Membership of Catalan pro-independence organizations soars
Òmnium Cultural gained 14,000 new members in recent weeks, including a thousand on the day its president was sent to jail
Support for pro-independence civil society organizations in Catalonia has soared since the October 1 referendum. According to Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, the two leading grassroots groups in Catalonia’s push for secession, their membership numbers started rising on the run-up to the independence referendum, and have continued to grow ever since — especially when the presidents of the two organizations were sent to prison almost a month ago on sedition charges.
Òmnium Cultural has 85,689 members in total. Over the past six weeks, it has gained some 14,000 new members. On October 16, the day when Jordi Cuixart and ANC president, Jordi Sánchez, were sent to jail, around a thousand people reached out to become new members of the organization.
“We would have preferred having Jordi with us even if it meant not having gained a single extra member”
Marcel Mauri · Òmnium Cultural vice president
Òmnium vice president Marcel Mauri said that the organization hopes the increase is due to their work, and not to the imprisonment of their leader. “We would have preferred having Jordi with us even if it meant not having gained a single extra member”, said Mauri, who has become the organization’s temporary leader in the absence of jailed president, Jordi Cuixart.
In the same time period, ANC gained 4,500 new members. In total, the organization has some 45,000 dues-paying members and an additional 40,000 non-paying associate members.
Òmnium and ANC are responsible for organizing massive pro-independence demonstrations on Catalonia's National Day, September 11. Last Sunday, Barcelona was flooded with people demanding the release of imprisoned Catalan leaders. The motto of the rally was 'Freedom for political prisoners. We are the Republic.'
ANC and Òmnium called for another mass demonstration on December 7. This time, though, the rally will take place in Brussels. The march will be held in the run-up to the December 21 election.