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100km-marches across country: response to upcoming jailed leaders' verdict

Three-day peaceful walk towards Barcelona is in pro-independence civic groups' plan to reject "unfair" guilty judicial decision

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05 October 2019 01:25 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Pro-independence civil organizations have already announced some of the plans they are preparing to respond to a potential guilty verdict for the 2017 referendum leaders – the Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision in the coming days.

The protest actions include organizing five marches towards Barcelona over three days, which the ANC and Òmnium groups have already announced.

The leaders of both organizations in 2017 are two of the nine leaders in preventive custody facing rebellion crimes for their role during the push for independence.

Both organizations think a guilty verdict for the jailed leaders would be "unfair."

Marches

On Friday, ANC and Òmnium announced that five "popular and mass" marches will converge in the Catalan capital.

Called 'Marches for Freedom,' they will kick off from Girona, Vic, Berga, Tàrrega and Tarragona, and each route will consist of walking 100 kilometers over three days.

"[This initiative] aims to be a countrywide response in favor of freedom for the political prisoners, the exiled leaders, against repression, and to demand the right to self-determination," say the organizations.

  • "[This initiative] aims to be a countrywide response in favor of freedom for the political prisoners, the exiled leaders, against repression, and to demand the right to self-determination"

    ANC and Òmnium pro-independence groups

The marches will start on a Wednesday – presumably the first one after the verdict is out – and will come to an end on the Friday afternoon in Barcelona.

A few days ago, ANC spokesman David Fernàndez announced that they were planning several marches in order to "jam traffic up" across the country.

ANC and Òmnium are inspired by historic peaceful demonstrations, such as the Salt March in India.

Demonstrations on verdict day

Both organizations have also announced that apart from the marches, they will call several demonstrations across the country on the day of the verdict at 8pm.

It is likely that a large-scale unitary demonstration will also be called on the days after the verdict, according to ANC spokesman Fernàndez.

'Democratic Tsunami'

Other protests are likely to take place, taking into account that the main pro-independence parties and civil organizations held an event on October 1 pledging to stand united in response to the verdict.

Officials of most of these groups have backed a recent initiative called 'Tsunami Democràtic' (Democratic Tsunami), which is thought to also envisage some sort of peaceful protest after the verdict.

General strike

Meanwhile, two trade unions have called a general strike for Friday, October 18. The stoppage was originally called for October 11, but postponed to make it more likely to coincide with the verdict announcement.

While the law prohibits unions from calling strikes for political reasons, the unions say they are committed to Catalonia’s national rights, which they also believe affect labor rights.

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  • ANC's leader, Elisenda Paluzie, and Òmnium's vice president, Marcel Mauri, on October 4, 2019 (by Guillem Roset)

  • ANC's leader, Elisenda Paluzie, and Òmnium's vice president, Marcel Mauri, on October 4, 2019 (by Guillem Roset)

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