Catalan independence movement on trial: for a united republican front against repression!

This is a joint statement by Revolució (IMT Catalonia) and Lucha de Clases (IMT Spanish State). On 2 November, the Spanish State Attorney made public the sentences it is seeking in the trial of leading participants in last year's Catalan independence referendum on 1 October 2017.

Read the statement in Catalan and Spanish.

For the nine accused of rebellion, the prosecutor asks for a range of sentences: 25 years in jail for Oriol Junqueras (Catalan vice president); 17 years for Jordi Cuixart (Òmnium Cultural), Jordi Sanchez (Catalan National Assembly) and Carme Forcadell (Catalan Parliament President); and 16 years for the other five (Catalan Ministers Turull, Forn, Romeva, Rull and Bassa). For the additional nine accused, the prosecutor asks for sentences ranging from 10 years in jail to a 10-month, 100-EUR-a-day fine for the crimes of disobedience and misuse of public funds. The 12 accused face a total of 177 years in jail. Their only crime is wanting to exercise the democratic right of self-determination.

Faced with this situation we:

  • Reject the decision of the State Prosecutor, who is asking for the highest possible sentences for the most serious possible crimes, which shows a vengeful attempt to impose an exemplary punishment. This is the penal doctrine an enemy imposes on those defeated on the battlefield.
  • The crime of rebellion (and also sedition, used by the State’s Advocate) are inherited from the Franco-era penal code, almost without alteration, revealing the real character of the 1978 regime: one of continuation, not a break, with the dictatorship.
  • Even within the narrow limits of Spanish legality, the accused cannot be found guilty of rebellion nor sedition, crimes that require a “violent uprising” or “the use of force”, something that was completely absent from the events in which the accused were involved.
  • The reason for this sentencing request by the State’s Attorney lies in the character of the 1978 regime, for whom the exercise of the right of self-determination represents a threat to one of its fundamental pillars. It therefore requires an exemplary punishment in order to prevent any repetition.
  • This is clearly a political trial against the right of self-determination.
  • This trial is not only a threat against the Catalan sovereignty movement, but also against democratic rights in the Spanish State in general. The repression being used today against the Catalan republican movement will be used as a precedent against anyone who dares raise their voice against any of the component parts of the 1978 regime (the monarchy, the unity of Spain guaranteed by the armed forces, the impunity of the crimes of the Franco regime, the private property of the means of production, etc).

Catalonia CUP general strikeThe task we are facing is that of building general mobilisations, which will shake the foundations of the regime and will force it to backtrack / Image: public domain

It is necessary to build a Republican United Front Against Repression and in Defence of Democratic Rights. The task we are facing is that of building general mobilisations, which will shake the foundations of the regime and will force it to backtrack. This is not the time to limit ourselves to grandiose, institutional statements. We need mass mobilisations, demonstrations, a general strike and civil disobedience. It is crucial to involve the left in the Spanish State in this struggle and to carry out the mobilisation also outside of Catalonia. Unidos Podemos should join this front if it is serious about fighting for the Republic and in defence of basic democratic rights.

Free all political prisoners! Drop all charges against those in exile!

Take to the streets to force the Spanish State back!

This resolution, demanding the release of Catalan political prisoners, was passed unanimously at the IMT's World Congress in 2018.