Catalonia

The Spanish state's relentless pursuit of Catalan independence activists suffered a big hit on October 19, when, by a two-to-one majority, the National High Court found former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero and his three fellow defendants not guilty on all charges, reports Dick Nichols.

Capitulation to the Spanish state has blown apart Catalonia's pro-independence alliance and forced an early election, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

The final act in a week of protest in Catalonia, against the vindictive jail terms imposed on nine Catalan leaders by the Spanish Supreme Court on October 14, was a general strike and vast demonstration in the capital, Barcelona.

Infuriated by the verdict, frustrated with the strategy of the established independence movement (seen as “getting nowhere”), and most of all, outraged by police violence, young Catalans, who had never been on a barricade in their lives, decided that “direct action” was the only solution, writes Dick Nichols.

After the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced nine political and social Catalan leaders on October 12 to a total of 99.5 years jail for organising the October 1, 2017 independence referendum, the struggle for the country’s right to self-determination entered a new phase.

The gap between the 75%–80% of Catalans who uphold their country’s right to self-determination, and the Spanish elites and parts of Spanish society that do not want to know anything about it, was already very wide before October 14.

But on that day, when the Spanish Supreme Court condemned nine Catalan political and social movement leaders to a total of 99.5 years jail, it most likely became unbridgeable, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

Occupying the Plaça d’Espanya and surrounding streets on September 11, 600,000 people came out in Barcelona to celebrate Catalan National Day (the Diada).

The vast crowd demanded the acquittal of jailed Catalan social movement and political leaders, presently awaiting a Spanish Supreme Court verdict on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement.

So intense is Unidas Podemos’ desire to sit around the cabinet table with Spain's social democratic government that leader Pablo Iglesias managed to convince Together We Can, the Catalan coalition in which UP participates, to abandon its main policy — a negotiated referendum as condition for supporting a PSOE-led administration, writes Dick Nichols.

In order to hold onto the Mayoral position in Barcelona's beacon of progressive municipalism, has Ada Colau made a deal with the devil? Dick Nichols unpicks the recent council election.

Despite being prime minister in a minority government, Pedro Sánchez said that his government would run its full term. Why did he change his mind and call early elections?

News and analysis on Catalonia's struggle for self-determination from Green Left Weekly's European bureau.

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