We pedal through Catalonia and it is awash in yellow ribbons. Small streamers tied to mailboxes an multi-story tapestries billowing off the side of buildings. Free our political prisoners. In America citizens call for their politicians to be locked up. Here they hang yellow to bring their parliament home.
Because the parliament is, indeed, in exile. Those that weren't arrested and imprisoned for organizing a peaceful referendum fled to Belgium, and will surely be thrown in jail if they return. This isn't a fringe affair in Catalonia; this is the story. We pass through towns with the faces of the jailed painted on walls. Enormous ¡Si! flags (yes, for independence) hang from balconies. These people don't have a parliament. It's been stolen from them. We find ourselves in the Occupied State of Catalonia, and it's a very strange place to be.