► 1,000 anti-riot police sent to reinforce Mossos, National Police, Guardia Civil
► Work & transport stoppages, marches, general strike to follow court verdict
Spain’s Interior Ministry has said it is sending more than 1,000 anti-riot police as reinforcements to Catalonia. The move comes in anticipation of public disturbances expected to follow sentencing Monday by the Supreme Court of a dozen Catalan pro-independence leaders who have been tried on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in relation to an October 2017 unconstitutional independence referendum and subsequent declaration of independence from Spain.
According to ministry sources, some 750 anti-riot officers of the National Police and 350 Guardia Civil anti-riot agents are being sent to Catalonia to support the regional Mossos d’Esquadra Catalan police in the event of public disturbances. The 1,000 reinforcements are in addition to 6,000 National Police and Guardia agents still on stand-by in Catalonia since being sent in anticipation of disturbances that did not materialize on the occasion of the region’s 11th September Diada “national day” in Catalonia.
Sources at Spain’s Supreme Court say the panel of judges hearing the case of the dozen Catalan leaders accused in relation to the October 2017 events will issue their verdict and sentencing on Monday. The Supreme Court justices are said to have reached a conclusion about guilt or innocence on the most serious of charges levied against the accused — whether rebellion, sedition or conspiracy for rebellion — but are putting the finishing touches on their final opinion, to be issued along with the individual verdicts and sentences for each of the Catalan leaders on trial.
Supporters of the Catalan defendants have organized a series of direct-action responses in Catalonia as soon as the sentencing takes place, including an immediate work stoppage through the region, disruption of transportation throughout the day and large protest rallies at 8pm in Barcelona and in public squares throughout Catalonia.
During the three days immediately following the sentencing, five mass marches from the provincial cities of Girona, Vic, Berga, Tàrrega and Tarragona will take place, converging on Barcelona in a display of rejection of the sentences that is desgined to shut down public roads and transportation networks across the region.
On Friday the 18th, the small, pro-independence Intersindical-CSC labour union has called a one-day “general strike” throughout Catalonia. Ostensibly claiming to be in demand of reforms to Spain’s labour legislation and increase in the minimum wage for workers, the strike is clearly political in nature and in support of Catalonia’s movement for independence from Spain and in rejection of the Supreme Court sentencing.
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