#FreeForcadell Platform call for freedom for jailed Catalan leaders
Attendees encouraged support for Thursday´s general strike
The #FreeForcadell platform held an event in the Teatro Luchada in Madrid on Wednesday in support of the former Catalan Parliament speaker, Carme Forcadell, who will soon testify in the trial of independence leaders.
Among those attending the event to show support for the incarcerated Catalan leader were Forcadell´s successor, Roger Torrent, and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau.
Also in attendance were all the former Catalan Parliament speakers who are still alive today, as well as dozens of MPs and former MPs from the Parliament and the Spanish Congress.
The group called for the release of all jailed pro-independence leaders, and demanded a political rather than a judicial solution to the conflict, as well as calling on people to support the general strike set for Thursday, February 21.
Torrent calls for "democratic solution"
Reading from the manifesto, Torrent called for "a democratic solution" to the Catalan conflict "voted for by the public," adding that the charges against Forcadell "seriously harm the principles of democratic parliamentarianism."
Meanwhile, former Catalan Parliament speaker, Joan Rigol, said Forcadell is accused of offenses "that she did not commit," as in Spanish law the crime of rebellion "is only applicable in cases of violent and public uprising."
The platform's manifesto states "there was no violent uprising" in Catalonia and "neither rebellion nor sedition took place," and says the charges against the leaders "attempt to criminalize the legitimate exercise of basic rights."
Charges "unjustifiable," says former speaker
For another former speaker, Ernest Benach, Forcadell refused to censure debate "and precisely for defending parliamentarianism in the face of illegitimate interference, today is jailed and victim of an unjustifiable accusation."
The platform's manifesto also defended the right to self-determination, which is supported by "a broad majority of Catalans," and which is a "legitimate aim that cannot be answered by permanent refusal on behalf of the state, and even less with repression."