The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 14 members of the Catalan Government on Wednesday 20th September. At 8.00 AM, the military institution began arresting them for their participation in the organization of the referendum that will take place in October 2017.

As a result, thousands of people took to the streets protesting the Spanish government and its draconian measures to destroy the referendum initiative

The central Spanish government will not allow citizens to vote on their referendum, labelling it as illegal and unconstitutional. In an irrational measure, the Spanish president sent armed forces to Catalonia in order to stop it.

The Spanish Civil Guard not only arrested people, but also confiscated ballot papers, posters, and anything that might be construed as alluding to the idea of an independent Catalonia.

Without a doubt, this political manoeuvre is worthy of any dictator yet, in theory, Spain is no longer a dictatorship.

The Catalan independence movement

The movement can be traced all the way back to 11 September 1714, when Catalonia stopped being an independent nation. A day engraved in the Catalonian collective memory as the day Catalonia was subjugated by Spanish forces.

From this day on, the Catalan language was persecuted and Catalonia lost all independent rights along with its institutions and laws. No wonder the movement lives and continues to gain power despite the passing of centuries.

The Catalan Independent Movement wants to maintain its culture. It seeks a better future for Catalonia, a future where they can govern themselves. It is worth mentioning that this is a peaceful and inclusive movement and that the group is open to all Catalan citizens.

The Catalan referendum

No one can deny that the Spanish government overreacted to the Catalan referendum.

Mariano Rajoy’s reaction as Spanish president, was stubborn and unreasonable, like a spoilt child who is annoyed because no one likes his game. Rajoy is reacting to the referendum as a dictator and repressing Catalonia’s Freedom.

People have the right to vote. That is why arresting government members to stop the referendum is not going to work.

Catalonia has the right to speak for itself and to decide whether they want to be part of the European Union as an independent nation with a strong voice of their own, or if they still want to be part of the Spanish territory. Only they can decide their future, and a simple referendum is seemingly the best option to ensure that any changes come about peacefully through a simple vote. Yes or No.