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Independence supporters to mobilise 100,000 volunteers in a door-to-door campaign throughout Catalonia

The cross-cutting campaign that intends to visit each home in Catalonia will be launched on the same day that the Spanish authorities are expected to ban the self-determination consultation vote. The two civil society associations that organised the 3 peaceful and massive pro-independence rallies in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (which gathered more than 1.5 million people each), Catalonia's National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, are behind this initiative. They say that their aim is not to convince citizens but to listen to them and make a survey about what kind of country Catalans want. Furthermore, with this wide campaign they want to support the consultation vote and raise awareness of it. Such a vote should take place on the 9th of November, as it was agreed in December 2013 by two thirds of the Catalan Parliament following the mandate from the 2012 Catalan elections.

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17 September 2014 09:37 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The two civil society associations that organised the 3 peaceful and massive pro-independence rallies in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (which gathered more than 1.5 million people each), Catalonia's National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, are about to launch a cross-cutting campaign that intends to visit each home in Catalonia thanks to 100,000 volunteers. They say that their aim is not to convince citizens about independence but to listen to them and make a survey about what kind of country Catalans want. Furthermore, with this wide door-to-door campaign, they want to support the self-determination vote and raise awareness of it among the entire population in order to stir up the debate. The ANC President, Carme Forcadell, stated that the campaign will kick off on the same day that the Spanish authorities ban the self-determination consultation vote. This prohibition is expected to be issued on Friday or early next week. If in the end the consultation vote is not banned, then the campaign should start on the 4th of October, confirmed Forcadell. Such a vote should take place on the 9th of November, as was agreed in December 2013 by two thirds of the Catalan Parliament following the mandate from the last Catalan elections, which took place in November 2012. Furthermore, the first massive pro-independence demonstration took place in September 2012, gathering 1.5 million people in Barcelona. In the last two years, the Spanish Government has replied with a "no-to-everything attitude", unilaterally imposing the current 'status quo' and its restrictive interpretation of the legal framework. In these 24 months, the Spanish Government has not made any concession (such as proposing greater self-government powers) and has not even agreed to talk about Catalonia's demand to decide on its collective future through a free and democratic vote, a demand shared by between 75% and 80% of the Catalan population.


'Now it's the time' (Ara és l'hora, in Catalan) is the door-to-door campaign that the ANC and Òmnium Cultural will launch to visit each home in Catalonia to raise awareness about November's self-determination vote. In order to carry out this initiative they will mobilise 100,000 volunteers. These grassroots associations already have a wide experience in organising massive initiatives that overcome complex organisational challenges. For instance 6 days ago, on Catalonia's National Day they managed to form an 11km-long Catalan flag in Barcelona with the participation of 1.8 million people, according to local police. The V-shaped flag was formed along two major avenues of the Catalan capital to symbolise the desire to "Vote", the citizen "Will" and the conviction of a "Victory", as all three words start with a V in the Catalan language.

Visiting all the 2.5 million homes in Catalonia

According to the organisers, the objective of the 'Now it's the time' campaign is that "each Catalan" can express themselves about what the country he or she wants, regardless of whether they would vote for independence or against it. Forcadell stated that they already have 15,000 volunteers, but that they still need 85,000 more to reach all the 2.5 million homes existing in Catalonia. Volunteers are only asked to work two hours of a single afternoon for the campaign and visit a few homes. The campaign already has €2 million, coming from

individual donations and promotional merchandising, such as selling t-shirts. This budget will be used to fund the campaign materials such as banners, stickers, surveys, etc.

People will be asked to complete a survey on the country they imagine

Volunteers will reach "the homes of all neighbourhoods of all towns and cities of our country to ask the people how they imagine a new country!" said Oriol Soler, Manager of the 'Ara és l'hora' campaign. During the home visit, volunteers will present a 3-minute survey to the citizens willing to participate. Furthermore, they will be also asked to complete a yellow post-it to write whatever they think, completing a sentence that begins “I want...” and ends with “yes, or yes?” Then, banners and posters will be made with those sentences and will be displayed throughout Catalonia. "The country will be covered in yellow", stated Soler. "It is the most ambitious political campaign in our country's history", Forcadell added.

The Constitutional Court will not stop Catalans from voting, stated Forcadell

The ANC President emphasised that all the political parties supporting the self-determination vote have "made clear that it will not be the Constitutional Court which decides whether we have a consultation vote or not". She explained that the ANC and Òmnium will call upon the Catalan citizens to demonstrate in front of their town halls on the day the Constitutional Court bans the vote, if it happens. "We will answer with more campaigns, more freedom and more democracy". "There is a democratic mandate, a social and parliamentary majority and, as from next Friday, a legal framework" to call the self-determination vote on the 9th of November, stated Forcadell. "There is no obstacle" to having a consultation vote in Catalonia, she stressed. She also added that political parties have emphasised that the consultation vote will have "sufficient democratic guarantees".

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  • The poster of the 'Now it's the time' campaign (by A. Moldes)

  • The poster of the 'Now it's the time' campaign (by A. Moldes)