Anwar: We must act now

Ponsatí’s lawyer interviewed: “The movement’s power is its people, inside Catalonia. Spain will simply ignore Strasbourg, Belgium, May or Merkel.”

Tell us about the international legal aspects of the Catalan case.

Gonzalo Boye is coordinating the international strategy and, I think that it will be Strasbourg where Spain starts to come undone. In the end, we can all win there, and show that the Spanish system is unfair, and committing political persecution. But then what? Will Spain release all the prisoners? Will they beg for forgiveness and pay out millions of euros in compensation? Of course not - they will ignore it and move on. Everyone is wrong except them. All the international media are wrong. So they will surely say that the European Court is wrong too. Strasbourg is one available weapon for us, though we can’t put all our eggs in that basket, especially if we have to wait five years for it. But this is not the fundamental element, which leads us to the independence of Catalonia.

What should be done, in your view?

This kind of legal action is good, because it shows how bad Spain’s behaviour is to the rest of the international community, but politicians inside Catalonia have to start acting; they have to stop looking out, towards the EU, Scotland, Belgium... The greatest power is not with Merkel or May; it’s right there in the street in Catalonia! You are ignoring your greatest resource, the people supporting the movement. Look at La Diada; almost two million people hit the streets. I was there, it was one of the greatest days of my life. What an impressive display of solidarity, resistance and hope. But if that many people come out on the street, and you don’t give them a plan, the next time you need them, they may not be there.

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