Just weeks before the referendum on independence scheduled for Catalonia (next month) battle lines are being drawn in what could be the most major confrontation in Europe since the upheavals in Ukraine.
Just days ago the Spanish Constitutional Court annulled a decision of the Catalan parliament to conduct the referendum. Members of the Civil Guard (effectively the Federal Police controlled by the Madrid government) have started to target print shops where materials were being prepared for the vote.
However the most serious threat to the referendum is in Barcelona where the municipal authorities are indicating they will not allow municipal buildings to be used for the ballot. This could spark major civil disobedience from pro Catalan independence supporters (see link):
At the Celtic League AGM in the Isle of Man in July the meeting wholeheartedly endorsed an executive decision by the Convenor and General Secretary to send an official League observer mission to Catalonia for the referendum so we will have folk on the ground as these events unfold.
So far between 40/50 % of municipalities have said they will defy the Spanish Constitutional Court edict and proceed with the referendum and pressure is growing on others. However Barcelona will be the lynch pin and it’s in the city that the Spanish State will face its most serious challenge.
At this stage it’s unclear what stance the Catalan Regional Police which is controlled by the Catalan government will take but any conflict between them and the Civil Guard is likely to escalate matters. Early indications are that the Regional Police will observe the Constitutional Court edict but how this translates at grassroots level is unclear.
With a major demonstration planned in Barcelona on Monday to mark the National Day Barcelona Mayor Adu Colau may find she has backed the wrong horse by bowing to the will of the Madrid Government.
Image: Barcelona Mayor Adu Colau
pp Celtic League