Final night of referendum campaign
Yes supporters gather thousands at Barcelona’s magic fountain, while opposition leading party holds an event to reject the ‘coup to democracy’
The referendum campaign is now over. It is now one day to go for the long-awaited referendum and, following the tradition, campaigning is not allowed on Saturday. It has been a very atypical referendum campaign, as Yes supporters have been holding hundreds of events despite Spain’s fierce opposition to anything related to the vote –even posters and leaflets have been confiscated–, while No supporters have rejected campaigning as they don’t recognize the vote. But the final day of campaign has seen both sides somehow taking part.
Yes supporters gathered tens of thousands of people in a unitary event at Barcelona’s magic fountain. Featuring the Catalan president, vice president, the main pro-referendum parties and organizations, and also some musical performances, in the end the event was more a call for democracy and a refusal of Spain’s actions to stop it than a typical Yes campaign public meeting.
"On Sunday, leave home willing to change history!"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, said that the Catalan citizens have already beaten an "authoritarian state," because they have "protected" the government. He recommended voters on Sunday to "leave home willing to change history, to finish with the (pro-independence) process in order to start with the progress."
Puigdemont's vice president, Oriol Junqueras, said that "in overcoming every challenge," the pro-independence movement finds "the way to be stronger, more united and the way that the world sees us with more liking." He also called on citizens to "persist with quietness and firmness."
On the other hand, the leading opposition party in Catalonia, Ciudadanos, held a big event on Friday evening near Barcelona to call for abstention on Sunday because it is a "coup to democracy". According to the party, 1,000 people attended the speeches, while 500 people could not get in. Ciudadanos leader, Albert Rivera, branded the referendum as "caciquist."