Thousands of people claim Catalonia’s independence in five cities across the territory
This year’s demonstration on Catalonia’s National Day took place in five different cities simultaneously: Barcelona; Salt, next to Girona; Berga, in Central Catalonia; Lleida in the East and Tarragona in the South. At 17:14 (5.14 pm CET) all the demonstrators lifted a yellow card in the shape of a circle symbolising a heart-beat and responded to the motto ‘Go ahead, Catalan Republic’. 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.
Barcelona (CNA).- Hundreds of thousands of Catalans hit the streets again on the National Day to claim Catalonia’s independence. “This is a matter of democracy”, stated Jordi Cuixart, the President of ‘Òmnium Cultural’, one of the main civil society organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012, together with the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). “We prefer the ballot boxes rather than the Court”, stated Jordi Sànchez, the President of ANC, in reference to Spain’s attitude regarding Catalonia’s pro-independence and the imputation of some of the Catalan Government’s representatives by the Spanish Constitutional Court. This year’s mobilisation was enhanced to four other cities besides the Catalan capital Barcelona: Salt, next to Girona; Berga, in Central Catalonia; Lleida in the East: and Tarragona in the South. At 17:14 (5.14 pm CET) all the demonstrators lifted a yellow card in the shape of a circle symbolising a heart-beat and responded to the motto ‘Go ahead, Catalan Republic’.
“Today Catalonia made history once again not only before its fellow citizens, which have proved that far from being tired they are highly motivated, but also before the world", stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, who attended the demonstration in Salt. "This is the fifth time in a row that this country has acted in this way, and the time has come for those who have to take note of it to do so", he added. Puigdemont warned that "it is not possible to rule Spain without Catalonia and that the solution to Catalonia’s demands will be achieved by politics rather than by using the Court". "We will stand here until the end", he stated.
In a similar sense, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva considered this years' mobilisation as "a success". "If we manage to put these images at the heart of the international press then this process in unstoppable”, he stated and emphasised that the demonstration reclaimed "the right to be a State and therefore to start building it". "We are ready to do it and we want to tell the world that we are ready", he said.
Jordi Sànchez: “Don’t doubt for a second putting the ballot boxes”
“Don’t doubt for a second to put out the ballot boxes”, stated ANC’s President, Jordi Sànchez and added that “this is the language which the democratic world will understand, the best tribute to democracy and to the world’s free nations and the best instrument to keep this country together as one”. “We prefer the ballot boxes rather than the Court”, he said.
Jordi Cuixart: “This is a matter of democracy”.
Òmnium Cultural’s President, Jordi Cuixart, celebrated the participation and “Catalans ability to mobilise”. “We are not tired; we have more strength than ever before”, he stated from the main stage, located at Barcelona’s Passeig de Lluís Companys. “They wanted us to be divided and today we are more united than ever; they wanted to be defeated and today we tell them that we will never surrender”, he added addressing the crowd and referring to Spanish Government.
According to Cuixart, Catalonia’s pro-independence process “was started by its people and it is going to be finished by its people”. “The Catalan republic is won on the ballot boxes and is built on the streets”, stated Òmnium Cultural’s President.
“We don’t go against anybody; our cause is freedom and a better future for our children” Cuixart assured “our republic is that of fraternity, since we are a nation of tolerance, welcome and respect”, he added. “We defend our health system, our right to live in a country in which investment is fulfilled and where refugees could find comprehension”. “Thousands of Catalans of all origins claim together, that this is a matter of democracy”.
Cuixart also addressed to those members which have been accused by the TC of having disobeyed its rulings when allowing Catalans to vote and passing laws according to the pro-independence roadmap. Those names include some of the ministers of the previous Catalan Government, including former President, Artur Mas and the current Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell. “You are not alone”, he said
Oriol Junqueras: “We are the world champions of referendums”
“This is yet another proof of the persistent will of this people to achieve their freedom”, stated Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras. He also commented on Puigdemont’s proposal to call for an agreed referendum during his upcoming vote of confidence. “It is well known that we are the world champions of referendums and all the ways seem fine to us if they allow the citizens of this country to democratically decide their future”
Ada Colau: “Current deadlock between the Spanish State and Catalonia can’t continue”
“Today we are saying from many different places that the current deadlock between the Spanish State and Catalonia can’t continue anymore, it isn’t good for anyone”, Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, assured. “We are calling on steps to move forward and we are asking for basic things; to held a referendum on which all the people of Catalonia could feel called to participate”, she said.