Statement by the General Secretary of the Celtic League:
Outrageous Behaviour by Spanish Authorities
On the weekend before the National Day of Catalunya (11th September) it is disappointing , but not surprising that the Spanish authorities have started making overt attempts to disrupt the Catalan referendum on independence.
The seizure of ballot boxes and the arrest and charge of a newspaper editor by the Guardia Civil for ‘referendum related crimes’, is nothing short of outrageous and a hark back to the dark days of the Spanish dictator, General Franco.
The Spanish government’s argument that it is ‘unconstitutional’ for Catalunya to hold a referendum on independence does not wash. Catalunya has its own democratically elected parliament, which is in charge of a great number of its own affairs. The parliament voted to hold a referendum, the vote is supported by the Catalan President and the Catalan government has made plans to hold a referendum on 1st October 2017, as the Catalan people want. For the Spanish authorities to make concerted attempts to block this to self-determination, is to undermine the principles of internationally accepted guidance, democracy and subsidiarity.
This weekend has seen celebrations by Catalans, their friends and supporters across the globe ahead of their national day. The Celtic League Irish Branch Secretary, Caoimhín Ó Cadhla, is attending an event in Dublin today, which he says will be linked to the independence referendum, as it will be elsewhere no doubt. However, the Scottish Branch Secretary, Iain Ramsay, has said that he is concerned that armed conflict may erupt in Catalunya, as happened previously and commented in an email to members of the Celtic League:
“There is always the unlikely possibility of a Spanish back down, but I doubt this and [it seems] the only answer when democracy fails is a long and bitter armed struggle. I also think the Anglo/Brit unionists and the English Monarchy will support the Spanish King and Government. We must be ready to counter that stance and put our whole moral support behind the Catalan patriots.”
The Celtic League has appointed its own international observer, Iain McDermott, to monitor political developments in the run-up to the referendum. Iain is currently in Catalunya and will stay in the country until after the referendum to ensure the right of the Catalan people to a free and democratic voting process is respected and upheld.
The Celtic League wish the Catalan people every success in the coming weeks and urge them to remain strong and determined in the face of political and legal intimidation. I am sure I speak for our members generally when I say that I wish the Catalan people a happy and positive National Day on 11th September.
General Secretary of the Celtic League