Sunday, 11 September 2016

‘We are ready’ the motto of this year’s mobilisation for Catalonia’s National Day


Barcelona (CNA).- Thousands of Catalans are being called to hit the streets this year in what is expected to be another massive pro-independence mobilisation to commemorate Catalonia’s National Day. So far, more than 370,000 people have registered to take part in one  of the 5 different demonstrations, which this year are going to be held simultaneously in Barcelona, Salt, Berga, Lleida and Tarragona. According to the organisers, this year’s motto ‘We are ready’ 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, explained the presidents of both the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural (the two main civil organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012)

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 other 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 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. 

Barcelona, the city with the highest number of registrations

Berga, in Central Catalonia, was the first city to fill all its places (28,000). Barcelona is so far the location with the highest number of registered participants. On Friday morning there were 207,000 registered for the demonstration in the Catalan capital. Salt, near Girona, is also nearly full and had 42,000 people registered by Friday morning.

On the other hand, Tarragona with 34,000 registered and Lleida with 30,000 are the cities with the lowest proportion of registered participants.

The symbolism behind the 5 chosen locations

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 at random 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 harmonious coexistence. 

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”.

  • Cuixart_i_Sanchez

  • The President of the Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sànchez, and that of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, representing the two main organisations behind the last massive pro-independence mobilisations on Catalonia's National Day (by ACN)