Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has finally responded to the dramatic events unfolding in Spain since the Catalan Parliament voted Friday to declare Independence. Puigdemont called on Catalans to peacefully resist and oppose Article 155.

Puigdemont calls for peaceful resistance

Puigdemont calls for peaceful resistance Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In a brief televised statement delivered Saturday to the citizens of Catalonia, former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said that he did not see himself as a deposed president and called for “democratic opposition” to Spain’s direct rule and “resist Article 155.”

“We must fight without violence or insult, in a manner that respects people and their opinions,” Puigdemont said, ending with a call for solidarity. “We look to build a society with less injustice and in a brotherhood with other people of the world, including the Spanish people.”

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puidgemont

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puidgemont Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

As reported earlier by JOL, the Spanish government on Saturday removed Catalonia’s autonomous status and took direct control of the regional government, formally placing control under Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría’s authority.

Protesters in Catalonia, today

Protesters in Catalonia, today Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, the Spanish minister of interior fired the Spanish police chief and took control of the Catalan police. The Spanish government issued a statement demanding that the police remain neutral and not take part in the citizen’s protests.

Spain also announced yesterday (Friday) that government prosecutors would file an indictment against Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on charges of rebellion. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also announced that the Catalan parliament had been dissolved and that new elections would be held on December 21.

The steps come after Spain’s senate approved imposing Article 155 of the Constitution, which gives Spain direct rule over Catalonia, ending the region’s autonomy. Spain triggered Article 155 in response to the Catalan parliament’s decision to declare independence, which came about after Puigdemont announced he had not received sufficient guarantees from Madrid that holding snap elections would stop the main government from suspending the region’s autonomy.