òmnium cultural

Council of Europe receives 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence

November 6, 2015 08:58 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The main pro-independences civil associations, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) handed over 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence to the Council of Europe. The signatures were gathered during the non-binding referendum that took place on the 9th of November 2014. The pro-independence civil associations’representatives travelled to Strasbourg to denounce “the lack of democratic will of the Spanish State”and they reported on Catalonia’s situation to a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. The delivery of these signatures is the first international diplomatic action promoted by the ANC, Òmnium and the AMI. “The Catalan case is present in the European agenda”stated the ANC’s president, Jordi Sànchez, and added that “giving first-hand information from civil society is very important”. 

Catalonia protests against 9-N summonses

October 14, 2015 01:41 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Citizens all across Catalonia expressed their opposition to Catalonia's Supreme Court's decision to summons President Artur Mas, Catalan Minister for Education Irene Rigau and former vice-president Joana Ortega for organising the 9-N symbolic vote. This Tuesday, after Rigau and Ortega appeared before the court, thousands of people gathered together in front of their respective town halls, showing their support for the summonsed and declaring themselves guilty for participating in the 9-N consultation. The protests were organised by Alliance for the Right to Self-Determination of Catalonia ('Pacte Nacional pel Dret a Decidir'), a group of 1,500 institutions, political parties, trade unions, business organisations, professional associations, NGOs, cultural organisations and political pressure groups that support the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia. 

1.4 million people take to the streets calling for independence

September 11, 2015 07:51 PM | ACN

Catalonia has once again organised one of the largest demonstrations in Europe on its National Day. 1.4 million people formed a 5.2 km line in Barcelona to show their support for the creation of an independent state for Catalonia, according to local police. The organisers from the grass-roots Catalan National Assembly (ANC) put the figure at 2 million. Its president, Jordi Sánchez, urged politicians to go ahead with independence if Yes parties win a majority in the 27th of September election. “They should not let us down. They need to know that they’ve got hundreds of thousands of people behind them. Today we are on the street, tomorrow we will be in the polling station”, he said. According to Sánchez, this year's demonstration has been a “success”.

Massive turnout at Catalan independence demonstration

September 11, 2015 05:09 PM | ACN

Yes supporters in Catalonia hit the streets Friday in a new historic rally organised two weeks before a crucial election that is being framed as a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. The ‘Via Lliure cap a la República Catalana’ (Gateway to the Catalan Republic) covered a 5.2-kilometre stretch of one of Barcelona’s main avenues, the Meridiana. People poured into the city waving the independence flag, known in Catalan as ‘estelada’. Today’s rally is the fourth huge demonstration in support of independence that Catalans have organised on 11 September, their National Day. In previous years, up to 1.5 million people demonstrated in the streets.

‘Via Lliure’: A mass rally on Catalonia’s National Day “to start building a new country”

September 9, 2015 10:17 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

A gigantic demonstration is being prepared by the two civil society associations supporting the independence process, the Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural, for Catalonia’s National Day. The ‘Via Lliure cap a la República Catalana’ (‘Gateway to the Catalan Republic’) arrives after three years in a row of historic pro-independence rallies that have gathered more than 1.5 million people each. This time the demonstration will take place along Meridiana Avenue in Barcelona and there are already 360,000 people registered to participate. The rally will make its way along a 5.2-kilometre-stretch, from the ‘Parc de la Ciutadella’ – where the Catalan Parliament is located – to the outskirts of the Catalan capital, symbolically linking the institution that represents Catalonia's sovereignty with the streets of Barcelona and the rest of the country. 

A look back at the last three mass demonstrations on Catalonia’s National Day

September 4, 2015 07:26 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Since 2012, the demonstrations on Catalonia’s National Day, on the 11th of September, have grown exponentially. Nearly two million pro-independence supporters have shown their demands regarding Catalonia’s political future at each of the different manifestations that have filled the streets of Barcelona and towns all over the territory. Two organisations, Òmnium Cultural, which is a civil society organisation promoting Catalan culture and language, and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), a grassroots association demanding Catalonia's independence from Spain, have played a key role in turning these three demonstrations into massive, historic rallies. 

