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On October 6, 1934, Lluís Companys proclaimed the Catalan state in the midst of the euphoria of the people in Plaça Sant Jaume. It does regressiveness against the Spanish right, questioning the Catalan self-government, suspending laws such as the cultivation contracts, transfers and blocking the transfer of economically suffocating the country and also against the risk of a military coup.
On October 7, 1934, after the head of the IV Military Region Domènec Batet remained loyal to the Spanish republican government and did not support the confused republican proclamation, declaring a state of war and stifling the fighting of the insurgents who had followed President Companys, the latter telephoned in general to surrender. In the context of the increasing right policies in the country, with Europe increasingly marked by totalitarianism, Companys had tried to repeat the gesture of audacity of April 14, to refound the Republic from Barcelona, in a federal sense. He had given it a markedly nationalist tone, in order to obtain the support of the separatists of the Catalan State, but he had not succeeded in bringing about the peaceful and popular uprising of 1931, with the support of the working masses. Companys and their government were arrested at the Palau de la Generalitat by Commander Fernández Unzué. All except Josep Dencàs, head of government and one of the brains of October 6, who escaped through the sewers with Arturo Menendez, former Spanish military, former director general of security with Azaña prosecuted by the Casasviejas events and adviser to the government.
Companys, together with Joan Lluhí i Vallescà, Pere Mestres, Ventura Gassol, Martí Barrera, from ERC, Joan Comorera, from the Socialist Union of Catalonia, and Martí Esteve, from Acció Catalana Republicana, were taken to Capitania on foot. In Plaça de Sant Jaume, Companys and the mayor of Barcelona, Carles Pi i Sunyer, who had also surrendered together with the councilors of ERC and Acció Catalana of the municipal government, merged in a hug. The "walk" to the Capitania was gloomy and marked by fear. There was a fear that they would be lynched or attacked by far-right soldiers, or that the famous "Law of Leaks" would be applied to them, which had caused so much havoc in Barcelona. Councilor Lluhí was slapped for refusing to shout “Viva España”.
The reaction of the state is not long in coming. Two days after the proclamation of the Republic, the Catalan government is imprisoned and sentenced to 30 years in prison and autonomy is suspended . The army occupies Plaça de Sant Jaume and controls the Generalitat and the City Council, the repression spreads to the streets of all the municipalities in the country. In total, there are more than 7,000 political prisoners in Catalonia , who will have to be detained in prison ships.
General Batet – who would be shot by Franco for refusing to join the Uprising, and who would be reprimanded for not assaulting the Generalitat with blood and fire and protecting the "rebels" – received them and exclaimed something like: "Collons, Companys, what a night you gave me!". He then tried to make a speech on the defense of ideas by democratic means, which was cut by Companys: “Sermons, no! Do what you have to do. ” The government was then transferred to the prison ship Uruguay . The other detainees – members of left-wing parties and unions, police officers and assault guards – were locked up in other ships enabled as prisons: Ciudad de Cádiz, Manuel Arnús, Andalucía and Cabo Cullera , in the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona. A new stage was beginning in Catalonia, under the state of war and with the suspension of the Statute of Autonomy.
The instability of the authoritarian Spanish government, which is immersed in several cases of corruption, causes snap election on February 1936 .
The popular affection and the quality of symbol that Companys possessed were shown again in his triumphant return to Catalonia, after the elections of February 16, 1936, which gave a wide victory to the Front d’Esquerres, the Catalan version of the state Popular Front, and which brought to the program the amnesty of the prisoners, who were part, with Companys in the first place of the list. On February 22, Manuel Azaña decreed the amnesty of all prisoners. On February 21, Companys and his advisers left the penitentiary and went to Madrid, from where they returned to Catalonia. Throughout the trip they were hailed as heroes by the Spanish republican popular masses.
On March 1, they arrived in Catalonia, where they were given a triumphant reception. A reception that culminated in the same square of Sant Jaume where the sad defeat of October had ended, and where a tired and excited Companys uttered a phrase for history “We will suffer again, we will fight again, and we will win again!".