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Justice has not been done. The sentences are the sad culmination of a judicial instruction that did not respect the procedural guarantees of a democratic and legal state. A judicial process that did not seek justice. The state sought to impose vengeance and punishment. The use and abuse of provisional prison, the accusatory writs of the prosecutors, the creative reports of the Civil Guard and the statements made by Spanish political leaders prejudging decisions which were before the courts are the evidence that demonstrate all the procedural deficiencies of this case against the independence movement. We are being used to try and teach a lesson to millions of people who, in the last few years, have peacefully supported the exercise of the right to self-determination and have mobilized in favour of independence.

The charge of rebellion which was levelled against us has been shown to be a premeditated move with the sole purpose of hijacking the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. The gagging of the voice of millions of Catalans through the suspension of the representatives they chose in an election is enormously grave in democratic terms.

We are proud to have promoted and organized the self-determination referendum. And we invite all citizens of Catalonia to be proud of their behaviour on October 1st and of the dignity shown on that day and the days after.

We maintain intact the conviction that the decision on our collective future belongs only to the people of this country. Our desire to motivate a just and free Catalonia is inseparable from our democratic and peaceful beliefs. For this reason, from the prisons of Lledoners, Puig de les Basses and Mas d'Enric, we publicly reassert our commitment to democracy, in order to continue defending the future of our country with full conviction and determination. Our commitment involves Catalonia becoming an independent state in the form of a republic. But before we are independentists, we are democrats and we will never renounce the principle that it must be the women and men of Catalonia who freely express themselves at the polls to decide the political future of the country.

The political contention in which we are immersed is not new. It comes from afar, and we are aware that we have come a step further in the long road towards the freedom of our country. We want to pay tribute to so many men and women who, in conditions much worse than ours, gave their best to defend the same cause that we represent today, a cause that is none other than the freedom of Catalonia. We especially remember and honour president Lluís Companys, who was tried and convicted of rebellion in 1934 by the equivalent of the Supreme Court of the time, and murdered on 15th October, 1940, which tomorrow will be 79 years ago, via the decision of another Spanish court.

The sentence that condemns us unjustly to 100 years of prison for peacefully defending the right to self-determination is not an obstacle, but just the opposite, to once again expressing our commitment to dialogue and to once more renewing our dedication to find a solution to the conflict via democratic means. 

We encourage citizens to persevere in the dignity that has been shown in recent years, to not lose the capacity to become indignant and rebel against unjust decisions and above all to maintain the hope of conquering a future of justice and freedom through the effective exercise of the right to self-determination.

We call on people to go to the street and make our voice heard everywhere, in a way that is firm, with all the courage that we have the capacity to express and with an incorruptible and unconditional adherence to the principles and practice of non-violence. Let us avoid provocations and disavow through our actions those who want to confuse us and involve us in the practices of violence that we have never endorsed and never will.

From the strength that we are given through the support received from so many people and with the gratitude to all good people who yearn for a more prosperous future and a fairer and freer society and with a special reminder to our families and friends for such love and complicity, we say to you that we will get there!

 

14th October, 2019

Dolors Bassa, Jordi Cuixart, Carme Forcadell, Joaquim Forn, Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull

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