A non-binding public consultation on Catalan independence, which was due to take place in Arenys de Munt this September 13th has been banned. A judge in Barcelona accepted the Madrid government’s argument that only they have the authority to operate public consultations. The court also ruled that a town may not have a consultation that includes issues that are not wholly municipal, and that the Ajuntament (town hall) was too involved in the event, which is also illegal. The pretend referendum is being organised by MAPA, the Arenys group for Catalan self-determination (not by the town hall).
The vote gained widespread attention because fascist throwbacks, the Falange de las JONS announced a plan to protest against any movement for Catalan independence. In Arenys de Munt. On the 13th. Because that wouldn’t be remotely confrontational.
Anyway, what we see here is further use of the PSOE’s favourite tactic for disallowing democratic processes it feels it cannot control. The government typically waits until around a week before the event in question and then deploys its legal arguments, knowing that an appeal would be costly and would have to be done quickly. They did the same thing with their attempted criminalisation of Iniciativa Internacionalista and they’ve dealt with Basque political parties in a similar way.
As one commentator has asked: why all this effort to not hear what people want?
Organisers of the consultation have put a brave face on it: they reckon that a postal vote is still permitted. This story ain’t over yet.