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Smoke Signal

Catalonia’s Independence

Erika Herrera

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On the first of October 2017, Catalonia government claimed it has the right to declare its independence after violence broke out after the referendum. Catalonia was engulfed in violence between supporters for independence, who gathered in Barcelona after Catalonia’s government announced a referendum will be held to decide if a split from Spain should occur, and anti-independence Catalans. The Spanish national police beat voters as they tried to take part in the independence referendum. Spanish police officers fired rubber bullets, bashed people on the head, and smashed windows injuring more than 800 people. Neglecting Catalonia the right to declare independence, the Spanish Prime Minister and the Constitutional Court has ruled the referendum illegal. In response the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, claimed that the Catalan people have a right to declare their independence from Spain. Human Rights Watch issued that the Spanish state “has a duty to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and free expression” after police brutality was shown on the streets. Spain’s deputy prime minister responded with the defense that the police actions were “proportional”. On Early Monday, the Catalan government claimed victory after pushing forward the vote despite Spain’s Constitutional Court ruling it was illegal.

Anna Nguyen and Mai Vang are two Hiram Johnson students that have opinions on Catalonia’s independence referendum. Anna commented on the violence of the Spanish police,”It’s horrifying what is happening in Catalonia. Catalans are just trying to get their freedom from Spain, but the Spanish police are acting out in direct violence. And then the Constitutional Court is saying that the vote is illegal. It’s upsetting that innocent voters are just trying to get their independence, but the Court is doing everything in their power to not allow their independence to happen.” Mai Vang had a similar opinion on this controversial topic, “It’s just not fair what is happening to them. They are getting beat by the police who are supposed to be protecting them, and the Prime Minister is saying the voting was illegal. I think they have the right to be having an independence referendum. I just hope they get their independence from Spain.”

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The student news site of Hiram Johnson High School
Catalonia’s Independence