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Democracy goes on Trial in Spain - Catalonia Independence Leaders Face a Madrid Court

The system of democracy went on trial in Madrid, Spain, earlier today, with the trial of 12-leaders of Spain's Catalonia region in connection with the democratic process of holding a referendum in 2017 on Catalonia's independence bid from Spain. Charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds have been leveled against the Catalan 12 for holding the referendum. 

While right wing and Spanish monarchists might be calling for severe punishment of the Catalan 12, the emphatic truth remains that the Catalans are only guilty of conducting a peaceful process of the system of democracy for getting a vote from the people of their region. A conviction against them would be a conviction against democracy. No acts of violence were employed by the Catalans in the spat with the Madrid government even though the Madrid government did use violence against peaceful Catalan voters back in 2017. Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region of Spain that includes the wealthy Barcelona.

Back in 2017, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his government put forth a democratic referendum to Catalonians regarding independence from Spain. The majority voted for independence on October 1, 2017. A couple of weeks later, Catalonia declared independence but the Spanish government moved to suspend the region's autonomy, arrested its leaders and brought charges accusing the Catalans of rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds by using the money to hold the referendum. Puigdemont fled into exile, but 12 of his ministers have been charged by the Spanish Crown. 

The serious charges against Catalonia's government amount to charges against the system of democracy. No violence was ever employed whatsoever by the Catalans in holding their democratic referendum. Therefore, the Catalans should be freed. If Spain convicts the Catalans, then the Spanish Crown would thereby be convicting the system of democracy sending the message that peaceful action is punishable and against the ideals of democracy.