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The Road to Freedom

The National Court’s decision to deprive us of our freedom is, quite simply, an outrage

An article by the President of the ANC Jordi Sànchez, after being jailed without bail

The road to freedom is not always an easy one. But when one is accompanied by so many people, it becomes a pleasure. The actions of Spain’s National Court come at a time when some may have thought that it would be a decisive factor in crushing the will of a people that has been expressed at the ballot box.

Spain has rejected the road of politics and dialogue a thousand times. Only today, President Puigdemont gave them an opportunity to hold talks over the next two months.

Spain is a strong state and it possesses all kinds of mechanisms of power with which to try to impose its version of the truth. We saw this to be true on 1 October, and not for the first time. It is clear that the path chosen by Spain’s rulers puts us under a lot of pressure, it causes us pain and forces us to be wary of every step we take. But we have the strength of the will of our people. We are unbeatable, if only we stay true to our goal.

Our commitment to continue the road to freedom is clear and considered. We have nothing to hide. We wish to be a state in the form of a Republic. We are democrats above all else. Nobody can change us.

At this point I would like to express my total confidence in any decisions that may be taken by the majority of our Parliament and the strategy in favour of dialogue proposed by President Puigdemont

The National Court’s decision to deprive us of our freedom is lacking in any legal or procedural basis. A decision already taken several days ago, according to the hundreds of comments made at the 12 October reception at Madrid’s Royal Palace and thousands of tweets and leaks prior to our appearance today before the court. It is a decision which Spain must justify before the world’s public opinion, before both houses of Parliament and the European courts. It is, quite simply, an outrage. The shame of Europe.

I do not accept the sentence. I do not accept the decision to hold me on remand or the accompanying measures. The decision to deprive me of my freedom is unjust. The Spanish authorities ought to be ashamed of this decision.

I look forward to the order announcing my release. I know it will come, it cannot be otherwise. When no crime has been committed, there can be no prison sentence. I ask, I hope, I demand a rectification of this great injustice that has been committed today by the Spanish courts.

I know for sure that the citizens of my country will have a civic and peaceful response, as has always been the case. We have every right to express ourselves and demand our rights and liberties. But I also ask that we do so with an unwavering commitment to non-violence. We have never fallen into the trap of violence. We will not do so now, either.

Perhaps there will be more arrest warrants, along with the suspension of self-government and perhaps Spain will take more aggressive political measures. Nevertheless, we mustn’t lose our heads. If we remain as confident, committed, mobilised and civic-minded as we are right now, as we were on 1 October and during the subsequent strike on 3 October, we will all attain independence together.

At this point I would like to express my total confidence in any decisions that may be taken by the majority of our Parliament and the strategy in favour of dialogue proposed by President Puigdemont and Vice President Junqueras on behalf of the entire government. They wish to see us divided, we must join forces in order to finish the final stretch. Without giving up or turning back, with a clear head and a brave heart, in order to keep moving forward now that we our goal is within our reach.

Nobody can beat us if we remain together, strong, united in plurality, and peacefully mobilised in defence of freedom, democracy and the Catalan Republic.
Freedom is either dignified and absolute, or it is not freedom! Forward together!