Report by two Scotland Yard officials says police raid protests were ‘peaceful’
Accusations of assault on ministry ahead of the 2017 referendum ‘not supported by evidence’
A report from two high-ranking police officials in Scotland Yard has concluded that the crowd of roughly 40,000 people gathered at the economy ministry on September 20, 2017 was “peaceful,” and that the alleged assault attempt on the government building is “not supported by evidence.”
The two security experts in the UK’s police headquarters writing the report also came to the outcome that on the day of the referendum, October 1, "effective" and "successful" actions were combined with "indiscriminate, unwanted and disproportionate use" of force by Spanish Police.
"We have not seen any evidence of violence organized during the day, nor routinely throwing objects to the police ... nor anything that has caused us concern in terms of violence," the Scotland Yard report asserts.
The conclusions in the report have been released by El Diario in Spain and The Times in the United Kingdom. The document was shared with Supreme Court in Madrid to be used in the defense of Jordi Cuixart in the Catalan trial, however Spain’s highest court rejected using the file.
To prevent the vote, according to their calculations, 90,000 agents would have been deployed.
The “peaceful crowd” that had gathered at the economy ministry were protesting the raids by Spanish police of the Catalan public building that had begun earlier in the day. The raids were part of a larger operation put into action to disrupt the logistics of the Catalan independence referendum on October 1, 2017.
Jordi Cuixart is the president of pro-independence civic group Òmnium Cultural, a non-profit cultural organization dating back to 1961.
Cuixart, along with fellow activist Jordi Sànchez, the former president of the Catalan National Assembly, is currently being tried for his part in the Catalan independence bid in 2017. Their alleged crimes center on the organization of this protest outside the economy ministry on September 20 ahead of the referendum.