Spain: an unfair, vengeful and loathsome sentence

The ruling of the Supreme Court is an attack on the most fundamental rights and we must reject it on the streets. The Supreme Court has released the sentence of the 12 independence leaders judged by the Procés. There were no disagreements between the seven magistrates presided by Manuel Marchena. They unanimously decided: between 9 and 13 years of prison and disqualification for sedition and embezzlement. The entire case of the prosecution was based on the felony of rebellion with violence, but this was denied by the witnesses. It was such a farce that not even the Supreme Court could support it. The judges consider that there was violence in the protests at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy on September 20, and inside and outside the polling stations on 1-O, but that they were not instigated by the independence activist defendants. In reality, both events were gigantic demonstrations with the participation of the mobilized people, in which the only violence was employed by the repressive agencies of the State.

The court ruled that “tumultuous” mobilizations were promoted to impede the application of laws and justice. Based on this, it has accused the defendants of the crime of sedition: the former vicepresident of the Generalitat Oriol Junqueras, former advisers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Joaquim Forn, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa; the former president of the Parlament Carme Forcadell; and the leaders of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart. Junqueras and the other five former advisers, already incarcerated, were also convicted of embezzlement. The court considers that they used money destined for their departments to carry out the 1-O Referendum, which was declared illegal. This will be applied as a “joinder crime”, that is, not because the use of those funds was proven but due to the consideration that the sedition could not have happen without the embezzlement. The defence has already announced that it will appeal to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. The judicial inquisition is far from over. There are still six independence activists in exile, including the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont, who the court hopes to judge through the reactivation of arrest warrants. And there are hundreds of prosecuted and persecuted activists such as Adri, Tamara, Laia and Lluís or the detainees of 23S in Sabadell.

The whole trial was a farce, it was vengeful, unfair and intimidating. It was not centred on the truth of the facts but on employing an exemplary punishment on the independence activists, in line with the strategy ordered by the political power. This confirms once again that this justice is dependent of the political power. Its judges are its designated employees, acting as the legal arm of those who try to solve Spain´s enormous political problems by criminalizing and punishing those who think differently and fight for their cause. There are 12 convicts, but the ruling is aimed against the two million Catalans who voted in the October 1st Referendum. It sat the people on the bench and condemned them.

The institutions of the regime of ´78 are absolutely expired, they cannot offer progressive solutions to the democratic and social demands of the great majority of workers or to the demands of the peoples of the Spanish State. The monarchist parliamentary regime, born out of Franco and shaped by the protagonists and accomplices of the Transition, is increasingly retrograde, anachronistic and repressive. Today this is mainly expressed against the Catalans, but also against everyone through the Gag Law, the cuts of democratic freedoms, the austerity and the limitation of social rights at the expense of satisfying the EU, the World Bank and the IMF.

The mask of the European “advanced democracies” fell off, unveiling the repression of social and democratic demands, violations of immigrants’ human rights with the xenophobia of the governments and people they let die in the Mediterranean Sea, attacks on workers’ conquests with brutal labour reforms, lay-offs, low wages, expensive rents and the destruction of the public health and education systems. The only use of the EU imperialist bloc is guaranteeing the profits of big business and the bankers, limiting liberties and imposing its borders on the European peoples. The EU is one of the jailers of the Catalan people, systematically denying the recognition of their right to self-determination.

We will not receive the sentences with resignation or with our arms crossed, in fact the response of the people has already begun. Despite everything, the Catalan people continues mobilizing for the freedom of its political prisoners and its right to self-determination. The ´78 regime is aware that the sentences are rejected by the people and it has responded: with the threat of applying Art. 155 again and with a measure that began to be applied last Saturday. It consists of the deployment of 20,000 more cops and civil guards in Catalonia, ordered by the Interior Ministry. The active Mossos de Esquadra will be joined by an extra 1000 riot police. Those responsible for this situation are the King, the PP, the PSOE and those who back this, such as Ciudadanos and Vox.

This new abuse by the Spanish State must be strongly rejected in Catalonia, and by the peoples of Europe and around the world. Those who call themselves republican, progressive or leftist should be the first to condemn the actions of the regime. From SOL, as a member of the International Socialist League, we will continue fighting with the Catalan people on the streets. Mass mobilizations, disobedience and a general strike for the freedom of the political prisoners and those exiled, and for the right to the self-determination.