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Government commits to ‘moving forward’ towards Catalan republic

Cabinet, Barcelona mayor, and pro-independence movement among those praising referendum on second anniversary

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01 October 2019 02:33 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The Catalan government is committed to work towards achieving independence.

At an event held on Tuesday, the day marking the second anniversary of the October 1, 2017 self-determination referendum, cabinet members pledged to peacefully “move forward, without excuses, towards a Catalan republic.”

President Quim Torra and vice president Pere Aragonès read a solemn statement signed by the cabinet members at the government headquarters.

“Undeniable commitment to peace”

Their promise came “with an undeniable and unquestionable commitment to peace, dialogue, people’s will, voting and democracy.”

The president also remembered the referendum two years ago as “the founding day of today’s republicanism in Catalonia.”

“That day, Catalonia’s society was empowered and faced brutality.”

On Tuesday morning, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau also referred to the incidents of two years ago. “We all have the October 1 [vote] fixed in our memories,” she tweeted. “The city council supports the citizens that were attacked by an unjustifiable two-day police operation.”

Barcelona city council calls for investigation into police officers

Colau referred to the fact that the institution she leads is acting as private prosecutor against police officers and the heads of that operation. Indeed, on Tuesday Barcelona’s city council asked for an inquiry to be opened into 28 law enforcement officials that were at work in the Catalan capital on that day.

Eight officers in charge of the operation in Barcelona are already being investigated for their role in the crackdown.

After a small early morning protest in Girona, several events commemorating the vote were held throughout the morning, including a symbolic vote in Sant Julià de Ramis on whether October 1 should become a local bank holiday.

Sant Julià de Ramis is home to the polling station where then president Carles Puigdemont was supposed to vote. Yet, due to police crackdown, his ballot was cast elsewhere.

Joint event in Barcelona

Political and civic leaders in favor of Catalan independence also held an event in the Barcelona city center to mark the day. On everyone’s mind was the impending referendum trial verdict, with speakers confident the decision will be unfavorable for the jailed leaders, and as such dubbed the potential guilty sentence as “intolerable injustice.”

During the event, journalist Martí Anglada mentioned the “violation” of rights such as that to protest and to political participation. Former CUP MP David Fernàndez encouraged the Catalan people to participate in a “massive” and “diverse” response to a potential guilty verdict.

President of the Catalan National Assembly, Elisenda Paluzie, also drove these sentiments home, calling for society to “stand firmly under the principles of non-violence” while also condemning Spain’s “repression,” and mentioning the recent imprisonments of seven Catalan pro-independence activists.

Protest in Brussels

Other places that were home to Spanish police violence on that day, like the southern town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita, commemorated 2017’s events.

October 1, 2017 was also remembered by some of the ministers and president at the time in Brussels.

Carles Puigdemont, along with four of his former ministers, attended a protest outside the European Parliament and pledged to “not give up fighting.”

The protest was attended by some 30 people, some of which are MEPs.

Later on the day, Puigdemont spoke at an event by the Council of the Republic, a pro-independence platform he leads from Brussels. He invited all pro-independence parties to attend an upcoming assembly to decide how to respond to the verdict of the independence trial.

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