Last 3 Catalan Parliament Presidents and coach Pep Guardiola to symbolically close pro-independence unitary list

August 10, 2015 11:12 PM | ACN

The pro-independence cross-party list for the forthcoming 27 September Catalan elections, which will be transformed into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence, will be symbolically closed by the last 3 Presidents of the Catalan Parliament and by the current Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola. They will occupy the symbolic last 4 positions on the 85-name list for the Province of Barcelona, with one name for each of the 85 MPs aiming to be elected in this constituency, the main one of the 4 Catalan provinces. None of them stand a chance of being elected, as in order for one of them to earn a parliamentary seat citizens would have to vote almost exclusively for that particular list, which is very far from likely. However, their presence in the Junts pel Sí list (‘Together for the Yes’) is likely to be a magnet for attracting the support of a greater number voters. The candidature brings together the main civil society organisations supporting independence, Catalonia’s two largest parties right now and some other smaller political forces.

"If the majority is there, the Catalan Parliament will solemnly declare the start of the independence process", states Romeva

July 20, 2015 10:19 PM | ACN

The pro-independence unitary list for the next Catalan elections and the road map towards independence were officially presented on Monday evening at Catalonia's National History Museum. Liberals, Social-Democrats, Greens, Christian-Democrats, Socialists and civil society organisations are running together and transforming the 27 September elections into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence. "What we are doing here is very strange but we are going through a very strange moment, extraordinary", stated former Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is topping the unitary list. "We have tried everything" to hold a self-determination vote, but using the parliamentary elections is the only option left "to exercise our right to vote", stressed Romeva. The former Eco-Socialist MEP disclosed the main steps of the road map towards independence and also highlighted the main government priorities, particularly focusing on the people most in need. "This is the reason" why "we are doing this" and uniting under the name 'Together for the Yes'.

Football coach Pep Guardiola to symbolically run in pro-independence list for Catalan elections

July 20, 2015 03:21 PM | ACN

The current manager of FC Bayern Munich, Catalonia-born Pep Guardiola, will occupy the symbolic last position on the unitary pro-independence list running in the next Catalan Parliament elections, which groups together Liberals, Social-Democrats, Christian-Democrats, Socialists, Greens and civil society organisations, according to news released on Monday morning by the ‘El País’ and ‘El Periódico’ newspapers. The elections are scheduled for 27 September and many parties are planning to transform them into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence after the Spanish Government’s unilateral blocking attitude for the last 3 years. For many people, this is the only way left to hold a legal vote on independence, after the Spanish Government has totally rejected even talking about the self-determination claims democratically expressed by a majority of Catalan citizens through the last Catalan elections in 2012 and many peaceful mass demonstrations.

Raül Romeva, former Eco-Socialist MEP, will top the unitary pro-independence electoral list

July 15, 2015 09:44 PM | ACN

Former Member of the European Parliament Raül Romeva, who also used to be a member of the Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV, will be heading the pro-independence unitary list formed for the next Catalan elections by the Liberal party CDC, the Social-Democrat ERC, the Socialist MES and the Christian-Democrat DC with leading representatives from civil society. Civil society activists Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals will come second and third respectively. The elections, scheduled for 27 September, will become a 'de facto' referendum on independence, after almost 3 years of the Spanish Government unilaterally blocking any discussion for a mutually agreed vote, despite the clear democratic mandate from the 2012 Catalan elections, when citizens voted overwhelmingly for parties supporting a legal self-determination vote. After months of discussions, almost all the pro-independence forces are uniting and forming a shared list to transform the next elections into an independence plebiscite.

