November 13th demonstration. “For democracy, let us defend our institutions”

vista-aereaThe show of support for those prosecuted for Catalonia’s sovereignty process overflows Barcelona’s Avinguda María Cristina 

Convened by the ANC, Omnium and the AMI, thousands of people have again taken to the streets to defend democracy in the face of the Spanish State’s attacks through the court.

During the massive event held today in Barcelona, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Omnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) reaffirmed that the siege in the courts will not prevent either the holding of the referendum or the sovereignty process itself. In this regard, AMI president Neus Lloveras said that “we will not allow them to attack our elected officials or our institutions. When they attack one of our people, they attack us all”.
 
Òmnium Cultural president Jordi Cuixart, called for a permanent mobilization: “This is not going to be a matter of demonstrating once a year (on September 11, Catalonia’s National Day) but of taking to the streets whenever necessary”. He also recalled that “this is not about flags, parties or personalities; this is about democracy and defending those who represent us through a mandate from the polls.” The ANC president, Jordi Sànchez, insisted that “we will come out again, whenever necessary, wherever necessary and for as long as necessary. We will!”
 
The Delegation of the Spanish Government in Catalonia and the State Attorney General, among others, have opened some 407 court cases against elected officials and Catalan institutions. They are charged with breaching the Kingdom of Spain’s Law of symbols and flags, of abuse of authority and disobedience, inciting rebellion and sedition, misuse of public funds and usurpation of functions. These charges are related to reports that they failed to hoist the red and yellow flag of the Kingdom of Spain, that they withdrew the portrait of the King of Spain, that they opened their council to serve the public on Spain’s national day (October 12th), that they promote “fiscal sovereignty”, that they debated and voted in support of the Parliament of Catalonia’s “Disconnection” Resolution 1/XI, that their councils declared themselves as “free and sovereign Catalan territory”, that they pay the annual quota of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), they they let the AMI use municipal premises, or that they hired trains to allow locals to travel to Barcelona for “La Diada” (Catalonia’s National Day) in 2012. Apart from these “offences” committed by municipal institutions, we can add the special ones of having allowed the non-binding sovereignty poll in cardboard ballot boxes on November 9, 2014 (president Mas, and ministers Rigau, Ortega and Homs) and of allowing the debate on the conclusions of the Parliament of Catalonia Study Commission on the constituent process (Speaker Carme Forcadell).
 
Today’s mobilization once again highlighted the unity and transversality of the process in the face of the sytematic refusal of the Spanish Government to engage in political dialogue. Apart from the defendants themselves, representatives of practically all the Catalan political parties (some of which are not openly pro-independence), trade unions and social organizations showed their support for Catalonia’s institutions and democratically elected officials in the face of attacks on such basic rights as the freedom of expression, freedom of participation and the right to freely decide our political future as a people.

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