Spain holds political show trial of Catalan nationalist defendants
Alejandro López and Alex Lantier
4 March 2019
Over the last two weeks, Madrid has launched a judicial frame-up of Catalan nationalist politicians and leaders in a public show trial. Their prosecution on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for organising the 2017 independence referendum is groundless and reactionary.
Defendants include former Catalan regional ministers, the former speaker of the Catalan parliament and leaders of two pro-independence groups, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural. Nine of them have been in preventive custody for over 500 days and face up to 25 years in jail for organising a peaceful referendum on Catalan independence from Spain. The most serious charge they face is rebellion, i.e., “violently and publicly” trying to “abrogate, suspend or modify the Constitution, either totally or partially.”
The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) opposed the Catalan referendum, calling for a “no” vote on a proposal that would have divided workers in the Iberian peninsula by forming a Catalan state oriented to the reactionary European Union (EU). But Madrid’s charges against the defendants are lies. The Catalan separatists sought to obtain independence via a peaceful referendum and negotiations with Madrid, who cracked down brutally on pro-independence voters.
Now, the Spanish media and political establishment are whipping up a nationalist frenzy around distorted accounts of various events. One was the September 20, 2017 protest in Barcelona, 10 days before the referendum and the police crackdown that left over 1,000 people injured.
On September 20, paramilitary Civil Guards arrested top Catalan officials and…