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C’s says it’s ‘obvious’ there is ‘violence’ in Catalonia

The secretary general of the unionist party adds his party offices are being “attacked” and their members “cannot walk freely” in the street

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01 April 2018 05:50 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

It’s “obvious” that there is “violence” in Catalonia due to the independence process, said on Sunday Miguel Gutiérrez, secretary general of Ciutadans, the biggest party in Parliament and one of the stronger defenders of Spain’s unity. “Our offices are being attacked, our candidates cannot walk freely, and to me, this is violence,” said Gutiérrez.

The MP said it is “regrettable” to use “violence against people that think differently” and added that street protests “should not be used to demand, especially with violence, things that only divide society.”

The C’s MPs comments came as the Spanish Home Affairs Minister also accused the independence movement of being “violent”.

From the pro-independence block, the violence accusations are frontally rejected. A prominent figure of the ‘yes’ movement, Manchester Coach Pep Guardiola, said that Catalans have always acted “peacefully” and that one should only watch videos from the October 1 referendum to see that force was only used by police forces, not voters.

Catalan leaders are being prosecuted in Spain for rebellion, a crime that entails the use of violence. Nine of them are already in pre-trial prison in Spain, and six are fighting extradition from abroad, including leader Catalan Puigdemont, currently in jail in Germany. Their lawyers state that the rebellion accusations are unfounded, as the Catalan movement has always been peaceful.

In a recorded message from prison, Carles Puigdemont urged citizens to keep their protests “non-violent” and “civilized”, as “always”.

The leader of the Socialist Party in Catalonia (PSC), Miquel Iceta, said in an interview in an Spanish newspaper on Sunday that there could be a “civil clash” if politicians do not find a way out of the conflict. Iceta accused the far-left pro-independence CUP party of boosting street protests and urged them to “stop immediately” any kind of “violence”.

So far, the Catalan independence movement has been mainly peaceful, with big demonstrations being organized yearly, gathering more than one million people, and always ending with no incidents.

In the last few days, and especially after Puigdemont detention, some organizations such as the CDR are calling for peaceful civil disobedience acts such as not paying road tolls or cutting motorways. In Barcelona, last week, nine people were arrested after protesters clashed with police near the Spanish government delegation.

On the other hand, a pro-independence community center was destroyed by arson, in what members described as a “fascist attack”.

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  • The candidates for Ciutadans at a rally campaign in Tarragona (by Elisenda Rosanas)

  • The candidates for Ciutadans at a rally campaign in Tarragona (by Elisenda Rosanas)