How should the Spanish government have handled the Catalan independence referendum?
Option A: Do nothing. Let it go ahead and when the result is announced condemn it as meaningless and undemocratic. The world’s media would give it a passing tweet at most.
Option B: Go heavy-handed. Send in police to smash up printing presses, seizing posters and ballots. Send hundreds of police to storm polling centres attacking and terrorising women and children. Attack peaceful protestors in the streets with their hands literally in the air. All while leaving nearly a thousand people injured so far.
It seems completely incredulous that a modern European democracy would go for option B but that is what they have done and all under the glare of social media. As we know from Northern Ireland, when the state gives a violent response to democratic demands it does not end well. All today’s events will do is further boost the cause of Catalan independence. Any wavering voters will be so horrified at the attacks on their fellow citizens that they will flock to the independence side.
Police attacking firefighters, people in wheelchairs, pensioners with their hands in the air. The world is watching and is rightly horrified at the scenes. Emotions are running high and I just hope that no one is killed tonight.
Dear @JunckerEU :
Article 7 of the European Union Treaty
"Suspension of any Member State that uses military force on its own population."
Please share.#SpainOutOfEU#ShameOnSpain#CatalanReferendum pic.twitter.com/WUfBoAf75N
— Liz Castro (@lizcastro) October 1, 2017
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.