Sir, – I agree with Ken Early that FC Barcelona should have refused to fulfil their home fixture against Las Palmas (“Barcelona shuts Camp Nou in solidarity with Catalan vote”, October 2nd). The obvious injustice of the club being punished with a six-point deduction for not playing, as threatened by the Spanish Professional Football League, would have better served the cause of Catalan independence than them going ahead with the game in an empty stadium.
However, the strange sight of the superstars of Barcelona, Messi, Suarez, et al, playing in the huge, unoccupied, and ghost-like Camp Nou was a peculiarly appropriate symbol for the authoritarian and paranoid reaction of the Spanish government to the holding of the vote for Catalan independence. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – Article 11 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees a right to freedom of expression.
When I was growing up, we were taught that the most basic form of expression in a democracy is to cast a vote; that voting, as a purely non-violent form of expression, is the most effective way to state your opinion.
The violent response of the Spanish government to the Catalonia independence vote – including beating voters with canes – shows that it cares not for the peaceful expression of opinions other than those that don’t interfere with its authority.
This is disgraceful. This is chilling. This should be condemned by all governments in Europe, including ours. – Is mise,
ÉIBHEAR Ó hANLUAIN,
Sir, – There’s no way Madrid will accept the legitimacy of the referendum in Catalonia; but to the naturally despondent – though still quite resolute – Catalan independence movement I say this, if at first you don’t secede, try, try again. – Yours, etc,