Jorge Martin reports on how the arrest of two Catalan officials has reignited the mass movement for independence. The whip of oppression wielded by the Spanish state has driven the masses back into action, the mood is incendiary, and Puigdemont has been left little room for maneuver.

Monday morning, October 16 at 10 am was the first deadline the Spanish government had given the Catalan government to clarify whether it had declared independence or not. That summons sent last week, was part of the legal requirements to implement article 155, suspending Catalan autonomy. Once again, Catalan president Puigdemont gave another inconclusive answer.

It seemed as if everything had been decided in advance. Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, was going to go to the Catalan Parliament and announce the formation of an independent republic, as he was bound to do by the results of the 1 Oct referendum.

#BenvingudaRepública (Welcome Republic): this is the hashtag being used to organise mobilisations today, Oct 10 in Barcelona, when the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will address Catalan Parliament about the results of the independence referendum on Oct 1. Those organising the mobilisations have two aims: to push Puigdemont to actually declare the Catalan Republic and also to defend and protect the session of the Catalan Parliament (the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal already ruled on Friday that a session which was to take place on Monday had to be cancelled). What will happen?

Catalonia’s Independence Referendum on October 1 has opened up a major regime crisis in Spain. Braving brutal police repression, hundreds of thousands occupied and defended polling stations so that 2.2 million people could vote on the day. There were images of police officers using hammers to break through the doors of polling stations and then snatching polling boxes from the hands of the people, of police officers using batons against unarmed civilians, including elderly ladies, of police officers throwing people downstairs.

The Catalan masses are gearing up for a massive strike movement today, as key unions commit to a nationwide ‘stoppage’ after facing brutal repression by the Spanish state during the referendum on Sunday. The referendum movement is developing a radical, working-class character under pressure from below, putting a Catalan Republic on the agenda. This is opening up a crisis with the potential to topple the Spanish regime.

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