Spanish central government fires Catalonian government officials, police chiefs

Yesterday, the Catalonian parliament declared independence from Spain; today, the central government in Madrid made good on its promise to impose direct rule on the region, firing the top tier of the government and the chiefs of the police force; Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez, chief of the regional police force (Mossos d’Esquadra) has been charged with sedition for refusing to block polling places during the independence referendum earlier this week. Read the rest

Catalonian parliament declares independence from Spain

Days after the Spanish central government announced its plan to impose direct rule on Catalonia, deposing the elected regional government, the Catalonian government has declared independence, citing the outcome of a referendum earlier this month in which Spanish police fired rubber bullets and administered ferocious, unprovoked beatings against people heading to the polls. Read the rest

Spanish government announces plan to seize power in Catalonia, remove elected government

Yesterday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to remove the democratically elected regional government of Catalonia and replace them with direct rule by the national government in Madrid. Read the rest

Spanish tech activists publish a "how-to guide for preserving fundamental rights on the Internet"

As the Spanish government was hacking the Catalonian independence movement, shutting down the .cat top-level domain, and engaging mass-blocking of websites and apps to control information about yesterday's referendum on Catalonian independence, the Xnet collective published a basic (but wide-ranging) guide to "preserving fundamental rights on the Internet," suitable for anyone living under the kind of state suppression that Spain underwent. Read the rest

Troops fire rubber bullets to prevent Catalan independence vote, injure at least 465

The Catalonian referendum on independence from Spain went ahead today, using the backup ballot boxes the opposition had secretly procured in anticipation of the brutal crackdown on the independence movement by the central government in Madrid, which included snatching elected officials and seizing ballot boxes. Read the rest

After Madrid seized Catalonia's ballot boxes, they unveiled their secret backup stash of ballot boxes

The austerity-crazed central government of Spain in Madrid is determined to prevent the citizens of Catalonia from voting on independence on October 1: they sent thousands of militarized national guards into the region (transporting them via a commandeered cruise ship) to seize ballot boxes and ballot papers, arrest members of the Catalonian government, and they've attempted to seize control over the Catalonian internet to prevent planning and discussion of Catalan independence, citing a Spanish court ruling that banned the referendum. Read the rest

Spain's right-wing government orders brutal police crackdown on Catalan independence referendum

The 2015 Catalan elections were widely viewed as a proxy referendum on independence from Spain and the brutal austerity imposed by Madrid, whose courts declared independence referendums to be illegal, augmenting its legal attacks against the Catalan independence movement with withering cyber-attacks, a brutal move that drove support for Spain's left-wing/anti-austerity parties. Read the rest

"Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a republic?"

Julio writes, "That's the question that we, the people of Catalonia, will answer on 1 October, day of the referendum for independence. Some of us didn't want independence from Spain 15-20 years ago, but the central government (specially with the right-wing Partido Popular at the helm) has orchestrated a political and judicial prosecution of free speech in Catalonia. The corrupt Partido Popular has destroyed jobs, tried to dismantle public services, going to bed with the local oligarchs." Read the rest

Catalan separatists plan largest ever European demonstration for Sept 11

Liz writes, "This Sept 11 is the 300th anniversary of the loss of Catalonia's sovereignty to Spain. Catalans will commemorate the date by holding a massive demonstration -- perhaps Europe's largest ever-- on two major Barcelona boulevards, creating a huge letter V for Vote with upwards of 1.5 million expected participants." Read the rest