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ANC urges Parliament to call a binding referendum on independence this autumn

The president of the civil society organisation Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Jordi Sánchez, stated on Sunday that the process towards independence has to be completed and a binding referendum needs to be called by the Catalan Parliament this autumn. Otherwise, he admitted, Catalan independence supporters might not achieve their goal. “We either start to complete this process (towards independence) or it will finish us off”, he said, admitting a certain fatigue amongst pro-independence groups. The ANC, together with Omnium Cultural and other civil society organisations in Catalonia, have for many years been organising massive pro-independence demonstrations every 11th of September, the Catalan National Day. In 2013, for example, they made a human chain from the North to the South of the country inspired by the Baltic Way, and in the last two years more than 1.5 million people demonstrated in Barcelona. The ANC is planning a new rally in 2016, this time with five different events across Catalonia.

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22 August 2016 11:01 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The pro-independence grass-roots organisation Catalan National Assembly (ANC) urged the Catalan Parliament to call a binding unilateral referendum on independence this autumn. “This is the petition of the ANC to the institutions”, said the president of this civil society group, Jordi Sánchez, pointing out that in autumn Parliament will “probably” be in a position to organise the vote. For Sánchez, if a vote is called by Parliament, the process will enter a “point of no return”. “We either start to complete this process (towards independence) or it will finish us off”, he said, admitting a certain fatigue amongst pro-independence groups. The ANC, together with Omnium Cultural and other civil society organisations in Catalonia, have for many years been organising massive pro-independence demonstrations every 11th of September, the Catalan National Day. In 2013, for example, they made a human chain from the North to the South of the country inspired by the Baltic Way, and in the last two years more than 1.5 million people demonstrated in Barcelona. The ANC is planning a new rally in 2016, this time with five different events across Catalonia.


“It is not only that we have been doing this for a long time, it’s also that we have done everything!”, admitted Sánchez, saying that Catalans have “earned” the right to vote about their political future in a referendum. The ANC president stated that pro-independence supporters and the Catalan Government have asked the Spanish Government on numerous occasions to agree on a referendum, but their calls have always fallen on deaf ears. “We have acted in a united and determined way. It’s hard to imagine what else we could do. We just need one last thing: determination to finish the process towards independence”, despite the frontal opposition coming from Madrid, he said.


According to Sánchez, pro-independence groups tend to worry too much, thinking that they do not have enough support amongst Catalans, something that he considers to be totally wrong. “We need to trust in ourselves”, he said. “With trust and unity we will achieve our goal of a new Catalan Republic”, he added. Sánchez asked the left-wing coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ (which includes the Catalan branch of Podemos and Green-socialists ICV) to support a unilateral referendum. “You should not be afraid of democracy”, he said, urging them to “disobey” the ban on voting on independence, thus defending the right of self-determination as they do with social rights that are being threatened by the economic crisis.


Sánchez urged Catalans that support independence to take to the streets again this 11th of September. “We need to show that we are keeping the mobilisation alive”, he pointed out. So far, the Spanish Government has rejected all calls to negotiate a referendum, and that’s why the pro-independence groups urge the Catalan Parliament to call it unilaterally. The Spanish Government has challenged all Catalan plans aimed at calling a referendum or declaring independence in the Constitutional Court, and the President of the Catalan Parliament, former ANC President Carme Forcadell, might even be suspended. “We are behind you whatever happens, do not let us down”, said Sánchez to the Catalan leaders, urging them to stay in their posts even if the Spanish judiciary forces them to leave for promoting independence.

 

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  • Aerial shot of the 'Gateway to the Catalan Republic', the pro-independence demonstration which gathered together milions of people on Catalonia's National Day, on the 11th of September 2015

  • Aerial shot of the 'Gateway to the Catalan Republic', the pro-independence demonstration which gathered together milions of people on Catalonia's National Day, on the 11th of September 2015