Barcelona council joins October 1 lawsuits against Spanish police
City councilor says participation in proceedings ensures cases are not closed due to prosecutor’s “passivity”
Barcelona city council has joined all the lawsuits underway in the city that have been brought against the Spanish police and the Guardia Civil for their actions during the independence referendum on October 1. State police used force in an attempt to prevent the voting after the Catalan government decided to defy a court ruling and go ahead with the vote.
Calling the incidents of October 1 among the “darkest” episodes in the city’s history, citizens rights councilor, Jaume Asens, yesterday accused the Spanish authorities of “institutional violence” at all levels. Asens explained that the city council had decided to participate in all the proceedings to prevent cases being closed due to the public prosecutor’s “passivity”.
Asens described the council’s decision to join all the ongoing lawsuits in the city against state police, and not just the most serious ones, as "coherent" and in line with its principles. Asens said that Spanish police “attacked defenseless people who just wanted to exercise their political rights and we do not want to let them down.”
Referring to the incidents of police violence on October 1, Asens claimed that certain statements since made by state representatives have made things worse. In particular, Asens was critical of Spanish government spokesman, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, for trying to “rewrite the history of October 1,” something he described as an “insult” to the public.