Article published at Catalan News Agency, 27th July 2016
Photo: Aerial shot of the ‘Gateway to the Catalan Republic’, the pro-independence demonstration which gathered together milions of people on Catalonia’s National Day, on the 11th of September 2015
Barcelona (CNA).- Catalans will hit the streets again to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day and reclaim Catalonia’s independence on the 11th of September; as has happened for the last five years, when millions of people pacifically demonstrated in Barcelona. The two main civil organisations behind these massive mobilisations, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, presented this Tuesday their programme for the upcoming 11th of September, with demonstrations to take place in five different cities all over the territory: Barcelona; Salt, in Girona; Berga, in Central Catalonia; Lleida; and Tarragona. Under the motto ‘A punt’ (‘We are ready’), the demonstration aims to symbolise two things; that Catalonia “is ready to achieve the republic” and that the citizens have already reached “the final stage” of the pro-independence process, the presidents of both organisations explained.
ANC’s President, Jordi Sànchez and Òmnium Cultural’s, Jordi Cuixart, admitted that they would like for the upcoming mobilisation on the 11thof September “to be the last one” but they didn’t venture to say if this will actually be the case. Even so, they have called for the demonstrations to be “a proof of unity” to “culminate” the pro-independence process.
The organisers plan that there will be three main marches which will arrive at the five different locations and do so by different means, including by ship, train, and hot-air balloon, amongst others. “The aim is to show the world that we are a country in motion”, explained ANC’s head of mobilisations, Oriol Codina. In the different places in Barcelona, Berga, Salt, Lleida and Tarragona where the demonstrators are expected to gather, the same concrete action will have to be carried out at 17:14 – symbolising 1714, the year in which Catalonia was defeated by Bourbon troops and lost its institutions.
Although Codina didn’t advance further details on what this action will be, he assured that it will be related to the motto ‘A punt’ and will show that the pro-independence process “has reached a meeting point and that it is ready to culminate in a republic”.
The symbolism behind the 5 locations chosen
Both organisations have justified the decision to extend the mobilisation to four other cities beyond Barcelona. “We want to make this National Day a decentralised one and involve the whole territory”, they explained. Moreover, the cities have not been chosen randomly but according to the values that the new republic should represent.
Salt will symbolise “the republic of solidarity and diversity, the country for all of us, the republic of social justice and respect for immigration and coexistence”. Indeed, Salt is one of the cities with the highest figures of immigration and has been an example of coexistence so far.
Berga, in Central Catalonia, is the city where ‘La Patum’ takes place, a cultural festival which has its roots in the medieval period and which was declared Oral and Immaterial Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO in 2005. Thus, Berga will represent “culture and the roots of a vibrant identity, which is diverse and constantly under construction”.
Tarragona will symbolise the need for “networking, future and economic processes, linking it to its lack of investment and its historic deficit regarding infrastructure”.
“The territorial balance, the landscape and agriculture” will be represented by Lleida.
Finally, Barcelona will symbolise “freedom, the historic headquarters of sovereignty and the future capital city of the Catalan Republic”
First demonstration with a pro-independence majority in the Parliament
ANC’s President, Jordi Sànchez, emphasised that “this will be the first Catalan National Day with a pro-independence majority in the Parliament and in the Government, which has emerged from the ballot boxes and with a pro-independence mandate”. “We are ready because we have those institutions we aimed to have a year ago”, he added “this will be the first Catalan National Day on which the institutions will have a majority to materialise the mandate they were entrusted with”.
A “claim for unity”
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