A video denounces Spain’s authoritarianism: “Help Catalonia, save Europe”

  • The video is Òmnium’s response to the arrests of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez

17.10.2017 - 10:23

“We, Catalans, are taking back the streets to protest peacefully. Over and over again. And why are we doing this? Basically, because we are European citizens and we believe in European values: freedom, democracy and human rights”. That is the beginning of the video released by Òmnium Cultural to denounce Spain’s authoritarian crackdown.

Titled “Help Catalonia, Save Europe”, the short film shows a young woman speaking to the camera in English with interspersed footage of peaceful pro-independence protests, as well as against war and in support of refugees. But soon the tone and the pace shift.

The video goes on to say that “we are pacifists and we have shown this to the world in mass demonstrations. Sadly, all of these values are under attack right now, here in Catalonia. Just a few days ago, on October 1, the Spanish government deployed thousands of police to stop the independence referendum. They assaulted polling stations. They beat senior citizens and young people. And they seized ballot boxes. What crime had these people committed? Going out to vote.”

The film includes footage of the crackdown by Spanish police and its aftermath: people injured, screaming and crying, and wrecked schools. Masked, fully-armed police officers are shown seizing ballot boxes, wearing riot helmets and wielding batons as they hide behind their shields and beat up the general public.

The video insists that the Catalan government is open to dialogue and to negotiating a referendum with Madrid, but the answer has always been the same: No. “Despite threats and violence, we managed to vote in the end”. And, nevertheless, “Spanish officials, including the King, have not condemned police violence” and insist that the vote was illegal.

There is a final appeal at the end of the video: “We are European citizens, just like you, and we need your help to defend democracy and freedom. Please don’t look away. What’s happening here in Catalonia is not an internal Spanish affair. It concerns each and every European citizen. Now, before it’s too late: help Catalonia, save Europe”.


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