Kickstarted by the foreign branches of the Catalan National Assembly, the #CatalanWeek held 26 presential and online events over the course of 14 days to celebrate the Catalan National Day abroad with great viewership, and will see a new edition next year.
As is traditional, the Foreign Assemblies of the Catalan National Assembly organized several events in the run-up to the Catalan National Day on the 11th of September, Assemblea’s foreign branches in territories like Mexico, Belgium, Madrid, England, the Basque Country, Luxembourg, the United States, Portugal, Germany and others organized 26 events in five languages, spread over the two weeks from August 29th till September the 13th.
The current health and political environment has driven the Foreign Assemblies to adapt mobilization to develop a stronger presence online, with half of the events taking place digitally, with great success: the events have been followed by over 6.000 viewers, exponentially higher than previous editions.
Organized for the first time in 2016, the #CatalanWeek focuses on fostering Catalonia’s pro-independence cause abroad, and in the current situation the country is facing, also denounces Spain’s political repression against the people of Catalonia. Based on the success of this edition, there are plans for a repeat next year.
Aside from the meetings and demonstrations on occasion of the Catalan National Day on September 11th, there were several highlights and special interventions of academic, civil society and political figures at the events:
On Saturday the 3rd, Assemblea president Elisenda Paluzie took part in a conference held by the Basque branch in Bilbao, where she met with representatives of the Basque pro-independence movement, including the political party EH Bildu and civil society organization Gure Esku, among others.
ANC Madrid held two events, one on the 30th of August, focusing on the 10-month imprisonment of Spanish activist Daniel Gallardo, with a considerable representation of Spanish civil society groups that are sympathetic with the Catalan pro-independence cause; and on Saturday the 5th, they also held a debate with Albert Pont, the president of the Catalan Business Association Cercle Català de Negocis, and David Fernàndez, the Vice-President of Assemblea.
On Saturday the 5th, the branch in Brussels held the inauguration of the photo exhibition “Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain” by Santiago Sierra -which will remain open till the end of September- which included a public interview with exiled Majorcan rapper Josep Valtonyc. The following day, the Mexico branch held a digital roundtable focusing on solidarity between pro-independence movements in Catalonia and the Latin-American country, with prominent Mexican professors José María Murià and Montserrat Galí Boadella, among others.
On September 8th, ANC Frankfurt organized a digital debate with journalist and director of the Catalan digital newspaper Vilaweb, Vicent Partal. The following day, on September 9th, Assemblea England held a live debate with Members of Parliament for the Catalan pro-independence parties; and ANC Portugal held a debate in Lisbon on the history of the Catalan National Day with the presence of the Portuguese historian and journalist Fernando Rosas.
The #CatalanWeek concluded on September 13th, with a virtual debate which discussed the work of the foreign assemblies, as well as the current events and future challenges for the Catalan pro-independence movement.
The 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 or other events.