Carles Puigdemont called for a non-violent resistance in a message broadcast on Saturday amid the Spanish government’s push to take charge of Catalonia.
Catalonia’s deposed leader has criticised Madrid’s decision to sack the Catalan government and dissolve the parliament, which he said is “contrary to the will expressed at the polls.”
Puigdemont also called for independence supporters to resist Article 155 in a democratic and peaceful way, “without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people.”
The broadcast ended with a call for solidarity: “We will continue to work to build a free country, to ensure we have a society with less injustice, more equality, more solidarity and more fraternity with all the peoples of the world, starting with the peoples of Spain with whom we want to remain connected through respect and mutual recognition.”
The message came after the Spanish government removed Catalonia’s autonomy and put Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria in charge of the region.
Madrid has sacked Catalonia’s leaders, its police chief and parliament and said there will be fresh regional elections on December 21. Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, made the announcment after a special meeting of his cabinet on Friday evening. It comes after Catalonia’s parliament declared independence on Friday afternoon.
Mossos police officer sacked
Spain has sacked the chief of Catalonia’s regional police force, Josep Lluis Trapero.
There have been doubts over how the Mossos d’Esquadra, as the Catalan police are called, would respond if ordered to evict sacked leader Carles Puigdemont and his government.
In an effort to defuse tensions, an internal note seen on Saturday urged regional police force members to behave in a neutral manner and not to take sides.
“Given that there is it is likely to be an increase in gatherings and rallies of citizens in all the territory and that there are people of different thoughts, we must remember that it is our responsibility to guarantee the security of all and help these to take place without incident,” the memo said.
Look back at the day’s events here: