Thousands of demonstrators dressed in white are gathered in front of municipalities across Spain calling for dialogue among the people regarding government repression against pro-independence Catalans.
#Hablamos, or Let’s talk, a hashtag movement created by a Madrid publicity agency and now comprised of various social movements, convoked the Spanish public to show up in white clothing and without political flags, at noon, local time. Thousands of people have come out carrying white banners in front of the main plazas of Madrid, Barcelona, Cadiz, Cordoba, and Valladolid, and hundreds in Huelva, in the south.
The hashtag organizers released a statement which said, “Spain is better than its political leaders. They have planted hate and division among us … We don’t want them to use us ... or lie to us. We are much bigger than that. The people will create dialogue and peaceful coexistence, not the political leaders.”
It continued, “We have to end the spiral of conflict … Democracy and dialogue are the ways to lasting and strong agreements” within the country. Over 800 Catalan voters were injured by national police forces, who used batons and rubber bullets to try to prevent them from participating in the Oct. 1 independence referendum.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government has ordered an additional 150 special forces from the civil guard to patrol parts of Catalonia. These armed forces are concentrated in the Barcelona Prat airport and border areas of Catalonia in apparent preparation for a declaration of independence by the region. This is on top of the existing 5,000 national police forces that arrived in Catalonia two weeks ago to patrol the region.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and lawmakers are planning to declare the region's independence Oct. 10 at 6 pm, local time. Puigdemont was originally set to make this declaration Oct. 9, but the move was blocked by the Spanish Constitutional Court.
Results from the independence vote show that, despite political repression, including confiscating millions of blank ballots and 100 ballot boxes and police violence against voters, 2.3 million citizens, or 43 percent of the Catalan population, cast their ballots. Of them, 90.18 percent favored a breakaway from Spain.