Catalonia independence referendum and immediate aftermath (October 2017)
The long-standing low-intensity conflict between parts of the Catalan society and the Spanish state came to an inflection point in the autumn of 2017.
Amid violent police repression, on October 1st Catalonia held a referendum on its independence from Spain even if Madrid’s government, led by the right-wing Partido Popular, had declared it illegal. Following the referendum results, on Oct 27th the Catalan parliament declared Catalonia an independent Republic. The Spanish government responded removing from office the entire Catalan government. Immediately after, a court sentence jailed without bail several Catalan government members.
Catalonia’s Political Unrest in 2019
Throughout 2019, Catalonia experienced a climate of political unrest. The judicial trial against the Catalan separatists leaders (who organized the Catalonia independence referendum in 2017) started in February 2019 and arrived arrived to a verdict in October 2019. The Spanish Supreme Court ruled against all the accused, and harshly condemned them to jail times ranging from 9 to 13 years.
Pro-independence protests and rallies took place regularly throughout the year, and new forms of civil disobedience have been experimented. Spontaneously or prompted by associations of the civil society, road blocks, rallies and protest camps arise in the streets of Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia. Participants protest against the judicial, and aim at a disruption of the business as usual to try and force the Spanish government to seek a political solution to the Catalonia situation.