Thousands of people claim Catalonia’s independence in five cities across the territory

Article published at Catalan News Agency, 11th September 2016

Photo: Aerial shot of Barcelona’s city centre, where pro-independence demonstrators filled the streets to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day (by ACN)

Barcelona (CNA).- Hundreds of thousands of Catalans hit the streets again on the National Day to claim Catalonia’s independence. “This is a matter of democracy”, stated Jordi Cuixart, the President of ‘Òmnium Cultural’, one of the main civil society organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012, together with the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). “We prefer the ballot boxes rather than the Court”, stated Jordi Sànchez, the President of ANC, in reference to Spain’s attitude regarding Catalonia’s pro-independence and the imputation of some of the Catalan Government’s representatives by the Spanish Constitutional Court. This year’s mobilisation was enhanced to four other cities besides the Catalan capital Barcelona: Salt, next to Girona; Berga, in Central Catalonia; Lleida in the East: and Tarragona in the South. At 17:14 (5.14 pm CET) all the demonstrators lifted a yellow card in the shape of a circle symbolising a heart-beat and responded to the motto ‘Go ahead, Catalan Republic’.

“Today Catalonia made history once again not only before its fellow citizens, which have proved that far from being tired they are highly motivated, but also before the world”, stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, who attended the demonstration in Salt. “This is the fifth time in a row that this country has acted in this way, and the time has come for those who have to take note of it to do so”, he added. Puigdemont warned that “it is not possible to rule Spain without Catalonia and that the solution to Catalonia’s demands will be achieved by politics rather than by using the Court”. “We will stand here until the end”, he stated.

In a similar sense, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva considered this years’ mobilisation as “a success”. “If we manage to put these images at the heart of the international press then this process in unstoppable”, he stated and emphasised that the demonstration reclaimed “the right to be a State and therefore to start building it”. “We are ready to do it and we want to tell the world that we are ready”, he said.

Jordi Sànchez: “Don’t doubt for a second putting the ballot boxes”

“Don’t doubt for a second to put out the ballot boxes”, stated ANC’s President, Jordi Sànchez and added that “this is the language which the democratic world will understand, the best tribute to democracy and to the world’s free nations and the best instrument to keep this country together as one”. “We prefer the ballot boxes rather than the Court”, he said.

Jordi Cuixart: “This is a matter of democracy”.

Òmnium Cultural’s President, Jordi Cuixart, celebrated the participation and “Catalans ability to mobilise”. “We are not tired; we have more strength than ever before”, he stated from the main stage, located at Barcelona’s Passeig de Lluís Companys. “They wanted us to be divided and today we are more united than ever; they wanted to be defeated and today we tell them that we will never surrender”, he added addressing the crowd and referring to Spanish Government.

According to Cuixart, Catalonia’s pro-independence process “was started by its people and it is going to be finished by its people”. “The Catalan republic is won on the ballot boxes and is built on the streets”, stated Òmnium Cultural’s President.

“We don’t go against anybody; our cause is freedom and a better future for our children” Cuixart assured…


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