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Primavera Sound condemns arrests of Catalan leaders

The festival has called on "all those who feel assaulted" by the police crackdown in Barcelona to "take a serene, civic and peaceful stance" to defend civil rights

By Jon Chapple on 20 Sep 2017

Pro-independence protesters, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Pro-independence protesters in Barcelona hold aloft a ballot box

image © @peronelladarago/Twitter

Barcelona festival Primavera Sound has condemned the arrests of more than a dozen Catalan politicians on the orders of the Spanish government, saying it stands “united” with all those who “suffered a violation of their fundamental civil rights” in today’s police action.

The paramilitary Civil Guard this morning raided government offices in Barcelona a bid to halt the planned 1 October vote on independence for Catalonia, detaining 14 officials, including the region’s vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, and seizing computer equipment and nearly 10m ballot papers.

Spain has also announced it is to take back much of the region’s devolved spending powers, in what Catalan president Carles Puigdemont says amounts to the suspension of self-government and the imposition of a “de facto state of emergency”.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy defended the crackdown, saying Spain “had to act”, and that there is “no democratic state in the world that would accept what these people are trying to do” (apparently forgetting there was a state-sanctioned referendum in Scotland almost exactly three years ago).

“We at Primavera Sound condemn any action that prevents the free and full exercise of democratic rights”

“Primavera Sound cannot and does not want to keep quiet about the events that have taken place over the past few days in Catalonia and especially what has taken place today in Barcelona, the city which hosts the festival,” reads a statement from Primavera Sound, issued this afternoon. “This is why we want to publicly manifest our support for all the institutions, bodies and people that in the last few hours have suffered a violation of their fundamental civil rights.

“Aside from ideologies and political inclinations, we at Primavera Sound condemn any action that prevents the free and full exercise of these democratic rights, and we urge all those who feel assaulted to take a serene, civic and peaceful stance in the face this adversity. Today we stand united.”

Football club FC Barcelona has also criticised the police action, saying it is committed to “the defence of the nation, to democracy, to freedom of speech and to self-determination, [and] condemns any act that may impede the free exercise of these rights”.


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