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Protests Erupt After Spain Sentences Catalan Separatists Leaders
By VOA News Updated October 14, 2019 06:48 PM
Thousands of protesters in Catalonia took to the streets Monday and blocked Barcelona’s El Prat airport after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine separatist leaders to lengthy prison terms for their attempt to declare independence from Spain in 2017.

Riot police charged at the demonstrators with batons, and fired foam balls.

Health officials say 37 protesters were injured in the clashes at the airport.
Spain’s airport operator says that at least 108 flights were canceled.

Protesters in the Catalan region also stopped some train service in the region by placing wood on the tracks and blocking roads. Police say two people have been arrested in the region.

The protesters converged on the transportation hubs Monday after Spain’s high court sentenced nine former Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for their role in pushing for the region’s independence.

The former regional vice president, Oriol Junqueras, received the longest prison term of 13 years behind bars for sedition and misuse of public funds.

The court found three other defendants guilty only of disobedience and did not sentence them to prison.

The court, however, acquitted all defendants of the most severe charge, rebellion.

The former head of Catalonia’s regional government called the Monday ruling an “atrocity.”

Carles Puigdemont wrote on Twitter: “100 years in prison in total. An atrocity. Now more than ever … It is time to react like never before. For the future of our sons and daughters. For democracy. For Europe. For Catalonia.”

Puigdemont was not a defendant in the landmark ruling over the banned referendum and short-lived independence declaration because he fled to Belgium, where he now lives in self-imposed exile.

After its ruling, the Supreme Court issued a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont.

Catalan’s current regional leader, Quim Torra, called the court’s ruling an insult to democracy.

Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, said in a statement broadcast on live television that the sentences of the Catalan separatists must be carried out.

He also said he hoped that the sentences will help to “turn the page” in relations between Catalonia and greater Spain.” https://www.voanews.com/europe/protests-erupt-after-spain-sentences-catalan-separatists-leaders

What a choice of days, too, for the verdict: on Columbus-Indigenous peoples day that Spain “discovered” the Americas. They couldn’t wait, or was this intentional?

In relation to this case, someone said that no one had read “Homage to Catalonia“, by George Orwell. This blogger has read it – shortly after being introduced to the Catalan language. Decades later, the only memories that last, of this book, are that the Spanish Civil War was very complex and that the trains were usually late, but occasionally they were early, and you didn’t know that you were awaiting a train that had already passed. And, that Orwell fought with the Trotskyist POUM brigade, which was anti-Stalinist.

The US Civil War remains the most deadly US War, for Americans. The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, only spent two years in jail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Davis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

Jailed Catalan separatist leader says new referendum unavoidable

Posted:Tue, 15 Oct 2019 02:38:12 -0400
The Catalan separatist leader hit by the heaviest jail sentence by Spain’s Supreme Court for his role in the region’s failed secession bid told Reuters a new referendum on independence was unavoidable.

Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders, sparking protests, clashes

Posted:Tue, 15 Oct 2019 02:35:15 -0400
Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders for between nine and 13 years for their role in a failed independence bid, a decision that triggered mass protests in the region and left the future course of the dispute uncertain.