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Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans to try to ban massive pro-independence rally in Barcelona

Ciutadans (C’s), the anti-Catalan nationalism party that could become Spain’s third-largest party according to many polls, stated on Monday that they will do everything in their power to stop the next massive pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona from happening. Since 2012, every 11th of September (which is Catalonia’s National Day), the main pro-independence civil society associations have organised a massive rally, such as the 400 km-long human chain spanning Catalonia from north to south in 2013 and the V-shaped demonstration occupying more than 11 km of Barcelona’s two main avenues in 2014. More than 1.5 million people participated in each of the demonstrations, which have always been peaceful and cheerful, claiming Catalonia’s right to self-determination. This year, another massive demonstration is planned, which is to occupy all of Meridiana Avenue, symbolically going from the Catalan Parliament to outside the city.

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04 May 2015 09:36 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Ciutadans (C’s), the anti-Catalan nationalism party that could become Spain’s third-largest party according to many polls, stated on Monday that they will do everything in their power to stop the next massive pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona from happening. Since 2012, every 11th of September (which is Catalonia’s National Day), the main pro-independence civil society associations organise a massive rally, such as the 400 km-long human chain spanning Catalonia from north to south in 2013 and the V-shaped demonstration occupying more than 11 km of Barcelona’s two main avenues in 2014. More than 1.5 million people participated in each of the demonstrations, claiming Catalonia’s right to self-determination. The demonstrations have always been peaceful and cheerful, without any violent episodes and with people of all ages participating in them. Last year’s V-shaped rally was among the largest demonstrations ever, with more than 1.8 million participants according to the Catalan Police. Other political parties, some of them opposed to independence, have strongly criticised C’s for their statement against freedom of expression and ideological plurality, which must be at the base of any democratic state.


This year, another massive demonstration is planned, which is to occupy all of Meridiana Avenue, symbolically going from the Catalan Parliament to outside the city. It will take place two weeks before the next Catalan Parliament elections, announced for the 27th of September. These early elections are planned to be transformed into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence, since it is the only option left to held a self-determination vote, after the Spanish Government’s rejection of even sitting at the negotiating table during the last 3 years, ignoring the democratic claims of such massive demonstrations and the mandate of the last Catalan elections (held in November 2012).

“Putting all the possible obstacles” to stop the rally from taking place

C’s will try “to put all the possible obstacles” to impede such a rally from happening, stated the Spanish nationalist and populist party’s candidate for Mayor of Barcelona, Carina Mejías. She will do so if her party “runs” or is “decisive” in the Catalan capital’s new local government, after the Municipal Elections to be held next May. Mejías said that the pro-independence rally is “partisan”, only “interests a few” and creates a “split” as it divides Catalan society.

“Events that exalt division feelings must be eradicated from the city because Barcelona does not consider them to be its own and they only interest a share, which is increasingly a minority”, she highlighted. “I don’t know why Barcelona has to each year be the scenario for partisan harangues”, Mejías stressed. Such events “do not fit into” the populist party’s model for Barcelona, she said. “Such events do not interest Barcelonans, nor are they advisable” for them, according to the C’s candidate. However, she did say that she will not violate the law to stop it: “we will always respect the law”.

C’s supports the pro-Spanish unity demonstrations instead

Mejías was asked whether she would also ban the pro-Spanish unity rallies for the same reasons. The Spanish nationalist and anti-Catalan nationalism party’s candidate stated the demonstrations organised for Spain’s National Day (on 12 October) or for the Spanish Constitution’s Day (on 6 December) supporting Spain’s unity in Barcelona are “adequate” and “have nothing to do” with the division created by the pro-independence demonstrations. These events are “celebrated in the whole of Spain” and they “celebrate a pact for living together which includes everybody”. According to her, on 12 October, the same thing happens, as it is “the National Day, the celebration of the whole of Spain, and it is also celebrated in the whole of Latin America because we celebrate the Hispanics Day, the Day of Hispanic Culture”. Therefore, she would not ban them; on the contrary, C’s is supporting them.

Last 12 October, around 50,000 people gathered in Barcelona’s Catalunya Square for Spain’s unity, while a month before 1.8 million people marched for Catalonia’s independence. At that particular pro-Spanish unity demonstration, no Franco regime flags were flown. However, each year, there is a small pro-Spanish unity demonstration organised by Fascist parties and organisations in Barcelona, which takes place in the Sants neighbourhood or on Montjuic hill. Mejías did not refer to the latter type of demonstrations; she would only ban those supporting independence from Spain.

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  • Carina Mejías, the Ciudadanos' candidate for Barcelona Mayor, on Monday(byR. Garrido)

  • Carina Mejías, the Ciudadanos' candidate for Barcelona Mayor, on Monday(byR. Garrido)