The verdicts in the trial against the Catalan separatist leaders have turned out as expected.
As expected, there are now demonstrations by the separatists too, because they also feel punished, after all, they have carried out the actions for which their leaders have now been condemned.
Although the Catalan separatists lost almost half a million votes in the last national elections, there is now a threat of a renewed escalation. What would serve a peaceful solution, an end to the conflict?
Who doesn't remember the huge demonstrations in Barcelona? No doubt about it, there was and there is a great popular movement for independence! Formally, the leaders of this movement stood trial, but in fact the hundreds of thousands who went to the referendum on 1 Oct 17 were on trial. A referendum that was, of course, illegal.
We should remember that riots against any government are illegal, but also illegitimate? The question is always, what is the reason for the uprising and why did the government let it happen? Remember the American fight for independence against the English. The main cause of the conflict was the dispute over taxes and levies levied by the American settlers, who were not represented in the English House of Commons. If the English had won, George Washington would have been hanged legally. As we all know, it happened ifferently.
In principle, this is no different in Catalonia. It is of course about money, but the economic and political situation is completely different from what it was in America. Separatist leaders claim that Spain would rob Catalonia (España nos roba!). This is an assertion at the post-factual level of the Brexiteers that the EU would rob the British. These leaders have managed to turn Catalan independence into a business and to divide the Catalans on this issue alone, although in all other important political issues (NATO, EU, neo-liberalism) they essentially hold the same positions as the two largest Madrid parties, PP and PSOE.
The separatist leaders have created an atmosphere of intimidation and hatred by occupying the Catalan media, by various social manipulations, by indocrination and pure incitement of hatred against all Spanish. The division cuts through families.
The separatist leaders have established a language dictatorship similar to that of Franco, only vice versa, now Spanish, the language of the majority of Catalans is suppressed. The German journalist Paul Ingendaay, who has been living in Spain for a long time, stated under the heading „The language of the idiots“ that on Catalan television Spanish is only spoken by crooks and imbeciles.
Catalans were seduced to fight for another small state in Europe at a time when the greatest threat to peace in the world is the fact that the global US empire feels threatened by the rise of China. But the separatist leaders have more in mind: a Catalan empire (Països Catalans) that in Spain not only includes the region of Valencia and the Balearic Islands, but also claims territories in France and Italy.
Madrid, whether under the leadership of the conservative PP or the socialist PSOE, has always allowed this development, either because it needed the votes of the separatists or because corruption on both sides was seen as a lubricant for its own interests. The dispute over independence has always been an excellent distraction from social issues. The unionists in Catalonia feel betrayed for the most part.
With the unilateral referendum, the separatist leaders started a PR stunt that the Madrid government was supposed worldwide to answer as stupid Haudraufs. Catalan hospitals were even ordered to count as victims those who saw police attacks on television and were therefore afraid.  Instead of uncovering these manipulations, not only Madrid fell for this tactic, but the international press also had to apologize afterwards for its original coverage. 
This stupid police operation was followed by two years of pre-trial detention of separatist leaders and the trial in which the verdict was pronounced. It should not remain a secret that the Spanish judiciary is just as dependent on the government as the German judiciary. The Spanish government could have instructed the public prosecutor not to bring an action and instead should have sought a political solution from the outset.
Most of the defendants were sentenced for riot, but not for rebellion. The court saw the accusation of rebellion as too far-reaching because there was not „enough“ violence for it. The sentences range from 9 yeara to 13 years and 9 months. For those who have been sentenced only for disobedience, it is practically suspended sentences. The sentences were also based on the fact that the defendants had used taxpayers' money for the illegal referendum.
The court allows the Catalan government to apply the third degree to the convicted, which in this case means that they can count on substantial relief from imprisonment. For example, they only have to spend 8 out of every 24 hours in prison.
Unfortunately, Spanish politicians reacted to the sentence as expected.
Pedro Sánchez: „The government warns that the verdict must be complied with and says that 'it is not appropriate' to speak of pardons“  and „guarantees full compliance with the verdict“.
Quim Torra describes the sentence as „unjust“ and „undemocratic“, as an „act of revenge against millions of Catalans“.
A commentator in El Mundo rightly remarks: „A judgment that no one likes“. That was foreseeable, the trial could not find a judgment that everyone likes.
The demand for amnesty seems reasonable in this situation. It is not without a certain irony that the Catalan President Quim Torra also appeals to the Spanish government to announce an amnesty, since at the same time he calls for disobedience towards the Spanish state. But one should not be impressed by this Catalan embarrassment.
Amnesty always means to grant leniency before justice. There have always been good reasons for this in many situations in life, because every lawyer will confirm that you always only get a verdict from a court, not necessarily justice. What are the reasons for an amnesty this time?Footnotes
This judgment creates martyrs who appear as losers. Moreover, this judgment also declares the participants in the referendum to be losers. How is this supposed to promote a peaceful solution?
I am neither a fan of former Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin nor of former Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. But when they received the Nobel Peace Prize, one of them I believe has said that it is easy to make peace with friends, the art is to make peace with enemies.
This is all the truer of Catalonia, although the situation is not comparable to that in the Middle East. It is therefore all the more time reason now to avoid any measures that could serve to further escalate the situation. This includes amnesty and the need for the Catalan Government to start complying with the decisions of the Spanish and Catalan courts. This includes the end of the language dictatorship and the influence (including financial influence) on separatist forces in the regions of Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
The Valencian „Acció Cultural del País Valencià (ACPV)“, financially supported by the Catalan separatists of the Omnium Cultural (whose president Jordi Cuixart got 9 years), obeying their masters Quim Torra and Jordi Cuixart, calls to demonstrate in several Valencian cities against the verdict and to disobey the Spanish state.
Just as it is right to issue an amnesty now, it is also right to repress the influence of Catalan separatists throughout Spain. This also means that Madrid should uncover and stop these manipulations, not necessarily with the police, but rather with information campaigns and measures that make such financial abuse impossible.
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