Wednesday, 07 September 2016

Puigdemont will take part in Catalonia’s National Day mobilisation


Barcelona (CNA).- The pro-independence demonstration organised by the civil society associations Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural for Catalonia’s National Day will count Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, amongst its attendants. Thus, he will be the first Catalan President to take part in any of the massive mobilisations held over the last five years on Catalonia’s National Day, since former President Artur Mas repeatedly refused to so while he was head of the Catalan executive. “Politicians are the least important on that day, it is civil society which will play the most important role”, stated Puigdemont. The Catalan President will attend the  events to be held in Salt, the closest city to Girona, where he was the mayor between 2011 and 2016. ANC and Òmnium decided to spread this year’s demonstration to five different cities; Barcelona, Berga, Lleida, Salt and Tarragona.

“Salt is where I would have gone if I were still the Mayor of Girona”, Puigdemont explained. The President’s announcement coincided with the meeting he held this morning with Jordi Sànchez, the president of the ANC and Jordi Cuixart, president of Òmnium Cultural. The grassroots organisation and the cultural association which aims to promote the Catalan language and culture are responsible for the massive pro-independence demonstrations held in Catalonia in the last five years on the 11th of September.

According to Sànchez, “Puigdemont’s decision will help other people who are still doubtful about ultimately taking part in the mobilisation”. So far, there are 300,000 people registered to attend the demonstration.

A decentralised mobilisation for this year’s National Day

As has happened for the last four years, Catalans will hit the streets on the 11th of September to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day and reclaim Catalonia’s independence. This year the two main civil organisations behind these massive mobilisations, ANC and Òmnium Cultural, have planned to host demonstrations in five different cities all over the territory rather than centralising the action in the Catalan capital. Thus, besides Barcelona, Salt, in Girona; Berga, in Central Catalonia; Lleida; and Tarragona will host mobilisations. 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. 

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 modes of transport. “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.

  • Puigdemont_i_ANC

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, together with the Catalan National Assembly's President, Jordi Sànchez, Òmnium Cultural's, Jordi Cuixart and the Catalan Government's spokeswoman, Neus Munté (by ACN)