office in Barcelona, in protest at the EU's role as an accomplice to repression in Catalonia.
In a speech at the end of the occupation, Paluzie said that the protest represented "a change in the actions that the ANC is taking", explaining that this change of strategy is due to the fact that, with the transfer of the political prisoners to Madrid and with not long to go until the start of the independence trial, "we are in another situation, one of repression." "We will hound people as much as we can," Paluzie continued, "today we have bothered them a little and we will continue to do so, we will not normalize this situation." For Paluzie, the political repression which she believes is taking place must not make the ANC lose sight of its political objectives and, therefore, it is committing itself to actions which will "weaken the pillars of the power that oppresses us".
The EU, an accomplice to repression
In addition, the ANC president voiced a strong complaint against the European institutions, assuring, from right outside the European Commission's Barcelona office, that "the European Union is an accomplice to the Spanish state's repression." She added that "the EU cannot demand from the rest of the world what it does not enforce at home", given that it is effectively backing the repression carried out by Spain. Paluzie also recalled that "many of the states within the EU are the consequences of the right to self-determination" pointing out that the reunification of Germany was the result of the exercise of this right.
As well, the ANC leader called for the independence movement to "mark the agenda," demanded the cancellation of the trial because "it is political" and concluded giving the message that they will continue "with determination until reaching victory".
Earlier, ANC vice-president Pep Cruanyes had said that "self-determination is a right" and it is also "the guarantee of fraternity and peace among peoples", also speaking of protest actions: the group would continue "with peaceful resistance actions until freedom is achieved" because "the rights of the peoples of Europe depend on those rights being respect in the Spanish states" and because "human rights are part of the EU's foundations."
Around twenty activists occupied the European Commission's office in Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia from Friday night until 11am on Saturday, while others assembled outside, with banners bearing the slogans "Fake Justice" and "Democracy on trial", in protest against the upcoming independence trial and the EU's failure to act against the repression in Catalonia.