Catalan Public Organizations Call Upcoming Independence Vote Peaceful Revolution

Catalan Public Organizations Call Upcoming Independence Vote Peaceful Revolution © AFP 2017/ JOSEP LAGO

Catalan public organizations believe that the region is "fighting for democracy, not independence".

Catalan public organizations believe that the vote on the region's independence, which is not recognized by the Spanish government, is a "peaceful revolution," pro-referendum Omnium Cultural association’s President Jordi Cuixart told Sputnik on Saturday.

"The Spanish government is trying to prove that holding a referendum is a crime, but this is not true. They use repressions to tell people that they cannot vote. We are sure that a peaceful revolution will win. The revolution today is not to create a republic, but to hold a vote. There is a big difference," Cuixart said.

He stressed that the Catalan residents were "fighting for democracy, not independence," explaining that even though they were a part of independence movement, most of them were just fighting for the right of self-determination, which they were deprived off by the Spanish government.

According to Cuixart, the negotiations between Catalonia and Madrid are only possible if the agenda of the talks includes the issue of the independence vote.

"The dialogue with the Spanish government should include a mandatory condition of holding a referendum on Catalonia’s independence, because it is what over 80 percent of population want. Why are we in the situation like this? Because in 2010 the Supreme Court barred holding a referendum, we have been making a number of proposals in past seven years but the Spanish government’s response was always 'no.' And this 'no' has recently been getting harsher against the backdrop of economic repressions as well. The current situation in Catalonia proves repressions against freedom of speech in Catalonia," Cuixart said.

Cuixart added that despite the fact that the Spanish government deployed 10,000 policemen in the region, the Catalan residents would engage in non-violent resistance. He expressed the hope that the police would not attack civilians for casting their ballots, since it was not a crime, adding that some of the voters might be police officers' relatives. However, Cuixart noted that he could not rule out clashes, explaining that "nothing can be guaranteed."

Earlier in the day, Catalan National Assembly (ANC) President Jordi Sanchez also called on the Catalan residents to exercise "non-violent resistance." He urged voters to come to the polling stations as soon as possible, since the Spanish government would try to hinder the vote.

Sanchez also noted that only the Civil Guard would be responsible for whatever would happen on Sunday.

On Sunday, Catalonia is expected to hold an independence referendum. The Spanish federal government has filed a complaint with the country's Constitutional Court over the Catalan government and parliament approving the law on the independence vote. The court has taken the complaint under review, outlawing the plebiscite.

According to the latest poll, released earlier in the day, 83 percent of Catalonia's residents will vote in favor of independence at the referendum, if the Spanish government continues boycotting the vote.