National Day protest registrations up to 400,000
Organizers of annual pro-independence demonstration call on more to sign up with verdict on jailed Catalan politicians and activists soon due
On the eve of Catalonia's National Day celebrations, the number of people who have registered for the annual pro-independence demonstration has risen to 400,000, says the civic organization hosting the event, the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC).
Since 2012, at least a million independence supporters have gathered in Barcelona and other Catalan cities every September 11 to demand self-determination for Catalonia, and after a slow start, it seems that this year's event will see similar numbers.
The ANC released the latest figures for the march on Tuesday, adding that 1,200 buses have been reserved to take people to the event, and that some 250,000 commemorative t-shirts - an annual feature of the rally - have so far been sold.
Despite the recent increase in the number of registrations, the ANC said there were still some sections of the demonstration left to fill, and the organization called on more people to sign up for the protest.
Under the motto Objectiu independència (Objective independence), this year's demonstration comes with the Supreme Court's verdict in the trial of jailed Catalan politicians and activists due in the next few weeks.
With an eye on international coverage, for this year’s march the ANC wants to fill some of Barcelona’s main thoroughfares with people, forming a huge star shape that will be seen from the air, and converging on Espanya square.
However this year, due to discrepancies among the pro-independence parties, the organizers will not be inviting any politicians to the event's VIP zone. Meanwhile, Catalonia's main unionist parties have all said they will not take part.