Catalonia's National Day to be celebrated around the world

Pro-independence group ANC organizes Catalan Week, with government events also taking place

Catalan National Assembly (ANC) president Elisenda Paluzie, August 22, 2020 (by Eloi Tost)
Catalan National Assembly (ANC) president Elisenda Paluzie, August 22, 2020 (by Eloi Tost) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 1, 2020 06:11 PM

Pro-independence group the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is organizing twenty events around the world to celebrate Catalonia's National Day on September 11.

Catalan Week consists of a mix of in-person and online events from August 29 to September 13, with the aim of promoting the independence cause abroad and denouncing "Spain's political repression against the people of Catalonia."

Events will be held in places such as Mexico, Belgium, England, Luxembourg, USA, Portugal and Germany, organised primarily by local branches of ANC.

The fifth Catalan Week got underway in Zurich on Saturday, followed by a virtual debate in Madrid on Sunday focused on the imprisonment of activist Daniel Gallardo for protesting against the Supreme Court's ruling on the 2017 independence referendum.

ANC President Elisenda Paluzie will take part in a conference in Bilbao in the Basque Country on September 3 on the effects and challenges of "Spanish repression" on the independence movement.

Various events will take place on Saturday 5 in Brussels, such as the broadcast of an interview with the exiled rapper Josep Valtonyc. On the same day there will be another debate in Madrid with the president of the Catalan Business Circle, Albert Pont, and ANC vice president, David Fernàndez.

On Sunday 6 there will be a digital round table in Mexico, focused on solidarity between the independence movements in Catalonia and the Latin American country.

On the same day, the Brussels branch of ANC will launch an exhibition by Santiago Sierra entitled 'Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain', which will be on display until the end of the month in the Belgian capital.

The following day, ANC Luxembourg will organize a digital conversation with the former Catalan culture minister, Lluís Puig, now in exile in Belgium.

On September 9, ANC England will hold a live debate with representatives of the Catalan pro-independence political parties.

On the eve of the National Day itself, there will be a conference in Lisbon with the Portuguese historian and journalist Fernando Rosas, and a rally in the Place de la République in Paris.

On September 11, coinciding with the celebration of the Diada in Catalonia, various online and in-person are to be held, including one in Brussels featuring figures from the independence movement.

The following day there will be a virtual meeting in Dallas, with Catalan Week concluding on September 13 with a virtual presentation of the work of ANC branches abroad, and a debate on the current situation and future challenges for the Catalan independence movement.

Health concerns

In recent years, September 11 has seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets of Catalonia in support of independence, but 2020's 'Diada' is set to look very different, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Secretary of Public Health in Catalonia, Josep Maria Argimon, says that while the right to protest is "guaranteed," he believes that it is not "appropriate" to hold rallies at this time.

In an interview with broadcaster TV3 on Monday, Argimon said that no matter how much people respect safety measures, such as wearing face masks or social distancing, "all the mobility involved in attending rallies must also be avoided."

Government spokesperson Meritxell Budó says that the health situation "makes it advisable for the Diada to be approached differently". She said that the government does not advise people to demonstrate, but that as an executive they recognize the right to demonstrate, while trying to avoid large crowds coming together.

"Highly decentralized"

The president of the ANC explained last week that they are preparing for demonstrations at 90 different locations throughout Catalonia on September 11.

Paluzie told broadcaster Rac1 that the protest will be "highly decentralized" with the aim of avoiding mass mobilizations.

Catalan government events

The government has also organized events to mark the day outside of Catalonia. Budó will attend one in Madrid on September 14, with virtual events also planned in Norway on September 8 and 10, in Brussels on September 9, in Vienna on September 10, in France and Germany on September 11, and in Switzerland on September 17.