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Relatives of jailed officials to lead Saturday’s march

Civic organizations hope Barcelona protest will rival mass September 11 national day demonstrations

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09 November 2017 05:21 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Family members of the political leaders and the officials imprisoned by the Spanish courts will lead Saturday’s march organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural pro-independence civic organizations.

Under the slogan 'Llibertat presos polítics, som república' (Freedom for political prisoners, we are the republic), the aim of the march, said ANC vice president, Agustí Alcoberro, and Òmnium spokesman, Marcel Mauri, on Thursday, is to reproduce the mass protests of recent September 11 national day demonstrations.

The spokesmen also said they hoped that Saturday’s demonstration would be “inclusive, open and wide-ranging” and they called for “any democrat” to join in, “because what is at risk is democracy itself,” said Mauri, who also stressed that the demonstration should be “radically peaceful and nonviolent”.

  • “We cannot talk about normality until [Article] 155 no longer applies and the prisoners are free”

    Agustí Alcoverro · Catalan National Assembly vice president

Some 574 coaches bringing people to Barcelona on Saturday have already been confirmed, said the spokesmen. The aim of the protest set to begin at 5 pm is to fill Barcelona’s Marina avenue from Pujadas street as far as Icària avenue, which is close to the Catalan Parliament.

Both organizations also hope that the President of the Catalan Parliament and other parliamentary bureau members who testified in the Supreme Court on Thursday will be free to take part. “It would be a sign that Spanish justice, which has not provided us with much good news, is beginning to change course,” said Mauri.

Meanwhile, both organizations were positive about Wednesday’s general strike, arguing that the success of the day-long stoppage “gives us confidence for Saturday’s demonstration,” according to Mauri.

Unity candidacy preferred

As for the Catalan elections on December 21, the ANC continues to support a joint pro-independence candidacy to “confirm the majority in the Catalan Parliament,” said Alcoberro, although the spokesman said they would also support pro-independence parties if they stand separately.

What both organizations made clear is that the upcoming elections are far from normal: “We cannot talk about normality until [Article] 155 no longer applies and the prisoners are free,” said Alcoberro, in reference to the heads of both organizations, Jordi Sànchez (ANC) and Jordi Cuixart (Òmnium), who are still being held in custody.

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  • Protesters holding “Freedom political prisoners” signs in Sant Jaume square in Barcelona (by Andrea Zamorano)

  • Protesters holding “Freedom political prisoners” signs in Sant Jaume square in Barcelona (by Andrea Zamorano)