Over 800.000 have attended the Catalan National Day demonstration in Barcelona, demanding for self-determination to become central in Catalan politics again, proving once more that people’s claim for independence persists.
The enormous support of civil society for independence has been shown once again in yet another Catalan National Day rally organised by Assemblea. Over 800.000 people have taken part in the march for independence, with the medieval cry to mobilisation ‘Via Fora!’ [Gung Ho!] as the slogan.
The Via Fora demonstration has taken the form of four columns leaving from symbolic points in Barcelona representing the fundamental values of the future Catalan Republic: Freedom, Language, Country and Sovereignty. Civil society organisations and representatives of pro-independence political parties have joined the four columns, which have converged on October 1st Square (plaça Espanya).
Catalan society has proven that it won’t be stopped by the repression exerted by Spain, showing the international community that the struggle is far from over. The demonstration has also shown that, contrary to what the Spanish authorities claim, the Catalan pro-independence movement has a non-violent and entirely democratic nature, defending the right to self-determination though initiatives included within the scope of the rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and political participation.
The political event opened with folk-rock band Fetus, who had recorded the Diada 2023 official song, followed by the speeches of eminent members of civil society representing the values of the four columns. Then, Jordi Gaseni, president of the Association of Municipalities, has noted the importance of doing national politics from the municipalities. “Let us beware of the pacts with Spain: the pro-independence movement must continue being strong, from the smallest town to the largest city”.
Lluís Llach, in representation of the Council for the Republic has recalled that the key to success of October first [referendum] lays in the fact that, from the institutions to the humblest of us all, we took the role of lead characters. We can only win independence if we are all there”.
Òmnium president Xavier Antich, has remarked the persistence of the Catalan people. We were here, we are here, and we will be here. If we have learned anything, it is that without a permanent mobilisation we will never be able to live in freedom”.
The president of the Catalan National Assembly Dolors Feliu closed the event stressing that “Europe observes the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, shaken by the elections, and today it hears our cries for independence”.
Dolors Feliu also highlighted that there can only be a governing pact with the Spanish government if it has a direct effect to achieve Catalonia’s independence, and “there must also be negotiations and pacts between the Catalan pro-independence parties”.
The National Day rally has had strong international presence. Catalans have marched together with over a hundred foreign representatives from several countries and stateless nations, including Riffians, Uighurs, Saharawis, Kabylians, Biafrans, New Caledonians, Native Americans, South Moluccans and others. European representatives from Flanders, the Basque Country, Galicia, Castile, Corsica, Sardinia, Portugal, Ukraine, and Belarus have also joined in solidarity with Catalonia’s struggle.
The Catalan National Assembly has organised peaceful and democratic rallies and protests to demand Catalonia’s independence every September 11th since 2012.
Catalan events all over the world
These last days, several foreign assemblies of the Catalan National Assembly have mobilised the Catalan diaspora with various political, cultural and social events to commemorate and celebrate September 11. Assemblea’s foreign branches have organised events in France, Germany, England, Brussels, the Netherlands, Mexico, the United States, Ireland and Luxembourg.
The Assemblea Foreign Assemblies work at a grassroots level with local organizations, NGOs, and political representatives to inform about the political situation in Catalonia. Assemblea’s foreign branches encourage anyone interested in contributing and working alongside the Catalan pro-independence cause abroad to get in touch with them and learn more or take part in these and other events.