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The widespread reactions of disgust and anger following Spanish prosecutors' demands for heavy sentences and charges of rebellion against the Catalan political prisoners have led to the rise to viral status of a new social media hashtag: #JoAcuso - "I accuse" in Catalan. In fact, it's not exactly new, but rather a variation on the famous J'Accuse, the article written by author Emile Zola in 1898 to denounce the legal injustice committed in France's landmark Dreyfus case. Now, in November 2018, it's been adopted to share and describe indefensible actions by the Spanish state in relation to Catalonia's independence process.

Some of those who have intoned the "I accuse" line have been well-known figures. Catalan president Quim Torra has adopted the tag to accuse the Spanish state "of having stolen years of life from innocent and honourable people". He has also blamed the state "for pitting the force and violence of all its powers against the peaceful and democratic ideals of the freedom and independence of Catalonia".

Former leader of the non-aligned Commons group in Catalonia Xavier Domènech, who withdrew suddenly from politics in September, has also put the tag to use to make accusations against “judges who with their resolutions have demanded that laws be ripped up” and “prosecutors who say they are defending their “independence” by making accusations of crimes that ”didn't exist”. Finally, Domènech has denounced "a Spanish state that will end up accused and sentenced itself, in international courts".

The pro-independence group Òmnium Cultural - whose president, Jordi Cuixart, has been in "pre-trial" jail for over a year, accused of rebellion - has accused "a Spanish state which judges democracy, imprisons men and women of peace, and violates fundamental rights". It has posted a GIF accusing the Spanish state of being "demophobic, authoritarian, repressive and antidemocratic".

The former mayor of Badalona, Dolors Sabater, has also joined the initiative, giving "maximum support" to the many who are facing "political imprisonment, prosecutions and reprisals" from the judicial action of the Spanish state. "We are you, and you are us," she says, to a long list of people affected (spread over two tweets). 

Many other twitter users have also "accused" the state for its judicial action against the political prisoners in relation to the protest on 20th September last year, the referendum of 1st October and the declaration of independence on 27th October.

I accuse the Spanish government of beating up, insulting, attacking, persecuting, ill-treating, shooting, provoking, striking, threatening, imprisoning, trampling and stealing. #JoAcuso — Jordi VM

I accuse the Spanish state and I put myself at the disposal of my people to go on strike indefinitely. I call for unity in the Catalan government and that we show some balls and ovaries for once. — ivet 

We accuse the Spanish state of stealing the rights of all Catalans.
We accuse the Spanish state of oppressing us, of colonizing us (because they treat us like a colony), of hating us .#JoAcuso — Firefighters for the Republic 

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