2017, Barcelona: « Referendum is democracy »
The Diada of 2017 took place just 3 weeks before the Oct 1 referendum and was a huge claim in favour of independence and the right to vote. Before the demonstration however, a minute of silence was held to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, just a month before.
The main slogan of the Diada was ‘Referendum is democracy’, centred in the colourful yes-campaign. As the partisan Constitutional Court outlawed the fundamental right to self-determination, ANC continued to claim the right of the Catalan people to decide on its political status, as recognised by the UN Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both signed and ratified by Spain.
ANC Chairman Jordi Sànchez defended the referendum as a tool for the Catalan people to express themselves. Successive polls show this demand is backed by 80% of Catalans. He reproached the state institutions of Spain “to put the indivisibility of the fatherland before democracy” as he criticised the democratic degradation in Spain, after numerous attacks on free speech, the freedom of assembly, the right to information and on the freedom of the press.
Human rights activists and recipients of the Nobel prize for Peace, Ahmed Galai and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, wanted to highlight that the right to self-determination should be exercised ‘freely and democratically’ and stressed the legality and legitimacy of the referendum, according to international law. The Diada was closed with the presentation of the yes-campaign for the referendum, with colourful yesses all over Catalonia: on busses, billboards, at railway stations etc.
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