Cuixart: “We will never stop exercising fundamental rights. I do not want to do it, and I cannot do it”

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The president of Òmnium Cultural warns before the Spanish Supreme Court that a political conflict cannot be resolved through judicial means

The president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, has made clear that he is a political prisoner and that he will never stop exercising fundamental rights. “I don’t want to do it, and I cannot do it”, he said. He also warned the Spanish Supreme Court that “after spending 500 days in prison, my priority is not to get out of jail, but rather to defend the fundamental rights and freedoms that have been violated by Spain in Catalonia as well as throughout the whole country”. Throughout his testimony during the trial against the leaders of the Catalan self-determination movement that is currently taking place in Madrid, Cuixart has emphasized that he will never cease to make calls to “defend fundamental rights in a peaceful manner” and has added that “the values of democracy are above the rule of law”.

Regarding the events that took place on September 20, 2017, in front of the Catalan Ministry of Economy building in the run-up to the October 1 referendum, the president of Òmnium has highlighted that all of the speeches and actions that he carried out were always peaceful. “The only violence was the one that was carried out by the Spanish police and the Guardia Civil on October 1”, Cuixart stated in order to disprove the supposed violent nature of the civil society mobilizations on September 20. In this regard, Cuixart made an impassioned defence of non-violent civil disobedience as a mechanism for fighting against injustice and making society advance. After stating that “the October 1 referendum was the greatest act of civil disobedience in Europe”, Jordi Cuixart said that he fully accepts “the consequences of civil disobedience within the principle of non-violence”, citing the likes of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and Hannah Arendt as an inspiration.

In favour of dialogue and the right to self-determination

Standing before the court, Cuixart has defended the right to self-determination in Catalonia. The president of Òmnium has admitted that he was aware of the fact that suspended the law to carry out the referendum, but insisted that “faced with the suspension of fundamental rights we will always be in favour of fundamental rights because we will never give them up”. According to Cuixart, “the right to strike is won by going on strike and in Catalonia, the right to vote is won by voting. What we did on October 1 was to exercise that right”. In that regard, Cuixart has pronounced himself in favour of dialogue between Catalan and Spanish politicians in order to find a solution to the conflict between Catalonia and Spain and has recalled that 80% of the Catalan population is in favour of a self-determination referendum. “A political conflict cannot be solved through judicial means”, Cuixart emphasized, lamenting that “politicians are not dealing with the challenges they face”. The president of Òmnium Cultural has highlighted that “we will celebrate all the referendums until we can make one without police violence and whose result may be implemented”.

Cuixart did not answer the questions of the private prosecution, which represents the far right party VOX. The Supreme Court rejected the request of the defence of Òmnium Cultural’s president to expel VOX from the private prosecution. Cuixart considers that this political party is making fraudulent use of this legal process.

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