Jordi Cuixart made it clear, at the beginning of his closing statements in the Catalan independence trial, that he would not devote these minutes to defend himself, because his attorneys had already done so in his stead, nor would he seek a more lenient sentence, but to follow the "voice of his conscience". That is why he reaffirmed himself in "all the exercises of fundamental rights that have been reproached" in the trial.
The president of Òmnium Cultural reproached that the prosecutors said that they did not accept the consequences of their actions. "That is not true, I have never avoided justice, that is the way I am," he said. Moreover, he pointed out that he regrets nothing:
"There has been no regret. I would do everything I did again, because I am convinced it is what had to be done."
In fact, at the end of his statement, he predicted, with a "ho tornarem a fer" [we will do it again], which he said in Catalan, that Catalans would return to the ballots to decide on their future:"Without bitterness or surliness and with full serenity, I tell you that I am convinced that we will do it again, and we will continue as we have done so far, peacefully, serenely, and with the utmost determination."
"Without bitterness or surliness and with full serenity, I tell you that I am convinced that we will do it again, and we will continue as we have done so far, peacefully, serenely, and with the utmost determination."
"If police violence was unable to bend the will of thousands of people on October 1, does anyone believe that a sentence will make Catalans stop fighting for their right to self-determination? I am persuaded it will not. That they will continue to struggle peacefully to exert this right."
"We cannot stop protesting"
Cuixart reminded that the Prosecution reproached that he made "calls to permanent mobilisation" and took advantage of the moment to make another one:
"When you are accused of something that is true, then what are you supposed to say? Yes, of course. I did do it and moreover, I almost have the moral obligation of doing so again today. Catalans, peaceful, permanent, civic mobilisation, let it never falter, and let it always be with this will to improve society."
"Yes, prosecutors, permanent mobilisation, and without any inconveniences, and right to protest before all the powers of the State, and that is what we did on 20-S in a democratic, peaceful manner... Yes, a protest. We disagreed with a decision, but we only did everything a citizen can, and that is what we did on 20 September."
He added that it was necessary to continue protesting so new generations could do so, because the "democratic quality of the State" is at stake with the sentence:
"We cannot stop protesting, because it is the motor of progress which makes societies progress, the other political prisoners, those of our children. However, in reality, that is so. We are bound to continue to protest to protect this right, so our children may also protest come tomorrow."
"It is true that the quality of the democracy of Spain depends on this trial. Also in Vallecas, Pamplona or Vigo. Whatever is criminalised in Barcelona must also be criminalised in Madrid. All democrats in Spain must unite in defence of democracy and freedom of expression."
Cuixart has defended civil disobedience and has pointed out that it must be "non-violent, because otherwise it would not be civil disobedience", as a means to improve societies:
"Faced with the dilemma of obeying a suspension from the Constitutional Court or exercising fundamental rights, fundamental rights were exercised. I am not an expert in constitutional law and, moreover, I have not even attended university, but what is clear to me is that, when a population exerts civil disobedience, what it is displaying is its commitment towards society. It cannot be the object of criminal charges, that is an act of consistency and responsibility. And it is one of the most useful instruments to advance."
"It does not attack the entire legal system, only the laws it deems unfair, and the decisions it deems unjust."
In fact, he quoted "civil obedience" that "allows migrants to die on the coasts and pursues people who wants to save them", or that leads to "60,000 bailouts for banks while there are 600,000 evictions", or that in Catalonia "one out of four people live in social exclusion" or that he himself is sitting in the dock as the problem:
"The obedience that allows democrats here to be standing accused by the far right side by side with the Government Attorney's Office."
The president of Òmnium Cultural remembered his children when, as he did during questioning, he stated that his priority is no longer to get out of prison
"At this time my priority as president of Òmnium Cultural is not to get out of prison, even though I do deem it to be illegitimate because I am not guilty of any crimes. My priority is to continue to fight and to work to advance in the resolution of the political conflict. And to ensure that my children, the two older ones and little Amat, who I am seeing grow up from behind bars, and one I will have, God willing, in Spring, may live in a better and freer country."
The king and the injured people on October 1
In his speech he acknowledged the people who voted on October 1 and he rejoiced that the State Attorney General admitted there one thousand injured people on that day. "It was about time. I am sorry about the injured police officers, by all means, but to acknowledge that there were 1,000 injured is an act of responsibility by the State Attorney General," he said.
He also referred to Phillip VI's speech on 3-O to regret that many Catalans saw "how the king renounced his role of concord and endorsed police brutality." Cuixart warned that the images of October 1 "will endure for years in the mind of Catalan society" and deemed the king's speech to have been "a missed opportunity."
Cuixart alerted against attempts to "dehumanise" the pro-independence movement. He warned that he will not have enemies and that, in the trial, "some witnesses" of his defence "were unable to express themselves normally" and he asked that the "legitimacy" of the pro-independence movement be acknowledged:
"I refuse to live without hope, to dehumanise my life and that my relationships must be established with enemies, because I have none. I refuse to hate anybody. I will never renounce beind happy, and I have discovered that I was not born to hate anybody. There is an attempt to dehumanise the pro-independence movement in Catalonia and it is everyone's responsibility to understand that it is a legitimate option that is worthy of all respect.
The president of Òmnium spoke for the 15 minutes available to him.
- Catalan independence trial