More than 700 Catalan mayors protest Spain's backlash
In a show of unity, mayors who got summoned to court for supporting the independence referendum meet in Barcelona
In a show of unity against the backlash from Spain, more than 700 Catalan mayors who got summoned to court this week for supporting the October 1 referendum met on Saturday in Barcelona. The gathering comes at a moment of unprecedented political tension over the independence vote, which the Catalan government has promised to carry out despite suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court.
Mayors closed ranks with the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, who also attended the event. “Do not underestimate the force of the Catalan people,” he said, responding to previous comments by Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, who warned pro-independence supporters not to “underestimate the force of Spanish democracy.”
“Do not underestimate the force of the Catalan people”
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
“We’re here to express a strong condemnation,” Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said speaking in front of elected officials. “We’re here to condemn that more than 700 mayors in our country, just because they are committed to helping Catalonia being able to decide its future, with Catalans being able to vote, just because of this they have been intimidated, they have been summoned by Spain’s Attorney General, and they have even been threatened with being arrested.”
The vote in Barcelona
After weeks of uncertainty, the city council of Barcelona and the Catalan government reached an agreement over the independence vote polling stations on Thursday, thus paving the way for the city’s approximate million eligible voters to participate in the referendum.
Most of Catalonia’s 948 municipalities support the referendum and will facilitate the vote, but the city councils of some major towns — such as Tarragona, Lleida and Catalonia’s second largest city, l’Hospitalet de Llobregat — have already made it clear they will not collaborate.