October 21, 2019
In October 2017 AEGEE-Europe published a statement with regard to the violence and increasing tensions in Catalonia after a referendum on the region’s independence from Spain took place against a Spanish Constitutional Court ruling (you can access it here).
On the 14th of October 2019 nine Catalan politicians holding leading roles in the organisation of the referendum were sentenced to between nine to thirteen years of prison by the Spanish Supreme Court. This sparked not only a new wave of protests all around the region, but also a growing and violent escalation of events that is being translated into streets in flames, citizens using and receiving verbal and physical violence, protesters being run over by police cars, four demonstrators losing an eye from a rubber ball shot, or even attacks on and arrests of journalists covering the happenings.
Sadly, these are only but a few examples of what is going on right now in the streets of many different cities across the region, and it seems like this conflict is now only intensifying.
As an association that has been working on intercultural dialogue since it was born, AEGEE-Europe aims at fostering mutual understanding, strengthening tolerance and promoting respect. The current situation in Catalonia is to a great extent influenced by the lack of space for a constructive dialogue between both politicians and citizens.
AEGEE-Europe calls once again upon all parties involved to find an immediate and peaceful solution so as to cease the violence both from the side of the police and from the demonstrators, and to initiate the real dialogue to the end of a conflict that is now going down a truly tumultuous road.Communications AEGEE-Europe