The detainees are members of the Republican Defence Committees (CDR), a grassroots network set up to organise the unauthorised independence referendum in 2017.
The police claimed CDR activists were plotting violent actions. But it soon emerged all the explosive materials found in a warehouse were for fireworks in the Sabadell festivals. Two of the activists confessed to making and testing explosives.
But this was after the 72 hours of solitary confinement.
The anti-capitalist coalition CUP said, “This seems a clear case of police fabrication just before the verdict on the trial of the Catalan political prisoners for organising the referendum”.
The Spanish supreme court is due to announce the result of the trial, with 12 politicians and activists expected to face long prison sentences.
Quim Torra, president of the pro-independence Catalan government, said repression remains “Spain’s only response”.
Yet it is the strategy of appeasement pursued by his Catalan government that has led to the demobilisation of the movement. It has surrendered the initiative to the Spanish institutions time and again.
Thousands took to the streets in Catalan cities in response to the arrests. There were also solidarity events elsewhere.
Laura Crespi, who organised a solidarity protest in Edinburgh last Tuesday, told Socialist Worker, “We demand the release of each and every one of the political prisoners.”
This is a stark reminder of the lengths a capitalist state is willing to go to protect itself.
But also that a successful movement needs to be capable of challenging its leaders when they vacillate.