Green light for unitary pro-independence electoral list with politicians and independents

July 14, 2015 10:12 PM | ACN

The main civil society organisations supporting independence have backed the creation of a single unitary list among the main forces aiming to transform the next Catalan Parliament elections, scheduled for 27 September, into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence. After months of discussions and public disagreements, there is finally a wide consensus that, even if it does not include all the pro-independence parties, is backed by a wide majority of them, ranging from Socialists to Christian-democrats and including Liberals. The list will be headed by an independent but will ultimately include active politicians as well as many members of civil society. The agreement was reached on Monday night between the Liberal party CDC – which runs the Catalan Government – and the Social-Democrat ERC – which has provided parliamentary support to the Executive since 2012. The incumbent Catalan President and CDC leader, Artur Mas, will form part of the list.

Liberal CDC and Social-Democrat ERC would run together in pro-independence list with civil society members

July 14, 2015 04:39 PM | ACN

Catalonia's two main pro-independence parties, the Liberal CDC – which runs the Catalan Government – and the Social-Democrat ERC – which has been backing the Executive for the last 2 years – have finally reached an agreement about how to run in the next Catalan Parliament elections, scheduled for 27 September and called in order to become a 'de facto' referendum on independence from Spain. This is the only way left for Catalan citizens to hold a legal and free vote on the issue, after the Spanish Government has unilaterally blocked any discussion on the issue despite the clear democratic mandate of the last Catalan elections, held in November 2012, when an absolute majority of parties supporting the organisation of a legal self-determination referendum was elected. On Monday night, after months of discussions and public disagreements, the President of the Catalan Government and CDC leader, Artur Mas, and the leader of the ERC, Oriol Junqueras, finally reached an agreement to run together but in a unitary list to be formed by many independents and representatives from civil society.

Pro-independence parties and civil society groups hold crucial meeting on unitary electoral list

July 13, 2015 10:03 PM | ACN

On Monday, a summit among the main pro-independence parties and civil society organisations has been held at the Catalan President's office, the Generalitat Palace, in Barcelona. The meeting ended without a definitive agreement, although some attendees did say there was a "positive" atmosphere. An electoral list without professional politicians but grouping all the political sensitivities of the pro-independence forces is on the discussion table after days of intense public debate. This option is backed by the main civil society organisations promoting Catalonia's independence from Spain, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, as well as by the main pro-independence left-wing parties, namely the Social-Democrat ERC and the alternative left CUP. However, the governing Liberal party CDC is against this formula as it would exclude the incumbent Catalan President, Artur Mas, from running in the elections that he would call early in order to transform them into a 'de facto' referendum on independence.

Self-determination process needs "enthusiasm"

June 23, 2015 07:58 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, warned on Monday that the self-determination process needs "enthusiasm", defining his proposal of a shared list with civil society organisations as a "spark" to retrieve it. In an interview with TV3, the President called for "personal and corporate agendas" not to overcome the country's interests, announcing that if grassroots organisations refuse his proposal, he will run in the next elections with his party, or an "enlarged" version of it. Mas - who met on Monday with the 3 grassroots organisations that organised the pro-independence demonstrations of 2012, 2013 and 2014 - pointed out that this is his last attempt to form a shared list "after the one with the political parties failed".

Barcelona's next mayor, Ada Colau, to attend massive pro-independence rally on Catalonia's National Day

June 8, 2015 10:03 PM | ACN

The leader of the alternative left and green coalition Barcelona en Comú, Ada Colau, has announced that she will attend the massive demonstration for independence scheduled for Catalonia's National Day (11 September). In 2014, the demonstration gathered more than 1.8 million people in Barcelona. Colau won the municipal elections 2 weeks ago and therefore is likely to become the next Mayor of the Catalan capital. Last week, she said she would not join the self-determination road map agreed between the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU and the left-wing independence party ERC because she refuses to reach agreements with the right-wing CiU. Pro-Spanish unity media started to speculate that she did not support Catalonia's self-determination process. This Monday Colau highlighted her commitment to the process and announced her will to contribute "to a constituent process that should allow for real sovereignty", expanding the current process' plurality.