Barcelona residents discuss thew referendum that took place on October 1, 2017.
We don’t know what’ll happen, because fear is free. Fear is truly free. On October 1st, the day of the referendum, the reinforcements that had been hunkered down in Barcelona’s port for 10 days, disembarked, joining thousands of National Police and Guardia Civil troops already stationed throughout the city. The mission hadn’t changed: Stop the vote. But they couldn’t do it. 00:00:31,865 –> 00:00:32,899 During the first hour of voting, a single table had a working web address. Then it was given to me, and I passed it along to other tables. The table that had immediate access was able to register two or three votes digitally. Moments later, the site was blocked, replaced by the Civil Guard logo, and voting stopped. I voted in the morning, and then returned to my parents’. As we ate lunch, an avalanche of news pored in, as well as images of what was going on in Barcelona, and in other towns. There were scenes of great violence in some small Catalan villages. Seeing it all really shook you to the core. I grew very anxious, thinking, “I can’t stay home while this is happening to people in my community.” And there have been massive demonstrations, unprecedented in Europe. In terms of persistence, turnout, civility and pacifism. We stand accused of violence, but unless violence is singing songs, I don’t know what violence is. I remember my mother’s arrival. She’s 80, but beautiful and fit. She looks 68, but she is 80. In case she is watching. She arrived with two friends, I said, “Listen, it’s almost 11.” “With the computers down, voting here will be difficult.” “Go home. I’ll call when things calm down, and it’s marginally safe to vote.” They said, “No way. We’re not going anywhere.” 00:02:51,371 –> 00:02:55,008 That is why I must say, these old ladies… have a thousand times the dignity of those bastards smacking people with nightsticks. While all figures related to the referendum remain controversial, be it vote count or injuries sustained during the course of the day, the Catalan government estimated that 2.2 million votes were cast and counted, representing 42% of the electorate. The Yes vote, unsurprisingly, won in a landslide, with 92% favoring independence. Police operations had succeeded in nullifying 770,000 potential votes, with approximately 1,000 injuries to civilians reported. That day…look, I have goosebumps. That day, the people didn’t just pore out en masse demanding independence. Shouts for independence could be heard, of course. But they were out there protesting the repression unfairly incurred by the elderly. Those peacefully going to vote suffered, in spite of how little violence occurred on October 1st. I mean, yes, we’ve seen images of vandalized police cars, but generally speaking, it was ballot-holders against nightsticks. Some talk of a Silent Majority, but in Catalunya it is a very active majority. The proof is that we voted.