Several events outside prisons remember jailed leaders during festive season
Thousands gather for Christmas concert and for New Year's Day by Lledoners penitentiary with Puigdemont via video
Several events were held outside the three prisons hosting Catalan pro-independence leaders during the festive season to remember and support the nine politicians and activists behind bars.
On January 1, in the evening, hundreds gathered outside Lledoners penitentiary center, where seven out of the nine jailed leaders are incarcerated.
The rally coincided with an event in which every evening an anonymous activist says 'bona nit' (or 'good night,' in English) to each of the nine leaders outside Lledoners with a megaphone –a voice by some of them saying 'bona nit' in response is sometimes heard. The activist uses the nickname Joan BonaNit.
The daily event was not only unique because more people than usual gathered, but also because the former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, joined via video along with the former minister Toni Comín. Both of them are in exile in Belgium.
"We are sadly living the reality of Spain," says Puigdemont
"What we are living is not a nightmare. It is sadly the reality of Spain, which failed to reform towards a democracy, and which was absolutely incapable to move towards a plural state," said Puigdemont to the crowd.
"Spain failed to reform towards a democracy and was incapable to move towards a plural state"
Carles Puigdemont · Former Catalan president
"It is not our reality, this fantasy of a plural Spain which has no longer anyone who believes in it without lying to us."
While the nine jailed leaders will face a trial for rebellion probably starting in late January, Puigdemont is free in Belgium and facing no extradition requests.
On New Year's Eve, hundreds also spent the whole night, including midnight, outside Lledoners, but also by Mas d'Enric and Puig de les Basses prisons, hosting the former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and the former minister Dolors Bassa.
Händel's 'Messiah' performed
On December 29, some 9,000 people attended a concert by Lledoners center performed by 500 amateur and professional musicians, who played 'Messiah', by Händel. The event wanted to send them the "affection" by the public, not only to the inmates in Lledoners, but also to the ones in Mas d'Enric and Puig de les Basses centers.
On Christmas Day, in the evening, thousands joined the 'bona nit' event, which prompted a massive traffic jam in the area. Similar events were held outside the other two jails.
On December 24 and 25 the Catalan president, Quim Torra, and his number 2, Pere Aragonès, visited the nine leaders behind bars.
And also on Christmas' Eve, some Catalan Christmas carols were sing outside Lledoners in an event that gathered dozens.