That the people and the government of Catalonia utilized the democratic process of the referendum to seek independence from Spain, is clearly indicative of their belief and trust in a system that has now failed them via the jailing of eight Catalan leaders and the rendering as fugitives from justice of Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont and another four ministers.
Catalonia declared a Republic on October 27, 2017, following a referendum among Catalans on October 1. Spain's central government denounced the referendum and its High Court has ruled the Catalan democratic process as unconstitutional.
Spain fired Catalonia's government, thus ripping autonomous status from the prosperous northeastern region in the Barcelona area. The Madrid government invoked emergence powers it interpreted it possessed based upon Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, thus allowing the central government to force any of Spain's 17-autonomous regions to comply with the directions of Madrid's conservative government.
However, the said Spanish Constitution states that a region's autonomy could never be taken away. Madrid has called for new elections in Catalonia by December 21. Madrid has also jailed eight Catalan ministers, who answered a summons to appear before a Madrid Court last Thursday. President Puigdemont and four other ministers, who feared the likelihood of a fair trial in Spain, are abroad and a judge has issued arrest warrants for the Catalan leaders.
Catalonia's leaders never resorted to violence to gain independence. They utilized the now fractured process of the referendum to again the approval of 90 percent of the 43 percent of voters who voted in the democratic process.
Yet, Spain, in its olden ways of inflicting undue punishment as it did so successfully to bloody dissent of native peoples and others during its days as an empire, is now hell-bent on punishing Catalonia's leaders for daring to hold a democratic vote in an attempt to leave the fold of Madrid.
As protests continued yesterday in Barcelona in support of their jailed leaders, President Puigdemont issued a call for a united independence front from his location in Belgium. According to the BBC-News, he said he would not return to Spain unless he receives guarantees of a fair trial.
He called upon Catalan separatists parties to unite in the upcoming regional elections to continue a push for Catalonia's independence. He noted that it was time "for all democrats to unite" for "Catalonia, for the freedom of political prisoners and for the republic, " the BBC-News reported citing a tweet from Puigdemont.
If Spain continues its pursuit to punish politicians who used the democratic process to effect change, then what other processes are left to the people in future actions? Rebellion? Violence? Insurrection? Blood? Death? Suffering? Revolution? Madrid holds the answers.