A surprise message from prison: Junqueras speaks out to supporters
"We will end this disgrace, we will not let this steamroller pass through whole country," dismissed vice-president's voice heard for first time since imprisonment
The head of Esquerra Republicana’s (ERC) list, and dismissed Catalan vice-president currently in prison, made a surprise appearance on Friday at one of the party’s campaign events in the heart of Barcelona. Much to the astonishment of the crowd, Oriol Junqueras’ voice filled the air in his first spoken message since he was incarcerated after the application of Article 155.
From his cell, using a mobile phone, he recorded the audio and wrote a letter to accompany it, for paper and sound slip through bars much easier than flesh and bone. Taking advantage of the ERC event in El Born, one of the more touristy areas in the centre of the Catalan capital, Junqueras made his first audible appearance since campaigning began. Although still under lock and key, held without bail over charges of rebellion, he showed supporters how he was there in spirit, as the saying goes.
Fellow ERC members Gabriel Rufián and Joan Tardà, also read his letter to the crowd in which he pledged the party would “continue on the path, and dreaming until the dream is realized, with an extended and firm hand, resistant and solid as oak.” ERC, Junqueras wrote for supporters, “will face once again any attempt to destroy co-existence and fracture society.”
"We will end this disgrace, we will not let this steamroller pass through the whole country," his message broadcast loud and clear.
In his audio recording, the candidate took his reflections a step further, calling on Catalans to “vote ERC” as a large photo of him dominated the stage and the crowds applauded. The two-dimensional impression of the imprisoned pro-independence leader also received a standing ovation in an emotional moment for all those present.
“In the construction of the future, the most important thing is the path we follow together with all our fellow citizens,” he said, his words taking longer than usual to reach their destination. “We want a country for everyone, and it will only be for everyone if everyone can feel it and help build it,” the audio, recorded a few hours before the event, went on. Junqueras highlighted the values of “honesty, rigor, and vocation for work,” specifying the need for more productive and worthy jobs.