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Catalan leader wants Dr. King-style civil defiance

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Catalan leader wants Dr. King-style civil defiance
“Of course! Of course! Just like Martin Luther King,” Junqueras answered when asked if he supported civil disobedience if the referendum was vetoed. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP
18:04 CEST+02:00
The leader of a pro-independence Catalan party has invoked Martin Luther King's philosophy of civil disobedience in the face of political repression, calling for Catalonia's separatists to adopt the same attitude if the Spanish government vetoes the referendum on secession.

Oriol Junqueras, leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) party, was asked by Catalunya Radio on Tuesday if he would support any refusal to obey by the Catalan people if Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy did indeed veto the November 9th referendum as he has announced.

“Of course! Of course! Just like Martin Luther King,” he answered.

“Our fundamental rights are at stake,” he added, as if to draw a comparison between the civil rights struggle of Afro-Americans in the 60s and current day Catalans no longer wanting to form part of Spain.

Junqueras’s words come a day after Rajoy told the Spanish Parliament “all the measures” were in place to halt the referendum on Catalan independence.

Catalan nationalist bloc Convergence and Union (CiU), whose president Artur Mas has spearheaded the call for Catalan self-rule over the past few years, have recently seen internal disagreements regarding the referendum date in the face of its apparent illegality.

Junqueras, however, seems adamant to stick to the November 9deadline, offering his full political backing to CiU for the vote to go ahead and saying it should be “armoured”.

The term has since been replicated by a CiU spokesperson, while still arguing the referendum should be “done properly” and within “the right legal framework”.

As for the Martin Luther King references, Artur Mas compared 2013’s huge human chain for Catalan independence to rallies for black rights presided over by the famous social activist in the US. 

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