Statement regarding the sentence for the 8N strike

Image by Lorena Calpena

It is not the first time that Pirates de Catalunya needs to condemn the politicization of justice, which we have suffered in first hand for exercising the right to receive and disseminate information, the freedom of expression and even the right to vote.

Today, as members of the European Pirates, we have to defend again two rights that every democracy should have as a priority: the right to demonstrate and the right to strike, which justice today wants to void of content. We are doing this once again, since, for the simple fact of exercising them, our fellow member Francisco Garrobo has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison, and three more fellows to lesser sentences. The Court establishes, without any evidence, that they exercised an alleged violence, when the same riot police declared that they decided not to act because of the peaceful nature of the demonstration and the lack of any sign of violence or “disturbance of the public peace.

In addition, the court relies on Supreme Court ruling 459/2019 which, under the presidency of Manuel Marchena, openly expanded the concept of “violence,” even creating a new type, “compulsive violence,” to ensure the condemnation of the political prisoners of October 1st. Now, the same concept is used to condemn two more activists abusively.

The pirates raise our voices in front of this unjust condemnation that wants to cut our rights to demonstrate and to strike. A person is being unjustly condemned who mediated between demonstrators and security forces, saying that the picket line had not been communicated, when it is a right of general strikes. A person is being held responsible for supposedly “violent” acts of a picket line, even though not enough to justify an intervention by the anti-riot police, for the simple fact of offering to mediate between demonstrators and security forces, at the request of the latter. And all of this, recognizing that there is no record of his participation in either calling or organizing the mobilization.

The broadening of the concept of violence to criminalize all political protest is a flagrant violation of the most basic principles of democracy.  From Pirates de Catalunya we will continue to do everything in our power to defend democracy and the rights and freedoms of citizens.

Pirates de Catalunya

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