Unionist platform urges Spain to declare ‘state of emergency’ to stop independence vote

Societat Civil Catalana calls October 1 referendum "a coup" and accuses anyone taking part of helping to commit "a crime"

The vice president of Societat Civil Catalana, José Domingo (by Rafa Garrido)
The vice president of Societat Civil Catalana, José Domingo (by Rafa Garrido) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 1, 2017 03:53 PM

The anti-independence organization Societat Civil Catalana (SCC) is urging Spain to declare a "state of emergency or state of siege" to stop the October 1 independence vote. The platform’s vice president, José Domingo, said during a press conference on Friday that the vote is "a coup" and accused anyone taking part of helping to commit "a crime". According to Domingo, Catalonia could even see "problems of public disorder" if the government's plans to hold an independence referendum succeed.

Arguing that the referendum is "illegal", the SCC vice president said the Catalan authorities will be "committing a crime and inducing citizens to participate and cooperate in a crime" by urging them to vote. "It is going to cause conflict and will generate problems of public disorder," he added, while criticizing calls by pro-independence politicians in rallies to defend their right to hold a self-determination referendum despite the likelihood of the Spanish Constitutional Court banning it.

"On October 2," the day after the referendum, "Catalonia will not be an independent state," said the Societat Civil Catalana vice president. "It could become a territory with a serious conflict, especially a conflict of public disorder," he added. In such a scenario, Domingo urged the Spanish government to take "urgent measures, if possible preventatively."

"We have a law of national security, the declaration of a state of emergency or state of siege, there are measures for courts to prosecute crimes of disobedience," Domingo said. Stressing that this should be applied if the Catalan government goes ahead with the referendum, Domingo nevertheless added that all political groups should remain "calm".

The SCC vice president also said that "if the coup d'état takes place" and the October 1 referendum goes ahead, his organization will start "information campaigns warning citizens that the vote is illegal, a crime, and that is better not to help in committing a crime."