You have no doubt been struggling to keep up with what’s happening in the saga that is the Catalan referendum build up. So here’s what’s happened in just the last 48 hrs (Monday 5.14pm to 5.14pm Wednesday)
A million people demonstrate in favour of a referendum being held on the 1st October. The question on the ballot paper will ask Catalans and Spanish citizens resident in Catalunya, if they want Catalunya to be an independent republic. At 17:14 (which is chosen to commemorate the fall of Barcelona to troops loyal to Madrid over 300 years ago) demonstrators reveal their Day of Yes, luminous yellow t-shirts. The city streets explode in colour.
– To coincide and to distract from the national and international coverage of the mass demonstrations, the Spanish Constitutional Court suspends a Catalan law that drafted a legal framework for an independent state. The Spanish establishment moves up a notch in its attack on democracy.
– Julian Assange tweets:
“This Catalan government ad is now banned in Spain as the war against Catalonia’s independence referendum heats up”
– The President of the Government of Catalunya reiterates his desire to negotiate with the Spanish Prime Minster. “There is time for dialogue until the last moment” says Carles Puigdemont.
– Madrid based, New York Times correspondent, tweets that a Spanish judge suspends s a meeting for Catalan independence set to take place on Sunday. Raphael Minder asks is this now becoming a “freedom of expression” issue. Spain’s Government is being seen, both nationally and internationally, to be acting in an ever more dictatorial fashion.
– Prosecutors in Catalonia order police to seize ballot boxes, election flyers and any specific item (like printers, envelopes, stamps, paper clips, etc.) that could be used in support of an independence referendum.
Only a few weeks after the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils and with a raised terrorist level across Europe, the Spanish Government has ordered Police to chase stationary, rather than terrorists.
– The Prosecutors are busy. They order an investigation of the 712 Catalan mayors who have officially supported the Catalan referendum. It’s now only 19 days before the referendum: is that long enough for a fair and balanced investigation?
– Catalan News report that “Sources from the National Police corps” say that there will be an increase in the number of Guardia Civil officers in Catalunya in the lead up to the planned vote.
– Reacting to the news of a cancelled pro independence event: “We can’t debate, we can’t vote, we can’t inform, and now we can’t hold a public event. What’s next?” Asks Carme Forcadell, Catalan Parliament President.
– Spanish PM warns anyone helping out at a polling station that they will be acting illegally and will be arrested.
It’s early evening now. Who knows what will happen in the next 48 hours?
It’s getting more tense by the day in Catalunya. 19 days and counting. But counting down to what is anyone’s guess.