UNISON Scotland Statement on Catalonia

We respect the right of self determination of all peoples.

We respect the right of the Catalan people to self-determination, and to decide for themselves their own future political, social and economic institutions and forms of representation. That as Spain is itself a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – which states at Article 1. “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

We denounce the excesses which occurred on October 1 and condemn the state violence which occurred on and around the referendum of 1 October 2017 in Catalonia. We condemn the use of violence, repression and intimidation tactics by the Spanish state against an unarmed, non-violent civilian population, who were, in performing a civic duty with which we are all familiar, exercising their democratic right to vote by participating in the October 1 referendum

UNISON Scotland had communicated with Intersindical prior to the referendum on 1 October expressing solidarity and the right to self-determination, and post referendum on 2 October, following the broadcast evidence of state police brutality and interference, expressing again solidarity, condemnation and support for the democratic rights.

Ultimately any solution to this crisis must respect the rule of law, while addressing the contradictions between Catalan law and the Spanish Constitution.

We understand and respect the position of the Catalan Government. While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future. The Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.

The imprisonment of 8 democratically elected members of the Catalan Government, and 2 leaders of civic society under charges of rebellion and sedition only further complicate any just resolution. We therefore call for the release and acquittal of all political prisoners detained since the referendum.

Whatever the outcome of the elections on 21 December 2017, the Government of Spain should open a scenario of dialogue and submit a proposal with contents to address the outcome of the elections