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Òmnium VP urges self-determination as response to guilty verdict in Catalan trial

In an interview with ACN, Marcel Mauri calls for "consensus" in pro-independence lobby to face "repressive" state action

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18 July 2019 12:03 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Exercising the right to self-determination should be the collective response to a guilty verdict in the trial of Catalan pro-independence leaders prosecuted in Spain's Supreme Court for organizing the 2017 independence referendum.

That is according to Marcel Mauri, the vice president of the grassroots Òmnium association, whose president, Jordi Cuixart, is one of the leaders charged with rebellion, and who is still in custody awaiting a verdict by the high court judges.

Talking to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) this week, Mauri gave no details on how he thinks a self-determination vote should be organized, but he is clear that "the right to vote is won by voting."

"If necessary we'll vote as many times as we have to," he added.

Non-violent civil disobedience

Mauri is also sure about another thing: that any action taken by society following a possible guilty verdict has to be based on "non-violent struggle and civil disobedience" as the way to transform the "unjust situations and laws."

  • "The right to vote is won by voting, if necessary we'll vote as many times as we have to"

    Marcel Mauri · Òmnium's vice president

Òmnium's deputy head is also critical of acting Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, who he accuses of showing "little willingness to find solutions" and an "inability to take risks." Sánchez has ruled out even discussing the possibility of a self-determination vote.

Divisions "weaken us"

Referring to recent splits between Catalonia's pro-independence parties, Mauri calls for "consensus" and a "broad" response to the actions of a "repressive" state, as divisions in the independence lobby merely "weakens" the cause. 

"If we are weakened, it makes it much more difficult to be able to set the tone of negotiation, dialogue and response when faced with such serious situations," he said.

"Minimal consensus"

For Mauri, the political parties "have to be capable of maintaining their own dynamics while prioritizing minimal consensus so as to respond to the repression and return a shared national horizon to politics." 

Yet, one of the most immediate challenges facing the pro-independence camp is the imminent verdict on the jailed leaders: "Anything other than an acquittal will be an act of vengeance by the state," warns Mauri.

Greater public involvement

To counter this, Mauri calls on the pro-independence government and parliamentary majority to reach a "strategic consensus," and for the executive to "come up with a response to complement that from political parties, civil society and the public."

Above all, the Òmnium VP appeals to the public to become more involved, warning that the reaction to a guilty verdict has to be more than just a demonstration. Mauri wants to see a longer-term public response that involves "the maximum number of citizens."

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  • The vicepresident of Òmnium, Marcel Mauri, during an interview with the Catalan News Agency in July 2017 (by Rafa Garrido)

  • The vicepresident of Òmnium, Marcel Mauri, during an interview with the Catalan News Agency in July 2017 (by Rafa Garrido)

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