Jailed civil leaders remain defiant in letter to pro-independence supporters
Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez restate commitment to "peacefully" working towards a republic on anniversary of September 20 police raids
Two jailed civil society leaders have released a joint letter that will be read out during Thursday's demonstration in Barcelona to commemorate the raids a year ago by Spanish police attempting to prevent the October 1 independence referendum from taking place.
In the letter, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, who were key figures on September 20 last year when Guardia Civil police raided official buildings looking for evidence to stop the vote, say in the letter that they would do the same again, despite ending up in prison charged with sedition.
During the raids, thousands gathered to protest outside the buildings affected, and in the letter, the two leaders praise the "determination in the defense of freedom, democracy and our institutions seen that day a year ago."
Cuixart, the head of the Òmnium Cultural organization, and Sànchez, former head of the Catalan National Assembly and now an MP, restate in the letter their commitment to protesting "with dignity, civically, peacefully as we have always done in our demonstrations."
At the center of the protests that day, the two men were later accused of sedition and put in prison to await trial. They have now been behind bars for almost a year and have become the focal point for an ongoing campaign to have jailed Catalan political leaders released.
The men also link the September 20 events to the unilateral independence referendum that followed on October 1, saying that the determination they witnessed that day convinced them that "we would get to vote simply because we were determined to do so."
Cuixart and Sànchez also refer to their situation in prison, saying, "you know our imprisonment is unjust as our trial is unjust," and they accuse the judges and prosecutors handling their case of lying "to keep us locked up in prison and with our punishment punish you and therefore silence all of you."
The two leaders end their letter predicting that "sooner or later their lies and injustice will fall. And when that happens, we will still be standing, smiling and determined to continue the journey at your side to democratically win the right to be a Republic.