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Sunday’s Catalonia Independence Referendum

September 29th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s regime is going all-out to block it.

He governs like a tinpot despot, waging class war, enforcing police state repression, arresting Catalan officials, threatening others with criminal prosecution for supporting the autonomous region’s self-determination right, affirmed under the UN Charter and other international law.

He’s no democrat. A modern-day Francisco Franco defines his policies. Spaniards nationwide should revolt against his right-wing extremism.

Spain’s Gag Law enacted on his watch lets police be judge, jury and collector of spurious fines, including for photographing an illegally-parked police car.

Anti-austerity demonstrations are severely repressed, regime critics arrested. Heavy-handed police tactics continue terrorizing Catalan officials and referendum supporters.

Rajoy falsely claims Sunday’s vote is illegal. During his White House visit this week, Trump called for a “united Spain,” expressing opposition to Sunday’s vote. It’s a Catalonia issue, not his.

Rajoy threatened to close down polling booths, disenfranchise Catalans, perhaps terrorize people showing up to vote. Things look sure to be disruptive on Sunday. Violence could lead to bloodshed.

The harsher the Rajoy regime cracks down, the more determined Catalans are likely to want independence, free from Madrid oppression.

Police shut down an independence referendum web site. Individuals involved were arrested on charges of “disseminating a website for people to participate in a referendum declared illegal by the constitutional court, (and) for making) it easy for people to get documents…to organize” Sunday’s vote.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont tweeted links to web sites, telling people where to vote on Sunday, his information removed after posting.

The pro-indendence Catalan National Assembly’s web site was taken down. It went up an hour later, an ANC spokesman saying Madrid “cares more about stopping people from voting than they do about preserving freedoms in Spain.”

A Catalan government spokesman said a letter was sent to the European Commission protesting Spain’s repressive actions, calling them “unlawful,” asking the EC to support the rights of the Catalan people, including assuring an “open and free internet.”

The response was negative. Europe backs Madrid, not the right of Catalans to vote up or down on independence.

On Wednesday, Spain’s national court said it’s investigating whether to bring sedition charges against organizers of a large-scale demonstration in Barcelona last week, protesting against the arrests of Catalan officials.

Spain was a military dictatorship for nearly 40 years under Francisco Franco (1936 - 1975). Now it’s a political one.

If Sunday’s referendum is blocked, will Catalan officials declare independence anyway? Will blood in the streets follow?

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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