Colau to the Supreme Court: "If we are here for the 1st of October, there should be millions of us"The Mayoress of Barcelona has said that on the 20th of September there was a feeling of a "state of emergency", but that the public mobilization was "passive and peaceful"
Josep Maria Camps
The Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has been the fifth witness to declare this Thursday in the Catalan independence trial before the Supreme Court.
She was preceded by the President of the Basque Country, Iñigo Urkullu, the ERC MP Gabriel Rufián, the former Catalan MP for CSQP Albano Dante Fachin, and the former President of the Catalan Parliament Ernest Benach.
The testimony of Colau was both required by the prosecution undertaken by Vox and the defences of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull.
At the beginning of the declaration, Colau stated that she would answer the questions of all parties, including Vox, even though this made her feel "deeply uncomfortable":
"I would like to inform the court on my deep discomfort at having to answer to an extreme right group that threatens basic rights".
Javier Ortega Smith, lawyer and General Secretary of Vox, this Thursday in the Supreme Court questioning Ada Colau
The "state of emergency" of the 20-S
To questions from the attorney and General Secretary of Vox, Javier Ortega Smith, Colau said that the searches made by the Guardia Civil of the Ministry of the Economy on the 20th of September 2017 caused a "major social alarm":
"Indeed, the situation was worrying and there was great social alarm. There was a feeling, to sum it up in a way, of a state of emergency. We should remember that the events of the 20th of September did not occur in an isolated way, but in a context where abnormal things that we had not seen previously were happening".
"For instance, one, just the day before, members of the National Police or Guardia Civil entered into offices of the media. It is something that, in fact, we had not experienced".
Damaged protection barriers
Colau also mentioned as something exceptional the attempt by the National Police to enter the headquarters of the CUP party without a search warrant, and stated that, despite everything, there was no damage caused by the protests and concentrations:
"We were told that, generally, there was no damage done in the surrounding area, or major incidents, even less than in other mobilisations or demonstrations".
"The only out of the ordinary thing that the Council had to do t was that, due to the situation of mass mobilisation that was taking place throughout the day, more protective barriers had to be placed than usual".
"However, besides the Council's protective barriers, there was nothing relevant in the report we sent to the court".
The only damage recorded that day, besides from the cars of the Guardia Civil, were to some of these protective barriers.
The report drawn up by the Barcelona City Council regarding this matter and which was sent to the court, calculated that these imperfections were worthy just over 5,000 euros.
"There should be millions of us here"
As regards the referendum of the 1-O, and just after praising Jordi Cuixart, Colau made her point clearly, despite defining herself as being not in favour of independence:
"If I may add something, it breaks my heart to see that Mr Cuixart is here today in a situation of preventive prison, with the other defendants, with whom I might have political differences, but if we are here for the 1st of October, there should be millions of us here".
"1-O belonged to the people"
Colau defined the referendum as "an unheard-of mobilisation" to "defend basic rights":
"I believe that it is very important to highlight this, because many of us were amazed and are still surprised today by the type of mobilisation we saw on the 1st October, which is really unheard-of".
"It was, I emphasise, a peaceful mobilisation, but determined to defend basic rights at the same time. It was organised by the people. We saw all those people who were in the schools the night before, during the day, the polling stations were full of self-organised citizens".
"The 1st October was not, in my opinion, that of any institution or politician or party. 1-O belonged to the people".
The "vicious" police attacks changed it "completely"
The Mayoress explained that she went to vote in her polling station, in La Sedeta, and that when she was there queuing up she heard about the police attacks in other polling stations:
"Before this situation of police attacks, I had to take some actions as mayoress and make some calls, because the situation was becoming very worrying: it was a peaceful, citizens' mobilisation, an exemplary and massive mobilisation, and the vicious police attacks changed the day completely".
- Catalan independence trial