Yesterday, a referendum was held in Catalonia, in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, to decide whether the region should become independent of the Spanish State. To try to prevent this legitimate expression of speech, the Spanish State has used every device it can, finally unleashing its National Police and Civil Guard — whose reputation for brutality is notorious — to prevent people casting a vote. It’s the sort of thing one does not readily associate with a modern State which allegedly, conforms to the rules of membership of the European Union
Should we be surprised to have witnessed the scenes of extreme violence and brutality inflicted on the citizens of Catalonia this Sunday? No, we should not.
I remember Spain under Franco. It was a Police State. The Civil Guard, Spain’s paramilitary police force, were universally loathed. And so they should have been; they were the cudgels of the State, answerable only to Generalissimo Franco.