If you’re unfamiliar with the Catalonian fight for independence, here’s a quick recap. A year ago, the people of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain, marched to their polling booths to vote on one simple thing: Should they or should they not secede from Spain. Of the 5.3 million registered voters, 2.2 million people voted, and of those 2.2. million people, approximately ninety percent of them voted to leave Spain.
So where is Catalonia now? Are they a free and independent country? Well, no. Scratching your head? Although the results were clear, everything else leading up to the vote and afterward was not. Prior to the vote, Spain declared that the referendum was illegal and even had police keep people from going to their polling booths. The results, according to the Spanish government, didn’t count because Catalans were voting for something that was never legal in the first place. After the election, several Catalan ministers were arrested for rebellion and other crimes, while then-President of Catalonia Carlos Puigdemont fled to Belgium. A year has passed, and Catalonia is still considered a part of Spain. Earlier this week marked the one-year anniversary of the referendum vote, and Catalans made it loud and clear that the will of the people is still to secede from Spain. They have demanded that Spain respect the results of their vote. Catalans poured into the streets of Barcelona, blocking train stations and occupying parks. Despite these protests, it seems like Spain and Catalonia are nowhere closer to what the region and country will look like in the future.
Want to learn more about why Catalonia wanted to secede from Spain in the first place? Check out our article about the Catalan referendum here.