A rally was held by Bangor clock tower yesterday, to show support to the people of Spain who are fighting for their democratic rights, ahead of the Catalan independence referendum on 1st October.
The referendum will determine whether Catalonia would gain its independence from Spain, but despite Catalonia’s parliament giving the go-ahead the for the vote, the Spanish government has vowed to stop it.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has argued that the referendum means to “destroy and annihilate the constitution” and has vowed the referendum will not be held and will take the “necessary measures of force” to ensure the constitution is adhered to. PM Rajoy said: “If someone is asked to go to a polling station, do not go, because there can be no referendum and it would be an absolutely illegal act.”
Spanish police have already seized Catalan government-produced leaflets and posters urging voters to back the ‘yes’ campaign. Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police, have been ordered to prevent the referendum, although it is unclear if they have intervened yet. On September 20, Spanish police raided Catalan government offices in Barcelona, sparking protests. At least twelve Catalan officials have also been arrested.
Local Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, who attended the rally in Bangor, has called on the Spanish Government to give the people of Spain a fair and democratic solution, rather than the hard and threatening manner they are showing at the moment.
Hywel Williams, as the Chair of the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia’ has also written a letter expressing concerns about the situation surrounding the referendum. As the group is an all-party group, they all have different views about whether Catalonia should be an independent state, but they all agreed that the people of Spain should all have the right to choose themselves. Hywel Williams also announced that he will also write to the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, asking him to reach out to Spain and encourage dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments.