In response to the regional parliament in Barcelona passing the resolution to "declare Catalonia an independent state in the form of a republic," the Spanish Senate in Madrid has agreed to give Rajoy powers to impose direct rule on the breakaway region.
Sputnik discussed the independence movement and Madrid's reaction to the declaration with Jolanda, an activist from Catalonia, who did not wish to disclose her last name due to security concerns.
Sputnik: How, do you think, Puigdemont is feeling right now?
Jolanda: I guess he [Puigdemont] is feeling relieved. It was a very hard decision to make. Very complicated, you know, how things have been playing out. I think everything has been done. Now it does not depend on us anymore.
What about the people of Catalonia?
People are excited because it's been a long fight. We should be clear here that people may think this has been a rush, but it comes from 2006. We went to court many times, we followed all the code, and it failed. It's been a long way, so I guess people are excited. It's been a dream for many years. They are [on] the way to get it, they don't have it [yet].
There will be repressive action from the Spanish government for sure. The thing is, because of how they spoke on TV — they made it very clear that it's about imprisoning the whole government and prosecuting them. And then intervention on media, TV, radio, intervention on Catalan police… I guess that was the only way out. It's legitimate to try and defend yourself. There is no other option. To surrender? You saw yesterday, Puigdemont was very brave because he knew what people wanted, and instead of that, he said: ok, I stop everything, let's go for elections. But there was no reaction from Madrid; there was just the opposite. We will follow our plan with the Article 155.
Do you think in the face of the Article 155 being put on to the people, they will still be protesting peacefully?
Oh yes, that's very clear. Our politicians are brave because they are facing serious charges for sedition, and that means from 15 to 30 years in jail if they are prosecuted. You have to remember it was not a movement that started from the politicians to the people. It started from the people who asked our politicians to follow the people's will. And the people are very determined.
What about the media? How useful has it been in informing the public about the events in Catalonia?
Here we have people who are [against] the independence movement who will say that we've been controlled [by] the media. I think a lot of us check more than one media. Personally, I watch TV3 and I also read a lot of papers, and I check the BBC.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.